OK. So Fey Ray is in the practice room working on some new songs. We have 3-4 ideas that we play around with but none of us are really happy with the results yet. Personally, I like the melodies and such, but everything has had a sort of mid-tempo Coldplay-ish feel to it...ugh. (Don't get me wrong, I like Coldplay but I don't consider them a musical influence...certainly not one I want indentified with my band, anyway.)
If you're a musician and a music junky, one of the pitfalls you encounter when writing is what I call "style-aping." This is sometimes intentional, sometimes it's not. Usually you can combat this in a variety of ways, but sometimes it's really, really hard.
So, it's getting late we're tired and Matt starts playing a funky, Meters-like guitar riff. So Adam and I fall in behind it. Matt stops playing.
Matt (to Adam): No, No...That's too funky. Dial it back a little.
Adam (a tad confused): OK.
We start playing again, but Adam's drumbeat now has a New Orleans-style thing goin' on.
Matt: Nah. Still too funky...Try thinking Stereolab.
Adam: Stereolab? Aren't they sort of Krautrock? Can?
Me: Well, I always thought they had a sort of disco thing going on. But what I think it's disco played by white people from countries lacking a sizeable black population. See, the Talking Heads were from New York and even though they were white, they were still funky, 'cause you can't escape the influence of black folks there. Try playing it like you're from Switzerland or something.
We start playing again. Adam is a very straight beat, but...
Matt: Nope. Still funky.
Adam (getting pissed - but laughing): It's a funky guitar line!! How am I supposed to un-funkify it?!
Matt (holding his hands up in surrender): Dude, I don't even want to play this any more.
Me, Seth and Adam: No! We're gonna get this thing! Keep going!
Seth comes over and gets behind the kit. We're all cracking up over the idea of "un-funkifying" a song.
Adam: So much for 12 years of drum lessons!
We play again.
Adam (glowering): OK...so you're playing kinda busy and doing fills every two measures, is that what you want?
Seth (shrugs): Something like that...maybe a bit busier.
Me: So like a Zach Barochas/Jawbox thing? Maybe more math than funk then?
Adam gets behind the kit and comes up with something that kind of works. I'm still laughing.
We take a break.
Seth: So, I guess you just have to not play on the one.
Me: Dude, EVERYTHING is on the one!