To me determining the line-up of the perfect band would be based on identifying who carries the distinction of being at the top of the food chain, the ‘Kings’ and/or ‘Queens’ of their respective hill. Whatever each band member brings to the table, it rightfully ought to be the best their musical genre, skill or style has to offer, but also in the context of musical relativity as well as in terms of how they will best compliment the band’s principle singer-songwriter(s) or leader(s). To that end, I herein humbly do submit my own take on the ideal perfect band.
To start a band, why not lay the foundation for the group by starting from the top with my favorite leading members of my favorite band of all time who just so happen to also be heralded as the greatest songwriting duo in history? I am talking, of course, about John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles on lead guitar and on bass, respectively.
But, as many a professional baseball team has taught us, the team captains can’t do it all. You need position players, a strong pitcher rotation, utility players, role players, pinch hitters… It takes a team, working together and supporting one another to win and to win big. So, on rhythm guitar, I have none other than Rivers Cuomo from Weezer. This is a savvy addition to my line-up in that A. Rivers best work seems to come when he, himself, or an influential 2nd or 3rd party (such as fans or his record label) is holding him accountable in the self-motivating of his immensely talented natural songwriting ability. B. He would easily bond with Lennon and McCartney over their mutual love for Buddy Holly and The Crickets, and C. He has harmony and melody chops to boot and what’s more, Rivers doesn’t solely represent the Weezer sound alone, but he also and especially possesses strong dynamic influences from four very major (equally successful)acts in their own right, such as The Pixies, Nirvana, Green Day and The Cars.
In this case, drums are a no-brainer. Dave Grohl brings immaculate fundamental timing which will complement the song-structure of the band’s music well, and he also brings Nirvana and Foo Fighter styles of songwriting, collaborative experience with McCartney as well as a notable down-to-Earth punk rock background in addition to his percussion contributions.
Providing keys would be none other than the genius behind The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson himself. Who better to bring songwriting, harmonizing, instrumental and production savvy to complement that of his creative counterparts in McCartney and Lennon… Also, Brian would potentially be a good fit personality-wise, offering commonalities with Rivers.
Two of the most beautiful and haunting voices in the history of independent rock music, whose simple approach yet smooth, dynamic style and harmonies remain stuck in your head long after a song has concluded. Bethany’s natural songwriting ability will serve the band well in the creative process while nurturing her growth as a songwriter. Both she and Kim will be in a no-pressure position where they can feel comfortable and confident to contribute as needed while still being kindly challenged to bring their best to the table during performances with their band mates and in recording sessions by Wilson. Not to mention the benefit of Bethany’s prior experiences with Cuomo and Wilson as well as the benefit of having the writers of some of the most memorable bass-lines in history working together in McCartney and Deal. Each member will be surrounded with multiple primary influences on their own music, not to mention those who have been influenced by another member’s music serving as a catalyst for opening up entirely new possibilities creatively.
The task of putting together a ‘best’ or ‘perfect’ band line-up can become very subjective and even illogical if the right things are not taken into consideration nor the correct approach applied. Pairing personalities and commonalities are as valuable to the structuring of the band instrumentally. Possibly even higher of a priority in that it both lays the foundation for the band itself as well as adversely affects the creative potential and success of said line-up. It is therefore vitally important to not approach such a task in a way so one-dimensional as to just throw your favorite musicians in a bucket together based on something as surface-deep as personal preference or opinion. One must look at the bigger picture in order to take a viewpoint from which one might see and account for where the perfect fit lies for each piece in the puzzle of the perfect band in a way that trains one’s focus and brings the big picture into perspective. So there you have it! My perfect storm of talents combined together in the relational mixing bowl of the musical creative process. That is my winning team. That is my perfect band.
Who would make up YOUR perfect band? Tell us in the comments below!
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