This is a new story that I've decided to write to keep a new creative force going. I'm still gonna work on Walking Dead and Underrated Classics but this is something new that spawned after watching different anime series and documentaries of rock bands, particularly Behind the Music. There will be music sung in this, but because it would take too long for me to write the lyrics to my own songs for all the chapters I'm planning, I'm going to use lyrics to famous songs you all know from multiple. I will give credit to each band and artist after every chapter so don't anybody worry.
Chapter 1: Go Start A Band
It was a nice morning in Karakura Town, Japan. The sun was shining bright with no clouds in the sky, kids were walking to school or waiting for the bus, cars were driving along the streets, and it was serene and quiet. It was especially quiet in a small neighborhood not far from the local schools.
The front door of a nice house opened, revealing a boy around the age of fifteen stepping outside. He was dressed in his school uniform and was carrying his school briefcase.
"I'm going to school Mom, I'll see you later," the boy called back into the house.
"Alright Issei honey, have a good day," his mother called.
This boy was Issei Hyoudou. He was a skinny teenager with brown hair and brown eyes. He lived with his mom and dad in the small town, his mom a nurse and his dad an accountant. He walked down the streets of Karakura Town looking around at everything. He took in all the sights he saw and just kept thinking about it all.
"This town is too simple," he thought, "I wish there was more too it."
Issei attended Kuoh Academy, a local private high school that was an all girl school that recently became co-ed.
He wasn't very athletic, which he freely admitted. 'I suck at sports' he would say to everybody. He would go out and play baseball with his friends if asked and he did like to golf, run, and row, but Issei wasn't much of an athlete. The thing that he really was, was a musician.
That's right, Issei was a musician. He loved all different kinds of music, classical, rock, blues, folk, jazz, metal, and alternative. He was okay with some pop music such as eighties new wave/synthpop groups or dream pop music, but modern pop wasn't really his thing. He was no bigot to any kind of genre although he wasn't particularly fond of modern day music. He didn't like all of the sexual overtones, swearing, or nonsensical lyrics. It was very unappealing.
When did he begin it all? He started playing music around the age of six with piano. He received lessons from his local church piano player. It was an enjoyable experience for him. His teacher was a very upbeat and jovial church organist who made the lessons extremely fun. His instructor was especially talented in classical and jazz music but he didn't make Issei play that kind of music. He instead taught Issei how to use both hands to play and just let him do his own thing. So Issei wasn't a classical pianist, nor could he read music that well but he was good at piano, in his own way. His instructor thought it was good for the student to establish his own path, and Issei found his own path at the piano.
Issei was also a accomplished singer. As a child he sang in the school choir and played parts in school plays. Doing these things helped him to develop his singing voice and Issei really enjoyed it.
When Issei was around eleven, he wanted to learn something new and bought a beginner acoustic guitar. He took lessons at the local music store and became more engrossed in rock music. His mom and dad later bought him a Les Paul knockoff, which he was still playing right now, and he began to get more involved.
His teacher, Riser Phoenix was a talented guitarist, but a very big snob. Issei would often describe his guitar lessons as being the most uncomfortable and degrading experience ever. Riser would sometimes call Issei half assed at the guitar and would put down some of the music Issei liked, especially the rock music he so greatly enjoyed.
It was very irritating to hear, but he really did want to learn and put up with it for almost four years, but eventually it hit a breaking point and fairly recently Issei finally quit lessons. He had no regrets about quitting, music was supposed to be a fun journey, not a boring and vindictive process.
Primarily, Issei was self taught. During the time he was taking lessons, he secretly used the Internet and books to learn scales and arpeggios and some cool techniques.
People spoke highly of Issei's guitar playing but he didn't view himself as a virtuoso that much. He didn't think he was the greatest or fastest guitarist at all. He was reasonably fast, but he preferred to be more melodic and stick with more appropriate melody and tone. He also believed there was someone else he thought deserved the honor of fastest guitarist.
"Hey Issei," a voice called out. Issei looked behind and saw someone running towards him.
"Hey Ichigo, how are you," he said to him.
"I'm doing alright, what about you?" Ichigo asked as they walked together
"I'm cool," Issei said smiling and nodding.
Ichigo Kurosaki was another native of Karakura Town and Issei's best friend. They grew up in the same neighborhood for years, their moms being friends in high school. They played together all the time as kids, always joking around and having fun and even now they still did.
