Vacations. They’re great for getting away from it all.
Except when you’re getting away from your musical gear. And turning everything up to eleven. Then vacations are great for sucking the life out of you.
But it’s all done and P34 is back to work. Vacations out of the way, we kicked things off with a meeting at our favorite pre-jam hangout, Birreria Italico where we talked about how things have gone, and how they should be going. See, it’s officially been a year since we put Project34 together. We started counting the year when Izzy walked into our rehearsal space, picked up the mic, nailed every song on the audition set list, dropped the mic and dared us to find anyone better.
So, we started with our One Year Review. What were our goals, what did we achieve?
- Phase 1. Get Izzy up to speed. Well, that didn’t take long.
- Phase 2. Get a name, then get on a stage, anywhere, anyhow. We were lucky to have a local bar that hosts jam nights – The Pioneer – with a really generous stage and sound system. So, we played there twice playing mini 3-4 song sets. Just enough for everyone to get a taste of what Project34 was like – including ourselves!
- Phase 3. Get on stage with a full set. We got off to a roaring start by teaming up with friends Too Many Unknowns and Coast Of Virtues and playing at an insane St Patrick’s Day party at CroBar
- Phase 4. Repeat Phase 3 continuously and develop more contacts, make new friends and research places to play while we build a full set list. Well, we’ve done that and you’ve seen us play regularly, you’ll see the results of our developing, friending and building in the new year.
Besides reviewing our goals, we reviewed what worked on stage and what didn’t. We also reviewed which songs we loved, needed to add and needed to drop. Did we say DROP?
Yes, drop. The thing is, we’re always looking for ways to surprise the audience so that means we don’t reach into the same song bag as everyone else. Sometimes songs that were once edgy, rarely-heard gems suddenly become well-worn classics. It happens. A year is an eternity in the music business. We don’t even let our songs get NEAR the point of “classic”. In fact, when we hear other bands are covering the same songs as P34, we all shoot a dirty look at the band member that suggested it in the first place and start talking about dropping it.
We use other techniques to choose songs to pick up or drop. For example, we read advice columns from musician community pages like Cover Band Central explaining the criteria for choosing cover songs. We use that as a guide: if any of our covers meet any of this well-meant advice, we know we’ve done something wrong and torpedo it.
And that’s what we decided at our meeting. We’re going to do more of that. End Year One – Initiate Year Two: we’ll keep up the surprises, we’ll develop our style, our look and our media. And of course we’ll keep looking for songs you don’t expect, the songs other bands fear. Will we play songs our audience knows? Of course, because our audience is frakkin cool. But we’re also going to start playing songs we know you’re going to love BEFORE you hear it anywhere else. Watch closely.
We’ll be showing off two of our new covers at our next gig at Mademoiselle, Friday, 2017-09-08. It’s a surprise for our live audience, but YOU get to know in advance: we’ve added Figure It Out by Royal Blood and Prison Sex by Tool. We’re stoked about these two, even though we had to push some of our “older” favorites aside to make room. Don’t worry, they’ll be back. Maybe.
Unless they show up on some list of songs recommended by some well-meaning musician community page. Then we’ll charitably donate them to a more needy band.