Singled Out: Kinky Rhino's Garage Roque (Blue Man Group)
"Garage Roque" is Kinky Rhino's first single from our upcoming debut EP. Furthermore, it is the first song I have written that has ever been released to the public, and I have been dreaming of doing this for nearly 20 years. I remember watching classmates of mine cover Nirvana's Aneurysm when I was in 6th or 7th grade, and I have wanted to do nothing but play rock music ever since. I have no idea where those kids learned to play, or how in the hell they were cool enough to play Nirvana at that age, but we were not cut of the same cloth, I needed serious help. I enrolled in my school's music program, but it offered no guitar instruction so it made sense that I became engulfed in the world of percussion. Throughout school I played drums in rock bands, symphonic bands, jazz ensembles, drum corps, and every other scenario I possibly could, eventually leading to my current gig with Blue Man Group.
I've been working for BMG for nearly ten years now and it's been an amazing experience, but all this time I've still just wanted what those kids had in middle school: pure rock and roll. So, last year, while on a break from touring, I set out to start writing music that the rest of the touring BMG band and I could play at clubs after work. I immediately became completely engulfed in this project. I spent every waking hour slaving over the songs. I was blowing off friends I hadn't seen for months and spending two days at a time locked in a rented rehearsal space because I could not stop, I had to get it done before it was time to hit the road again or I would never forgive myself.
The result is a 5-song self-titled EP on which I played every instrument and sang every word. After so many years of being someone else's drummer, I was finally realizing my dream. I had spent years thinking that I didn't have "the gift" or something. I thought I was a drummer and that was that, but I knew deep down that I wanted to create something on my own, I did not want to play other people's music forever. Drumming is fun, it is rewarding, and I'm not trying to put it down in anyway, it is the foundation of who I am, especially as a musician; but I've needed to start this band since I was 12, and I have finally done it.
At it's core, Kinky Rhino is my solo project, and it will remain that way for the time being. I would eventually like to find a solid lineup, but that's tough to even consider while knowing that the tour I am on with Blue Man is going to end and that the current lineup will have to go our separate ways. There are major upsides though… The situation I have found myself in gives me complete control of the band. Obviously, I defer to the other guys about things that affect us on a day to day basis, but in the big picture I am the boss. I can make decisions without having to call a band meeting, I can write this blog without having to get their approval on what I'm rambling about, and I can write the songs that I want to write. This newf-ound strength, and the life changes I have gone through making this debut EP, are what the first single is all about.
The lyrics in the chorus of "Garage Roque" basically state that I don't know where I'm going, but I do know that I'm never coming back. This is exactly how I feel, and this is exactly why I chose it to be the first single. I have never played guitar in a band, and I've never been a lead singer, but I like it and I'm going to keep going, I am changed. I spent way too long doubting myself, to a point where I may be too old to find any success outside of playing drums, but this is how it's going to be from now on, I'm just going to keep going. "Garage Roque" is a song that was written about the process of breaking free that was needed in order to create it in the first place. It's a song about itself.