In a previous post I wrote about how I tried out for and joined a local Juneau Celtic rock band calling themselves “Fire on McGinnis”. Since that first post we have been practicing weekly if not more to get current with the groups existing song list. This is something I am having an easier time with then with other bands I have been involved with. Fire on McGinnis has a CD that I am able to listen to. They also go as far as to record almost all of our practices and send out the results as MP3s so you can listen and continue to work on songs on your own time.
I feel lucky that not only have I had a CD to listen to and get up to speed, but the whole group is very professional when it comes to practice time. Very little time is wasted in between songs or working on issues with songs. Everyone gets a chance to give their thoughts on a piece and we work on them till one we all like is agreed upon.
When I moved to Juneau I brought my drum set with me. All my drumming hardware had a few miles on it to begin with and I was hopeful when I moved up here I would find a band right away. Well we all know that did not happen. For the better part of 5 years my drum kit remained untouched and my skills atrophied. I was very close to selling off my drum kit when I did one last search of Craigslist and discovered that Fire on McGinnis was looking for a drummer.
Like I said, time had done a number on my kit. In the first month of practice with the band two cymbal stands and one hi-hat stand broke along with a cymbal. Last week I placed a an order with Guitar Center to replace the stands with new Ludwig stands and one Zildjian Cymbal. The order took one week to get here, but my kit is pretty much back to normal again.
I am really looking forward to play shows and learning the rest of the songs on the bands set list. The few people I have told in town that I was in a band all seemed to have heard of Fire on McGinnis and are really looking forward to the next show we play. I would be lying if I said I was not excited myself.
Not that long ago I was trolling around Craigslist looking for any local bands that might be in need of a drummer. This is something I have done every 4 or 5 months for the last 4 years. My heart has always been crushed by the lack of anything music related in Alaska’s southeast search results of Craigslist.
Recently I struck pay dirt and found a local Celtic rock band that goes by the name of Fire on McGinnis that was in search of a drummer. With the information I found on their Craigslist posting I sent them an e-mail not expecting a reply. Like I said, I have lived in Juneau for 4 years and most attempts at being in a band have not worked.
The next day I did get an e-mail back from Fire on McGinnis saying they where interested and would like to meet with me and talk. They let me know right up front that they did have two other drummers who where trying out for the part and that they wanted me to be aware of that.
The following week I met with one of the members of the band and we had a 15 minute conversation where I was brought up to speed on the band’s history and what they where looking for and hoping to find in a drummer. Again I was told they had two drummers ahead of me waiting to try out, but I was asked if I could sit in on a jam sessions with two of their members next week. I said yes! I was handed a demo CD of the bands work to listen to.
That week could not come fast enough, but when it did come I was ready. Myself and two members of the band setup our equipment and played a song off the CD and I Played the drumming part all most identical to the CD. When we finished the song they all said it sounded great, but that they wanted to play it again the way I wanted to drum it. Not the way that was on the CD. So, I did and it turned out they liked my changes to the drumming part.
For the most part now I have changed all the drumming parts on all of the bands songs and they have liked all of them. I take notes on all the songs we have played and keep them logged in a Moleskine Notebook which works out pretty well for me.
Fire on McGinnis is what happens when a pipe and drum band gets bored playing “Scotland the Brave” over and over for 10 years.
As it stands the band has a show planned for med January. I think if things go really well there might be a new years show too. It all just depends on how quickly I can learn all the songs and when the band feels we are all ready.