I LOL'D, AND THEN LOL'D AND LOL'D MORE
I said earlier this year that I would put all my artistic efforts into my tiny little indie band and that I wouldn't play for anyone else for reasons of focus. It hurt to say no to a lot of gigs this year, but there was an exception that started with a phone call last week:
GUY: You free on Saturday?
HUGO: No, why?
GUY: I want you to sit in on a group. Just pop music. Soul music. Showcase for a singer at [trombone sound] next week. No pressure, you don't have to play the show. I just want you in the rehearsal and you can make up your mind there. Singer's alright, but the players are insane.
HUGO: I'm listening.
GUY: We're playing--
There are few reasons I would even consider driving to the Valley.
So I showed up, ready to break in my new Behringer amp (BONER), and, yeah, everyone was pretty legit. Few dorks in there (I hate it when some musicians don't have any confidence), but overall a sol-id group for having just met each other. Restored my faith in playing pop and soul music again. I ain't dead yet, kids. I ain't dead yet. The songs I thought would be hardest to play (Earth, Wind and Fire, Commodores, Stevie Wonder) ended up being the most tight. How that happens, I dunno.
And I laughed again during rehearsals, the kind from awe. Drop a beat and I'll laugh. Put extra space between your phrases and I'll laugh more. That hasn't happened in a long time. Like wearing old shoes.
There was a back-up singer. She was phenomenal. She totally saw that I had a musical crush on her. Her phrasing was outstanding, and, like, mega sexy. She out-performed the lead singer. We talked after for awhile, hitting it off pretty well. She had this confidence that was really refreshing. She was more, "You and I should meet next Thursday night at 8 p.m. to play something else" and less, "Yeah, we should, like, meet up sometime or something..." Loved it.
Confidence, man. All these sessions are about confidence. Your chops could be mediocre, but if you're a people person, you're a bigger asset than a guy with amazing chops and a shitty demeanor. Most musicians aren't aware that the real audition comes before and after playing.
I've never felt at the top of my game before. I've always felt really shitty about myself in, like, everything. I don't know what's happened since, but I genuinely feel good with what I can bring to the table in any situation I put myself in. It's like, "C'MON, WORLD, FUCKIN' BRING IT ON. I WILL PUT MY DICK IN YO' MOUTH."
It's better than feeling really shitty about myself. That's for sure. And if a pie hits me in the face, well, that's life. No time to bitch about it.