In this chapter dear reader, we will find out what it takes to play a drum solo at a rock show, and how to break the “Spinal Tap’s” curse.
First of all. Thank you guys all for coming to our debut full length album release! Thank you for your support! We just passed another milestone on our journey to worldwide success. And this milestone was as usual set in the Gramercy theatre.
I love this venue. It is pretty sacred place for The Blackfires. It was our first big venue to play when we started. It was our home port-town to play after our overseas journey to play with Aerosmith. Right after that trip we opened for Glenn Hughes’ band California Breed – I’m gonna tell you about it in the next chapter.
So it is been a year since we played a big venue gig. We enclosed ourselves in our studio, writing and recording our first full length album. And now, here we are! (I’ll be telling stories about the album in future posts, but today let me speak about the show).
I’ve always dreamt about having a drum solo during the set. It is simply a mandatory thing for a self-respecting rock band!!! MANDATORY!
People adore drum solos. Way more than guitar noodles (sorry Hec and Mullin) but this is the reality. The drums by themselves with nothing else playing, can take the human soul and body to the primal days of tribes and paganism. The low kick drum just punches you in your gut, subconsciously working on your primal emotions of fear and sexuality. You were born surrounded by the beat of drums, you did your pre mating dance to the beat of drums, you got your first fuck to the beat of drums… You went to war, you died, you were buried by the beat of drums. This is what every person in a crowd from whatever country and nation feels when they hear a cool drum solo!!!
Our drummer Joe didn’t think that way. He thought it would be lame…and that it could end up being like a scene from the movie “Spinal Tap”…. Gotta mention it here… every time I hear someone mentioning Spinal Tap it gets me so mad that I am ready to punch someone in the face. I was as mad at Joe at some point. We’ve been asking him to play a drum solo for ages… Joe was super opposed to it. Was that Spinal Tap movie such an antidote against artistry and freedom of expression onstage? I love this movie, but at the same time I also hate it. I’ve heard so much about it here in the USA from so many musicians… that I have to officially announce the existence of “Spinal Tap Syndrome”.
Anyways. Joe is the kind of guy that always wants to make things better. He looks for ways to make better songs, and ways to improve the show. I knew that deep inside..somewhere under that Spinal Tap spell he really wanted to do it. But we gotta go through a breakthrough moment. Every actor that has ever been on the theatre stage knows what I am talking about.
We wisely started to talk about a drum solo weeks ahead of time. Hector and I basically poisoned him with this idea. I tried to provoke Joe by saying that if he wasn’t willing to play the drum solo, then we should let Grasebo play it (on top of being an awesome bass player, Grasebo can really bang on those drums!)… or “fuck it I’ll do it.” – I said during one rehearsal.
…and I found myself in a silenced room, being pierced by a few pairs of very disapproving eyes.
“What? I can play a bit…it is fun!” – I played a simple drum beat…off beat… sloppy but super cool hahaha.
“Cheggi do us a favor, don’t even think about it” – said Grasebo with a very serious Grasebo facial expression. The one that as soon as you see it, you know next second he’s gonna pull out his sharpest assassin’s knife and throw it straight at your heart, and you won’t even know you’re dead.
I stood up. With an exaggerated upset face… and went to the couch. “Well, Joe, it looks like you’re the one who’s gonna have to do it”
Needless to say, Joe did it. From that moment on he started to work on unleashing his inner beast.
The night before the show he texted me… he was worried about a lotta stuff. About our video on the back screen, and about his drum solo… He mentioned Spinal Tap again and I went psycho:
“Man, the only way to avoid mistakes is to do nothing! If you afraid to fall, then stand still and don’t move around. I’ll be fucking praying to all the existing gods for all the bad things that can happen tomorrow to actually happen. FUCK IT!!! I’m mad!!!”
Well as you know if you were there, the show went very well! And Joe just killed it on drums.
And people adored it. And I was fucking right! ans as some people said, “it was a highlight of the show”. And to Joe I say, I am happy that you unleashed the beast, by breaking the Spinal Tap curse. And I was your exorcist!
But you’ve seen horror and mystery movies, haven’t you? Then you should know that during the act of exorcism or breaking the spell that dark energy attacks the exorcist with a fierce vicious force. And only the strength and the faith of the priest keeps him alive. We had that moment during the show, guys!!!! Checked it out…
I give you, the moment of my fall! Breaking the Spinal Tap curse!
So anyway, on that note… I hope you enjoy our new songs! If you haven’t had the chance to listen yet, you can get the new album here!
and stay tuned for more rock n roll stories. In the next chapter, I’ll share another memory of our Gramercy performance with Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham.
Capt. Andrey “Rocker Child” Cheggi.