Well this is gonna be a major chapter that has some new guys coming in to join Issei and Ichigo in their music. Just for some background stuff I have two YouTube video links here which you can listen to while you read so that you can have some kind of interaction of sorts with story. Anyway here's chapter 2
watch?v=FnPUohY13Tw and watch?v=d4iDRtbESCY (Bass guitar)
Chapter 2: The Bassist and the Drummer
As the sun rose over Karakura Town that Wednesday morning, people started waking up and getting ready for school or work. Issei got out of bed and opened the blinds to his window. He always liked having the sun shine through his window, it helped him get up better.
"I may say this town is too small, but I can't deny it is a good town for me," he said to himself with a grin. He did like living in this town, ever since he was born. But he had these aspirations to get out here and do something with his life. He just couldn't find the answer now.
Issei walked to school earlier than usual. He would mostly get there right on time, but he had to see some teachers early this morning. He wouldn't see Ichigo until the afternoon more likely, but he didn't care they'd talk on Skype or text messages so it was all good.
He met with all his teachers and then went to his first period class. For freshman year of high school, it was sort of an easy yet at the same time hard transition. Issei didn't have any problems in classes, he just did his homework and tests and pulled through fine. He liked his classes and his teachers and he made some good friends, particularly those who came with him from middle school. But middle school wasn't entirely a great experience for Issei.
For a long time up until that point, Issei struggled with heavy anxiety issues. This started back in mid-second grade when he became stressed about recitals getting in the way of school work. Eventually it became about others things in his life and his got worse and worse. It got so bad that Issei became overweight during the first two years of middle school and nearly stopped playing music. The only time the stress would ever go away, was when he played. Not a lot of his friends caught on to this except Ichigo.
Yeah, being that they were friends for a long time Ichigo could always sense when something was wrong with Issei and he always was the one to try and make everything right with him. Ichigo suggested to Issei that he come clean to his parents about his stress and try to set it right. Issei went to his parents and told them how he was feeling, which they surprisingly knew but didn't' bring up because they wanted him to acknowledge it to them.
Following that Issei started taking counseling to help with his stress, and he also started a workout regime, losing all the weight he had gained. With all of that Issei became much more confident and outgoing. He was in high school now, and he was going to make it the best years of his life, and so far it's been starting off very well.
Then again, he was always on the tests whenever they were handed out and he would sometimes get stressed as he studied. He just figured this was part of what being a high school student meant. Still the stress wasn't as bad as it was before, so there was that.
He did take a music class there but it all seemed like a breeze to him. It was mostly for beginners and intermediates but he joined it to see what it was like. It was all straightforward stuff he already learned from music theory to performing.
"How about I think of this whole band thing. Maybe I could find some people around here that play instruments. We'd need the basic necessities including a bassist and a drummer."
Ichigo got into school regular time that morning. He hadn't seen Issei while walking to school, but then again he did say he needed to get in early so that was understandable.
"Hey Ichigo," he heard Keigo say. Sure enough he looked and saw Keigo and Mizuiro.
"Hey guys," he said with friendly air. And
"So how'd your jam session go," Mizuiro asked.
"Really good, but when we finished my mom said Issei and I should start a band."
"That sounds awesome dude," Keigo exclaimed happily.
"Yeah it does Issei and I could both play guitar and he could do piano, but we don't know anybody who plays instruments like bass or drums."
"Well that sucks," Keigo said sounding glum.
"Don't you guys..." he was about to say before he was cut off.
"Nope," they said in unison.
"I would've taken up guitar or something but I don't have the patience to go through lessons," Mizuiro said.
"I could be your manager," Keigo said cheerfully.
Ichigo then had a bad imaginatory thought in his head. Keigo as his manager would mean destruction for a lot of people. He thought Keigo was a cool and reliable guy but at the same time he could mess things up really hard. He decided to politely turn down the offer.
"That's...okay," Ichigo replied nervously. This didn't seem to sit too well with Keigo though.