Ichigo's dad, Isshin, was a professional doctor and therapist who was well known around the city. His mother Masaki was the standard stay-at-home mom and the sweetest person in the world, but if you pissed her off she would woop your ass in a second. He also had two little fraternal twin sisters Karin and Yuzu. Karin was the more quiet and reserved sister while Yuzu was the more cheerful and bubbly one.
Ichigo attended Karakura High School, the sibling school to Kuoh Academy. He was more of an athlete than Issei was, having done karate as a kid. Ichigo was also the person that Issei thought deserved the honor as the fastest guitarist.
Ichigo's whole entire family was musical. While Isshin worked as a doctor most of the time, but on his weekends off he would teach guitar lessons at the house. Masaki was a classically trained pianist who was previously part of a symphony orchestra in the past. Even his little sisters Yuzu and Karin sang in choir.
Unlike Issei who started with piano, Ichigo began and stayed right with the guitar, starting around the age of five. Isshin gave him lessons and helped him learn all the necessities. Masaki gave Ichigo music theory teachings as well to help with his sight reading skills. Ichigo could do everything with chords, scales, arpeggios and techniques such as tapping, tremolo picking, and sweep picking. Issei could do these techniques too, but he felt Ichigo was way better at them than he was, upon which he admired him for.
Ichigo was also a singer as well. He sang in the choir with Issei when they were kids, but he was far more higher ranged than Issei was, especially if it came to high range power metal like screaming.
Issei and Ichigo always would play music together. Before Issei started guitar, they would do a guitar and piano duet at each other's houses, always putting on a show for their parents. When Issei began learning guitar, they began doing rock duets with each other. Ichigo also helped Issei as he was learning, giving him tips and teaching him cool tricks. The two of them were a music powerhouse.
Now as they were walking to their schools they just stood there talking about their music again. It was the big mutual interest that defined their friendship.
"Did you hear the new Foo Fighters album," Issei asked, "I thought it was pretty good."
"Pretty good," Ichigo chortled, "are you kidding, that album kicked major ass dude."
"Ok sorry, I just thought it was a radical departure from their previous album," Issei said back to him, "it seemed a little more ambient, know what I'm saying?"
"Yeah but ambient music is cool," Ichigo said turning to him, "Sigur Ros and Coldplay nail it very well, and besides you gotta experiment with different music anyway. Hell, Queen did it multiple times and they still kicked major ass in rock and roll."
"Yeah, long live the great Freddie Mercury," Issei proudly shouted holding his arm up to the air.
"Oh yeah, that man was a genius," Ichigo said putting his hand on Issei's shoulder.
"Hey Ichigo, if you got nothing going on, you want to have a jam session at my house after school?" Issei asked.
"Sure I'm up for it anytime," Ichigo said exuberantly.
"Alright awesome," Issei said in response. They started to get a little closer to their schools and shook hands.
"See you later dude," Ichigo said nodding and smiling.
"You too buddy," Issei responded.
Issei walked into school. He said good morning to all his friends as he walked through the hallways.
"Issei," a feminine voice cried out.
Issei looked and saw his classmate and friend Rias Gremory running towards him. She was one of the most beautiful girls at Kuoh Academy. She had long beautiful crimson red hair and green eyes. Her beauty caught everybody's attention. Issei did feel attracted to her but he felt awkward in trying to ask her out considering she was a good friend, almost like a sibling. She even felt like a big sister to him in a way.
"Rias, what's up," he asked her.
"I'm working on casting for 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying', and I don't know whether to cast this student or this one for the part of Bud Frump, so I'd like a personal opinion."
Rias was the manger of the school plays at Kuoh Academy. She did almost everything from arranging music, casting, getting costume designers, to working on the sound and lighting for the show. She was a real hard worker at all of this. Issei always wondered what she did for fun in her spare time, if she ever had spare time for that matter.
"Hmm, I think this one because he has a more lazy and arrogant look to him. But then again see how he tries out and if it will work," Issei said to her with a smile
"Thank you," she said to him with a smile, "I need someone to be a mic-switcher do you think you can pull it off?"
"Of course I will."
Issei did do acting in plays before but since starting high school he decided to be the background guy for the time being. He had a feeling he'd act again but he wanted to try working on the stage crew for a while.
