I started this project after years of playing angry, aggressive music: All Flesh, Indoctri-Nation, Hostages and Ed Gien Fan Club.
Besides the metal and punk music of my youth, my musical tastes have broadened significantly over time. I’ve rediscovered old country from when I grew up, and in doing so I found a lot of old great rockabilly too. My musical tastes run the gamut from the old stuff to early heavy metal to disco and funk, punk, metal, industrial — almost anything with rhythm and energy.
I worked for a Burlesque show a few years back, and the pre-show music they played had been that pretentious hipster jazz stuff — which is fine for convincing morons that you’re hip and with it, but which didn’t set any kind of carnal, carnival mood. So I introduced them to that great old rhythm and blues from the thirties and forties” — not the Duke Ellington type but more of the jump blues and boogie woogie, like Wynonie Harris. And now, my current love is that shouted jump blues boogie-woogie rhythm and blues.
Inspired by the burly-q, I tried my hand at some big-band type stuff, but I couldn’t sing it well enough and never followed through. I then tried some soul, disco and funk combinations. The music was fantastic (much better than the big-band!) but I had trouble writing sexy lyrics or even figuring out any themes for the songs. Supreme Frustration! After giving up the hard-stuff, I had struggled for years to find a great musical project to put me back on the stage, while playing supporting roles in a few other bands.
Since I can’t sing nor play any instrument that well, punk rock still appeals to me in a big way. But all that anger and frustration kinda gets on my nerves. As I’ve gotten older, it seems rather pointless. I realized that reviving any of my old projects seemed more a desperation move.
Out of pure chance, I had written a few guitar riffs for a potential Hostages song, a super-fast boogie woogie blues-based rockin’ number. But the other guys said it was too fast (!?!?!?!), and it was discarded. That riff was stewing around in my brain, and I got the idea to make a demo with that hard-rock guitar riff, using a rockabilly swing rhythm section. And I was floored with the results! I knew I was getting somewhere…, but something was missing.
So again my hind-brain was churning, and it burped out that, instead of concentrating on one style, I should just incorporate all of the styles I love into one unified soumd. I took one of the soul songs, adapted it to the same instrumentation as that non-Hostages song, and recorded a second song to go with the first. I played them side by side and was pleased with the results. (Actually, exited is so much more apt to describe this new pulse flowing through my sordid veins as I contemplated this new thang.)
So I took a bunch of old standalone riffs I had written long ago, wrote some new riffs too and reworked a couple old songs of mine into a 10 track album with elements of punk, funk, rockabilly, jump blues, country, disco and heavy metal. Hence, a rock and roll record.
While reading an article by Terance O. Moore, I stumbled upon this little paragraph:
“Allan Bloom famously identified rock-and-roll as the music of sexual intercourse. It was no accident that the progenitor of the rock-and-roll revolution was nicknamed “the Pelvis.” Equally basic, but fundamentally different, are the passions enlisted by modern rock without the roll, that is, heavy metal. It is certainly not the music of intercourse, at least not of the consensual variety, since girls and women generally hate it. And with good reason: It is impossible to dance to.” “Wimps and Barbarians”
In my travels with the Hostages, I came to realize that very few women came to our shows — and afterward, I always went home alone. When you’re older and single, life can be pretty brutal — and the obvious became painful. I would rather play in front of lots of girls (a healthy male of any age that is also honest with himself, realizes that ‘women’ is why we do everything – you cannot deny it!) than at a punk rock sausage party, and it got me thinking…. When do you see girls at a rock show? If a band is popular, sure. But locally? The band has to be fun; Robert Hazzard was so correct when he penned that song for Cyndi Lauper: “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”.
It was a conscious decision to not be negative in my solo project. Don’t browbeat the audience or cause their ears to bleed, give them a good beat that everyone can dance to, show them a good time. And most importantly, give them something to relate to.
I love the older rock and roll musical forms, but I find the nostalgia — the whole ‘vintage’ thing a bit tiring. How can you move forward by looking only backward? There’s nothing wrong with taking elements of vintage music into our works– we all do it! — but being trapped in a specific time period is something I find distasteful. I am a modern man — as well as being a throwback, which is where I got the name of this band.
So there you have it. My musical and philosophical journey as I put the finishing touches on the unnamed record, as I prepare to bring the Modern Throwbacks to the local stage.
“Bringin It Back” ~ the Recording that Started it All