Thursday, September 8, 2016

Heartstone: A Step Out of the Comfort Zone

Hey guys, Dana here. Last week, I threw in my two cents about cultural appropriation and how asinine it's become since we've landed in the mid 2010's...i.e the age of social media and political correctness. Tonight I got something different for you guys...this post is actually about what's happening with me and the music I've been working on. Not a lot of you know this, but I'm currently working on a project that I never thought I'd ever be a part's a little something called Heartstone.

The unofficial logo for Heartstone
Now before anyone starts jumping to conclusions, asking questions or spreading rumors, NO, I repeat, NO, nothing happened to Bending Over Backwards. No, I did not quit, and no, I never will quit. Bending Over Backwards is my baby and nothing will ever come between me and my baby. I'm helping out because that's what musicians do, no?

Anywho, Heartstone is a project that consists of myself as the bassist, my friend Matt Capitano behind the drums, Nick Martinez and Vladimir Kosonofv(his real name is Eric, he goes by this name on social media) as the two guitarrists, and finally, the founder of Heartstone, Pat Keenan as the lead vocalist. 

Heartstone is completely different from any kind of music I've ever played in my life. As long as I've been a bassist for the past soon-to-be 9 years, I've only played punk rock and it's all I honestly know. You know...the raw, loud, fast, short, simple, four-chord songs that made me who I am today. Never in a million years would I ever thought I'd try something different than punk rock. Heartstone, on the other hand, is hard rock/metal. Hey, a musician has got to grow by playing something different from what they're familiar with. It's the only way to give myself more confidence as well.

Pat originally called his band Truthful Dishonesty, and was made public at the end of last year and early into this year. All of his life he's always wanted to front a rockband. Pat's always wanted to be more than just a promoter for local band...he wanted to be up there with those local bands he shows unconditional and everlasting support for. Since early this year, I followed Pat's Facebook posts and saw that he got two guitarrists and a drummer, but no bassist. I never thought anything of it. I had my own band, practicing and playing shows. We never lost touch, though. Sometime in May, Pat asked me if I'd want to jam with him, Matt, and the two guitarrists at a rehearsal space in Deer Park sometime on a Saturday in June. I figured "what the hell, let's give it a try." I'm always up for a fun jam session! Let's see how it goes!

On June 18th, I walked into the rehearsal space in Deer Park with Matt, his girlfriend Rosalie, and Pat was there waiting for us. I met Eric, and we clicked immediately; not only as musicians, but as friends. We also realized how many mutual friends we have! Nick, however, couldn't make it that day, but went on with the rehearsal. Now, I got to be honest with you all, I was nervous. Like, to the point where it kept me awake at night. I walked into that studio not knowing one song that they've been working on for the past 5 or so months. In my my mind, I had to catch up on 5 months worth of material in just four hours. My legs turned to jelly and my mind was racing. I no idea what kind of music we would be playing, no idea what tuning the songs would be in, how long each song was, if there were any tempo changes, key changes, blah blah frickity blah! But guess what? The songs that were taught to me that day came naturally for me. I don't know how, since this was completely different from what I'm used to, but the chemistry between me and these dudes clicked perfectly.My mind was at ease, and I left that rehearsal studio smiling.

The next day, Pat messaged me and said that he was really impressed with how fast I learned the songs...and then asked if I would like to be the official bassist for his band. Now, I originally said no. I told him I was "a one band" kinda girl. And in all honesty, I am. If this was going to be a strict, once/twice a week rehearsal kind of band, this would not have worked. However, Pat re-assured me that this is just an every-now-and-then kind of gig. The practices would be based around all of our schedules since all of us have our own bands. Since he put it that way...I said yes. But here's the thing. I couldn't believe that out of all the bassists he knows, and has seen for many many years, he chose ME: the least experienced out of every bassist he knows, and has only played one genre of music. I'm still shocked, but I'm thrilled to be a part of something that is outside of my comfort zone.

At the next rehearsal, I met Nick. We had a much fuller sound with the complete band, and Pat's voice gained more confidence. The songs we worked on got tighter and tighter, and my anxiety significantly diminished. The name "Truthful Dishonesty" was then changed to Heartstone. Honestly, that name is much more memorable, I feel the name "Truthful Dishonesty" would be a good name for an EP.(Maybe take that into consideration, Pat?)

As of now, we have two songs: The Bitterness, and From Falling Apart, an instrumental we're currently working on, and a cover that has yet to be announced! Next rehearsal is this Saturday, September 10th.

So...I've been working with these dudes since the beginning of the summer, and get ready for this: We have our first show in October. You guessed it; October 14th at Backstage Pass in Ronkonkoma. We're kicking off that show as Heartstone's debut live performance. After that, I'm going double duty and playing a set with my own band, Bending Over Backwards...followed by Ashes to Oranges, then Vigil Antics, closing with Logan's Room. It's a show that you do not want to miss, and I hope to see you there. Please clear your schedule, mark your calendar, and hitchike your way to Ronkonkoma. As a matter of fact, Backstage Pass is located DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE RONKONKOMA TRAIN STATION so if you don't/can't drive, simply take the train.

Sometime after our debut show, we will record an album with Tom Douglas (the guy who produced my band's first album) and will keep you posted. If you like what you've read so far, please follow Heartstone's Facebook page:

Thank you for reading, and have a great weekend!

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