My next major film project is a short film about an old band I used to be in back in high school/early twenties. It's a short film that explores growing up, the dying of dreams, and the silky high that nostalgia has the power to give us, like snorting a powdery line of memories.
Writing the script became a time-travel machine for me and I'm deep into the journey at the moment.
Although the film will focus on one band, it will be influenced by all the bands and experiences I had when I was submerged in the music scene.
Which brings me to this blog post - there were four major bands I was in, all with their own problems, their own joys, and their own learning experiences I got to keep in my backpocket.
I'll dedicate each post for every band, post pics (if I can find any) as well as any old music I can find.
This post is for my first band:
*ON RIGHT: Our cheesy half-ass Myspace photo. It was the logo drawn on the hand of one of our biggest fans and friends.
I was still fresh into learning drums when these guys came into my life. None of them were directly my friends, it was by chance and third-parties I got to be a part of this band.
Fun Fact: the lead singer was a Disney Channel Movie Surfer (which at the time was a pretty big deal) they were these kids on the Disney channel who interviewed stars of upcoming Disney movies. Kind of like a kids version of E!
As goes for most of my memories, I remember them as moments, like a greatest hits vision board pinned to a wall in my mind. So that's how I will write it:
In the lower level of the Kaleidoscope (shopping center) parking structure, sitting in a beat-up Honda with Disney Surfer and another band member Lenny.
I remember them watching me as I listened to their demo on the stereo, it's that same vulnerability everyone has when showing someone something you made.
The music was a blend of acoustic guitar, pop, but still had a natural scrappiness to it. It was catchy and I said yes to being their new drummer - their old one dropped out for reasons I never cared to remember.
Struggling to find a place to practice, we'd throw all our instruments into our cars, go to the lowest level of the Kaleidoscope parking structure, set up our instruments, and secretly practice. We were getting away with it until kids found out and would come down and watch us, we secretly loved it because it made us feel famous.
Hyper-ventilating, hunching over in panic, backstage at our biggest show which was at The Roxy on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. It was my first time playing drums live and I was awaiting inevitable failure, but luckily it was a great show (or so I think?).
Not sure when I started this habit, but during the guitar solo of one of our songs, I would pour water on my cymbals, then when the drums kicked in, I'd smack the cymbals so water would splash everywhere.
The habit stopped at one show when the venue owner screamed at me for wetting the microphones.
The house parties we would find after shows and practices. We'd converge all of our friends into one place which served as the perfect melting pot of booze, marijuana, and random hookups. We weren't just a band, we were friends, and spent every minute we could together.
We would make "Dankies" these sandwiches where we would only put cold cheese and mayo in between two slices of bread - no we wouldn't warm it up to be a grilled cheese sandwich.
One of the members talking to me about his dad's suicide, he was the quietest one, and when he shared that and his thoughts on religion it was a strange and eye-opening experience.
When I think of this band I think of wet torn up concrete. We were always around it, we'd dwell in parking lots, sidewalks, in beat up corners of our little South OC town. Maybe we were a little like concrete for a short while, torn up, dirty, but at the foundation we were solid.
Lastly, I remember our guitarist's parents living room, where we would cram all our instruments and try to play for as long as we could until his parents cut us off. They let us stay for dinner and when they asked us what our future plans were after high school we said we'd be getting signed to a label and be playing in this band forever.
Here is some of the music I was able to find:
*NOTE*: These are the demos they showed me when they wanted me to be in the band. Unfortunately, there are no studio recordings with me.