K, Ray and The Bird

Quirky, organic folk rock

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Everything that has a beginning...

Posted on July 16, 2013 at 8:55 AM

I watched a Metallica interview once, where their guitarist Kirk Hammett said something I found very interesting. After they have been on tour for months, even years, and the tour ends, he returns home and suddenly finds himself in one place, with no deadline or soundcheck or venue to get to. And he found himself slip into this strange state of depression, where he would need to find whatever it was that he used to do before he left home for ages on end. And until he eventually got into that home routine again, he sort of drifted in and out of a rather melancholy state.


K, Ray and The Bird don't do tours like Metallica, or play to crowds as large. But I must say I can relate to the strange feeling of no momentum when the tour ends and normal life resumes.


We're back home. We played our last show in Clarens on Saturday to a crazy crowd who demanded covers (and as a band of the people we did whatever we could to meet those demands). After a freezing Saturday night we made our way home and set our tired eyes on Cape Town's glorius mountain in the evening. And once the gear was separated and we had all our own bags, we went our separate ways, returning to our homes, our loved ones, and our own showers. Man I missed my shower. Not that I didn't shower while I was on tour. It's just...anyway, moving on...


So I have had some time on my hands since yesterday morning. Work is coming up (tomorrow I return to the classrooms), the rest of the band are back into the swing of day-to-day activities, and there are no gigs. So the schedule is empty. And I sort of feel that same sense of melancholy now.


I enjoy my job. I really do. It's better than most jobs in the world. And I have many people here at home I love very much, like my wonderful fiance and my family and friends. But after spending an entire week effectively being a 'full-time' band, it feels a little sad to return to what it was before. There is a certain clarity in having nothing on your agenda other than the gigs you play and the fans you play it to. Without a doubt, the gigs we played on our tour were some of the best we have ever played. The band was tight, the chemistry was great, the banter on stage was alive, and we were all into it - because there was nothing else to distract us.


To be a full-time band would require huge sacrifice. The music scene of South Africa is in Gauteng. That is simple fact. We would HAVE to be there. But it is crazy difficult for a band of our size and or style to sustain itself in virtually any culture. We are a little too qiurky for that I think.


The night before we left, I wondered out loud what we would get out of this journey. More fans? Maybe. CD sales? Hopefully. A following in Gauteng? Yes please. But really, for me, what we got was a glimpse of a life as a full-time band. Not many people can say they have been able to experience that, and for that reason I am grateful we were able to undertake such a great adventure.


And so I want to thank everybody who was involved in any small or huge way. The venues, the other bands, the people who came out to support this unknown band from the Mother City, the warm hearts of our hosts, who gave us beds to sleep in and food to keep us from starving, our publishers for the radio interviews and promotion, the little dog who stole my heart with his young enthusiasm, our families and friends back home to encouraged us all the way and welcomed us home.


And I want to thank my band. You're like a second family. You are more than friends. I know this because I might get irritated with all of you for different reasons, but in the end I still love you all.


Perhaps one day it is in the desiny of this band to focus all our energy on our music. If that day should ever come, I can certainly say I would be more than eager to embrace it.


What's next for K, Ray and The Bird? Who knows? We don't, which is why we are meeting up soon to discuss it. You can be sure we will keep you updated. I almost feel like we have this momentum now, this good energy after a successful tour, and we need to capitalize on that. But not just more gigs. We need new ideas.


So what are we gonna do next?

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