Month: March 2011

I’m a musician?

I play bass because I have to, because I love doing it, because I want share it with people, because if I do it right, then I make people feel, make them dance. I’m a musician.
When it comes to “rock bands”, there are two camps, “original bands” and “cover bands”, the latter can also include “tribute bands”. There are “original bands” who feel they are above playing cover tunes because there is no “creativity” in it, on the other hand there are cover bands who get full of themselves because they are making $$ and 900 people “like” them on face book.

Now I play in both an original band, image of io and a cover band, The Wisenheimers, so I am in the unique position to shed some light on the subject. For the “original artists”, original music can suck and not be creative, you aren’t above playing someone else’s music. To the conceited/egoitistical “cover band”, the people don’t really like you, they like the Killers, Tom Petty, U2, and so on, they love you until you play a song they don’t like and say..”I’m not having a good time.”

This is a Wisenheimer blog so I am going to blog about how playing covers can make you a better player and a better musician. The best “cover” I ever saw in my life was Yo Yo Ma, playing a Stradivarius cello, performing The Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by Johann Sebastian Bach. In classical music the art is the ability to interpret, perform, and resurrect a composition that was written centuries ago.

The art in playing cover songs is pretty much the same concept. As a bass player I always want to serve the song, keep the rest of the band together, be tasteful, but also imitate the bass line as close as possible. What is fun and a musical challenge is playing all the different styles of Bass at a gig. I might play motown, Flea, John Paul Jones, Sting, cover a keyboard part bass and so one. So Flea has a “slappy bright sound” that I wouldn’t use that same sound on a 70’s smooth rock song. If you have any questions hit me up here or on facebook. All hits kids, All the time!

Killer Show at the Mohawk House

What a slammin’ night we had this past Saturday night at the Mohawk House!  What can we say – we LOVE playing the Mohawk House.  If you’ve never been there, you owe it to yourself to check this place out.  From the word go, the place was packed with people ready to dance and have a good time.  We mixed up the set list a bit for this show and pushed the pedal to the floor from the first song.  Shortly after we started, people began to hit the dance floor.  Before long, the whole place was hopping.

We added a few new tunes that made their debut for this show;  Abbe’s Dancing Queen as well as You’re the One That I Want from the Grease soundtrack both went over HUGE!  People were dancing and singing along to every word.   Both these tunes will definitely be staples for us going forward.

We’ll be back at the Mohawk House on May 20th.   We hope you’ll come and join the party.

Great Times In Morristown

First off, welcome to The Wisenheimers official blog.  This is our first post with, hopefully, many more to come about the life & times in a NJ cover band.

So, we played The Famished Frog in Morristown, NJ for the first time this past Saturday (2/26/11).   It was definitely an awesome night.  The place was packed with everyone from newly turned 21-year-olds to 30 & 40-somethingers.   Everyone in the band had people come out.  It was just one of those nights where everything came together and a great time was had by all.

Load in for the night was a breeze as there’s an ally around the back which allows you to bypass people sitting at the bar.  The band set up along the back wall, directly back from the front door.   We had plenty of room to spread out.   The set up allowed for a good view of the whole bar.   It was great seeing even the people way in the back singing and dancing along.   We only had a minor glitch with setup – we initially had no sound coming out of the mains.  This ALWAYS makes my heart stop.   It turned out to be only a few bad cables *sigh of relief*.

Speaking of which, a few people came up to the front to dance, but not as many as we expected.  This was more of a watch-and-enjoy crowd.   We’re definitely going to work on this for next time.   We want that whole area in front of the band packed with dancing feet.  Our new light show, which is in the works, should help with that.  Did someone say disco ball?

We managed the time for the night almost perfectly and managed to get in almost 3 full sets.  The last one was a bit short, but not too bad.   This was definitely a late night crowd as the place had a solid crowd up until last call.

Load out was even easier than load in as we could go straight through the front doors after the crowd had dissipated.  The whole staff was very complimentary as we were leaving, which was a great feeling.   We’ve already booked more dates there with the first one being in April.  We’re really looking forward to it.

Thanks Famished Frog!