"When will you need me?" Issei asked, but he then realized something. "Oh crap, I forgot about the jam session with Ichigo, please tell me it's on a different day," he thought to himself.
"We'll begin the run this week, but dress rehearsal will come in the next week," Rias asked keeping her bright smile.
"That sounds good I'll do it," Issei said. He felt relieved that it was next week.
"Excellent," Rias said happily, "well have a good day then." She then walked off to her next class.
"Man she's awesome. I don't know what I'd do without her." Issei then walked off to his first period class.
Ichigo walked into Karukra High School. As he walked down the halls, several friends of his walked up to him. They were Keigo Asano and Mizuiro Kojima. He met them in middle school and they've been a pair of great buddies ever since. Although Keigo got on their nerves sometimes with his goofy nature and Mizuiro always would have a new older and hot girlfriend each week. That pissed off a lot of guys in the school.
"How's the guitar playing been going man," Keigo asked.
"Eh it's alright, I'm still keeping at it and playing fine," Ichigo told him.
"Fine, are you kidding," Mizurio exasperated in disbelief, "Ichigo you're the greatest guitarist in this entire school, nobody can beat you."
"Eh, I wouldn't say that," Ichigo shrugged his shoulders, "I mean I believe the greatest guy to ever touch a guitar is Jimi Hendrix. He was the master of the axe."
"Yeah whatever you say dude," Keigo said looking at his watch, "oh God, I gotta meet with the teacher early, she'll kick my ass if I'm late." He then took off running like a speeding bullet down the hallway.
"I'll go take care of him. Have a good day bud," Mizuiro said to Ichigo as they shared a high five and he walked off.
"Hehe, those are nice guys," Ichigo said to himself.
"Hello Ichigo," a soft quiet voice said. Ichigo turned and saw his good friend Orihime Inoue walking up to him. She was carrying her books and wearing a smile on her face.
"Orihime, good morning," he replied with friendly air.
She was a very pretty girl, most likely the prettiest in the entire school. Her beautiful long, orange hair with two blue hairpins went down her shoulders. She had a cherubic and childlike face that made her look cute.
Ichigo didn't want to admit it but he thought Orihime was cute. Despite that he never thought of asking her out. She was one of his oldest friends and he didn't really see her as someone he'd like to date.
"How's your music been going," she asked.
"Good, very good, Issei and I are still jamming along pretty good."
"I have to meet this friend of yours. You talk about him all the time and I've never met him at all."
"Yeah you really should, he's a really cool dude," Ichigo said.
Orihime was one of the sweetest people ever. She always had a smile on her face and an all around upbeat feel to her. She and Ichigo had been friends for many years since second grade. He loved all her jokes and her happy go lucky attitude. Some people would call her a ditz or an airhead because of how bubbly she would act, but that was totally untrue. While Orihime may seem that way she was highly intelligent. She scored high in every subject and got straight A's on every single test. But besides that she was also musical like Ichigo, the difference being, she was a prodigy.
Her talent sparked at the age of three when she went to preschool. They had a piano in the music room, and she was always intrigued by the instrument and the beautiful sounds it created.
One day in curiosity she climbed into the seat and started playing. Despite having had no experience before, the sound she created was amazing and every kid in the classroom would start dancing. The school teacher called her brother Sora later that day. The conversation went a little something like this.
"Hello Mr. Inoue, I must say I'm very impressed with your little sister."
"Oh really, how is she doing," Sora asked
"Outstanding, she was playing the piano today in music class and she did it really well. A lot of the students started getting up and dancing."
"Umm, excuse me miss but we don't own a piano."
"Are you certain sir," she asked confused.
"Yes ma'am, there hasn't been any kind of piano or instrument in our apartment."
"That is very odd," she said, "I will tell you though, she's very good at it. I suggest you sign her up for lessons, she may have some kind of hidden talent there."
"I'll consider it, thank you for calling ma'am," Sora said as he hung up the phone, "this is very peculiar, I didn't know Orihime had that kind of feeling, well I guess I'll have to see."
That was the main proof of Orihime's skills that came without any prior training or knowledge. Immediately after that phone call, Sora signed her up for lessons at his friend's house. From that very fist lesson onward Orihime learned everything very quickly. Everything from music theory to classical pieces, her favorites being from Tchaikovsky and Mozart, to songs from modern day artists. Sometimes she would out do her teachers and have to move on to another one.
