Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Pair of Past-Related Reviews; Part 4; "You and I... walk by the... sea"; Conclusion.

While reviewing the new records from Jason Hebert and Cameron Audet, and musing on my own musical projects over the past few years, I noticed some interesting parallels between the body of work that our front-stage trio has collectively produced post-Rusted Tricycle. Both the similarities and differences between all of our musical trajectories are somehow coincidental, or somehow a part of the structure that we grappled off of separately after gaining our footing together with that band. Who knows.

Post-Tricycle, all three of us played in rock bands at one point in time or another that had a certain degree of “commercial viability,” and arguably (these comparisons are inevitably a bit subjective) achieved more of that sort of success than we did during our time with the Trike. After that, we have all recorded and performed with an acoustic project, and have all at least dabbled in one form or another of electronic music. I suppose that, musical trends being what they are (as discussed a bit within each of the reviews posted prior), these latter two could be claimed about most of our musical peers from the emo/ pop-punk scene of that time. I don’t really know. Nevertheless, these similarities seem noteworthy to me, considering how stylistically far-removed both of those formats are from the genre that Rusted Tricycle played.

Looking at the acoustic and electronic music that the three of us have produced independently of one another, it’s all very different, and we seem to all arrive at our influences and reasons for gravitating toward those sorts of music from very different junctures. These differences, however, remind me of a running joke that we had while R.T. was around.

I remember that we used to tease each other a bit that the front-stage trio of the band was accidentally similar in structure to a boy-band, where each member has a different “character,” stereotype, and demographic. Jason was the “indie/ emo” guy, with a flair for more serious and dramatic emotional songwriting and stage-presence. Cam reflected the “pop-punk” schtick, sentimental, light-hearted, and endearingly goofy. I was the “punk-rocker,” appearing onstage with liberty-spikes, Misfits tees, and a more rambunctious performance-demeanor.

As we’ve grown up, both musically and personally, in the time since R.T., the differences between all of our projects in both the electronic and acoustic formats are almost startlingly predictable when compared to an evolving and maturing version of our Rusted Tricycle “boy-band” stereotypes. Jason’s music has been consistently emotionally complicated, multi-layered, and dramatic, with almost epic tendencies at times. Cam has honed his pop songwriting skills, playing soft, catchy music with “pantie-melting” tendencies. My own music has usually veered toward the abstract and avant-garde, conceptually chaotic and intentionally inaccessible to most audiences even remotely “mainstream.”

I don’t want to get into too much of a “nature vs. nurture” argument about how much of both these similarities and differences were derived from our experiences with Rusted Tricycle all that time ago, and how much was just aspects of our personalities that inevitably came to similar conclusions that would have been reached regardless of the time with the Trike. I merely thought that these “Where Are We Now” parallels were interesting, and I figured that I’d share.

The next time you see one of us playing out somewhere, yell for a Rusted Tricycle song. It will either get a laugh, or a scowl with a “damn you, Bernie” attached, which would be amusing either way. Who knows, maybe we’ll actually remember how to play one (I know that I heard a recording of Cam doing a version of “Seashells” not that long ago, and I’ve been known to occasionally bust out “Cherry Coke” when playing acoustic… my favorite was an impromptu version once with cello and synth). Hell, yell for “Slit.” That would be REALLY funny.

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