My name is Dr. Henry James Behar MD. You can call me Jamie. I used to play guitar in a band called Saetia from 1997 to 1999. I wrote the bulk of the music for guitar and bass for that band. And now I'm going to systematically ruin all of it for all of you interested parties.
Well, not really.
The reason why I'm doing this blog is to indulge myself and the handful of you out there who would be interested in the nitty gritty nuts and bolts behind the scenes world according to me of Saetia. And also sometimes Off Minor, since I played guitar, sang, wrote ~ 99% of the music for guitar and bass and ultimately was the driving force in our implosion back in 2008. What can I say, maybe I'm an egomaniac. Regardless, I do think there is an interesting story to be told and maybe a handful of people are interested.
Oh, and I'll be posting music too.
So let's begin. Prepare your bladder for imminent release....
ANASARCA AND VENUS AND BACCHUS
Much to my chagrin, the kids love Venus and Bacchus. Oh how that song has tormented me for the past, jesus, 14 years?!?!?! Every now and then, when I'd be playing in Off Minor and invariably in a foul mood, as I am wont to be, some clown teetering on the edge of adolescence in the back of the shitty room in some shitty town in the middle of this shitty country would yell in the closest approximation I have ever heard of the voice of the squeaky voiced teen on The Simpsons:
"Venus and Bacchus!" (NB: Often Bacchus, pronounced Bah-kus, would be pronounced Batch-Us by aforementioned clown. Nails on a fucking chalkboard...)
So now, I will get my revenge.
I wrote the music for Venus and Bacchus as what would become the second song Saetia ever wrote before we actually even started. To be fair, the bridge was written by our bassist Alex Madara (RIP), if my memory serves me correctly. But I digress, I wrote it while I was still playing in a band called Coercion. However, by "wrote" I mean, well, plagiarized. I created that riff while attempting to figure out a song called East Bunk Hill by a band called Anasarca.
Now, a little history: So Saetia began when Billy Werner, a fellow student at NYU, and I became well acquainted through our involvement in hardcore in and around New York City back in the mid-90's. I was playing in a frankly HORRIBLE sXe band called Coercion. Billy approached me, I swear I remember it like it was yesterday, at the WNYU hardcore radio show Crucial Chaos, which my friends Dave and Rachel were DJing at the time, and said "Hey, lets do a band." We had, I believe, three practices with three different wonky line-ups before solidifying something. The first line-up was hell-bent on playing metallic hardcore a la Converge or Overcast. The problem being none of the musicians involved, myself including, were remotely talented enough to do so. The second line-up was hell-bent on playing AWFUL sXe hardcore a la Cornerstone or Halfmast. This line-up featured Billy, myself, Alex on bass and our good friend Meg on drums. We wrote one song and it was a wretched endeavor to say the least. After that practice, Alex and I were walking back to my parents house with Meg and talking about soda or board games or whatever sXe kids talked about back then. At one point I said, "What I'd REALLY want to do, musically; Anasarca" Alex exploded. It turned out that he knew all the guys in Anasarca from high school. So this bizarre coincidence ended up, in a way, being the catalyst that directed us towards playing the style of music we would ultimately become infamous for playing. The third and final line-up was the aforementioned group, minus Meg, with another NYU student named Greg Drudy who we thought could play drums but we weren't sure and Billy's old friend Adam Marino playing guitar. We chose the named Saetia as a misspelling and mispronunciation of the title of a Miles Davis song from Sketches of Spain.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. In attempting to learn how to play East Bunk Hill, I came up with the plastic made in China version that you might know as Venus And Bacchus. You want proof? Listen to the the first 2 seconds of the each song back to back. It's unmistakable because it was deliberate. Thank goodness most hardcore kids continue to be so completely tone deaf that they never notice.
I had the enormous privilege of booking a show for Anasarca with my old band Coercion at ABC No Rio back in 1996. They were truly incredible, unbelievable musicianship, incredible showmanship. They served as the Platonic form for emotional hardcore for every band I did that tried to do that kind of shit. As I listen to the Anasarca 7'' right now, it still gives me moosebumps. If you haven't heard this before, you need to get a respectable fucking haircut.
Alright, so I hope you all enjoyed that. Or that it horrified you into a coma. I'll be back next week to further stroke my ego and do more damage. In the meantime, to further both those causes, I should mention that I am currently in two bands.
The first is called Olde Ghost and it features current old turds and former members of Yum Yum Tree, Books Lie, Your Adversary, Excite Bike, Guilt Trip and yours truly. Other link. And one for Band Camp.
The second is called The Year Is One. I'll have more information regarding that project as it becomes available.