rogerhumanbeing

 

rogerhumanbeingI started playing drums when I was 11 years old. My sunday school teacher gave me a drum kit to learn on. I started a band with my best friend Todd called Porkchops And Applesauce. I would play the drums really fast, alternating with slower beats, and he would sing, scream, yell along, sometimes playing guitar. We recorded everything that we did and it was all spontaneous. I drew up all of the cassette jackets, as if these albums were really being released.

At the same time, my brother Scott and I started doing random, spontaneous recordings also. We filled up several 90 minute cassettes. Our project was called The Freakin' Meatpunks. These projects allowed me to vent my angstĀ  as a youth, and also developed my ability to come up with song structures and melodies from left field.

My good friend Zach Johnson would come over with his guitar and we would play songs that he was learning in guitar lessons. We worked diligently on learning One by Metallica. This helped develop my ear. I began playing music with Kirk Watrous and Talbot Pray, which is what really ushered me into the Mystic scene.

My brother Scott got on bass and we became The Alexander Field. We played in the Mystic scene until we brought the band to Boston. My brother left the band to further school, and Jesse Shefferman joined up having been in another band with Talbot. After a year of Boston we broke up, and I was back in Connecticut.

I then joined Mona Gritch with Charley Eastman and Doug Hodges, and played bass for the first time. They took turns telling me pointers between songs. Eventually I could come up with some of my own parts. After that band I played drums for a $3 Dollar Depth Charge recording that Zach Johnson was doing.

I began writing my first songs on guitar at that time, which began my first front man position in The Ambertones. I worked very hard at song writing and lyrics. Eventually I got a call from C. Eastman telling me that he needed a drummer in New York for his new band On Dasher. Not feeling comfortable as a front man, and eager to work with Charley again, I moved to New York at the end of 1997. On Dasher played often in New York and grew me up a lot. When On Dasher ended, I at least knew that I belonged in New York. I picked up my guitar again.

In 1998 I had a number of songs written that I didn't think would ever leave my bedroom. Although, these new songs showed growth and progress. I played them on guitar along with a drum machine down in the basement of where I lived in Brooklyn. As a drummer, although recognizing the drum machine as a new approach, I felt that something was lacking. Just like all good ideas, I have trouble recalling how I came up with building the drum set up that I built. I set up the bass drum just like you would for a regular drum kit set up. I built a structure to keep the snare drum from sliding. I adjusted the stand, turning it down until the snare drum could be hit with a bass drum pedal. Before I knew it, I was kicking out beats and playing my songs. I had been in two bands with Charley Eastman and our third, The Jitters, was on the way out.

We had a spot that we were supposed to fill and after canceling, I spoke up about what I had been up to. I was told that I had to fill the spot, because it sounded too interesting. That night I realized that I didn't have a name to go by other than my regular name. Rich Freitas suggested rogerhumanbeing, because that's what I was called when I worked at The Emporium in Mystic. My boss's kid called me roger rabbit. You can see how that developed. As the project moved on and grew, I put to use everything that I had learned from being in so many bands on various instruments. For awhile I had my artist friend Steve sit on stage with me and act out characters as I played.

I have put together three CD's and played many New York spots. It has become an ongoing life-long project to put down and pick up again repeatedly.


rogerhumanbeing