I have recently been thinking about forming a new band with Finn Ryan on drums, Shane Spellman on trumpet, Andrew Fedorovitch on alto sax and me on electric keyboard and piano. They all seem keen for it, the only thing we are waiting on is for me to get the required equipment and get it together. What I really need is a Jazz organ with distortion, or some kind of Nord or a Rhodes with distortion and a channel switch and an acoustic piano and a celesta, or just a really good keyboard with all those sounds. I just really want to bring the metal side of me out in another way. Lakeside Circus has a lot of ‘metal’ in it and a lot of the compositional ideas come from metal music. But that band doesn’t really capture the actual sound of what metal is because it’s all acoustic jazz instruments. With this band there will be more of a balance towards the metal side with the electric keyboard against the acoustic horns.
My understanding of ‘hybrid’ music really opened up when I saw the BBC Trio last year. Jim Black has shown me a way into electronic music that may end up satisfying my lust for guitarists who can click a switch and get that sound. To make my keyboard sound like a guitar with over drive and be able to play way down low, with all the other sounds that your typical keyboard has these days AND have a real piano would just make the possibilities so great. I’m not professing to thinking that I’ll ever play as good as Nels Cline, but getting what he does on guitar across onto my keys is the kind of direction I’m thinking of going. I just see it as a way of encompassing more of ‘me’ into my free improvisations.
The BBC Trio (as I understand it) improvised their entire gig in Melbourne. That’s the kind of approach I’d like to take, because me and Finn have improvised free ever since we started playing and me and Andrew play free on a regular basis, as do me and Shane, and Andrew and Shane. I believe we are all capable improvisers and listeners. But I also think that without some sort of grounding the sound of the band could turn out to be anything at all, and I definitely have a specific sound in my head. I think written interludes will appear amongst workshopped and spontaneous improvisation. But then again, Circus band was originally going to be a ‘mostly free’ improvising band, and now it’s pretty much all locked-in composition.
I want to do maybe one or two gigs with this band this year. I’d also like to record the gigs. It’s going to be a long time coming if it happens because Finn is out of state and I haven’t got the shit together yet which makes rehearsing hard. But when it happens (or even if it happens) it will be a really sweet band. It will be new music that draws on all the wide things I listen to and like. It will be another step into another place and with this combination of musicians, I’m sure it would be a blast.
The band will be called: Something Boys