I have a writing assignment a bit past due…but I have to get this out for the world to read…
Wednesday night, I packed up my 1999 Volkwagon Beetle with my laptop, camera, notebooks, writing utensils, legal releases, digital camera and my friend’s camcorder to proceed on my quest to interview Rhode Island’s very own Inner Self Lost- an up and coming metal/rock band that’s about to release their 3rd CD.
The band’s lineup has changed since the last time I saw them…the old skool group of band members has altered slowly over the past few years to include some of the most insane, young talent to come out of the Ocean State. I couldn’t help but wonder what exactly I was getting myself into. Were these new guys going to be worth my time and energy? Why am I working for a cause that was relatively unknown to myself? It all comes down to one word…friends.
Mike, the band’s frontman and lead singer, and I go back to the turn of the new millenium. We worked together in one of those God-awful mall stores, completely reliant on the hearts of Corporate America. The only problem? Corporate America doesn’t have a heart. Do I regret it? Not at all, for if I got aboslutely nothing else out of this retail experience, I now have a great friend for an eternity who has the most interesting perspectives on every aspect of life. I could sit and listen to him go on and on about how Metallica has no heart or about a white shirt that he wants to have in his wardrobe so that he can exit his future home through french doors that open to a vineyard…only he doesn’t actually leave the house, he just opens the two doors simulatenously while wearing this poet-sleeved, button down shirt…just to make a “whooshing” sound as the doors swing outward. Yup…good times.
Kyle on bass guitar is another of my buds that came out of that work experience, but not in the same manner as Mike. While Kyle did work with me, that adventure didn’t take place until a few years later. Kyle came into the store on its opening day and took the liberty of introducing himself to me as I sat on a bench in the back of the store. He extended his hand to shake mine… “Hi! I’m Kyle!” His presence? A young Val Kilmer (but with a personality), or as his mom told me, “He gets Brad Pitt a lot”.
So I met the remaining two members of this new lineup, as Mike is the only remaining original member. It is, after all, his band.
AJ was there upon my arrival…oodles of personality pouring out of every tattoo and piercing on his body. But could he play the drums? Undoubtedly insane…He reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t put my finger on who this twenty-something drummer was sparking a memory of. I still can’t actually…so I will have to spend some time later fiddling through clips of drum solos on YouTube-
But Georgie–Let me just start by saying that I now know how Ozzy Ozbourne felt when a then teen-aged Randy Rhoads walked into his studio to audition for the first solo Ozzy album…
In walks this long-limbed, teen-age boy…a boy…that I’ve heard nothing but amazing comments about. I believe he was referred to as a ‘prodigy’. Prodigy is an understatement, if that’s possible. As this young man played his guitar, I sat in an armchair across the room…very thankful that it was in fact an armchair so that I could put my right elbow someplace to hold my chin up from hitting the floor. Flashbacks on my teenage years poured through my mind. The first time that I saw Randy Rhoads play the guitar…how he made it look so easy. How pissed off I was that I was born with short, stubby fingers, left unable to play any sort of string instrument other than a violin…which I had no interest in learning. How the day in March of 1982 when Randy was tragically killed in a small plane crash took a piece of my heart and soul that will never return…until now…If you believe in reincarnation, this boy (keyword here: BOY) could very well be Randy on his current life experience…the return of my personal #1 favorite guitarist of all time.
I had seen Kyle play bass guitar just one other time a few years back at his last show with his former band. He was undoubtedly the focal point of that lineup… much like “Flea” from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. For a bass player to hold the attention of this “drum fanatic”, he had to be doing something right. It wasn’t long after that fateful day when he himself joined the Inner Self Lost lineup as their permanent bass guitarist.
And Mike…a fantabulous frontman to say the least…he woos his audience like very few have the natural ability to do. I remember the moment when I realized his ability like it was yesterday…
Inner Self Lost was playing at the “Living Room” in Providence, Rhode Island- a dive, but a decent music venue to say the least. Mike was excited because the club had recently installed a toilet in the men’s room…Anyways, he was on stage with the band’s former lineup… he was wearing jeans and a white button-down collared dress shirt with blue pinstriped with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He was standing up on some sort of something when the light hit him at a specific angle and he lit up the stage. Mike had a small, crooked smile on his face at that exact moment—like it was planned or something— he knew that the entire stage was his…and he absolutely loved what he was doing.
Put all together, these boys are more like a band of brothers than a band of rockers…each within a symbiotic relationship that thrives off of the others. Is it rare? Yes. Is it critical to their success? Definitely. Each of these guys brings something to the band that the others just aren’t capable of doing—like a giant musical puzzle with four pieces. Sure, they could survive and get their general point across with just 3 of the said pieces, but the picture just won’t be fully complete without the fourth.