I write this at 11:25 PM on Monday, September the third, 2012. It was move-in day—that is to say, I spent the day moving into my on-campus apartment. It’s a glory of an apartment, with an adorable little puppy and three of my closest friends (one of whom is my band mate).
So I brought him a kick drum I had sitting in my attic. I had bought it a few years ago because I was doing a one-man-folk-band thing and wanted to add a kick drum, because Mumford and Sons had just gotten popular, and I wanted to be just like that sexy European guy (I’m so tired that I don’t remember his nationality). Whatever.
I brought him this vintage-ass Pearl drum. I don’t know shit about drums, so I don’t know what to say about it. It’s made of cedar. I know that because a couple mice died inside of it, and I had to clean it out. They fell in those two holes at the top where the toms go in. I assume they nibbled on bugs and stuff for a while before dying.
They peed in there—the mice did. I had to hit up the drummer of my high school band on facebook, “Do you know how to clean mouse piss out of cedar?” He said no.
Right—when I opened it up, it smelled so strongly of cedar that I couldn’t even smell the piss or the disgusting mouse bodies.
Right! The drum and the band.
Long story short: we jammed for a bit with this kick-ass kick drum: all the old folk tunes. I like folk music.
Then some squares from next door asked us to keep it down—so we tried…
…but we were really feeling the whole JAM SESSION thing. So we kept playing: all the old folk tunes.
Two hours later, while we were feeling like badasses, we discovered that our neighbors (the squares that knocked on our door earlier) are also in a band. Except, their drummer has a full kit (really, who needs two different china cymbals?), and their guitarist has some crazy loud speaker through which he shreded solos of alarming power.
So now we have a feud. It’s kind of lame—ruined our barbeque earlier. I bought a grill, but I’ve sidetracked way too much already.
So, after giving much thought to the situation, I’ve come up with a helpful manual for all college bands: “The College Band’s Comprehensive Guide to Not Getting into a Feud With a Near-by Math-core Band.” It is as follows:
Rule #1: When someone comes by, begging you to turn your music down, don’t turn it up.
Rule #2: When you hear a band near by playing music, just chill with them. They might be cool folks. If they’re not, then forget them—but give it a try. Invite them over for a drink (assuming you’re over 21). Offer them a hit on your acrylic water pipe (tobacco-use only). Hey, even offer them a straw-full of coke (or Pepsi, whatever’s good).
Collaboration in music is a beautiful thing. Do it up.
And if they turn out to be dicks, do what Mitch and I did. We just set up my 1000 watt PA system, put a shure B-52 on the kick drum, plugged my guitar in with a DI box, and double mic-ed my vocals with an SM-57 and an AKG-414 (just for kicks).
Seriously. Those guys suck.