Day One Symphony
Day One Symphony
I had numerous fantastical love affairs with some of the finest nude models I'd ever seen in my father's porn collection. I turned my focus to art, to music, to creation. I studied audio engineering, principles of sound, psycho-acoustics, the terra-formation of the mind. In the meantime, Danny had quit Lords to pursue other interests. His mind had been recoiling from conventional music- ghastly refuse and decay, failed attempts by the recording industry to market CRAP to it's legions of polite observers.
I won't mention any names. Danny aimed (unpretentiously I might add, he's the humblest guy I know) at starting an Industrial Band; an ensemble group using unconventional instrumentation which would thrive in a studio environment. Over a period of about a year Danny devoted himself to composition, using guitar, samples, and bizarre miking techniques to create richly-textured, sprawling, and exuberant industrial works tracked on a home computer. The emotional symbolism fell somewhere between DARK and brooding, whereas my writing style up to that point had been mostly LIGHT and cynical. Yes, the dualistic elements of DARK and LIGHT are written in precise contrapuntal relationship to one another so that they may underline the importance of day one- a meeting of distinct yet complementary elements. After a year, I was back in San Jose with my dad, and much happier. It was Spring of 2001.
Through some inducement (from a valuable, super-secret mentor) I pursued musical performance more vigorously. I patronized Cafecito on S. 3 rd , downtown San Jose. I indulged (and self-indulged) the audience in originals, Coldplay, Radiohead, and Dave Matthews Band covers. Note: It was only through the rigorous study of Dave Matthews' playing technique (muting, vocal melody over guitar melody, percussive picking) that I REALLY learned what could be heard from an acoustic guitar.
Changed my life. I enjoyed playing to people, but started to feel once again that the world and I were strangely incompatible. Just when I thought the world made sense to me, I'd be reminded that sense is subjective and paradoxically infinite; basically, a metaphysical apparition. But music was tangible though. The circuitous and esoteric language of music made much more sense to me than did the circuitous and esoteric nature of society. * * * Sorry about the existential posturing in the writing.
It's just that fictionalized nostalgia lets me, well, fictionalize, not tell the TRUTH! Here's some truth though. I've always had trouble showing a “work-in-progress.” I hate it when people come to judgment too quickly on a performance, and miss a works' subtle foreshadowing. It is much easier to criticize a performance than it is to catch a glimpse of the future in it. My kick was always to up the ante, make the first draft the final, beat them to the punch and attempt to transcend censure. It was a defensive attitude; very cynical, very introspective, very solitary, very lonely. Basically, I thought of myself as a “work-in-progress.” Another bit of truth: that is one of the best attitudes I have ever adopted, because the work never ends… does it.
I wrote an insane amount of material that only my close friends ever heard. Microcosm, Cannibal, Gimmick, Angioplasty, M.L.I.Y., Anti-Socialite… a shitload of material recorded onto a PC. I wrote of my self-imposed isolation, loneliness, the madness of the silicon valley, my own fear of dependency, drug use, and what I'd say to the “survived by” in a song written by me to be played at my funeral service- you know, early twenties, self-concerned, “woe is me” artist shit. I got bored eventually and felt it was time to find a band. The urge was fundamentally primordial.
“Who to play with?” I thought, vaguely. Definitely NOT with those fucking guys that jam at fucking Guitar Center so as you can't even hear yourself in the fucking acoustic room! I knew Danny wasn't one of those guys (although once I caught him playing 46 & 2 in his garage doing psuedo-Maynard contortions). At least Danny knew what was happening with the time signatures in that song, and he liked Radiohead and had recorded some Industrial music, which I had been eager to listen to. I got his mom on the phone, told her I had been writing and wanted to play music with her son (almost like when the dude meets the parents and asks them subconsciously for permission to fuck their daughter?).
She said, “Cool, you can make love, I mean, music with my son.” Danny and I talked on the phone and were both encouraged by the other. I agreed to come by Danny's graduation party where I brought my acoustic and threw down the earliest version of Cannibal- a song about “eating flesh” to free the soul. So Danny grabbed his guitar and we had at it. I can still remember the image: The two of us with our legs crossed like men in touch with their feminine side, Danny's back erect, mine slouched, writing our first song… * * * Like any band, we spent a lot of time in the garage.
