Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Being in a Band Again

Ali Porter

The tools

The tools

So, I started a band. Well, the nucleus of one at least. It is more of a songwriting duo at the moment, but I am excited. We have no band name and we rehearse in each others apartments but it is slowly coming together. It has been a while since I have written music with someone else, and I almost forgot how awesome it is.

I have been in and out of bands since my teens. The first real band (the very first just played covers of Eric Clapton) was basically a poorly disguised Green Day-meets-the-Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band. Forgive me; I was only fifteen.

The second band was more of an experimental project consisting mainly of my hugely talented friend, Duncan, and me trying to find ways to a) express our love for Love, an awesome band from Doors-era LA, and b) push our instruments to their limits—bass guitar detuned two octaves anyone?

My third effort was with some guys I met at university. We were a prog-rock four piece with no singer. We wrote ten minute songs and gave them really distasteful titles. Our biggest claim to fame was playing a show at the Night & Day Cafe in Manchester a week before Bloc Party played there when they were on the cusp of breaking through. Needless to say, we were BIGTIME.

The fourth band I started was also with friends I made at university. This band actually had a singer, and we played really, really loudly. We managed to play a few shows around the city and recorded some demos. Our biggest claim to fame was playing the same venue a week after the Arctic Monkeys had played there, and just before they had the fastest selling debut album by a band of all time.

After university, the bands broke apart, and it was back to the bedroom studio where I would spend hours and hours tracking drums and recording guitars. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), those songs never saw the light of day. After a year or so of that, I was invited to join my good friend’s band because their drummer had left them for someone else. By someone else I mean another band called Does it offend you, yeah?, who had ridden the crest of the new-rave wave that included such bands as the Klaxons, Late of the Pier, and New Young Pony Club. I was with them for a while, and we gigged and recorded, but I ended up leaving to go backpacking. On my return, it was never quite the same. After that, I devoted my time to learning the ins and outs of Logic Pro and writing even more songs that have never seen the light of day.

And so here we are. It has been over fifteen years since I first started my musical journey into rock, and I am back at the drawing board, writing new songs and launching a new project. I am going to try really, really hard to make this one last a bit longer than the others.

Being in a Band Again

So, I started a band. Well, the nucleus of one at least. It is more of a songwriting duo at the moment, but I am excited. We have no band …

Arts, Entertainment & Media Management MAM Ali Porter, alistair.porter@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605