Orihime's skills became so great that she was given a part time job as an organist at the church she and Sora attended, and especially at such a young age.
Ichigo had seen her play multiple times at shows and at her house, and he thought she was amazing. She could play any song on the piano after listening to it a couple of times.
Even now, twelve years later at the age of fifteen she was still performing in school recitals, playing organ at church, and independently writing her own pieces. It was so funny that she was able to have enough free time on her hands.
A lot of prestigious music academies in Tokyo and out of the country were interested in enrolling her, even the Juilliard School in the United States, but she turned all of them down. Her brother didn't really understand why she didn't want to go but she told him that she didn't want to go to those prep schools with all those snobby rich kids. She hated people like that. And besides, she had her own plans for her where her music was going to her take her, but it was a secret she kept to herself.
"Actually I meant to ask you," she said, "do you maybe want to go to the arcade after school today?"
"Oh Orihime I'd like to, but I promised Issei I'd meet him for a jam session. I could call him and ask if we could cancel it," Ichigo groaned, he felt guilty telling his friend that he couldn't hang out with her.
"Oh no, that's totally fine," Orihime said in a very friendly tone, "we can do it some other time if you'd like."
"Oh okay, I'm fine with that," Ichigo said, relieved that she wasn't angry or upset.
"You better hurry, class starts soon," Orihime said as she turned to go to her class.
"Oh crap you're right, I'll see you later Orihime," Ichigo waved goodbye to her as he ran to his class.
"You too, have a good day," Orihime called back to him as she walked on to her class.
After he got all of his homework done and got in some exercise for the day. Issei went to the music room of the house. This was initially a den when they moved in, but as his dad made more additions to the house, this room became the main room for Issei to practice and record.
In that room was a grand piano that his family owned for years as well as an amplifier for his guitar with built in distortion and chorus, phaser, and flanger effects. His laptop sat there with recording software installed on it, all connected through by a Focusrite Scarlett.
Issei went over and opened the case that held his guitar. He took a look at it. His guitar was a Les Paul copy made by a company called Hondo with a cherry sunburst finish, and a Bigsby tremolo that was surprisingly good for divebombs. He got it around age 14 and he loved playing it. He had practiced for countless hours on that rosewood fretboard until his fingers got too tired. Recently, he noticed that the electronics were starting to get a little screwy and it was making it difficult to play right.
"I might have to put this away soon and get a new one. Until then I'll have to use this. But then again I really do love this guitar a lot," he thought to himself as he sat with the guitar in his lap.
"Issei," his mother called, "Ichigo and Mrs. Kurosaki are here."
"Okay, I'm just setting up the music room," he called back.
"Hey bro," Ichigo said as he walked into the music room. He was carrying his case and an amplifier. He sat down on the floor and opened the case. Inside was a Squier Stratocaster in Olympic white with a Floyd Rose tremolo. If there's one constant thing Ichigo did with the guitar it was the dive bomb and whammy effects. Issei did it occasionally but he preferred to use the wah pedal, that is if he had one. He was hoping to get up to store and get one soon.
"You still got that Strat don't you," Issei said to him.
"Hell yeah, I love this thing," he said as he strummed a note and pulled the bar down, "you still got that awesome axe there."
"Yeah but the wiring got kind of crappy lately. Whenever I do volume swells the sound is scratchy and sometimes the full distortion doesn't go through the pickups," Issei said somberly as he looked at it.
"That sucks, maybe you should get it fixed," Ichigo suggested.
"But doesn't it cost more to repair than to just get a new guitar," Issei said in response.
Ichigo looked left and right for a second before speaking, "yyyeeeaahhh you should probably update, but still hold on to that one as an old friend."
"Yeah I will, how about I do a little piano first," Issei said as he sat down and positioned his fingers on the keys, "and you can do some sort of rock demo right behind me."
"Okay that sounds cool, what do you have in mind," Ichigo asked as he plugged in his guitar and rolled the volume up.
"Just something mild," Issei said, "let's do a sort of melodic thing with you doing some calm guitar stuff."
"Okay sounds good, start us off Issei," Ichigo motioned to him. Issei nodded and began to hit the keys.
Masaki and Mrs. Hyoudou were in the kitchen sipping coffee and speaking. They heard their sons playing music in the other room. It was calm and relaxing right now, but they knew they're sons would go very hard rock in the next couple of minutes.
