My collaborations with my friend Paul Frick continue to work towards a better understanding of, shall we say, “Anti-Rock”, or “music that is not rock/blues based”. Rock and blues is where we both come from, having listened to classic rock since the ’60s, and played it ourselves in cover bands since the ’70s. It’s how we think. How we’re wired, musically speaking.
But we’re making some new anti-rock wires these days, in our explorations of funk, ambient, and dance production and writing. It’s a tough slog sometimes! Every time a new part is added to a song we’re working on, we have to stop, and look at each other and ask, “is this too ‘rock’?” And when the answer is “yes” (all too often!), we then ask “is that what we really wanted here?” And often the answer is “no”. It’s just what came naturally, from our experiences after decades of AM radio, vinyl, and eventually FM, CDs, and lately streaming radio and podcasts. Because we’ve listened to, and performed and written, SO MUCH rock music in our lives. So it keeps slipping in from time to time, like in these tracks (some of our older ones):
The heavy drumbeat and guitar solo in Dream Together are very ‘rock’.
… Then The Wheels Fell Off is a rowdy old smash-em-up rock stomp. Done our way, of course.
The driving bassline and drums in Radium are very ‘rock’. Radium is one of the songs off my first solo album, Cerulean Sojourn.
Blues Rock is the very first song Paul and I ever worked on together. It’s a song that, well, sounds a bit like a Police cover, with a shuffle beat, and a sprinkling of some synthy stuff. Yeah, ‘rock’.
More recently, however, I feel we’ve been able to mostly restrain the rock influences, and perhaps we’re finding some new ground. Over the last six months we’ve released a few new tracks (more in the cooker, coming out soon!) that don’t conform to the label ‘rock’. Which is good, in my opinion! I want to do something different, after decades of rock.
I’ll leave you with a few of our most recent releases of “anti-rock” music. We’ve been doing more dance-based stuff lately, while trying to minimize the rock influences.
Racing is a ‘driving’ dance track (see what I did there?). I do have to admit the guitar tag is a bit bluesy. But overall I would say the track is not rock.
Spinning Leaves is a melodic take on ambient based dance music. Not rock.
Signal Flow is a dance based rhythmic groove that passes through several different sonic scenes with recurring themes weaving in and out. Not rock.