In this particular track I play far more double bass than in any Confessor or Loincloth song. Some guys and gals live to play double bass like this all the time. I am not one of them, though it does feel right in this song to do so. Most of what I do requires negative space to set up my accents, cymbal chokes, etc. The term "negative space" comes from the visual art world and refers to empty space in a painting or photograph that, when used properly, creates weight that helps balance the overall composition or create a mood. I use the term when talking about our music to describe the empty space between punches, accents, beats and such that gives them the proper set up for maximum impact. Playing a static double bass line or snare rolls such as the ones at the end of this track represent a very different approach for me. I have zero training or music theory education, so for years I avoided anything that sounded remotely like a drum corps exercise. The only times I have gone down that road were in the intro to the song "Hibernation" on Confessor's 'Unraveled' and once more at the end of the song "Ibex" as Loincloth's album 'Psalms of the Morbid Whore' comes to a close.
The Ibex outro is something I am pretty proud of because it came together in a much more complete way than I thought it might. I never had an opportunity to practice the outro live with a guitarist in the room because at that point in the process our guitarist was unable to make it down to Raleigh. It was one of the last two sections that I had to figure out before going into the studio to record the Loincloth album. It was a real leap for me that was complicated by the fact that I had to practice it to a guitar file played on a beat up, old mp3 player that ran mono through a prehistoric pa system. The circumstances were, um... less than ideal. It was impossible to make out the guitar while I was playing drums to it since the guitar was so open and resonant during the outro. It knew it could provide a sort of musical interlude because it was one of the only riffs we played continuously on the album, so I decided to try and make the entire passage a sort of journey. I wanted to create a landscape for people to get lost in, and I had never imagined playing anything like this. It seemed like a perfect time to step outside of my comfort zone.
Because of how happy I was with my adventure "outside the box" turned out I started playing around with a similar approach when I wrote the outro to this Confessor song. The main riffs in the song have been around for a long time. It was full of staccato playing and though I always liked it I got the sense that a couple of the guys wished there were something else to sink their teeth into. I came up with the intro and the outro and suddenly the song had much more to offer everyone than just homework. The challenge for me in the outro was to find ways to create interesting peaks within the busy drone of the drums that helped create a sort of dynamic flow while maintaining the constant double bass or snare assault. All of that makes it sound like I actually know what I'm talking about but any of you who have followed me here at The Poundry know what a load of crap that is. That I can hold the sticks by the right end is pretty amazing. Actually, for years I used to play with the sticks backwards because you can hit harder that way. Replacing cymbals got old fast though, and since the tapered end was in my hand while I was sweating profusely they would sometimes fly across the room, endangering our guitarists. Yes, I have come a long way, baby. Maybe we should sell their old practice helmets to the highest bidder.
Confessor hope that you all get a kick out of this glimpse inside the studio process, and I in particular hope that you enjoy the up close and personal view from beside my drums. Some people would rather not have an audience so close but I actually thrive on having such an intimate connection with fans on the rare occasion that they can see from that perspective. I love watching drummers do their "thang" and having the camera all up in my grill really shows what goes on while I play. Fortunately, since you can't see my face you can all envision someone much better looking playing drums. It would probably be better for everyone if you did. You may notice that as soon as you do determine whose face should sit atop my body the song will instantly sound better. I have kept that secret from the band, and I would appreciate if you follow my lead. It's tough for an old ginger to find work.