On Greystone Gardens: going from solo artist to band leader to essentially solo artist

There once was a band called HellCat Maggie. Then there wasn’t. Then there was again and in HC 2 we had Rob Pailer on drums. He’s a fan of my solo stuff and he mentioned that if I ever needed a drummer for that stuff he’d like to do it. As HC was failing to get legs a second time Towelie said he’d follow me into a new band if I wanted. A band I first wanted to call Famous Cemeteries.

This all happened earlier this year after Nine Chains To The Moon was done and I was thinking about themes for my next record. It was spring and my friends and I were talking about how we all have songs and records that we relish listening to when winter is over and it’s sunny and green outside. Mine’s Dookie by Green Day and Melon Collie by the Pumpkins. Anyway I started writing a summer record but, you know me, I was also writing old fashioned wrist-slitters so I was thinking I’d do a summer/winter two albums or double album type thing. With the newly named Greystone Gardens we were playing a few of my old songs that I’d always wanted full band arrangements for (Laugh Track, Another Funeral, and we kept Calle Del Luna) and I had a bunch of stuff that I wasn’t planning on using for my next record but eventually I decided not to hold anything back. So the more upbeat record I was working on will become the first Greystone record but I’m always writing and I think I have enough material for a short acoustic album. And since the Greystone Gardens line-up is in flux it’s more likely that’ll get done first.

From the start Towelie wanted to play lead guitar but played bass at jams because we didn’t have one, when the show got set up it made the most sense for us to play as a trio. The plan however has always been to find a bass player and have Towels play guitar. Then the jam schedule fell apart. Towelie works evenings, I work mornings, and Rob seemingly works all day every day. Statistically the number one killer of marriage is conflicting shift work. So practice is often cancelled and barring any change Rob is done after the show. We were all thinking it and we let him be the first to say it.

So I’m basically back to square one except instead of Towelie and I looking for a drummer and a guitarist, Towelie and I are looking for a drummer and a bass player. And a jam space. I think we’ll go into the studio soon anyway though, I’ve gotten good enough on drums to hold that down and having this much back logged material is stupid. But the whole point of being in a band is the camaraderie and the fun of playing live. I need the power of conscription.



Singer/songwriter, jerk.

Posted in Songwriting

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