Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How it started...

While I work on both the music for OilCan Drive this week as well as a few client illustration jobs I can't talk too much about I thought it would be a great time to delve into how I got into doing the music for the OilCan Drive project and what kind of gear and guitars I'm using.

The first guitar I ever owned was a no name Yamaha electric guitar my Dad bought me as a high school graduation gift when I was 18 years old. I took a few lessons with a friend of his but just didn't get it. I spent the next bunch of years knowing how to play only the A,D,E, and G chords (not a ton but I could play the Trogg's "Wild Thing" pretty decently.) Guitar and music took a big back seat as the art and illustration end of my life took center stage.

But, in 2001, I created OilCan Drive. They weren't meant to be a band when I first started. They were just a bunch of friends having adventures in a futuristic wasteland with a stolen airship. But, music was becoming more important in my life then. I was getting more and more into specific bands and incorporating their names into some of the art I was doing. So, it made sense that the reason these friends were hanging out in the wasteland and having adventures was because they were in a band. It gave me a reason to keep them all together in one room even though their were times when none of them got along.

So, I wrote and drew the first OilCan Drive comic adventure in early 2002. And, through the cartoon band, I picked up the guitar again. Luckily, I had surrounded myself with a few friends at the time who played music and I asked them every question I could think of about how to play the guitar. But, it took a lot of soul searching and long talks with myself to convince myself that, yes, I may be able to actually write a song on my own. Especially when I was surrounded by "real" musicians. But, I didn't take any of it seriously until a friend of mine, who was in an actual real life band at the time, told me we should do some music for OilCan Drive. I was intrigued and he showed me a few things on the guitar. I was excited to do something with him and the music of OilCan Drive. And, then, like often happens in life, he left me alone. And, I was on my own.

But, I kept writing original songs on that old no-name Yamaha guitar.

And then, the freelance art career took off like a rocket. After eight months of hard work and a few lucky breaks with some great clients I found myself with some extra money for the first time in my life.

I did the smart thing and bought my first home with the majority of the money but I had some set aside to play with. It was time to buy a new guitar.

I called a guy I knew at the time. He was a singer/songwriter I had met at the bagel shop I used to go to for lunch and had seen him play a few solo shows. I'm glad I called him because I think it was one of the first steps I took to make a life long friend. Adam Trapani helped me buy my first guitar.

In November of 2003 we went to the local music store and, after playing a bunch of guitars to see which one felt right, I bought a Fender Tom Delonge Signature Stratocaster.

Within a week I had bought that guitar but had also ordered a Fender Precision Bass and a small electronic drum kit. The itch had gotten to me and I had to scratch it.

The music side of OilCan Drive had begun...

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