Sunday, July 29, 2012

Liquid Rehearsal (07.28.12)

You all should know by now that there are very few differences between what I do in the flesh versus the digital version of myself. Certainly, in each facet of my reality in every environment, music plays a big part of my daily life. While I've spent the majority of live performances over the last 5-1/2 years in the online world of Second Life, I've also maintained strong musical ties to that other weird and crazy world known as reality.

Last July, when (after a four year hiatus from playing in bands) I rejoined my old cover band Liquid for a reunion show, I told the guys that I was definitely up for playing again. While I wouldn't do anyone the disservice of signing up to be in a band full-time right now -- there are too many other things going on for me to make that kind of commitment -- I really do love the act of practicing and performing live music with other people. In the case of Liquid, it's particularly true.

A very short history
I first saw drummer Dante J. Silva while I was in 11th grade, around 1985, and knew immediately he was the best of the local teenage rock drummers by far. At the time, he was in a band called Black Dog, named appropriately for their Zeppelinesque sound, and I was in a pretty decent band myself called the Goatays. A few years later, I joined forces with Dante (along with our other bandmates Mike Long and Michael Gale) in a band called the Bad Boyz, and played about a million local shows with them in 1989 alone.

Dante and I continued to play together in various projects over the years, but I spent the second half of the '90s focusing more on my career than my music. In 2002, Dante asked if I'd be interested in being more involved in a band along with some guys he'd met, and the timing was good for me. That's when I met Randy Harmon, and after a string of bass players who weren't quite up to par with us, we found Phil Gilbreth, one of the best bassists with whom I've ever had the pleasure of rocking.

Zak gets busy
Liquid played a ton of shows between 2002 and 2006, but like most bands, we eventually ran into some differences in goals. Also, I'd regained interest in original songwriting and performing as a solo act (Liquid was and remains purely a cover band), and there are only so many hours in a day that I can devote to being a musician. So, Liquid went on an extended hiatus in 2007 which ended up lasting over four years.

Back in the garage. If not for garages, rock would have died decades ago. Here's me with my music brother Dante on Saturday, getting ready to set sail on the ship of Liquid once again.

Get back
Our reunion in 2011 was a blast and went really well, so when Randy contacted Dante, Phil, and I to see if we'd be into performing at a Labor Day event, we all agreed immediately. Yesterday, we got together in Randy's garage and jammed through most of our set list. Much like the proverbial bicycle, it's easy to get back on the Liquid machine and ride. It was pretty effortless playing through our set, consisting of covers by Zeppelin, the Who, the Doors, the Beatles, Stone Temple Pilots, Jimi Hendrix, and the like.

In any case, we'll be back rocking in the street on Saturday September 1, and I'm really looking forward to it. We have one more rehearsal in a couple of weeks to make sure we're tight and ready to rock, but as I said yesterday... even if we had to go on stage without any practice at all, we'd be fine. It's nice having musicians of that caliber to work with, and it's also great hanging out with old friends. Ideally, your bandmates should be people who are also your friends, and I'm lucky that Liquid is comprised of great guys who also happen to be outstanding musicians. That's a recipe for good times.

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