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Punk Rock Problems
My dreams started when I was a little girl. I was absolutely in love with the Beatles’ music. They’re really the bedrock, you know? They got me thinking about becoming a musician when I grew up. I was always so certain that I’d grow up to be in a famous rock band. Everybody thought it was so cute back then. These days, I’m much more serious about the idea.
My first opportunity to make my dreams come true happened in 2006 when my parents started sending me to Hilltop United Methodist Church in Mankato to take confirmation lessons. None of the kids really took to me right away. I was the outcast. They’d never seen me before. After a couple of weeks, a girl named Samantha and I started to warm up to each other. We were kindred spirits, really. We both had the dream of becoming rock stars. Only a week or so after we met, Sam and I began our plans for success.
The first time she came to my house to write music, we didn’t practice a single stanza or measure. We sat on my bed, typing away at my laptop. “Does this sound right?” Sam would as, reading out the words she typed.
“Maybe we should try something else,” I replied, cradling my acoustic guitar in my lap. “That line doesn’t really fit.” We’d quickly backspace what was typed on the computer and replace it with a better line. “Maybe one day Pete Wentz will sign us to Decaydance and we’ll record an album”
“That would be so cool,” Sam giggled.
We wrote an entire album’s worth of lyrics in just the first month that we were a “band.” We didn’t actually practice until the following year.
Sam’s first visit to my house was also when we got our band’s first name. We had several names throughout our time as a unit. The first one happened when I opened a bottle of grape soda that had been shaken up. The fizz started coming up to the mouth of the bottle very quickly, and I had to close the cap. As it went down, I noticed that some of the fizz had turned blue. “Sam, look!” I exclaimed.”Blue fizz!” We named our band after that story, but we were only blue Fizz for about a month before changing our name to Drive Channel. We were Drive Channel for a while, even into July of 2007. That was when we first practiced.
Sam and I set up in her family’s garage one hot day. She had the smallest drum kit I’d ever seen, and it became a joke between us. We always called it Mouse Drums or said it was smaller than a mouse’s butt. Her bass drum barely reached my knee, and I’m 5’ 5”. I plugged my Strat into my amp and cranked up the volume so it could be heard over the drums. For such small drums, they packed a lot of noise power. We almost effortlessly hammered out our first song, called “In A Moment,” that Sam had written for her boyfriend. My voice soared and dropped during the chorus, but we couldn’t hear it. We didn’t have a microphone. I had one at home, but it was broken, and I had failed at fixing it. It looked like I was just mouthing the words to the song.
After a while, the name Drive Channel started to stink. It never had any real meaning. It was actually the title of a song I had written, but we ditched the song and took the name for ourselves. We decided we needed a name with a meaning, so we went with Voted Worst-Dressed. We chose it because we had both always been picked on and looked down upon for being different. Sam dressed like a boy, and I’m kind of… eccentric. It was a straight-out punk band name, and that wasn’t us. We were beginning to gravitate away from our pop-punk roots and toward a more Goth-metal style, because wanted to do more experimenting with the guitar’s sound and playing solos. We were only Voted Worst-Dressed for a few weeks when our name changed again. This was our final inception. We were called Rain In Roses. I set up a MySpace Music account for us, but Sam never helped me maintain it. The one thing I remember her doing with the MySpace account was changing the order of the Top Friends list one time.
When our name changed to Rain In Roses is when everything began to turn sour. Sam preferred to go out to the mall with her friends to practicing with me. I didn’t really hear from her much at all, unless she had something to brag about. That, or I would call to ask when we could practice again. It was an awful feeling of rejection every time she blew me off. Sam was my best friend, and now she wouldn’t even talk to me for more than a minute or so. I haven’t heard from her at all since February 13, 2009, when we were both at the same concert and ran into each other at the merch tables.
I guess the moral of my story and what I’ve learned from being in that band is to choose bandmates wisely. I happened to start a band with someone who wasn’t as serious as I was about having a real career in music. Now, I look for people who are serious and want to make it in the industry. Just being in a band had a massive impact on my life, even though it didn’t work out. I can’t imagine life without rock music or being in a band. It’s like a physiological need for me now. I have to play music with people who want to play it, and for people who want to hear it, or I become fitful and ill. Even though it was painful at the end, somehow it was completely necessary to my existence.