Temporal Comet have been tentatively reuniting, to make a film with Billion Bites
The idea is to film what we do live, and that means we have had to start remembering what we do live...
Rehearsals have been fun - this week, Jack turned up with a half-bottle of red wine which he didn't share. Carry brought a bottle of ginger beer and promptly lost it. MJ tuned his guitar for the occasion.
A few thoughts on rehearsal, then. We've put together a little guide but it's not exhaustive, as we'd love to hear your thoughts! Leave us a comment somewhere to tell us how you rehearse, how often, how loud, etc. We'll share some of the best ones and then everyone will have access to the this big knowledge share. That's what we're about!
01 - Do you know what you're gonna play? A good 5/10 minute jam is an excellent way to warm up and get to know (/reacquaint you with) your group, but if you don't have a defined plan for which songs you will play, your session may descend into blues jamming, and that's rarely productive if you're not a blues band.
02 - What's the occasion? If your group are about to embark on gigs, set yourselves up to play as you would do on-stage. If you're not there yet, try facing in towards each other as per Radiohead's Basement Session below...
In fact, the Doors got so used to playing like this, that when it came to their first gigs, Jim Morrisson didn't have the courage to turn and face the audience. Amazing to think that the shy performer rose to become the lizard king, occasionaly belching and exposing himself on stage... Just goes to show what a pint of Bourbon can do for you...
03 - Have you got all your gear? Each of us has played with many different musicians, and we have all shared the same experience. Guitarists rehearsing without their favourite guitar, keyboard players without stands, bassists playing with the effects they use on stage. If you will use the equipment during a show, you need it for the rehearsal, regardless of its weight or your lack of time. Rehearsals are for you to recreate what will happen live, and be prepared for any eventuality. If you are not bringing your vintage wah-wah to a rehearsal for fear it will break, you also can't use it at the gig... it might break!
04 - Whether practising for a filming session or not, we recommend recording video of your rehearsal. It makes a neat document of what you have achieved, and you can compare from week-to-week to see the progress. You can also watch out for the rhythm sections passing notes between each other bitching about the singer's new haircut, and assert your dominance over them, perhaps with a small fine. Unless you're James Brown, this last sentence is a joke.
05 - Levels
This gets its own little header bit (big text) because in our opinion it's the most important thing to consider. We get it, you arrive at the studio and the bass amp is bigger than your wardrobe at home. Or bigger than your room, in some cases (and we've seen countless bassists living in Ampeg cabs, that's how expensive it is to rent a room in London)...
So many musicians fall into the trap of "we are in the studio, let's turn up to 11". But if you can't clearly hear the vocalist, or the guitarist's lead parts, you are not rehearsing. It's the musical equivalent of two chefs agreeing to make a pie, and then just throwing apples at each other.
You need to clearly hear what everyone is doing, and they need to hear you. Remember, the main point of rehearsing (as far as we're concerned) is this:
Things go wrong on stage! Do all you can to prepare for all eventualities.
And that's the best advice we can give you! You can rehearse your lines, your licks, your effects pedal-stomps, and you'll still break a string, or see the stage invaded with jazz-loving hamsters. Do everything you can so that this doesn't fluster you and make you lose your place!
What's the best advice you would give to a band embarking on rehearsals? We'd love to hear your thoughts below-the-line!
Temporal Comet will be filming in November; stay tuned for video previews and the film launch around Christmas 2017.