All bands get relegated to the garage with the power tools and deflated inner-tubes. Following the lead of many creation-myths, our sound developed out of the swirling CHAOS. The only difference between us and the ancient creator-god(s)? Danny used a flanger. Summer of 2001 spilled into fall like urine from an alcoholic. The fall was a dark period.
Peering through the media's eye at images of planes crashing into buildings couldn't have been healthy. Watching the President learn how government theatre works was VERY disconcerting. Aren't these people trained in rhetoric? Aren't most of them lawyers or some shit? Maybe Bush Jr. didn't attend community college. Danny and I continued to write and rehearse (now in a secret-special mentor's large room).
That December we played the Campbell Gaslighter under the name Soundescape, followed (or maybe preceded, can't remember) by a houseparty gig and a café gig. We plunged into 2002 like a knife in the back (gory analogy, I know, but one I'll never get to use again). Sometime around May, Matt 1 joined the group. We secured a rehearsal studio by the airport and began writing some new material- Reversal and Overload. We called ourselves Obsessionist. The year wore on with no prospects for a bass player, despite our many earnest attempts. Sometime in the fall we hooked up with Jim, former bassist of Keeping Ellis, who played with us for just a few months.
In December, Matt 1 decided to retire from music, to protect his legend, to preserve his sanity. By the close of January 2003, Obsessionist was a dying ember- only Danny and I remained. * * * Starting a band is never easy. The more people in the band-room, the harder it becomes to coexist within the music. Our epic dilemma was always, “Can we find the right musicians?” Our goal was NEVER to create an image-oriented band built around our inflated genius, get signed, get rich, and die arrogant. A feat of that design takes something I don't think either of us possesses (barring some conceit on my behalf… at least I'm honest). Solarist. Very shortly into the New Year (2003) the stars aligned, and the music gods delivered.
We started jamming with Matt 3 (our third Matt drummer) and a bass player fresh out of the Navy called Dave. Over the span of a month we wrote four songs: White Noise, 2 nd Sight, Shot in the Dark, and Losing Our Mind. We recorded them almost as soon as we had them written. This recording, tracked live onto ADAT in a very small rehearsal studio, became the Solarist demo. But the music gods have a way of twisting fate. Any intensely pleasurable experience can only be pleasurable IF the person experiencing it has some notion of pain and loss.
And I think we were only able to appreciate the writing of those songs and the recording of that demo AFTER we discovered that 1) Dave was A.W.O.L from the Navy and had 3 years of service left and 2) Matt 3, in his heart, wanted to be a guitarist in a band, not a drummer. By the summer of 2003… only Danny and I remained. Fortunately for us, Solarist would still have an opportunity to be seen. Matt 3, a faithful supporter of the band, agreed to help us audition bass players, as well as play gigs if necessary. Enter Jimi Bartlett, ex-Fixture bassist. After an amazing 2-hour jam session/informal-audition, Jimi joined the band. Solarist enjoyed its first and only performance at Zoe's in downtown San Jose for a PAC Session event. That would be our last show with Matt 3. * * * Danny and I were chatting with Adrian (of Strata fame) one day at Mr.
Chau's, when it was suggested we attend a drum competition at Guitar Center. It was a long shot, but we thought we'd give it a try. Is it any mystery to the reader that on this day we stumbled upon the greatest and goofiest drummer (he dropped a stick during competition) in the cosmos? I'm making an overstatement here, but also an understatement. Steve Barry (of fantasy-metal band Nightfist) joined us in September, 2003, completing the lineup. Once the four elements were in place, we selected a grouping of words based on numerical values derived from our personality traits, fed these words into a sequencing program found in some obscure nook of the internet, bathed our bodies in hot wax, synchronized the arrival of our data from the sequencing program with the next half-moon, sacrificed a baby lamb, and waited for the music gods to whisper our name from the heavens. They didn't say shit, so we called ourselves Day One Symphony. The rest is no big secret… david thinks hes the smartest man alive....
har har har. - After a horrific car accident, the band split up in 2008. Here you can download their first EP and their only LP : http://dayonesymphony.com/ And for their unfinished second LP : http://music.sleepcomabath.com/album/the-lost-ep Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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