"Oh what is it, I'm not good enough," Keigo then started sobbing as tears ran down from his eyes like a waterfall. "Ichigo I can't believe you I thought we were friends, but you really hate me. I'm never talking to you again you jerk," Keigo ranted on as he ran down the hallway sobbing like a little kid.
"Geez what's his problem," Ichigo said nonchalantly.
"Don't worry he'll be back," Mizurio said, "but yeah try and start the band, maybe something cool will happen, I'll see you later, I'm gonna head to class."
"See ya," Ichigo said as he waved goodbye. As he walked in the classroom and sat at his desk, he thought again about the band thing. The school did have a pit orchestra. He didn't join them because he didn't have so much time to commit to musicals these days. Other than choir he and Issei did a lot of shows together too, especially when they were kids. In high school though, it was a large commitment to be in the school theater because than you'd end up staying at school until 9 or 10. Still he did like the shows and the people involved in with it.
"Maybe I could check them out later today," Ichigo thought to himself.
Issei went to the auditorium during his free period. He had an hour to kill and he wanted to make sure equipment was working alright for the mic switching and that his iPad was hooked up so that he could control the soundboard.
Issei was a sucker for Broadway musicals. Being that he was a performer in community theater and school plays for almost all of his life, it was natural that he'd be very well associated with them. He gave a lot of credit to musicals for helping him to sing and gain onstage charisma. Surprisingly, he never did play a lead in a play at all, which was strange. He had enough talent and was certainly capable of doing it, but it was still very weird that he never got picked to be a lead at all. He didn't mind all that much, he actually enjoyed being a side character because it was too much work to be a lead.
"Alright all hooked up," he said before looking at his watch, "I still have some time, maybe I can..."
As he was finishing up his sentence he heard a sound. It sounded like a rumble of sorts, and it want that far away. He walked out of the auditorium and followed the sound. He walked as the sound got louder and louder until eventually he reached the source, the music room.
He took a look through the glass on the door. Inside the room was a boy around his age with blue hair sitting on a stool. He sat on the stool with a bass guitar on his lap. He was playing a fast jazz riff on the bass. Issei examined his fingers and saw them move very fast across the fretboard and on the strings. This kid was really good, like a younger John Entwistle.
"Maybe he could be our bass guy," Issei thought to himself. He waited for the kid to finish the solo, which the kid did with in probably the most majestic way possible. Without second thought, Issei opened the door. The kid looked up surprised.
"Oh, hello," the kid said in a friendly way.
"Hey, that was awesome," Issei said to him.
"Thanks, I was just doing some warm ups. I hear they have a jazz band here at school so I decided to sign up. I like jazz music and I heard they're having an audition this week."
"That's cool," Issei said, "my name's Issei Hyoudou, I play guitar and piano."
"Nice to meet you Issei, my name is Simon and I just transferred here from Tokyo," Simon said to him with a smile.
"So you really like jazz huh," Issei asked curiously.
"Oh yeah definitely, but I'm also into a lot of the classic rock stuff too," Simon said with a grin, "I'm a loyal follower to that music."
"Awesome, this dude can totally be in the band," Issei thought to himself.
"That is so cool, I play that too. Me and my best friend Ichigo do it all the time."
"That sounds neat, you guys do it often," Simon asked.
"Any chance we get," Issei said, "actually we're thinking of starting a band but we can't find any members."
"Well do you want me to audition, I can join," Simon suggested. This surprised Issei initially. He didn't think Simon would say 'yes' that quickly. But then again, it sounded cool that he was taking up the offer before he even asked him.
"That sounds great," Issei said quickly but calmed down, "we can have an audition at my house a little later, here's my address," he said taking out a slip of paper and writing down the address. He handed it to him.
"Oh that's not far from where I live, I'm only ten minutes away," Simon said as he smiled.
"Thanks, I got to go to my next class, it was nice meeting you Simon," Issei said as he got ready to leave the room.
