Oct 2009

Since this month began, I have been pondering on the nature of snare sounds. Throughout years of listening, I have to sum it up in Phil Gould's words; if the music is grooving, it doesn't matter if the snare goes "tock" or "durf".

I rehearsed with some well-known pop singers for upcoming engagements, and the dilemma of the appropriate sound was as strong as ever, because a pointy sound might blend better with the track, but it requires attention when it comes to how you place it, time-wise (and we're talking minute time differences here). So, in essence, if you like it high-pitched you'd better have your click track abilities developed. Another thing that never ceases to amaze me is how different artists interpret the same rhythm. One wants it to be played so on top of the beat that it almost sounds weird, another likes it so far back that trying to play it is an exercise in restraint by itself.

All in a day's work, right?

As for traveling, I've had my share, because all of the rehearsing takes place in Athens and the engagements take place in my hometown of Thessaloniki. Apart from that, a 3-day stint of Crete for Thanassis and his band was quite good fun, although we played in some chintzy places and this mini-tour was plagued by soundman illness and crappy, dangerous vans.

Another thing that I seemingly can't get to terms with is being a silent sideman; being a sideman is fine by me, being silent when something can be done better but hurts someone's ego is not.

Maybe the attitude of a musician who only plays what's written and puts up with various kinds of nonsense works in the long run, maybe it condemns you to just being "the drum guy". I'll never know.

I'll speak my mind when my limits are surpassed, that's just my nature and I don't judge anybody who acts differently.

Thankfully I didn't encounter anything to test me recently,but this thought crosses my mind everytime i see a bossy frontman and a timid sideman.

Just be yourselves, guys and gals!

Till next month

Alex

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