This is the Out of
Bounds interview that was in Issue II of Big Time Music Trade Magazine
in July of 1997. Since then Bob Bachand has passed away.
OUT OF BOUNDS
LYNN-ANN CRISCI : CONGAS
BOB BACHAND : ACOUSTIC GUITAR
ROB ROBERTSON : BASS GUITAR
DAVE DOW : GUITAR
MARK HARRIS : DRUMS ( Absent.)
Mailing list : P.O. Box XXX, In care of Out of Bounds, or Sunday Driver, Hallowell Me, 04347
BIG TIME : Can you explain to our readers why you use tape on your hands while playing?
: I highly recommend surgical tape over masking tape. Duct
tape is the cure all for anything when a musician is in a pinch.
The heat created by the drums while playing at speeds with hand
drumming drys out the skin. This happens to the degree that your
hands turn white, crack, split at the seams, and blood if you don't
: I went to school at U.M.A. and took lessons from Al Degatado,
for drumming and Margarette Juneaman for vocals. I got an
Associates Degree there in 1991. My father is a musician, so I
studied with him vocally.
ROBERTSON : I went to U.M.A. for two years, didn't
gradutate for drums. I play drums and I play bass in the Out of
Bounds band. I have played drums for the Waiters, Go-Joe and
other bands who perform at The Wharf, plus free-lance gigs. I
used to play drums for Fat Alice, The Freeloaders, The Weasels,
Wavebreakers, and this is my first bass band. I teach a little drums
right now. I don't have a spot right now, and I've been going to
people's houses and teaching private lessons. Once I have a
space, I will push it more and teach for a couple of days per week.
: I'm also a teacher, and I teach rhythmic breathing with hand
drumming. I'll be doing a seminar on Sunday during the Common
Ground Fair. It takes place at the end of the summer and it's
like the 3rd weekend in September. I'll be there Sunday from 2
p.m. to 3 p.m. at the whole life tent. I'll be doing a seminar on
rhythmic breathing for a Yoga relaxation technique.
: I've played in many bands. A few of them were Route 32,
Kayla Shake, The Dow McKenna Band, which was the Terrio brothers.
: Hi, I'm Bob, I drove by U.M.A. once. (Laughs.)
Actually Dave's doing a really nice job. Dave's the first
guitarist that we've had for a really long time. We used to go
through a bunch of different musicians; we scare everybody away.
We haven't used the same musicians except for the last 6-8
months. Dave is one of the first ones to last a long time with
us. We just finished a demo tape, which took an awful long time
to get done.
BIG TIME : What kind of problems does the band encounter?
: We have four vans between the band, and we still don't have a ride
sometimes. The reason is they've all been gone and broken down at
the shop at the same time. AAA loves us, we get Christmas cards.
: They don't love us that much. I remember them dumping our
other gig mobile into the river. They said it was an
accident. It unhooked in front of The Wharf, rolled right by and
fell into the river. The first song on the Sunday Driver album,
(Lynn and Bob's Duo.) was Potholes and Speed bumps, and is about
that. It was AAA+. That was the plus I guess.
It was pretty the way it rolled. It was in good condition, and it
was all lined up and everything. It rolled a straight line,
missed the telephone pole, missed the sign, and fell right into the
river; a perfect straight line. The van wasn't loaded with
equipment. It actually just had a minor problem and it was being
towed to get it fixed.
I think that's what scared away our guitarists. You know how
Spinal Tap lost their drummers all the time? We have that with
guitarists. Guitarist after guitarist would just disappear.
They would be there at rehearsal and the next night we had a gig, and
they wouldn't be there.
BIG TIME : What makes it a challenge to play in this band?
DAVE : the key is to not rehearse.
ROB : If you rehearse, you end up hanging out with people, and then when you do, you start to like them.
LYNN : We never thought
about that and Dave. Wow! Every other guitarist that left, we had
rehearsal. We never had rehearsal with Dave. If we did, he would have
been out of here. Dave thinks well enough on his feet. All the other
guitarists that might have been to U.M.A., or driven by it more than
once, they had to have the sheet music. It had to be just written out,
"just so," for them or they wouldn't get it. With Dave we can say:
"Oh, we changed this key last night," or, "We just changed this key 5
minutes ago, because, we decided to change it." We are never the same
twice, that's part of our reputation. You never know what to expect
from us. We never know what to expect. Dave just takes a look at Bob's
guitar and says: "O.K., that's a G, that's a C, I'm right on it."
