As the day draws to an end, I’m am faced with the somewhat daunting task of writing a blog for this new-fangled tumblr thing that I am still getting used to. (Forgive me, I come from a time where blogs were online journals and there was an “e” in the word tumbler.) Earnie asked me to write something about the trials and tribulations of being in a band for the first time. You might be expecting silly anecdotes about my not knowing which cords go where, or the joy of buying your own equipment and the paranoia of leaving it unattended at a show venue, or maybe about how sweet it is to get into some shows for free now, simply because I am in a band, and what it’s like to get up and perform in front of lots of people.
But I’m not going to bore you with that because it’s expected, and pretty uninteresting for the most part. Yes, there’s been plenty of laughs at my expense, not only for being green but for also being old (20-old to be exact). Yes, it is very scary to save and buy and then trust someone else with your instrument (or baby, as it were. her name is Margot). And of course it’s nice to not have to pay to get into some shows. About the only thing I can really expand on that may be worth reading is what it’s like to perform.
Now, I can’t attribute all of this to The Siren Sunrise. I came from a pretty hefty performing arts background, and I’ve been onstage for most of my life. I did theatre and dance and singing for many, many years. This isn’t me bragging, just explaining. In fact, in all that time I never once was a lead role in a play, I rarely sang a solo, and believe it or not, I got most parts on the merit of my dancing. Hilarious, I know. And no, I will not dance for you. In any case, it is safe to say that most traces of stage fright have been eradicated over my long and laborious bout with the stage.
I say “bout” like it’s been a battle, and in many cases it has been, but it’s also been a kind of romance. There’s something untouchable and elusive about performance in any genre. I continued to study theatre in college because of this insatiably mysterious quality about the stage. And now, I occasionally find myself on a stage with The Siren Sunrise in a whole new realm of performance and it’s still there, hovering under the hot lights of par cans, dripping down our faces in the heat of the moment, swelling up in every rush of adrenaline as we head into that particular part of some song that makes the whole thing worth it. Because we like what we do. And that’s really the difference with this band.
Being 20-old, I’ve been around the block a time or two with the San Diego music scene and a common theme is that no matter what the time, bands have always been striving for success, whether it be monetary or notoriety. And I’ve seen so many bands try so hard and fall apart because of those goals. The goal becomes so important that they stop writing the music they like to play, and start writing what they think you want to hear.
What has been so refreshing, even back before The Siren Sunrise technically existed, was that Evan and Earnie love to play and they love to write. They are two of the most wonderfully creative people I have ever had the privilege of knowing, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every little silly bit of music they’ve churned out in the time I’ve known them. They like what they do, and so do I. So when I got shanghaied into this little operation, I had no qualms about being involved because I knew whatever came of it was going to be phenomenal. Now that the full band is in place, it’s been nothing short of incredible watching each member bring their own unique piece and personality to the table. And the music is pretty awesome too, if I do say so myself. I dunno about you, but I certainly dig it. :)
And I think that is what is going to mean the difference, not only to the members of the band, but I think to those of you out there listening to it. The Siren Sunrise is not trying to win you over with pop licks you’ve heard before or catchy lyrics. We’re trying to make something that we enjoy, and hope that you do too.
For me and my lot, I am excited to see where we’re going. I still have loads more to learn, but lucky for me I love to learn (I’m a big nerd, as you’ll discover). Being in a band has always been a kind of pipe-dream that most people have had at one time or another, and I thought mine would stay that way. But life has this funny way of plopping down irresistible opportunities right in the middle of my big adult-like plans for my life. So I couldn’t say no, and I can’t say I’ll regret it. Old friends of mine get a kick out of hearing that yes, Rachel’s in a band. Probably out of all the people I knew, I wouldn’t have bet that it’d be me that ended up here, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.