I first started playing guitar when I was 14. I started on a classical guitar like a good little girl, but convinced my parents eventually to get me a blue Fender-Stratocaster and a small amp. At first I was just enjoying playing, even though I wasn’t very good. I can do chords, I can do rhythm, but I’m not too good at solos. Rather, I’m not too good at doing anything fast with my left hand fingers.
When I turned 17, I started to realize that I’d been singing forever. Whenever I listened to music, I sang along. Whenever it was too quiet in the house, I would start singing my favorite songs. Granted, I couldn’t sing most of my favorite songs well- it’s pretty hard to imitate James Hetfield’s deep growling voice – but I still sang. I had never thought before how much I love it. I started to work on my voice on my own, training myself as well as I could.
With the realization that I love to sing came the thoughts of doing it for the rest of my life if I possibly could. The idea of forming a band came to me not long after. Hannah, my friend since we were 4 and had a terrific fight in the sandbox in nursery school, had started playing guitar around the same time I did. She surpassed me easily, and she was much more quick-fingered than I was, and she still is. At the time I started trying to form a band she was flirting with Mathew, a senior in our school. They never ended up dating, but she did find out that he played base and asked him if he was interested in starting a band. We hit it off right away. He was funny and intelligent and seemed to be genuinely serious about the whole idea. Next, we asked Steve to join us. Steve was a sort of on and off friend of ours at school. He was a bit of a snob and only hung out with his very particular group of people, but he liked the same music as Hannah and me, so our relationship started by complementing each other on whichever band t-shirt we were wearing at the time. We got to be casual friends with him. He was the only drummer we knew anyway, so Hannah and I just asked him. He didn’t sound enthusiastic at first, even though he agreed to join. Over the next few months he drifted away from his old group, and us band members became a tightly knit group of friends.