I was lucky enough to participate in One Night Band this year. For those of you who aren’t familiar with ONB, 40 Boston musician are split into 8 random bands of 5 members each, locked into a room together without food or deodorant for about 9 hours, and then expected to perform 3 original songs and 1 cover for an adoring audience.
I’m kidding. There was food.
I arrived at the Middle East Downstairs absolutely terrified that a) I’d be in a band that couldn’t get along or b) that I’d be the weak link in the band and embarrass myself. Luckily, after all was said and done, my band was fucking stacked: Michael Epstein (guitar/vox), of The Motion Sick, The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library, and Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling; Nate Leavitt (guitar/vox), of Blizzard of 78 and his own solo project; Jim Collins (bass), of lots of bands, notably MEandJOANCOLLINS and Eddie Japan; and Benny Grotto (drums), of Motherboar.
I’m friends with Mike, and knew I’d enjoy working with him, and have had the great pleasure of joining MEandJOANCOLLINS on stage, so I knew Jim was amazing. Magen Tracy (of St. Helena and most recently Low Static Romance) raved about working with Nate, so I was super excited to get started. I’d never met Benny before but assumed he was going to be like most drummers: necessary but not all that participatory. Mike, naturally, immediately made us choose a theme. We chose space, because space is awesome.
The rest of the day was a blur. We wrote and rehearsed for 7 hours straight with one twenty minute break. It didn’t feel like anything at all, just five people on the same page, wanting to have fun and sound good. All of us participated in writing and arranging, and we were all pleasantly surprised to find out that our drummer is actually a well-known engineer and producer at Mad Oak in Allston. I’ll never judge a drummer by his or her cover again.
The final product, presented here in its entirety for your viewing and listening pleasure: a rock opera about Spaceman Max, intrepid explorer.