"So how's everything been going with the family Masaki," Mrs. Hyoudou asked.
"Everything's fine," she said happily, "Isshin's been working very hard at the job. It's really a surprise he doesn't suffer burnout. He works 24/7 at the hospital, clinic, and those guitar lessons on the weekend.
"Must be trying to make sure he's the only breadwinner who provides for his family," Mrs, Hyoudou said.
"Yeah I would think so," Masaki said. Suddenly she heard the sound of feedback from an amplifier. She knew right away what it was. "Oh boy, here we go again."
What followed was the sound of heavily distorted guitars being played from the music room. Their parents didn't mind all that much but sometimes if they were tired, the sound could get very irritating.
"They really seem to be having a fun time," Mrs. Hyoudou said.
"Yeah, you know I've been thinking about them for a while and something came to mind," Masaki said as she took a sip of coffee.
"Alright Masaki, spill" she said looking her in the eyes.
"I think the boys should find some others and start a band," Masaki said in a to the point manner.
"Yeah they're proficient enough, but I think they should find others who can play and just make themselves a rock band."
"I do like the idea," Mrs. Hyoudou said, "why don't you tell them on your way out."
"I certainly will, anyway let's change the subject," she said as she took another sip.
The two kept rocking out in that one room. Right now Issei was providing rhythm guitar as Ichigo began to shred furiously on his guitar. He did a tapping portion and began doing crazy whammy bar tricks.
Once that was done, Issei did his own guitar solo. It lasted for a while as he tremolo picked the notes and did rapid legato tricks. Eventually they hit the breakdown and they finished off.
"WOO, that was a killer," Ichigo exasperated as he rolled the volume down on his guitar.
"Yeah best guitar solo ever, you rocked dude," Issei said complimented him.
"Yeah but so did you," Ichigo said patting him on the back.
"You know you tell me a lot about this Orihime chick at your school, is she really that good?"
"Definitely, I've seen her at the piano she's awesome. She wants to meet you one of these days Issei, I think you'd get along with her really good."
"I think so too, set up a meeting with her and I, okay?"
"I will, don't worry."
"Ichigo honey, it's time to go," Masaki called to her son.
"Okay mom, come on Issei help me carry some stuff out," he said as he packed up his case.
"Ok I got it," Issei said as he took the amplifier. They walked to the door and Issei handed Masaki the amplifier.
"You guys did really well tonight, great job."
"Thank you Mrs. Kurosaki, we try to play as best he can," Issei said with a grin.
"I think it's about time you put those skills to good use. You should both try and start a band."
"Really," Issei and Ichigo both said in unison
"That's right, you both play well and I think you should go find other people who play and start yourselves a group. You should go out, have fun, rock on, get in trouble. Well not really get in trouble, but you know what I mean," Masaki said to them.
"That sounds interesting, I'll think about it Mrs. Kurosaki. Thanks for coming over Ichigo," Issei said to his best friend.
"No problem, I'll see you tomorrow Issei," Ichigo said to him as he waved goodbye. Issei waved as well and closed the door to his house. Masaki and Ichigo both walked back to their house, but Ichigo kept wondering about what his mom said.
"Mom, did you really mean that?"
"Of course honey, you and Issei are both accomplished musicians and I think you need to get out and be better. Try and find some guys at school who can play too, get together, and have a good time."
"Okay mom I'll try," Ichigo said as they continued walking.
Issei lied awake in his bed that night. He kept wondering about what Masaki had said to him. Could he and Ichigo really start a band together?
"It does sound like fun, but would it really work?"
Issei did want to play with other people, but it was kind of hard. Issei's tastes in music were very different in contrast to his other friends in his school who enjoyed the more modern stuff.
That's why he and Ichigo really liked playing together, because they shared those same musical interests. He also thought of maybe sending in a demo. Certain people would send in demos and would either get rejected or accepted. It was a hard decision to do but it sounded like a fun challenge.
"Maybe I'll look around school tomorrow and see if some kids want to join, until then I'm gonna go to sleep," Issei said to himself as he turned over and closed his eyes. In a couple minutes he was out like a light.
Yeah this is going to be a long journey. So the next chapter will be much more. I mostly wanted to spend this chapter establishing certain characters. I should say though, there will be surprises as the chapters go on, so be prepared.