It’s been almost three months since I’ve started playing with Spoonbender. We’ve had a number of gigs together in that span of time and I’ve realized that what they say is true – it’s not easy. So many bands have been formed and most have given up trying to make it to the limelight, leaving frayed relationships, personal differences and unrealized hopes and dreams.
It’s like moving into a new neighborhood, coming into a band that’s already been formed. I joined up because their guitarist left the band, with my good friend Teejay putting in a good word for me. At first, I knew that I’d be filling in a spot that wasn’t going to be permanent, just fill in till they found another guitarist. I guess they figured since I could play pretty well (they heard me play while we were in a drinking session), I could keep the spot.
Anyways, it’s like moving in to a new neighborhood – I haven’t gotten to know most of them personally. I haven’t had the chance to listen to their stories. I haven’t gotten a chance to get an idea what each of my new bandmates lives’ were like. The only person I really knew in the band was our drummer, Terence, because I’ve been hanging out with them since a couple of years back. I was shy, conscious and pretty hard on myself, because these guys were tight already, having played together for two years already before I came on board.
What makes it harder are the trials that are heaped on a band – getting really late slots to accomodate other bands favored upon by producers of the gig (this happens quite a lot), equipment letting us down (amplifiers in bad shape, crappy electrical systems), conflicting schedules and priorities to name a few. Not to mention that we don’t get paid, save for drinks (which are always welcome), we shell out some of our earned cash as a cost of our desire and love of playing and making music.
And yet, we do it. We do it all together. No one member suffers these things more than the other. We all go through it the same way one goes through with it, though we deal with it differently. And this is why I respect those who willingly submit themselves through all this.
And this is why, every time I look at the hallowed walls of the stage of 6UG, I feel inspired to go on. So many have gone this way, not for the destination, but for the journey. The journey that somehow completes each one of us in the chase for that one moment of glory – to be heard and to be recognized.
It’s not easy at all, to be in a band. And it’s not especially easy to give it the collective ‘all’, the ‘whatever it takes’.