Wednesday, 12 March 2014

3 n' Pass & Hopping Grass

Somewhere along the line, Derek managed to pick up a small four track recorder, so we could now record our own songs and jams. He let me borrow it for awhile and I ended up recording some raps over live jams Mike, Mike, and myself had done. We had recently started writing some rap songs, and now we had an opportunity to try and record some stuff. I used my dads trusted jvc tape deck to loop the opening beat from Led Zeppelin's "immigrant song" and dumped it in the four track. Myers brought his Casio keyboard so we could add some synths, and Mike C provided the scratching via an old 70s turntable I had. It was so cheaply designed that we had to tape a few pennies to the arm so the needle wouldn't jump when Chapman was cutting up the records. 

We spent an afternoon messing around and we had our first official song. We sat down and wrote the lyrics together so we coincided with each other, then we recorded those too. We now had our very first song "The Immigrant Rhyme" and we came up with a band name, "3 n' Pass" which had dual meaning, one referencing joint smoking etiquette, the other meaning 3 guys passing a microphone around all the Beastie Boys, who were clearly our biggest influence. We were all stoked and I immediately designed us a logo based off the new explicit warning labels that were slapped on most rap and metal albums.

Meanwhile on the band front, we had our second gig booked for the end of February at a small club called the Niagara Cafe, which was at Queen street and Niagara st. I can't quite recall if it was before this gig or after it, when Derek thought we needed a name change for the band. Since this band was his baby I left it in his hands. D ended up coming back to me with a list of slang words for a pothead. As we scoured the list together, one name really stuck out to us.... Grasshopper. We both decided it was a great name, so from now on there would be no Slow Poke, just Grasshopper.

A mere week or two before our second gig, we were approached by Nav, who decided he didn't want to be in the band anymore. I think he was still really bummed out about our first sloppy performance and he didn't think we were ready to play live shows. Nav was a pretty talented player, and deep down I honestly believe he felt embarrassed or held back having to dumb down to our level of musicianship. But hell, we were a "grunge" band on the cusp of a new genre, a genre that was basically slowed down punk rock, and in my opinion sloppiness was apart of punk, which carried over into the sloppy, loose grooves of grunge music.

Needless to say we were in a bit of a pickle. The show was coming up, we had no bass player, and even if we found one they would still have to learn all of our songs in a short period of time. We ran an ad, made some calls, networked with our friends, but we kept coming up short. Then one night while hanging in D's basement, I was telling him about our 3 n' Pass project when he had an epiphany "Why don't we ask Chapman?" he blurted out. Mike and Derek had played in The Stiffs together previously, Mike and I were now working on music, so we figured it was worth a shot.

Now our future was in the hands of the one and only Mike C...

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