I am currently listening to a rough copy of my band’s new album. It is sure to be our last album. I am 27; two of the other bandmates are at least my age, and engaged. One is getting married in September. They’re in another band with some other people we all know, and they are going on a little tour at the end of July across the Midwest. Something our band never conceived of doing.
They are the Ravenna Arsenal; we are Cadence Delicate. We were Cadence Delicate. A little band with large ideas from Kent, Ohio. We began with two guitarists who wanted to write something different. Something that had a touch of salsa, a touch of jazz. Something that rocked your ass off. Something that no one had ever heard before. Something an endless amount of other bands who came to the same end as we have tried to do.
Our first album, Sa, was ambitious to say the least. It was relentlessly complicated, controlled. It was also a naive, incoherent mess. It is still dear to me, though I find a lot of it hard to listen to these days. I still remember going to my first recording session after I had recorded a few test tracks to see if I had the goods to sing for them. They wanted me to sing. I had the range, the pipes, to make it happen. I had no idea what I was doing. I had no idea how bad I would sound on a raw recording.
Long story short, it turned out alright. Reviews read as a lot of the same. Reviews revealed the treacherous climb an unknown band can face and fail against if not strong enough. Another long story short, we were not strong enough.
This is my swan song for my band, one of what I am sure will be one of many requiems for it. I have come to terms with our demise; I have honestly seen it coming for years. I knew it could happen two years ago when I left for Michigan, but I was in a great deal of denial about it. I believed we could make it work.
I thought for these past few years the band would not work, or was doomed to fail because of our comfort level and our inability to stray from it. That may have been part of it, but not as damning as I once thought. Our failure came from our inability to be a band. To stay together. To have the desire to make this band become what it should have been.
Though this clip from The Ravenna Arsenal will not show it, these two guys are amazing guitarists. We tried – very hard – to prove that with Sa. This was our drummer. He was 18 when he came to the band, and he could handle everything thrown at him. If you listen to Sa a little bit, you’ll see there was talent coming from every part, every person – just, perhaps, poorly allocated.
Things keep changing, moving forward, moving towards a future I cannot claim with certainty. But at least we will have these two albums, regardless of what happens with the Arsenal.