ROB : He knows to watch Bob, and not listen to what I have to tell him. (Laughs.)
BOB : That's because Lynn and I have a 500-600 song list.
DAVE : It's
discouraging. If you go to rehearsal and see a lot of songs and
practice them all. It gets very discouraging.
BOB : Yeah,
we would like to rehearse, but we have to have jobs. You don't
get paid that much for playing music.
LYNN : And we really can't afford to lose Dave at this point and risk it.
BOB : No, I don't
think... I really don't agree with that. (Laughs.) What's been real
important in this band is loyalty. It's people hanging with us for a
while and working with it. We've gone through a bunch of people, and
they would al start with us, to then leave us and join another band.
Which is O.K., but we started to feel like training camp.
LYNN : (Laughs,) The training band.
ROB : Play Mr. Jones in E flat, and you can play with anybody.
BOB : Lynn and I are
capable at any point of throwing our something weird; something that
nobody knows, from left field. We do it all the time, we don't mean to,
but we just can't help it.
ROB : The key is to turn down when that happens.
LYNN : They cringe when
they hear the words on stage: "Oh, did you have a burning desire..."
and one of us would say : "Oh I feel like playing this song tonight."
But, none of us have done that song. (Reassuring and smoothing) Oh it
doesn't matter...It doesn't matter. (Laughs.)
DAVE : I have my own capo in my head. (Band breaks out laughing.)BOB : We change a lotof
keys on songs. We do this with our own style, our own tempo and our
little touch with it. Often Dave has to convert it on stage in his
head. He has to transpose chords and things like that.
LYNN : Bob can put a
capo on his guitar neck. We say we want to change the key and Bob
says: "O.K., I'll just put on a capo and move it." Dave doesn't have a
capo, so he's transposing in his head trying to figure out all the new
chords, as he is playing.
BOB : Yeah mostly guitarists don't use a capo, because they are using the whole neck.
LYNN : We should mention
in his absence that Mark Harris is our drummer. (Group laughing.) I'm
not sure where he is, and we hope this is not another Spinal Tap thing
happening. (Laughs.) He said he was going to be here. (Mark did show
up at the gig, after the interview was done. -Papa.)
ROB : He drove by U.M.A. and stopped.
BIG TIME : Well he's only 4 credits or 4 classes short of receiving a Bachelors degree.
LYNN : Right.
ROB : I'm just two classes short. They're just really hard classes.
BOB : Drop-outs. (Laughs.)
BIG TIME : What was the transition like switching from drums to bass, since they are both rhythmic instruments?
ROB : I did a lot of
playing at home, before I ever attempted to play with anyone else, a lot
of playing with records. It's not that far removed from playing
drums. The difference is the notes. You have to worry about being in
the right key, where you don't while playing drums. It's not as much of
a difference as you might think. My background in drums helped me
learn bass faster. I think playing bass has also helped my
drumming. It's probably more so, than playing drums has helped me play
bass. Knowing what a bass player is capable of, helps my drumming lock
into that. The bass player and drummer should know what the other is
going to do at any given moment. If I play something on drums that the
bass player can't rhymically keep up with, and it's going to get all
mushy, you don't do that, - as much. It taught me to play my drums a
lot less; not necessarily try to play every note the bass player is
playing. It's just complementing and accenting certain notes that he's
LYNN : I think that's
another bottom line too. That's the key to being spontaneous, everyone
else has to listen, really listen to everyone else on the stage at all
times. You can tell immediately when somebody's gone off on the split
in their own head and they are not paying attention. They will be the
only person if the groove changes, that's still on the original thing
and hasn't changed at all. The whole song could end, and sometimes,
someone is still playing 2 or 3 more notes.
