The band that I'm in now, The Famous Slip Slams, has been growing into itself since I was in high school. I have been playing music with Brandon and Braxton for over 6 years and the three of us have always been able to play good stuff together owing to our similar influences and the fact that we've been around each other and played together so much.
Recently, I've gone back and listened to some of the older music that I've worked on and it's awesome to see the timeline of how all of us have progressed. I can hear the different influences on my drumming based on what I was listening to at the time and I can also hear where I lost some of my precision and began building it back.
When I was looking through this material though, I started digging into the inordinate amount of practice sessions that I recorded with what's now The Famous Slip Slam lineup. For over a year, I would have practices miked up and would record what we were writing, but mostly it was just hours upon hours of us jamming - sometimes more coherently than others. In listening to this, the thing that struck me most was to hear the earliest iterations of songs that we still play now and have undergone such drastic changes, and in some cases the things that haven't changed at all in terms of parts and embellishments we play.
This idea is what I touched on in a previous post about why I love recording music, but hearing my own old material made me think about this in a different way. I waxed poetic about the art of recording and capturing truth in the audio to maintain the musicians' intention, but at the time I didn't connect that with myself.
Hearing myself playing on a recording and hearing the people whom I know very well, personally and musically, on a recording is an even more special look back into a moment in time because it's one that you know and can recreate more than just speculating about famous artists' time in the studio. I've always tied strong memories of times in my life with the music that I was listening to at the time and this is just a stronger extension of that.
Especially indicative are the jam sessions where we're all bringing our own recent tastes and experiences into the studio with us and melding them together through our own crafts. Some recordings, it's clear that I had been listening to a lot of Protest The Hero and the guys would have been into Gary Clarke Jr. and P-Funk, other times we would all be more or less on the same page stylistically, but in all cases we found a way to bring all of that together, like I said sometimes more coherently than others.