Me and my old man are eating Richie's Pizza, just on the opposite side of the block from where the show is going to take place. Counting down the minutes. Thirty. Twenty. Fifteen. We're talking music, like anyone might do before a concert. He's never seen a "black metal" band live, but it's not exactly new to him either. He talks with me about his old recording studio. How he used to record local metal and reggae acts with a friend. He tells me how, one evening, a black metal band came in to record. Before getting to work, the vocalist (they aren't singers, let's be real) drank a concoction of green tea, lemon juice and honey. When dad asked why, his response was simple.
"Screaming will blow out your voice, dude." he replied.
Turns out, most metal bands don't rely on screaming. Rather, they sing (hehe) on the chromatic scale. Seizing (or tightening, for a lack of a better term) their vocal chords to sound as if they were actually belching out a foul cry. The tea serves to help soothe and open up their throat and to make this procedure (and switching between notes), well, easier. Over the years, I've seen my dad pick apart metal bands for this. Not criticizing them, he loves the genre too much, but it is interesting to listen to him speak.
A few hours later and we're driving back. The show was intense and the energy was something I needed in that moment. "Sunbather' has always been a personal song to me. Seeing how it's written about the very town I was born in; San Luis Obispo. How it's financially unobtainable in today's climate and how you can only look at such beauty as a tourist. Despite it being the place I call home. (a wee bit of this is just my interpretation obviously) My father looked a bit dazed and frazzled. He only got more perplexed when we starting talking about George Clark's songwriting and the subjects he tends to write about, especially on Sunbather. I asked him if he was alright.
"Yeah." he replied.
"It's just...he's actually screaming up there." he said amazed.