As the novel coronavirus continues to prolongate the global quarantine, forcing people to stay at home and causing a virtual shutdown of all live music events, musicians around the world have more time to play their favorite instrument; whether it’s a drum kit, guitar, bass guitar or even their voice.
To have a stronger motivation to stay inside and play even better, you might want to remind yourself of musicians who were highly prepared to join their favorite bands as soon as they got the chance to audition. An extremely rare opportunity that may happen to you someday after the pandemic is over.
Henry Rollins – Black Flag (1981 – 1985)
Back in the early 80s, long before becoming one of the most distinctive punk rock icons, Henry Rollins faced the reality of living a completely normal, American workaholic life.
These were the key variables that lead him to join in his favorite band:
– he knew the lyrics
– he was able to scream
– he looked great on stage
– he went to countless Black Flag concerts
– he asked them to play specific song before hitting the road to get home
– guitarist let him sing on stage
According to Henry about a week after the band let him sing on stage, they called him and asked if he wanted to audition.
Henry told about this whole situation to his boss, who told him “well, this is your call. You can’t miss it.” The support of his employer, encouragement from his lifelong friend Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi) and his own determination made Rollins embark on a journey he could have never dreamt of. He took the long ride, played a couple of songs, and a few minutes later he landed the position of frontman.
Rollins played with Black Flag for four years. Later, he started his own group, Rollins Band, and a writing company, which he owns and writes for to this day.
In one of his numerous interviews, Henry stated “All I’ve got is tenacity, really. I don’t have the talent.” This personality trait is the main factor of why he still remains a real road dog, a publicist, a radio-host and a multi-functional performer with one hell of a resume.
Justin Chancellor – Tool (1995 – present)
In spite of having a very brief and unnotable biography, there are very few but important things that we know about this mysterious English musician. The main one is that Justin Chancellor started to play guitar when he was 7 years old, at some point he switched to bass, and never put it back ever since.
As he got older, he joined a progressive rock band Peach, a quartet that drew much inspiration and influence from Tool. Shortly after the release of the band’s debut “Giving a Birth to a Stone”, Tool’s original bassist Paul D’Amour left the band, which forced Tool’s hand in finding a replacement. The members of Tool and Peach knew each other, supposedly through sharing a scene, and by that time Justin had already moved to the U.S. He auditioned for Tool at the ripe age of 24, impressed the band, and landed the gig he still holds today.
Many online rock magazines constantly include him on their “Top-50 metal bass players” lists, mainly for the reasons that Justin stayed passionate about his instrument and focused on the quality of his play and his material. As Tool’s guitarist Adam Jones described him, Chancellor is a “riff-writing machine”
In an interview with Ernie Ball Justin stated, “Playing bass, playing music for me is the ultimate freedom. I’ve never been a great talker, which is ironic… when I play music—expressing myself is a lot easier for me playing the instrument I think.”
At this point, Tool fans around the world continue to celebrate the release of Tool’s long-awaited 5th full-length studio album Fear Inoculum. Part of their current tour will most likely be rescheduled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Head to the band’s website for the latest information.
Jay Weinberg – Slipknot (2014 – present)
Jay Weinberg is a great example of a musician who had a great connection with a band but turned out to have an even bigger amount of potential and dedication.
Being the son of well-respected drummer Max Weinberg, Jay got to meet a lot of successful musicians since his early years, and back in the early 2000s when Jay was 9, Slipknot was one of them. After Joey Jordison’s departure from Slipknot in 2013, the band started to look for a new drummer.
The rest of the story was told in detail by the man himself. Jay shared the story of how it all happened in Episode 5 of the Best Friends with Sam Pura podcast:
I finished school. Shortly after that, I got a call to come out and audition for something. I wasn’t told what it was gonna be, but just like, ‘can you please come out to LA and audition for this thing?’ with no other information other than that and it was like ‘well, yeah why wouldn’t I go check that out?’ Like, what’s the worst thing that could happen? I get a free flight to LA or something?
So I just kind of followed that and it was just like alright go in that room… there’s a drumset. You’re going to audition for Slipknot right now. And that was it. Like half of the band was there. We had become good friends over sixteen years. They watched me grow up as a person.
It was me, Jim [Root], Mick [Thomson], Corey [Taylor], and Clown. It was like, ‘let’s toss this kid into the ring and see whatever the fuck happens with this’, you know, with no expectations of what would happen. Because they didn’t know that I knew the band’s songs. They knew I loved the band but they didn’t really know to what extent I had studied the music.
Jay was extremely lucky, but he was also ready and could play even when unprepared. He impressed the veterans and was able to successfully fill in for Jordison, who was voted as metal’s best drummer multiple times.
In 2019 Slipknot gladdened their fans with their new chart-breaking record We Are Not Your Kind. As with Tool, Slipknot will likely reschedule the band’s tour due to the global health concerns. Visit Slipknot’s website for the latest information.
About the author: Zack Hargrove is a remote editor. His teammates at cheetahpapers.com and edupeet.com will help you with homework, so you could concentrate on important things you’ve been missing out before the pandemic. You can always find Zack on Twitter @zackhargrovejr.