Sweet Lake Rock – Highlights of 2015 part 2
This series of blog posts will be about the highlights of my 2015. I want to tell you about something that gave me a lot of joy this past year – being a member of the band Sweet Lake Rock.
Joining the band
I actually joined Sweet Lake Rock by the ending of October 2014. From August onwards the band was looking for a new singer and a new bass player. Egbert is one of my best friends and I knew that he could sing. So I encouraged him to go onto an audition at Sweet Lake Rock. They loved him! Egbert became a member of the band in September 2014.
After that, they were still in search of a bass player. Other people else auditioned, but there was no chemistry. I was hesitant to apply. I knew Sweet Lake Rock was a really good band, having seem them many times, as my ex boyfriend was the previous bass player. However, 2014 had been a very difficult year for me and that’s why I actually just wanted to relax a bit in my free time. But I didn’t want to see a good band stop because they had no bass player. They didn’t seem to find the right person to fill the position. So I signed up for an audition to see if we would be a match.
Becoming a bass player
So I came in, hesitant. Even though I played guitar (electric, but especially accoustic) every day at that point, I had no experience playing the bass. I came in, having no bass guitar and having no experience playing the bass. I tried to play on the bass owned by the band coach for a bit and I liked it. I think I must have looked like a total noob. After my first audition, I could borrow a bass from my dear friend Tony. And I played some songs, even though I didn’t have a bass amplifier at home. Currently, I am saving money for a good amplifier. We played “Rain Down on me” by Kane. I felt some kind of magic. Even though I was shy still. I saw how the band reacted to me. Maybe they thought I was a bit of a timid person at first, but musically, we certainly got along right away! I loved the passion and the fun with which I saw Xander and Davy move around while playing.
Rick I allready knew: we had been in a band together like 3 years ago. He was allright in skill back then, but he had become great by now. And it was good to see Egbert, even though he was shy as well, hitting all the notes like there was no tomorrow.
“You better be good up there!”
I will skip a couple of months now. Our first performance was due soon. Davy and Xander were a bit sceptical. They didn’t know if they wanted to perform. Because Egbert and I were still a bit timid and Sweet Lake Rock had a name to live up to. So Egbert and I practiced together. I helped him with his singing. I listened to him sing and I stopped the music when I thought it would be better for him to correct a note and gave him tips and singing exercises. And we both practiced our performance, because quite frankly, we had no game. Before the first performance, Davy and Xander told me teasingly that I had to do it good, or else (but I saw the seriousness in their eyes). And here it was: our first performance in JJ Music House.
The crowd went wild, w00t!
Music competition; preliminaries
It went well, everybody was happy. Soon afterwards, we were asked to join the competition “HKZ-CKC Concours 2015” of the best musical act of our city Zoetermeer, the Netherlands. We wanted to. We had no high hopes. But I wanted to win so badly. I knew the competition was very good. The bands we competed against and the other musical essembles and solist were great. There were 150 to 200 entries in this competition. Egbert and me were still a bit shy on stage. So we worked, worked, worked, worked on it. I knew it was possible. I saw it. Our band coach, whom I respect a lot for his knowledge, told me that introverts like me should not be afraid to their temperament on stage. You can appear relaxed and give a very interesting performance anyways, even though you’re introverted. I think he’s right. But I was stubborn.
On stage, I want to flame. On stage I want to entertain. I want to jump around. I want to feel sexy on stage.
Some people that I studied were Axl Rose (Guns n’ Roses), Japanese rockbands, Joan Jett, Dinand of the band Kane and other great rock and non-rock band singers and musicians. I watched their energy, their drive. I wanted to feel that to. So I practiced. Together with Egbert, I practiced. It had been a long time since I wanted anything in life so badly as this.
The first round of the competition came around. We entered the theater. Only a handful of people was present; the judges of the music competition. The judges were dead silent as we entered. We performed and actually had a lot of fun on stage. The judges wrote something down and we went off stage again.
Later, we heard that we made it through the first round! That was a joyous moment.
A few weeks later, it was the day of the finale. We had to wait backstage for a while before it was our turn. We heard others who sounded great as well. The theater was sold out and more seats were placed, because people really wanted to see this finale. As we were called to come on stage we looked at eachother. Here goes nothing. Before that moment, I took some time alone in the ladies’ bathroom to ponder. I was quite nervous. After what I had been through in the previous year, I hoped for a good outcome. Sometimes, I still feel the presence of my grandmother who died in 2014, and I felt her presence at that moment. I asked her to guide me through.
We went on stage. I was not nervous anymore. I was excited. I wanted to have some fun out there. I saw the people everywhere. And I decided that together with the guys, I wanted to give them some entertainment that they could enjoy. We plugged in and started playing.
We won the competition for groups! We came forward to collect our prize and went to our seats again. After that, the outcome of the public vote (the audience could vote on their favourite act) was announced. I thought that the orchestra would win. I thought they had played well and they had a lot of devoted fans. But then we heard
“The winner of the public vote is… Sweet Lake Rock!”
I remember Xander looking at the rest of us saying: “How? How?” We hadn’t expected it at all. It was a great moment and funny too. I was very happy.
Rolling S.L. Rocks?
After winning this competition, some doors opened for us. We played at a few of local festivals (among others JijDoet twice, Rise & Shine, Zoetermeer Culinair) we played at parties and we played at a Sorority Prom last November. We even did an accoustic set at JJ Music House in the summer. I hope this will be the start of something great for us. For updates, check our website www.sweetlakerock.com