Early this year, I have decided to leave the band that I started to play out of passion and love for heavy metal before the end of 2013. Although we’re still in the process of putting the final touches on the album that has been taking so long to finish, there’s really nothing more I can offer to the guys. Don’t get me wrong – I love playing with them and have had memorable times with them as part of the 2006 Muziklaban Grand Finals and other gigs we’ve played for, but I honestly feel I’ve been a dead-weight in the band for so long. I practiced the guitar only hours before we started playing on stage, I never come up with new riffs, no tricks to show to the guys, just nothing to offer new and refreshing.
There was this time during the recording process that I was making mistakes everywhere with our songs. Imagine the songs you’ve been played for more than three years consistently, yet manage to let the notes ring too long, not muting the strings properly, plucking the wrong string at the wrong time – for people playing in a band right now, you’d understand how inexcusable this is.
Even before I got engaged to be married this year, leaving the band has always been the back of my mind. It was only when I suggested to our other guitarist of my intention of leaving made me want to not leave, at least for now. There is so much invested in this band, so many hours spent on empty bars, broken glasses, and shattered cups that smell of rum and gin combined that could have been used on something more. But I owe it to everybody to make the most out of the opportunity, to make this group whole as one of its founding members.
But I’ve grown up. Once you’ve been exposed to other things, your priorities understandably changes. You see things in a different perspective, and you make decision based off experiences that help you become the person you want to become. I still love heavy metal music more than how I make it appear to be, but at the same time, I do not want to be defined solely for my love for heavy metal, the black shirt, the angry face, the songs we’ve been playing. As people, we are more than just a moment in our lives that others see from us. We are a collection of experiences that move us to our destiny.
As it stands, being part of this group is no longer my destiny.
I’m a huge Slayer fan growing up, and I see myself as that short-haired corporate slave working a 9-5 job supporting a family of my own. To learn of Jeff Hanneman’s death was devastating, but to see this comics from Zen Pencils struck a chord in me.
I may be leaving the band soon, but heavy metal runs deep within me.
I’ll be raising childrem (hopefully) and trying my darnedest to become a loving and supportive husband through and through, and I won’t be touching my damn guitar for the longest time. But at one point in my future life, I’ll pick up the axe, buy fresh strings and an amp, warm up my fingers, run through some scales, and probably give the guys a call to jam for old time’s sake.
I can’t wait.