BioMake Believe is last year’s touring version of Joan of Arc. After years of constant line-up changes, continually rearranging the songs in different stylistic guises, Joan of Arc translated their songs last year into rock-band language. After 3 months of touring solidified their playing together, they returned home and decided to follow this impulse and write new songs with a more aggressive approach. But they all knew it had to be something different than Joan of Arc. For it to be represented as a true collaboration and reflect it’s totally different approach to songwriting and speak for itself, it had to shake whatever connotations the band name Joan of Arc had acquired.
They talked constantly about how the new band should operate and used the experiences of all their past bands to correct mistakes from the get go and apply the lessons learned.
#1 – would be a live band – all songs written as a band playing live.
#2 – no one was getting in unless they were down for the long haul – maintain a consistent line-up.
#3 – practice every day – well over 40 hours a week – if they’re lucky enough to get away with living outside of the dominant culture as much as they are, they would work hard to maintain and justify such a privilege.
#4 – no effect pedals
#5 – no over-dubs
#6 – songs would have to speak for the collective not the individual singer.
#7 – sound palette limited to classic rock band lineup to force new approaches to cliched shapes.
They worked in this way through the fall then threw most of the songs out and continued to work like this. Three of them live in a dank warehouse together and the one that doesn’t is usually the first one walking around there in the morning. This new disciplined approach has also helped re-invigorate the new Joan of Arc, which they all still play in. Now relieved by make-believe of rocking out impulses, Joan of Arc is free to be as pretty and far out as it can. The two bands balance each other.
Or Make Believe is Owls without drug problems, Friend/Enemy with a consistent lineup and a practice schedule. Or old timers Sam and Tim had to find young and hungry guys to match their enthusiasm.