After an hour or so, Zeke tells me ‘well after everything you’ve said, we’re still at the same place we always are, that same comfortable yet uncomfortable Fishy place, which is where you’re standing there between wanting to create three different musical styles on one album, modern rock which is what you always make, pop and hip-hop, and experimental, which is what you listen to and like the most. Six months ago you said you wanted to make an album that sounds like metallica and now you say you want to make an album like gwen stefani.’ ‘o.k. I hear ya. I know I know. so what do we do?’ ‘I really feel like we need to hone in on what you want to make first before we go any further. You need to find that one unifying theme for this album and then just run with it once you find it and not try to fit everything in all at once.’
‘you know man, I say, ‘How can I sit here and say that I listen to all this popular rock music like the doves, and Foo fighters, and Audioslave, and bloc party and modest mouse and killers and all that but that I can’t even listen to more than thirty seconds a song because its so predictable and boring and the music that I love like beck and jay z and the game and gwen and Rufus is driving me crazy because I like it so much, and then I turn around and create another modern rock album of my own. it makes no sense. I have to find a way to start making my own music sound like the music I actually enjoy listening to. I’m so sick of rock.’ ‘well then stop making rock music.’
‘well then you need to build your songs in a different way. why not send over the roughs to me and if we have to we’ll strip away all the drum parts and bass parts and guitars and we’ll build them from scratch with electronic hip hop drums and bass and just scratch the guitars.’
‘Well I don’t know if the guys are going to be into that. look guys we erased all of your parts and we’re now a hip hop band.’ ‘well yes that’s a concern. You know Fishy its two different kinds of animals. With rock it’s a monstrous sound. its this huge wall of heavy guitars and drums and cymbals and bass guitar. And with hip hop it’s the opposite. Its all sparseness and just a killer beat.’ ‘yeah I know. well we’ve already got a huge wall of drums and bass and guitars built up on these songs. Look, if we can’t make it a hip hop album at this point because we’ve already laid down a foundation of a modern rock album, at least we can take the elements of the arrangement and production that we like from hip hop and pop, that it brings to music. we can arrange the shit from a hip hop perspective.’
‘well like I said, you can send me the shit and let me check it out and I’ll co-produce it, and where these songs are at now if it appears that the album wants to be a dog, we can just finish it, call it a dog, and listen to it say bow wow. or it might be that we want to scrap it all and place some wings on it and call it a duck and get it to quack. Its going to be up to you brother.’
‘dude can I quote you on that?’
‘zeke zaskin makes another appearance in the diaries? certainly. Feel free.’
Man isn’t it so true how we always just steal the shit from the black musicians. Since music first went pop and rock in the early twentieth century, we’ve been taking from the black folk. Al Jolson painting himself in black face. little Richard and chuck berry and fats domino invented rock and roll. and American jazz, the first great original American art form, that was all black cats forging that new territory. And then Elvis made his career from singing all the black songs and the Beatles and Stones just trying to cop the black music they loved, singing all the black songs, and zeppelin ripping off all the black blues songs they worshipped, and then Eric Clapton and all those guitar cats taking whatever they could from Jimi, and in the seventies they hit their stride basically defining an entire decade and sound called dance music/disco with sly and the family stone and g Clinton and P Funk, and of course the jacksons and Motown invented modern pop music, and al green and Marvin gaye and stevie and the temps and Curtis showed us what it could be like if we actually put some soul into our pop… and then rap hit and blew everyone away and saved aerosmiths career, shit I don’t think they even had a career anymore until that duet with run dmc, and now its all everyone just trying to sound like the hip hop cats. Its just always been about what the American black cats are doing.
But you know, there’s a reason for it. the black music has just always sounded better, been hotter, cooler, hipper, more cutting edge. And we white folk always trying to grab onto it and put our spin on it… trying to get a little taste. Me I can’t get enough black music.
Current spin: Gorilaz, demon days. interesting but predictable. Destiny’s child, destiny fulfilled. Great production but predicatble. I’m sure it will sell well. Ficserspooner, odyssey. We were compared to them in a recent review. I see no similarity. A girl called Eddy. I like this CD a lot. So much music out there. no way to keep up. still completely obsessed with HOLLABACK GIRL by Gwen Stephani. Which is my favorite song of all time currently. Right up there with crazy in love as one of the all time great pop songs. Can a song get any better than that?