I had gotten to Rochdale train station just in time; ready to pay for my ticket at the ticket office when my train rolled in. I politely asked the gentlemen behind the counter to hurry so I could catch this train. He ignored me, seeming to count my change and print the ticket slower than usual… I missed the train.
I fired a text to Steve straight away saying I wouldn’t be able to meet him in Todmorden and would meet him up at the studio. I’d be over an hour late, it had been snowing over the last few days, and in this part of the world when it snows everything is delayed. Steve was really cool about it. “See you when you get here, keep me informed.”
I got to the studio and the drums and keys were ready to go. Steve and Grant had been improvising something that they wanted me to play over. It had this Latin groove which was quite interesting. This piece is really going to go on an epic journey, through a whole range of styles; I really can’t wait to hear the finished product.
Arriving late did effect me a little bit. I had made my apologises but I really couldn’t shake this feeling that I had really let the side down. I’m never late, I am one of these people that if I say I am going to be somewhere, I’m early, and because I use public transport most of the time I try to be organised and leave myself plenty of time.
Billy as well as engineering the session filmed a lot of rehearsal footage, which all looked cool. At first I was a bit sceptical, but I just concentrated on the music, that is challenging enough as it is. As we were doing lots of sections, we would rehearse and get the rhythms as tight as we could, then we would press record and do a take.
There were a lot of mistakes, with the nature of the music it couldn’t be helped. I really hung in there with these two guys and was so pleased with myself. I really felt that I was firing on all cylinders; I was aggressive and really comfortable. Even when I made mistakes, I just apologised and we went again. Steve and Grant made their share of mistakes, but it didn’t matter, we were a team, a crew on a ship, each with their own job and responsibility all working in tandem for the greater good. It was quite a good feeling and isn’t something you get with every ensemble of musicians.
Steve threw some more material at me, with riffs in odd time signatures, different tempos, different styles and a bass solo. The bass solo isn’t one of my best, but I feel it does the job, there was a lot to think about when soloing, and as it was just put on me I felt I coped with it well. Steve seems to really enjoy capturing spontaneity through improvisation and brainstorming, discussing ideas. He is so open to different suggestions, which I am all too willing to throw into the pot. He is a great composer to work for; he encourages each musician to bring himself or herself to the project. He doesn’t meddle with my approach, and wants my opinion as a bass player, how would you do this Adam? A far cry from some composers who want me to play exactly what they have written and in my opinion Steve’s way is a better way to work if you ask me.
It was a fantastic session, Steve, Grant, Billy and I were really buzzing as we were packing away. In a real sentimental way I don’t want this to end. This is my last session on this project as all the bass has been recorded.
After, Steve and I went to the pub with Billy where we discussed setting up another project for after the DDR release. I am really eager and I hope that it does come together, because I would really jump at the chance to work with Steve, Grant and Billy again in the future. It was challenging, it took a lot of practice and it didn’t all go plain sailing, but I wouldn’t have changed it, I can’t remember laughing as much through as many recordings and rehearsals which have influenced my own projects no end.
A huge thank you has to go to Steve for believing in my ability and for all the kind words and encouragement. I really can’t wait to hear the finished album…
An Adolescent Fantasy Vol.2 is coming soon.