Monday, July 21, 2008


So, Roman Holiday's gone through yet another drummer change.

Ned and I decided it was more important to have someone who can sing behind the kit, and we were kind of frustrated at how long it was taking the new drummer to learn the songs, so we decided to go with our gut and make a change.

So, the new new drummer in Roman Holiday is a fellow named Greg Gonyea. He's currently playing in another Austin cover band called "Capital Suspects", and he'll be playing most of our gigs coming up (save for a few he already had booked with CS).

I'm sure some people will think we're assholes for making the change so quickly, but the reality is, you have to do what's best for the band, and the road we were headed down would have led to frustration for me, mostly because the band sounded pretty bad without a decent third vocalist. I've learned to stomach quite a lot of mediocrity over the past decade, but I really don't want to completely suck, and I felt like we were headed that way.

We've had another guy filling in on the gigs Greg can't make, who also sings, and though he does a good job, one thing he does reminded me of an annoyance I have. I can't stand it when people add harmonies for no good reason. I wanted a drop button for his mic at some points, because it was honestly messing me up. Dude can play and sing his butt off, but was adding harmonies all night. Just a pet peeve of mine - a BIG one, mostly because it completely distracts me and makes it even harder for me to maintain my pitch (since I'm already struggling having to focus on playing the bass).

On this subject (and the experiences with recent drummers), the last two months have reminded me of something pretty standard in music (and in life).

There are people (like me) who go all-out when they're planning on doing something for someone, and others who sort of do just enough, which invariably ends up being NOT ENOUGH.

For example, if I have a fill-in gig, or I join a new band (or even consider the idea) I map out all the songs, listen to them intently and learn all the bits that I need to cover. I make sure I have copies of the exact versions the band does, and if I can't get copies, I get explanations on how things start and end, any arrangement changes, and note it all on my charts for the songs. Then, at the show, I pay close attention to what everyone is doing, and follow accordingly, so it sounds as tight as conceivably possible.

I don't understand the mentality of not working the stuff out and really learning it (as opposed to just casually listening to the songs and sort of winging it). It doesn't take THAT much time to put together the arrangement for a song you've heard hundreds of times on the radio (like the vast majority of our setlist, which consists almost entirely of top-40 hits from 1965-present).

But I guess that's just the difference between anal-retentive assholes like me and the average musician. I think I'd rather hire the asshole if I needed a fill-in, though. He might be a particular bastard, but he'll definitely know his shit.

A wedding and a private party this weekend. Next weekend (8/1-8/2) the band is at Carlos & Charlie's on Friday, and MAYBE singing some tunes with Sprung at Cool River Cafe on Thursday night.

Acoustic demos are up at my acoustic act's MySpace - more to come on that front. Looking to score a bi-weekly night gig somewhere singing songs solo sassily.