Friday, January 20, 2012

Says the Man Who Says

I think I've mentioned that B16 is in a band.

He's in two bands, actually.

His indie/acoustic band is just him and a girl that he's known since infancy.  She lives back in IL, where we moved from, but she and B16 see each other about once a month, because her dad drives up regularly to assist at our church.  (He's an Anglican priest and a worship leader/guitarist.) They sing in close harmony and they've written half a dozen songs together that they hope to record together this summer.

His other band is a Christian screamo band.  If you're interested, there's a Wikipedia article all about the history and derivations of this genre.  I found this quote to be the most helpful:

It came to be that the soft/loud dynamic of having either one or two singers who alternate between passionate singing and distraught shrieking that characterizes most screamo. These vocals are often layered or appear side-by-side amid aggressive, hard-hitting guitar licks used to trigger an exhaustive, emotional catharsis. Though the music is outwardly tough and powerful, the lyrics are usually of the introspective kind found in softer emo bands.

This is a great description of what's going on in the song that B16's band just recorded, which you can listen to below.  B16 sings the lead vocals, and another friend in the band does the "screaming" (which he's received training on how to do without harming his voice).  Though the screaming is an ugly sound, the contrast between it and B16's vocals is really interesting, you'll have to admit.  B16 sounds so earnest and heroic in comparison.

The other band members are friends from the Christian high school he went to last year, and they've been influenced heavily by Christian screamo bands like Family Force Five, August Burns Red, As I Lay Dying, We Came as Romans, Blessthefall, Underoath and Descend to Rise.  It's not beautiful music, to my ears, but the lyrics are worthwhile and encouraging to these boys, so we're not complaining (much).

And band practice is a good place for them to be on the weekends.  They've learned so much from playing together, and writing a song together, and now from the recording process, which was far more time-consuming than they would have guessed.  It took nearly two months to lay down all the different tracks, including having to re-record some of them, and B16 had to go in numerous times both for vocals and separately for his guitar part.  (He plays electric guitar with this band, acoustic guitar with his other band.)  One of the band member's dads was able to work out a deal at a friend's recording studio, and he generously paid the fee so that they could have this experience.


Next step:  They want to be more than just a studio band, they want to play in front of actual audiences!  They've performed once, at a band member's youth group, the one song they have.  So they need to write some more songs and learn "covers" (playing other bands' songs), so they'll have more of a repertoire to play out at gigs.

Who knows how far they'll go?  Nobody really cares, at this point--well, maybe a few of the band members--but mostly, they and their parents are just excited about the experience they're getting and the hard work they are putting in!

They're good kids.


Anne Kennedy said...

My little boys loved this. They rolled on the floor an giggled hysterically every time the screaming part started. They wanted it to go on and on so now it will probably be a treat if they do what they're supposed to. Not sure if this was the intended effect but I thought you'd like to know.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Oh, Anne, that is so FUNNY! My son will get a kick out of hearing it.