July 19, 2019
I know, I know. It’s been a long time since my last post. It feels like forever since I’ve gone to shows like I used to. But, all this “time off” is VERY much justified.
On March 30th, I got a message from my friend, producer Rev. Tom Chandler of Last Ones Left – he informed me of a vacancy in a band I’d just seen a fortnight prior, at the Viper Room. OLD BLOOD’s vocalist, Feathers, decided to end her time with the band in order to move on to other pursuits. I immediately sent a message to the band’s manager and another great friend, Andrew Bansal of Metal Assault.
Andrew let me know when and where auditions would take place and what to prepare. I jumped into action!
Now, this all happened at the end of March, which, as someone who plays Irish music, is one of the busiest months of my year. While lots of gigs, late nights and loud vocals are lucrative they also take their toll. I was also practicing several other songs for my friends, Harry & Kat’s wedding, to be held on April 7th. Even in my final rehearsal before the nuptial day with Harry, I struggled to eek out portions of I Can’t Wait by NuShooz and I’m Comin’ Out by Diana Ross. But, I kept working through the speed bumps in my throat by hydrating, resting and vocalizing for rehabilitation.
On the night of April 4, I made the drive out to the OLD BLOOD rehearsal space and gave it my all. I wasn’t hugely aware of what the guys wanted to see, beyond what Feathers had established, so I made sure to be prepared vocally (traffic at 7pm gave me LOADS of time to warm up and rehearse) and mentally.
Over the last 5-or-so years, I’ve said YES to just about any musical opportunity that presented itself. These projects made me perpetually at the ready, honed my chops and kept music at the top of my priority list.
After my audition, I opened some Champagne and sent a message to Andrew to thank him for the opportunity, to which he replied with an invitation to come back and do a 5 song set as a callback! But first, there was a wedding to rock!!
By the time the wedding rolled around, I’d managed to get my chords back to about 85% of normal and a great time was had by all. I tried not to think too much about what I had to do four days later, so I listened to the wedding set list on the way there, but saved the OLD BLOOD list for on the way home. There was a lengthy detour on our return route, lending plenty of time to review the songs and cool my voice down after the festivities.
On April 11th, I once again took myself to Pomona to show my skills. This time, I was asked to present what was basically a full dress rehearsal, in stage dress and makeup. As soon as I’d gotten the call back, I’d ordered several items to make my attire more appropriate for the audition. Over the course of that week, only one item was delivered and it didn’t fit. So, I’d put together a jazzy get up from my own closet and makeup drawer and hoped for the best.
I TOTALLY FUCKED UP THE FIRST SONG.
Maybe my brain was still inching toward the studio, in traffic, on the freeway. Maybe I didn’t feel like I fully knew the song… no, I KNEW that one. But we moved on. I let the sting of initial failure roll off my brow like the sweat that had begun to appear there. I kept going – reminding myself how much I really dig the songs and what imagery they’d conjured the first time I’d heard them. I sang the remaining songs pretty well and finished knowing what I would’ve done differently and ready for whatever reaction would come.
When I sat down with the guys afterward, I was asked if I’d be able to learn the other two songs they have recorded, for the following week, and to be totally off-book. Wow! A THIRD audition? Sweet! I’d spent some time listening to all the songs they had available, so I was confident that after learning 5 new songs in the prior 2 weeks, I could easily tack on two more along with building a better performance.
When I got home, I once again thanked Andrew via Messenger, turned off the phone and sipped Champagne before turning in for the night.
Ever since hearing the late, great, Dr. Wayne Dyer discuss the idea of attracting desires by “assuming the feeling of the wish fulfilled,” I’ve made a point to celebrate whenever I’ve defined a goal and gone for it, before knowing the outcome. Hence, the bubbly. I invite the joy of achievement to come in and immediately begin making the upgrades active in my life.
I went to bed with visions of gigs at the Viper Room dancing in my head and slept better than I had in weeks.
The next morning, I turned the phone on, to find a message from Octopus, the bass player, saying “Welcome to OLD BLOOD”.
Thankfully, my bedroom has very high ceilings – I might have leapt through the roof if they weren’t!!
I immediately set about the task of making myself exactly who I need to be in this new project, releasing other time and money-consuming tasks that could hinder my progress and notifying my other musical families that I was moving on. I climbed into my virtual cocoon and began my transformation into LYNX.
Years ago, I wrote a manual for myself, detailing the steps and systems I need to follow to make life as a vocalist doable and sustainable. As a nutrition/lifestyle coach and food freak, much of this was focused on diet, exercise and daily habits. Pulling out this handwritten journal of ideas, I felt as though I was reading someone else’s words, like a textbook for a sustainable RockLife… I hope. I mean, it’s basically an organized jumble of ideas on how to continue to create and maintain health, based on what’s worked for me in the past, woven in with practice schedules, books to read, films, blogs and content to consume.
So, throughout the months of April, May and well into June, I’ve been building this new persona and learning how Lynx fits in my life. This has been a beautiful journey and has already entered a new phase. My first show with OLD BLOOD was at Callahan’s Pub in Azusa, on Saturday, June 15th, and went incredibly well! The room was full, the early bands were stellar and the response was invigoratingly positive. Even Lloyd Grant (Soloist from Metallica’s Hit The Lights) attended, saying we would’ve blown The Doors outta the water back in the day, and that my performance reminded him of the one and only Eartha Kitt! #purrfect
A week later, this journey continued with a show at The Old Towne Pub in Pasadena and while I felt totally prepared, I knew better than to be complacent. That week involved plenty of practice, work on some new songs and an extra Pilates session.
Those shows felt surprisingly natural, much like my rapport with the guys who make up OLD BLOOD. I feel like I’ve finally landed where I was meant to land and kicking ass in the process!!
Remember that dream of Viper Room gigs that tangoed through my sleeping head? It comes true tonight. Come on down, check us out and enjoy a thrilling night of hot n heavy rock n roll!! We’re on first, so come down early!!
It’s time to live my dream.