Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Bitchin' Martyr - Brewin' up some mixed meter from back in the day

So I had this band back in the day, which I formed in my last year of Berklee in the 1990-91. It was comprised of wicked talented musicians all from Berklee except the drummer (amazing player and was in a blues band with him too). We played odd metered prog metal in Boston in the early-mid 90s. We had everything from diehard cult fans to blank stares to "Betsey what are you playing? I can't tap my foot to this." But one thing for sure we had a blast playing and we wrote some cool sh*t. This has been the only metal band where our writing process almost solely consisted of charts. In other words, we wrote the song, wrote out the charts for each player, and we read the charts as we played the songs as a band in rehearsal. Sort of like the pros... ie. in big bands, jazz etc... I've never come close to being in this situation in the metal genre again - I usually get what-the-hell-are-you-talkin'- about indignant looks and oh we play by feel retorts (and the only thing they are feeling is 4) when I mention charts, or even time signatures.

Anywho, here is a song that we all (Michelle Daniels - vocals, Dan Gustafson - drums, Steve Coyne - guitar, James Carter - guitar, Betsey Stephens (moi) - bass) wrote together and was recorded at Emerson College in Boston around 1992/3 - live to two track. I think this was our only take (you can tell in the solo). But the point is... its in lots of meters:

The Martyr - Bitches Brew intro/interludish part/ending: 10/4, 9/4 Verse: 5/4 with 15/8 feel PreChorus: 4/4, 6/4 Solo: 11/8

Wouldn't we have sounded REALLY cool if we had an excellent producer and maybe some more takes??? but nonetheless, I think it was badass at the time. And that's not it... I have included a special treat for y'all... a live BB pic on our MA tour (c.1993) Yes that's me on bass (white shirt), Betsey Stephens a female bass player, wasn't into the bra stage show attire, hahahah ahh..

Still Brewin' it ODD,
Odd Time Obsessed Tune in


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