BOB : We can get subtle
all of a sudden, or drop down, pick up, and do a lot of medley things,
where stuff changes. It's not easy stuff and like Lynn said, you have
to be real communicative, as much as you possible can on stage. That's
real hard because people are on the end of the stage and your trying to
find something to throw at them to get their attention. It's noisy,
it's smoky, and it's hard to communicate. You have to be open, flexible
and not have a big ego. You can't have a big Ego and be in a band,
because your going to flow right over each other. It's real important,
because lead guitarist's tend to be flashy, and Dave's not flashy at
DAVE : I think guitar
has become very passe. Where flashy guitar is sort of like what Disco
music was during the early '80's. No one want to hear someone put their
foot on the monitor and play a thousand notes.
BIG TIME : Do you think
the local music scene has changed to the point, that in, possibly 5
years this area might be on the map of the music industry?
ROB : This area has been
underrated. From my experience, this area has more talent per-capita
musically, than anywhere else I've been. I lived in Portland for quite a
while and Portland has been heralded as this amazing music scene.
Yeah, there are some really good bands and there are some really good
players. There are also ten times as many bad players and really bad
bands. It's just a lot of people are down there. There aren't a lot of
people up here and the majority of the people that play, can play
LYNN : Right, what we got is the cream of the crop.
ROB : I don't know if
Hallowell will ever be a music Mecca. I don't think it's the next
Seattle. I hope it's not the next Seattle.
LYNN : The Wharf is home to a lot of good musicians.
ROB : I would like to
see local bands get their dues, as far as, the Boneheads should have
their own record deal. If that happens, I don't want this town to
change. I don't want 500 more musicians to move into this town. You
know, I need gigs.
LYNN : Yeah, you know
right now it's so comfortable here. They know whoever is playing at the
Wharf, because everyone plays with everyone and changes the name of the
"new bands," that play that night. They know, they can walk in, walk
up to the stage and sit in with who-ever is playing. They know it's
cool. Nobody is stepping on anybody's toes and it's one big family. I
think if it expanded too much, that you wouldn't have that close-knit
security. I think it would be a lot looser ties, than it is now.
ROB : I also think that
there is a little bit of a problem, that it takes you a while to get
your foot in the door. It's kind of a clique, and maybe it is, but I
think it's just Maine. It's a small town in Maine and people are a
little "stand-offish." I think if all kinds of people moved in from the
city, the musicians might not be welcomed with open arms. You have to
prove yourself a little bit. You have to earn it and maybe that is not
LYNN : You're right,
it's a hard thing to break into. I'm not originally from here. When I
first went to school, I didn't know anybody, I didn't feel comfortable
with anybody; and I didn't feel comfortable with anybody at that time
holding our their hand saying: "Oh come play with me." It was because I
was an outsider. It's not until you meet some of the people who're
inside the loop and get introduced around, then your welcomed. Before
that, you're on the outside looking in, to the Grandfathers like Kenny
ROB : You also got to
just do it. You got to come to the jam on Monday night and you got to
say, "I play." Get up there and play. You might get a little critiqued
by the people, but if you got the chops...
LYNN : I think that
feeds back to what you were saying before, that's true. You were saying
Portland may have more musicians, but as much as they might have a lot
of great musicians, they have a lot of bad musicians too. Here, I think
they critique a lot more than there. I think that's why the musicians
are as good as they are. Everyone knows that when you get up on that
stage to play, everyone is giving you all their attention. They are
listening, they are not just having their drink, playing darts, and
ignoring you. they know every note you are playing and every word you
sing. I don't think people who haven't practiced their parts, get time
in, get up to play.BOB : I would think it's
not that unusual for clubs to go through some sort of thing to get in
the door somehow. It's just that the Wharf is still here. I mean Lynn
and I have worked on some clubs for 6 months and by the time we got
through to book a show, they're closing, or they changed their format,
or they've gone to Karaoke.
DAVE : You can come on
some Mondays and see the best players you've even seen. I played here
one night and there was Roger Sampson who plays with the Boneheads. He
probably is one f the best guitar players in Maine or anywhere I've
seen. I play guitar left handed, He plays my guitar better than I do.
He can turn my guitar around and play good. That guy is very good.
ROB : I think I would be hard pressed to find someone better.
DAVE : And there's more than that one guy around.
