Path of Totality (temporary name) is the band I’ve been playing with for about two years now. Sadly we were on hiatus since last October. Amit got hitched, Sidhesh bought a house, Bharat was hanging somewhere and god knows what I was upto.
We’ve been sitting down and re-writing some of Amit’s old material. It’s been coming off so well that in a week I need to work on basslines for 4 songs at home a task which is tougher than anything for me.
I remember the first reunion jam we had as a full band. Amit had a few new riffs that he played, one of which got me so grooving that we went on and on around it for some 10 minutes (felt like hours though). Things have been steady in the sense that we meet each weekend at Astral Studios for a jam, practise the songs again and again.
On one side I feel like I need more time to practise at home while juggling a really tough project at work and on the other side these impromptu sessions are helping me grow as a musician. It forces me to think out of the box on the fly and improvise. That is a very important skill for any musician. Kind of Blue by Miles Davis was built around the entire concept of modal improvisation on the spot where the band did not have time to rehearse. It was play and record and mostly first and final take.
Amit is a musicbox. I’ve never seen anybody come up with fast paced insane riffs as quickly as this guy does. Plus, he knows his sound. He keeps experimenting with his equipment every now and then. Bharat falls under the category of guitarists to whom you just say, “Solo” and they start playing without asking you what scale, what root etc. Easy as that might be on a standard scale, Amit’s scales are never standard. Never! He’s either on half step down (as in last jam) or on Standard C (as in few jams back) or Standard D (as in god knows when).
Over the years of playing I can say confidently that I can watch a guitarist play chords and decipher the roots to play the bass. With this guy it is close to impossible. Iyer has been playing with Amit for so long that if Amit comes up with a riff, Iyer knows exactly what groove to layer it with. That chemistry cannot be rehearsed.
So as the underdog a typical jam session would look like me playing roots either by ear or by watching or me scrambling to figure out what to play. I’d be making so many mistakes that people would say why is the bass player fucking it up. My fingers would be all over the fretboard for the wrong reasons while cursing Amit for the change of scale from E to Eb.
But all said and done, I am happy making music and just itching to record it and play it to the world. I’ve been putting additional efforts to compose basslines this week despite really long work days and sleepless nights. Fingers crossed for the next jam. I’ll share more updates in due time. It’s 12:20 and I have to rush to work. Bye now!