As many of you already know, this project called Vera's Lair started off with a simple conversation between myself (Sean) and Ted. We each expressed our goals to manifest our individual creative visions and found many similarities between them.
So with that, we kept punching away at songs and constantly trying to manipulate them to our liking. It soon became apparent to us that we needed a drummer, and after a long painful process of trying to find the perfect fit, we were finally able to get Steve Honoshowsky to come out and play. Ted and I both agreed that a rather unconventional approach to the rhythm section would probably sound best...meaning that because the music is so sparse and open, the use of hand percussion and random objects would be a more interesting way to approach the percussion side rather than your typical drum set.
Steve is a phenomenal drummer and has plenty of experience and exposure to various "instruments" that are only privy to street musicians in Rio (for example). He knows how to take every day objects and use them for whatever sounds they produce...regardless of whether they are sold as instruments or found on the side of the street.
And with the addition of Steve came Mike Noordzy. I had met Noordzy by playing at The Brighton Bar a lot and participating in various other projects with Steve (Hono). One recent venture involved Noordzy playing a "contra-alto clarinet." I had no idea they even existed...and don't lie...neither did you...but I loved the sound of it. So, I thought it would be a great idea to add it to our arsenal.
As we kept fine tuning the songs, it became apparent to us that no matter how good Hono is as a drummer/percussionist, he still only has two arms like the rest of us...so someone else needed to be added to help maintain the layered effect that we were trying to achieve so he didn't have to keep juggling twenty different objects at once while still maintaining the beat. In addition, we started thinking that some of the tunes would sound better with a standard drum set (in addition to the world percussion). So the choice was clear: we needed a drummer as well (but one who was skilled enough to handle the various hand percussion).
It's amazing how many drummers are out there that are completely incapable of utilizing something as simple as a tambourine (in all honesty, however, to get the full range of sound that one can get out of a tambourine, it does take some skill. I used to always think tambourines were simply the instrument that one of the band members would toss to his girlfriend when she started bitching that she wanted to be the next Yoko Ono or whatever.) So with that, we gave Ben Ross a call.
Ben had played in countless bands with both Hono and Noordzy...and the fact that he lived next door to Hono made things even easier. Not only that, but he understands music and has a wide depth of knowledge in numerous genres...something that is nothing short of an asset.
So here we are. The full band (so far). Although we haven't even yet all been in the same room to play music together. Imagine that. That will change soon though. As Ted and I keep our schedule of writing and hammering these tunes out we'll eventually get to the point where we can introduce the numbers to the others and start taking their feedback (i.e. heartless criticisms) and adding their creative touch to hopefully make these tunes sound pretty kick-ass. This will, of course, present itself in recorded fashion so then you can be the judge.
Thanks for listening, and we'll keep you all posted on the progress of how it's going.