ROB : When Lynn and I go
out, because we play all over New England, we go to other clubs to
check out other bands. We think some bands with incredible billing were
not as good as the Monday night jam at the Wharf. I do think it's a
place where the publicity isn't out and the word's not out. I also
think of the Wharf as a nurturing kind of place. It's kind of like the
Beatles Cavern club. It's underground, it can get real hot & sweaty
and really pumping. It's also a nurturing kind of place. It hatches a
lot of musicians & groups and sends them out. The Wharfs' always
been dedicated to live music here every night, except when there's
floods. A lot of bands have polished up their stuff here. A lot of the
bands meet here. I met Lynn here 4 years ago.
BIG TIME : Are there any other changes in the music scene that don't concern the Wharf?
ROB : I think overall
the music scene has become harder. Like Bob said, clubs don't stick to
anything for lone. They say we're going to do bands for 6 months. They
don't make a million dollars, and they decided to do Karaoke or Joe
D.J., with the big smoke show. It's an investment, they think music is a
huge investment. They don't think a D.J. is a very big investment,
LYNN : The D.J. is
getting paid twice as much as the musicians were. A fallacy is that
musicians make a lot of money. I make now what my dad made as a
musician per night. I make the same now on average. That's kind of
sad. He used to teach guitar, accordion, and piano when he went to Hart
School of Music in Connecticut.
ROB : I've been playing music professionally for 15 years, and I don't see my wages skyrocketing to any new levels.
DAVE : When I first
started playing professionally at the age of 18, all my friends who were
21, were going into bars. Now 10 years later, all friends still go to
bars, but, where are all the kids now who are 21? I don't see them.
It's like it hasn't rolled over to whatever. Either what we are doing
for music doesn't appeal to that crowd, or what have you.
ROB : They go to dance
clubs with DJ's because they are the MTV generation. They want it just
like the record, they want to watch the video while dancing. They don't
want to watch a bunch of people they don't know, playing songs they
might know and different from what they are used to. I think bars have
lost a lot of business just because of the tougher drunk driving laws.
BOB : Live music has
been treated too much as though musicians are jukeboxes. Live music is
then treated as something you can turn on and off. There's a lot more
spirit, life, passion, and a heck of a lot more work involved. I think
clubs in their drive to make more money, have treated musicians in that
way. They do this by not spending money for the advertising, not
supporting enthusiastically the people who are playing there, and
brushing them off as through they are jukeboxes. I think clubs are
going to have to come up with a way to provide transportation for some
LYNN : Absolutely! The
Tipsy Taxis. People have some unrealistic expectations. The music
scene has expanded so much. 50 years ago, there were the musical stars
you had, and that was it. It was a fairly limited thing. Nowadays,
there are hundreds of thousands of musical idols, there are just so
many. People just walk up to the stage on a nightly basis and say: "
Well, don't you know any Joe Maria Smith? Everyone knows them!" Well,
they could be some cult idol for this person, but you can't know every
song by every person. They just expect you to be a jukebox; put the
dollar in, and that's it. The thing is DJ's can do this.
BOB : Everyone at some
point has done the same type of music and you want to get away from
that. I don't want to put Van Morrison down, but too often music starts
with Brown eyed girl, and works backwards from there. In a sense everyone wants that and Freebird.
That was great, and it's great stuff, but as a band you want to move
beyond that. That becomes part of it too, ho much you can get away
from doing the basic stuff. I told Don Mc Clean in Camden once that I
would never play American Pie, and Lynn and I have refused to do that as
a duo. A few others like Me and Bobby McGee, just because they have
been overdone so much. That's part of what clubs have a responsibility
for, is to be somewhat artistic and grow somewhat. You can do the same
20 songs every night and you'll be fine. It then becomes a risk to
LYNN : I don't care if
it's a live version, it's just not the same as going to see live music.
It's always that element of you never know what's going to happen.
It's like going to see some kind of stunt man, or a magician. You never
know if they are going to pull the trick off. With Out of Bounds, you
never know if we are going to get through the tune or not. (Laughs
Uproariously.) Or where we are going to end it, because we don't really
even know. (Laughs.)
DAVE : If you don't have
a valley, there is no peak to look up to. If you stay in the
mediocrity, you stay at one level, and you never see a peak.
BOB : I like to ask
people to support live music enthusiastically, check it out. Support
those places that support live music. It's a lot of work, people are
putting their heart and soul into it.