So I love The Rolling Stones, I love Bob Dylan. I guess I love “classic rock” although to call either of these acts “classic rock” is pretty lazy. So how did I end up in a punk rock band called House?
I met some dudes at my arts high school and we started jamming in my parents basement when they were away. House seemed to be the most appropriate band name based on our practice space. Plus, this was before the “house music” movement so now it’s a fun little bit of irony.
I guess growing up a gay, brown child of immigrants in Alabama resulted in my having some anger issues and punk rock was a really effective way for me to channel my anger without breaking any laws. Screaming into a microphone feels really good when you need to vent. On the contrary, if I’m working – whether that means cleaning carpets, washing dishes, or temping at a CPA office – listening to the invigorating Rolling Stones, calming Dylan or silly Beatles is an escape and inspiration for my own music.
I began to realize around the age of 17 that maybe “gifted” was conservative-school code for gay. I didn’t fit into any of the social norms, I didn’t have many male friends, I spent most of my time alone lost in thoughts, I dressed differently than my classmates, and I had different interests. While my male classmates talked about rocket ships, sports and trains and my female classmates talked about princesses, dance routines and Ace of Base I mostly sat by myself thinking about fast-forwarding through school.
My dear parents cared and took me out of school. The moment I arrived at the new school and noticed boys and girls mingling, talking about mostly the same things, and subscribing to individuation, I felt home. I met Derek in my study hall and when I noticed him drumming his pens against his desk, I asked if he wanted to jam sometime – on a whim as I’d never “jammed” before. He got his friend Gretchen involved because she was learning the guitar. We became a three-piece. And mind you, this was pre-White Stripes. Maybe? But a three-piece works, regardless!