Thoughts from a Dive Bar, part 1

The other night Jill (my beloved girlfriend) and I headed out to a dive bar for happy hour with her co-workers. In the midst of it all, I had a very interesting conversation with our friend Angela. There are two parts to this conversation, so I’ll cover it in two blogs. The first part is about being a frontman. Now, I’m not going to justify her claim that Phil Ansalmo of Pantera is the best frontman in heavy music,that’s just ludicrous crazy talk 😉 but it did lead to another statement from her that peaked my interest. She said that frontmen connect better with their audience when they are just singers and not holding an instrument. So, that’s got me wondering what kind of frontman I should be.

Was Angela right? When I think about some of my favorite bands like The Doors, Made Out of Babies, and AFI; they are fronted by singers with no instruments. Julie Christmas captivates the crowd; Davey Havok is incredibly dynamic (gotta love that crowd walk); and Jim Morrison is Jim Morrison. But I have other faves like Rasputina and Die So Fluid. I have seen Rasputina live about 5 times. Just because Melora Creager is behind her cello, it doesn’t make her less compelling a frontperson. Grog of Die So Fluid is someone I feel becomes cooler because she’s singing and playing the hell out of her bass.

Both sides of the argument are good, which tells me that there is no set way to be a frontman. So now, the question remains- what kind of frontman should I be. I like playing the guitar but I also know that it means splitting my focus. Again, tough call. It’s something to think about. Then again, things like having a band and the composition of the material may decide for me.

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