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Month: July 2005

Seven Seconds of Love…with Seven Seconds of Love

Seven Seconds of Love…with Seven Seconds of Love

Rathergood.com is a bizarre, hilarious comedy site that relies heavily on music and random British humor for effect. The British humor comes from the fact that creator Joel Veitch is British, oddly enough. The love of music that is displayed in rathergood.com is also displayed in another area of Veitch’s life- his ska band Seven Seconds of Love. Monsieur Veitch took a few minutes of his time to talk with Brent Baldwin, and this is the madness that came forth.

Independent Clauses: So you’re the main guy from Seven Seconds of Love. Could you give us a brief history of the band and tell us who does what?

Joel Veitch: Well, I’m not really the main guy. The band is a collaboration and everyone is as important as everyone else.

I (AKA Stallion Explosion) do the vocals.

Alex (my brother, AKA The Mighty Mighty Veitch Man) plays keys

Big Ed (AKA Love Tubes) plays the trumpet

Little Ed (AKA Sticks) plays the drums

Pat (AKA Cap’n Pat) plays the guitar

Steve (AKA Fingers) plays the bass

Ian (AKA Chaynsaw) plays the sax

Everybody writes the songs.

IC: Most people would describe your music as a ska-esque neo-jazz style. How would you describe it?

JV: Would they really? I guess I’d describe it as Ska Punk Kickass Fucking Mayhem that will Rock Your Face.

IC: What artists/groups do you all listen to…and who are your influences?

JV: Ooh, there are too many to list. I guess, the Specials, Madness, the Dead Kennedys, Prince Buster and The Ukelele Orchestra Of Great Britain would be at the top of the list though.

IC: You guys have some very random song subjects, as is obvious in songs like “Your Mum’s Your Dad” and “First Drink of the Day”. What inspires you to write about such random subjects?

JV: Booze.

IC: You are writing an album right now…are you searching for any type of theme or are you trying to stick with a random feel-good type music like you have going with the three songs you’ve posted on rathergood.com?

JV: To be honest, we’re concentrating mainly on happy bouncy Ska stuff at the moment. We do have a few songs in other styles- rock and funk mainly, which we enjoy playing but probably don’t sit too well in our live set. The question at the moment is whether we record these as the rathergood band and keep them separate from the 7 Seconds Of Love stuff, or whether we record them as 7 Seconds Of Love and have an album with a couple of different styles of music in it. I’m not sure which way this will go at the moment.

IC: You all are a British band playing a more American style of music. What do you think distinguishes British and American music from each other?

JV: It’s probably the sax that makes us sound American. Chaynsaw is American, so he plays with an American accent. That said, the international language of Loveskank transcends national boundaries…….. man.

IC: Do you ever plan to release one of your music videos (or another that’s like what you’ve done) to any music television-type networks?

JV: Oh yes, of course. We will do that at some point.

IC: Do you think your brief Quizno’s ad stint (with those crazy spongmonkeys) will help the success of 7 Seconds of Love?

JV: I’d think so, at least to some extent, in that a lot of people in America seem to say “oh, you’re the Quizno’s guy” even if they don’t know rathergood, so it’s been good for my profile, and what is good for me should in theory be good for the band, too.

IC: Speaking of 7 Seconds of Love…is that like an inside joke or something? It’s a hilarious name…

JV: It’s not really an inside joke. There’s 7 of us, so we only need to manage 1 second of love each. Which is much more manageable than any one of us trying to last for a full 7 seconds.

IC: What do you like best about being in 7 Seconds of Love and what do you like best about rathergood.com? Do you perhaps enjoy one more than the other? (ha, just prying…)

JV: I love playing live – it’s fantastic. That’s easily the best thing. I prefer that to doing web stuff of course. I also deeply love rathergood though- it’s my baby after all, and it’s very important to me. The two things complement each other very nicely.

IC: It seems with 7 guys in a band it would be hard to write songs,

especially with all of the different tastes strewn throughout the band. How do you guys go about writing your tunes?

JV: No, it’s not hard at all. All the guys are great song writers. When we get together to practice, there’s always someone who’s thought out a rough idea, and we work them through with the band collaboratively, honing them into musical masterpieces over time.

IC: Random question…if any world leader was to become your biggest fan…who would you want it to be and why?

JV: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, because he’s named after a girly skirt.

IC: Do all the guys in 7 Seconds of Love ever hang out outside of the band, and if so, what do you guys do?

JV: Yeah, we do. Mainly we drink booze, discuss how great it will be when we’re international rock legends and plan what kind of Zepellins, submarines and hovercraft we’ll buy when we’re all massively rich.

