Let me tell you a little bit about my friends and bandmates.
It all started with Steve and Kevin. Along with a couple of other friends, they started a band called Lost Giants in 2016 as a tribute to Steve’s brother Chris, who had just died unexpectedly. I joined the group in late 2016, and that morphed into Flaming Bagpipes. Bryan became our drummer in early 2018 and we changed our name to Bent & Bruised. We’ve been rocking out ever since.
Steve is the driving force behind the band, both as our bass player and as a constant source of inspiration. He has a musical background, but had never picked up a stringed instrument until three years ago. He continues to improve as a bassist, partly through natural musical ability and partly because he never puts the damn thing down (according to his wife). To hear him play is to witness true musical fire and grit. Steve imbues everything he does with passion, and his music is no different.
Bryan is the backbone of our little project. Having played in many bands, his experience has been invaluable to us. There isn’t a rhythmic pattern that he can’t play, and as a long-time veteran of the gig scene in Tulsa as well as being a small business owner, Bryan knows business as well as the inner workings of being a band in Tulsa, inside and out. The consummate pro, we would only be half the band we are now without his steady hand on the drum kit.
Kevin is the spiritual leader of the band. As lead guitarist and vocalist, it is his vision of what a band should be that guides us. His musical acumen is second-to-none, and he is certainly the most gifted and talented guitarist I’ve had the privilege to play with, which is saying a lot. Kevin’s attention to detail, while oft-times frustrating to the rest of us, always brings out the best in everyone. Without his vision and experience of playing in a band in college, the rest of us would just be a bunch of guys making noise in the garage. If Steve is the lifeblood and Bryan is the backbone, Kevin is the heart of band.
The thing I love most about hanging with these guys as that we are truly greater than the sum of our parts, both musically and as human beings. The band is a true democracy, and we are there for each other when we need to be, both musically and personally. We’ve taken trips together, gone to concerts together, and gone bar hopping together, both with and without our wives. We are truly a band of brothers.
What I’ve Learned
There’s no better feeling that spending hours upon hours creating music with people you genuinely love.