Sunday, 15 February 2015

New & improved for 93'

Although our 3 n' Pass demo sounded somewhat simple and basic, we had evolved with our songs. When we initially created them we would write our lyrics on the spot and then record them, which meant we had to read off of paper as we did so. We didn't have them memorized, which resulted in a lack of flow and delivery. Now that we were jamming on occasion and playing gigs, we had our lyrics down pat which gave our songs an entirely different dynamic. Our live performances definitely had more impact and energy in comparison to our demo tape.

We had played a few shows by this point, including Tremors in Brampton, as well as the 1150 club and the Edgewater Hotel in Toronto. We generally got great reception from the audience, mainly because they weren't accustomed to seeing a rap band perform live, so I assume they appreciated a different change of pace and a different form of music.

Things were going great and I wouldn't of changed it for anything....except Mike & Mike. "Mikes squared" as I used to refer to them as, approached me one day with a new vision for the band. They had collectively agreed that I was the best rapper out of the three of us, and they thought it would be a wise move for me to become the main vocalist and for them to start playing instruments to bring a new live feel to our sound.

I was a bit taken back at first, but I was totally on board with their idea. I gather they had been inspired by The Beastie Boys playing instruments on their latest album "Check Yer Head" and since the B-Boys were our biggest influence, it made sense to me. The only issue now was who would supply the beats? Enter John McCuish, former drummer of Epileptic Brain Surgeons. 

John hadn't been doing much music wise since EBS folded, and his drum set was just sitting around collecting dust. "Cushal" as we used to call him, agreed to give it a shot, so we decided to get together for a jam at Mike Myers. It was quite a trip to me, jamming with three former members of EBS, the guys solely responsible for me starting my band "Social Disorder" in my early years of high school. I felt like a student who had now become a teacher.

The first practice went pretty well. John was on drums, Chapman was on guitars, Myers was on bass, and yours truly held the microphone. We just kind of went with the flow, the boys made improv music and I busted freestyle rhymes. It was great fun, it sounded cool, and the energy was definitely there. 

Over the next few weeks we ended up writing three songs, "Wonton Soup'd", "Hurricane Theo" and "Weed Don". We were all totally stoked with what we had come up with. They (the songs) were a splendid mix of funk, rap, rock, punk and reggae. It brought a whole new feel to the band, and we weren't so limited with what we could do production wise anymore. We also knew it would make for an easier and better sounding live show.

We made some rough recordings of the songs so we wouldn't forget what we had come up with. At our rehearsals we continued to refine these three songs, as well as just winging it with live freestyle jam sessions which never disappointed. I was really happy with this new version of 3 n' Pass, and I believe the guys were very happy to be playing their instruments again. After all, they were highly talented players, so it only made sense. Why waste all that talent to simply be a mediocre rapper? Mike & Mike had a great idea, they had made a great call, and I felt like we had come full circle.

I had told Paul from Demon Barf about our new and improved version of 3 n' Pass and I played the songs for him. Needless to say he loved it and was very intrigued to attend one of our jam sessions. I ran it past the guys and they were cool with it, so we decided Paul could come sit in on our next practice. Little did I know at that time a simple jam session would change his life, and our lives forever...

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