This is what could happen if you move to New York City.
It was mid-2008 when I decided to sell or give away most of my possessions and catch an August flight from Denver to JFK airport with three friends. We were all musicians without bands and figured it was time to move to a place with more action. Why not try the biggest city?
I had this notion that Brooklyn was a summer camp full of eager musicians where everyone would meet in a large room, instruments in hand, and successful bands formed like stars in a nebula. But I soon learned that moving to New York was akin to a surgical operation; you must relearn the basics before you can focus on something as luxurious as playing music. Once I found myself situated in Greenpoint a month later, it was time to test the water.
My first Craigslist ad went something like, “Alright, I’m new to New York, I moved here to start a band, so let’s do this! I need a drummer, bassist, lead guitarist, and maybe a keyboardist.” I also posted links to the home recordings I made in Colorado, which included acoustic guitar and a couple vocal tracks. The first response that was worth responding to was from Nate The Drummer. We met at Ultra Sound Studios a couple days later. I brought my acoustic guitar and he brought cymbals, drum sticks and a four pack of tall boys. From what I recall, that session went well. We played through three or four songs and he methodically learned each section and transition. It felt great to finally be playing, and it felt even better as I learned through conversations between songs that Nate The Drummer was Nate Kelley, the original drummer from Coheed And Cambria. We both had a good time, but it became apparent after his four cans of truth serum that he was looking for something a little more established, and loud. That was our first and last meeting, and it was around that time that I started favoring electric guitar.
Over the next few weeks I met a guitarist, a drummer and a bassist from Craigslist who were all willing to start from scratch. We’d meet at Funkadelic Studios for two or three hours at a time, and after two months we had a handful of songs ready to perform. But that situation was momentary, and once the bassist could no longer afford to stay in the city, the rest of the group’s commitment tumbled down. Instant gratification is a bitch. I decided it was time to step away from Craigslist and let things happen naturally.
Life in the city next to the city continued on, and I found myself as an intern at Sound Lounge, an audio post-production facility in Manhattan. I was ok with being their unpaid messenger service, database slave, coffee servant and CD burner because the people were friendly and knowledgeable, and I figured I’d learn a skill or two. I learned how to repair XLR (microphone) cables on my first day, which is good to know, but the real payoff came four months later in early June when a new intern, Jason Desiderio, arrived in the machine room. He was shy at first, but warmed up as we bonded over the fact that we were both somebody’s bitch. The light bulb in my head flickered when I learned that he was a SUNY Fredonia student majoring in Sound Recording Technology. Within the first week we were checking out concerts in Williamsburg and meeting at his place in Sunset Park with guitars and banjo to play through some tunes. Courage must increase exponentially as the size of a group doubles because somehow Jason and I ended up with after-hours access to one of Sound Lounge’s mixing rooms and their very expensive equipment. I brought in my acoustic guitar and we started a recording project that lasted on and off through the rest of the summer, a newly written song called Wooden Ships.
When the summer ended and Jason’s internship expired, he returned to Fredonia to finish his last year of college. I stayed at Sound Lounge and learned exactly how far I can throw a stale poppy seed bagel out of a 13th floor window: far enough to win a bet. This is right about where our band bio picks up at everythingantics. Snoop around that URL and then check us out at our next show, June 30th at Rebel NYC. Event info will be updated bleeding hearts.
original demo of "Wooden Ships"
album version of "Wooden Ships"