Friday, December 11, 2015

The (hi-)story of DrScythe – Part II (Meinthat Part I)

As I already mentioned before this is the largest part of my history as a musician so I have to split it up. Together with my fiancée I began playing songs by the German band ‘Schandmaul’ and soon we decided that we should do this as a band and try to write own songs. Within a few months we had the luck to find a rehearsal room, a drummer and a bass player. Although I want to add a complete chapter about band practice including optimizing rooms I just want to mention now that the room was quite weird. In the cellar of a WWII bunker, two by eight meters and cold. Nicely cool in summer; freezing during the winter months. With no heating included...

We began by playing cover songs and kept looking for a guitar player. As I was the lead singer in this band I restrained myself to playing rhythm guitar, mostly strumming chords and even that took a while to get used to while singing. But nowadays I still feel weird singing without a guitar in front of me. While you get the impression that there are hundreds of guitarists available for every band we struggled to find someone. The genre of medieval inspired folk rock seemed quite off the charts for many but you would think that out of those hundreds of guitarists in forums someone would say ‘okay, let’s try that!’

Our first candidate was able to play the basic stuff but couldn’t handle a very simple solo. And that was one of my main requirements: whoever wanted the ‘job’ had to be able to play solos better than me and I am still not good at playing this instrument today. So back then it was relatively easy to be better. But at some point we found a guy and we began playing our own songs. Before we could record one of them we had to kick out the drummer. His only cymbal was his hihat. We bought him a triangle as a joke but he immediately promised to buy a ride and a crash. Then he told us that a neighbor had his packages and after a few weeks we were a little disappointed because of the lies. We weren’t the typical ‘friends since elementary school’ that some bands are based on but at least we wanted to be honest. Luckily we found a new drummer very soon and he used an electrical drum kit which was great for lowering the overall volume. Why was this great? Well...did you ever hear an electrical violin really loud?...

This drummer also had recording experience and so we recorded our first song. You can still find that song on YouTube (Meinthat – Die Mühle) if you want to hear the unexperienced DrScythe shouting his lungs out. While recording our second song (‘Das Schlachtfeld’) our guitarist wasn’t able to play his solo. Which he wrote himself. After only a few minutes of practice I could play it so we agreed on giving him some time so that he would be the one playing on the recording. That didn’t work and kicking him out was the beginning of the end of ‘Meinthat’. We then tried dozens of guitar players but most of them had different ideas of how bands work (I still had the illusion of a democracy being an option) or even suggested to change our genre…

From there the band didn’t move forward anymore and what happened then will be featured in the next episode of (hi-)story. As this series will come to an end I feel the need to explain that those are just building the background for me reflecting on bands, equipment, creativity and more. So don’t wonder about missing opinions or results here and there. That’s it for this week.

Until next time

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