IC: Do you think you’ll ever write a song about one of your characters on rathergood.com like Blode or the Crab of Ineffable Wisdom?

JV: Funnily enough, we’ve just written one about The Mighty Mzungu. So yes.

IC: Final question…Where do you see 7 Seconds of Love in a year from now…or even 7 seconds from now (ha…)?

JV: Definitely with a strangle-hold on the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, playing enormous gigs to hundreds of thousands of people on the moon and with our own sinister lair beneath a huge dome on the floor of the ocean.

-Interview conducted by Brent Baldwin in the month of July.

muffinmanwoosh@cox.net

www.rathergood.com

www.sevensecondsoflove.com

Jerry West

…And Thank You Especially, Mr. West.

Not many people get to do what they love for the rest of their lives- but Jerry West is an independent artist in the Tulsa area who still does what he loves doing: making and performing music.

I know Jerry better as Mr. West. He was a member of my high school marching band staff for two years, and one of the best music educators I have ever had. Sadly, the high school I attend decided to let him go because of budget shortages—they could not afford to pay for a part-time staff member.

However, music is not a part-time part of his life. It is full-time with him, and he rarely puts down his guitar. Music is his life, and he likes it that way, even when it wears him out. His directing job is a good indicator of how dedicated he is to his own music and that of others. He has directed state champion bands while helping students like me realize their music potential and take steps toward achieving it. West’s dedication to music is obvious also in the music he writes. His proficiency on guitar is astounding- his spastic style is a blend of guitar gods like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. And he’s nearly as good, too.

But enough background information. I went to see him perform not too long ago at a local Starbuck’s. I hadn’t seen him in quite a while, even though I had heard some of his recordings, so both the prospects of seeing him and seeing him perform excited me. He did not disappoint, either. He didn’t play any of his originals, but he played several cover songs that you couldn’t help but tap your foot to. Included in his arsenal were songs by a diverse background of artists including Maroon 5, Garbage, Zero 7, 3 Days Grace and the Atlanta Rhythm Section. It was quite entertaining to say the least.

His formula was simple: play a rhythm line into his effects processor pad and solo over it. His solos were melodic. His solos were chaotic. His solos were terrific. He would play the vocal melodies of the songs and then completely spazz out over them, his fingers practically creating smoke on the fret board.

However, one of the most thrilling parts of his playing was not just the solos he played, but the faces he made when he got into the music. He would make strange-looking monkey-like faces and bob his head—and the odd part is that as humorous as it was, it was also inspiring. To see a man of his age sitting in a coffee shop, beating songs out of an acoustic guitar and getting into those songs is truly inspiring.

To see the crowd response he got in a coffee house was also inspiring. It started off just my two friends and myself (both also former students of his) listening and talking to him between songs. It grew into a small crowd listening to him and commenting on how good he was. Several people left the coffeeshop during his set, but they made sure to give him kudos before they were gone. He was very gracious in accepting the compliments, reacting with a smile and a humble “thank you”. Despite the small reactions to the compliments, he radiated with a certain glow that got brighter with each compliment.

Later, I thought about a couple nuances of his performance that stunned me: how he doesn’t make much money off of these coffee shop gigs, how small of an audience sees him during these gigs, and how few of the patrons actually pay attention to the performers in these coffee houses. None of it mattered to him. He is doing what he loves to do in front of a small amount of people looking to get some cappuccino. And no matter who did or didn’t listen, he was happy to just have the opportunity to be playing music somewhere. This is a mentality that many independent artists tend to lack. It’s inspiring to see someone that’s not concerned with how much money they are making or how many fans they have at that point in time, and are instead glad to just have the opportunity to do what they love and have people hear them play.

Music is not about the fame and fortune. Sure, the money and fame can be very enjoyable, but independent artists should be happy with the fact that they have the gift of music in their lives, and should help share it with others. Mr. West is one of the few that does all of this, and for that quality I am very indebted to him. All independent artists should strive to take on the attitude he does, not just for their own benefit, but for the listeners’ as well. Who knows how much better an artist could make someone’s night or how much better they could make someone’s frappuccino taste if they just performed because they could and put their heart in it?

I suppose it’s a quality someone learns when they become a teacher. Teachers know that even when they are teachers, they are always students in the field of music. Mr. West is just one of the many teachers in the world, and his gig really opened up my eyes. Not just with good guitar playing- but with an inspirational attitude that I hope to adopt when I am his age. Who knew life lessons could come out of Starbuck’s? Thank you, Starbuck’s. And thank you especially, Mr. West.

-Brent Baldwin

muffinmanwoosh@cox.net