Super Sunday Hamster Blender Blog

26 May 2007

The Creative Process of Disbelief

In about a year-and-a-half, Super Sunday Hamster Blender has recorded about 30 original songs. Quite impressive, eh? Now I know what you’re thinking – “Yeah, but they all su…” Hey, hold on; I said, I know what you’re thinking, and the answer to your question of “how do you guys do it?” is quite simple. We are easily inspired, and easily-ier amused. Plus, we have many great sources of both inspiration and amusement that creates this unfathomably deep cavern of song-writing expertise and belching. These sources include -

Let the Drummer Get Wicked

Our drummer, Ray, is usually the first one to arrive at Gene’s house for our Thursday night song-writing sessions, often appearing before even Gene (in Gene’s defense, he is typically embroiled in a project similar in size to the Hoover Dam, but with more sheet metal). The rest of us will saunter in as Ray is warming up on the skins (that’s slang for drums, or dehumidifier), and this will serve as the basis for a new song. Wires and Paste and Security of the First Person were both born from the fertile ground of Ray’s creationistic impulses and cretinistic poundings. There is nothing quite like walking in, hearing the beat, and exclaiming “that’s our next song!” right after we exclaim “holy shit, that’s the Hoover Dam!”

Let the Drummer Stay Home

Occasionally, Ray won’t be able to make a practice (in Ray’s defense, he’s usually trapped within the sheet metal of one of Gene’s projects). The rest of the band will still meet to try and cobble a song together in spite of the drummer-less handicap. It’s that never-say-die attitude we possess. That and we are bored and lonely. Anyway, we try to replace Ray as best we can. Gene filled in admirably on Always Never, a drum machine was employed for Capital Dance Floor, and Jim – despite offending percussionists and Native Americans alike with his warpath facsimile of trying to keep a beat – thumped his way through Abortion Colonel Klink. It is this non-standard, drummer-impaired constraint that results in something unconventional, something intriguing, and something with severe timing issues.

Follow Dan’s Tangents (or Dangents)

Frequently, as the band is embroiled in writing a song, and going through the arduous process of assembling its structure of verses, choruses, bridges, intros, outros, arpeggios and fromaggios, Dan will begin playing a riff completely foreign to the song in process. It’s as if he enters this dream-like parallel plane of transcendental clarity and spiritual kismet, totally at one with the ubiquitous nature of the universe and his own personal celestial self-awareness, complete with Asian girls in schoolgirl outfits. The songs My Demography and this week’s release of I’m Gonna Grow Up Into an Old Man Who Stands in the Post Office Line Complaining About the Price of Stamps and Slow Service both were derived from his stylistic ambling. While his interruptive meanderings tend to distract from the task at hand, the rest of the band is supportive. I mean, Asian girls in schoolgirl outfits…

Everything Old is New Again

We first began to play as a band about ten years ago, although we didn’t record much since we were only amateurs (we have since turned professional, indicating that we make money, but we have eschewed profiteering in lieu of maintaining integrity, camaraderie, and pitiful financial management). However, the tunes remained in our heads, on scraps of paper, and in the New Testament. Songs like Roll Over, Push Isolation, Screwed, and To Death were all penned years ago and simply updated to match the positive and progressive socio-political changes that have occurred since a Bush invaded Iraq a decade ago (oh, wait, dammit….)

Follow Our Personal Jesus – Genesus

When we hit writer’s block, we always have our spiritual bass player and sugar-sweet mechanic to fall back on – Gene. How many times have we reached into Gene’s life to pull out a theme, an idea, or just a necessary line? Or a dead mouse? For example, it was Gene who uttered the lyric “I don’t know where to draw the line anymore” which inspired an entire song (Lines). OK, so the song wasn’t about Gene, but he did give us one good line, which is much more than most of the current presidential candidates can do. The song Al Dean is about one of Gene’s friends. He also inspired old-band favorites Not There (about one of Gene’s ex-bosses) and Fix the Door (about one of Gene’s ex-garage doors). The only current drawback is that Gene left his job and is self-employed, and is happier than we have ever seen him. His lack of complaining may stunt our songwriting process. I don’t think we can bring ourselves around to writing songs called You Guys Had to Work Today? I Took a Ride on My Harley or The Door is Finally Fixed or Al Dean, My Golden Sunshine Lover.

OK, maybe the last one we can write, as long as Al is wearing a schoolgirl outfit.