i’ve been thinking a lot about time. and how often in my life there’s a negative correlation with the impact something has on me. that is to say, the most impactful moments of my life are often the most fleeting.
i accidentally started a band when i graduated high school. i would record songs onto a four-track cassette deck that i had picked up a few years prior. i’m not sure why i hadn’t done it before. maybe i didn’t know how to use it.
the recordings were crude and out of time. they contained vocals and electric guitar. the vocals always distorted. not as a effect, but because i didn’t understand gain-staging or signal flow. to this day, those demos are some of the worst things i’ve ever produced.
naturally, i showed them to everyone.
i’m not sure if people were just being nice, but i only ever received positive feedback. my boss at pizza hut even asked for a copy so he could listen at home. one time he played my demo at work as leisure music.
it wasn’t long before i found a drummer. a few months later we played our first show — a party in someones backyard. we were alright. and even if we weren’t everyone was too drunk to care.
we started playing shows every weekend. eventually we added a bass player that never learned the songs. something that will always puzzle me about that band is that we got worse the more we practiced.
a lot of important things happened as a result of being in that band. i moved into my first apartment. i got my first real job. this led to me meeting one of my best friends to this day. she was the one that convinced me to go to college.
this is also where my path to working in the film industry began. i had always been fascinated with audio and recording, but this was the first time i considered working in the entertainment industry. it’s also when i began learning about mixing and multitrack recording.
my band recorded a four song demo in a friend-of-a-friends basement studio. i was never happy with the final product. it was too clean. i used to blame the engineer, but over time i realized that it was my fault for not communicating properly my vision for the songs.
that was first time i had ever seen pro tools. in retrospect, we should have had the engineer record onto my cassette deck. or use it in the process somehow before going digital. i still tell myself that i’m going to rerecord those songs one day. that was over ten years ago.
the band was together for less than two years. we broke up so i could go to college. i’m not sure why that required breaking up. i would have still had time to practice and play the occasional show. i must have been looking for an excuse, because we played our last show in january, seven months before my first day of school.
i played three shows as a solo act before giving up on music entirely.
what’s interesting about this period in my life is that i remember it being longer. it’s been over ten years, but i still listen to those poorly recorded songs like it was the best time of my life.
maybe it was.