Don't groan...I know you have heard this self-loathing crap come from about every middle-American teenager, but please hear me out.
After constant image, attitude, and emotional changes; I finally found my answer to my question. In the summer of '99, I had gone to a friend's house to enjoy the time off from school. He brought out an acoustic guitar, which he had begun playing a few months earlier. He played a few tunes for me, namely "What's My Age Again" by Blink 182, and "Come As You Are" by Nirvana. It was at this moment I realized that my true purpose was to become a musician. I rushed home and told my mom how cool it was to hear someone play a guitar. I fell asleep that night thinking about the music, and I had decided that I so badly wanted to play guitar too.
That October; I got a Yamaha Classical Acoustic starter package for my birthday, and thus begun the most incredible journey of my life.
I brought my new guitar to my friend Paul's house and showed it to him. I asked him to teach me a few songs. The first things he taught me were "What's My Age Again" by Blink 182, and "Come As You Are" by Nirvana. That night, I went home and forgot how to play the Blink song, but the Cobain riff stayed with me. Just those first few bars of the song were what I knew how to play, but dammit, I played the hell outta those riffs.
As time progressed I learned more songs, a lot of punk music. I enrolled in guitar lessons, and since then there has been no looking back.
Guitarists are a dime a dozen. I've figured that out by walking through the halls of my school and seeing every third guy with an acoustic in his hands. It's almost frustrating to think that I already have competition music-wise, and I'm only in high school. Trying to get in and stay in a band had proved to be difficult for me. I had gone through about ten different musicians trying to find my mates. After not succeeding, I decided to give up for a few months. My guitar playing hit a lull, during which time I got rather depressed. Again, I asked myself 'Who Am I?'
Toward the end of my Freshman year, I had organized to have a jam session with Fallen Society's lead singer, Dan Rojas; and its former bass player, Sean Pattison. I dragged my equipment to Dan's house, and set it up in his yard. It was blazingly hot that day, I remember; my amp was hot to the touch by the time we finished. I strapped on, plugged in, and cranked up that day. I was desperately trying to impress Sean and Dan that day, I very much wanted to be in a band with them. I belted out the most complicated riffs I could, hoping to be accepted by them.
I didn't jam with them together ever again.
But I remained friends with them, and I talked to them every day in my Biology class. At least I stayed in touch with them, I kept telling myself. That summer, I jammed with a friend of mine named Alex nearly every day he was in town. We played nothing but Metallica, Slayer, and Megadeth. My playing skyrocketed in the first half of the summer, then unfortunately dropped off signifigantly in the second half.
The first day of school, I heard of Sean's passing. This devastated me. He had signed in my yearbook the last day of the previous year "Call me this summer and you can teach me some Metallica on the bass". I never did call him. That night, I went home and cried for about an hour. I picked up my guitar and played all the sad sounding riffs that I knew. Tired of making myself depressed, I played Dammit by Blink 182. I had remembered that was a song that I had played with him when I was at Dan's house that day. This made me feel a little better, it more or less numbed the sting that I felt from his death.
A few days later, I began talking to Derek Johnson, the current drummer of FS. He told me that he was in a band with Dan...I was shocked. What a serendipitous occurence, I thought. I talked to Derek for about a month, then we planned to jam. The first practice we all had together, we improvised a song. It felt so incredibly wonderful as the song began, we all knew what the other was doing. We played off of each other so well, it flowed wonderfully.
It was after that night that I realized this was the start of something incredible. After our first few practices, we were solidified as a band. We had become Fallen Society. So I think I have found myself, thanks to my music; and my best friends, the singer dude and the drummer guy.
So thanks to them, and anybody who listens to us. It's a true honor to be not only bandmates with these guys, but friends.
Fallen Society Is:
Dan Rojas: Lead Vocals, Rythym Guitar
Spencer Reynolds: Lead Guitar
Derek Johnson: Drums, Audio Technician