"Yeah you too Issei, I'll drop by a little later," Simon said as he shook Issei's hand. After that, Issei left the room and got ready to go to class. Before he did, he decided to call up Ichigo and tell him.
Ichigo went to his locker to put his books away for a while. He was on lunch period now and was heading to the cafeteria. As he was about to start walking, he felt his phone vibrating on his pocket. He pulled it out and saw Issei's name on the caller ID.
"Issei," Ichigo said puzzled, "wonder what he's calling about?"
Despite how confused it seemed, Ichigo answered the phone. "Hey Issei what's up?"
"Hey Ichigo," Issei said on the phone, "listen, I went to practice for the school play and when I got done I heard something from the music room. I went there and saw this kid playing bass guitar, you should've seen him, he was amazing."
"Really, well what happened," Ichigo asked starting to get curious.
"Well I talked to him, his name is Simon and when I told him about the whole band thing, he offered to audition."
"Seriously," Ichigo exclaimed in excitement, "that's awesome, what else did he say?"
"He said he'd come over to my house a little later today to audition. I called you because I need you there. I swear Ichigo this guy is really good, we could use him," Issei said as he got excited on the other line.
"Okay, I'll meet up with you at your house after I finish my homework and we'll see what this guy's got," Ichigo said to him.
"Cool, I'll see you then buddy," Issei said.
Ichigo hung up the phone and put it back in his pocket. He was ecstatic now, they finally had a bass player. But he had to see, was this guy really as good as Issei says he is?
Issei was in his house waiting for Ichigo or Simon to come over. He was very overjoyed that they did find one guy, but they still needed a drummer. He was also thinking of someone who could play keyboards or synthesizers.
While Issei had exceptional skills on piano, he knew nothing about keyboards. All of that stuff was just a blur to him and it made no sense. Then again he felt not to dwell on it because right now they needed the basic necessities, and maybe they might not need a keyboard player that much.
He then heard the doorbell ring. He ran over and upon opening the door saw that Ichigo was there.
"Hey Ichigo come on in," Issei said to his friend as he motioned him to come in.
They went into the music room and sat on two separate couches on there. They were still waiting for Simon to show up.
"So this guy is good right," Ichigo said.
"Of course, I saw him play Ichigo he really was good. He was going to sign up for the jazz band but he told he he likes rock and metal. That's the kind of guy we need here," Issei went on about how great he was.
"Well I'll take your word for it then," Ichigo said calmly with a grin, "If he's good with those genres, then maybe we can have some versatility when we play. We can explore both genres, because I personally think we should be more wide range."
"As long as we don't give ourselves out to all the modern stuff that has no real appeal," Issei said quickly.
"Oh hell no, there's no way I'd do any of that stuff bleaughh," Ichigo stuck his tongue out and spoke in disgust.
Just then the doorbell rang again. They both ran up and opened it. At the door was Simon carrying a case and a small amplifier, as well as a bag, probably holding some effects in it.
"Hey Issei," he said happily.
"Hey Simon, thanks for coming, this is my best friend Ichigo Kurosaki, he plays guitar."
"Nice to meet you," Simon said as he extended his hand out for a handshake.
"Likewise," Ichigo said as he shook his hand.
"Anyway, come on in," Issei said inviting him in. They walked into the music room and Simon stood shocked at all the equipment, as well as the grand piano.
"Wow, I've never seen anything like this before," Simon said surprised as he looked around.
"So, Issei tells me your a really cool bass player," Ichigo said with a grin.
"I guess so maybe, I've played for a long time so it doesn't really come as a surprise if people call me that," Simon said shrugging his shoulders.
"Would you mind playing a little bit and showing us what you got," Ichigo asked.
"Sure," Simon nodded as he opened the case. Inside was a Squier Precision Bass in blue with a maple fretboard. He plugged the amplifier in and opened up the small bag. Inside were three pedals, an overdrive, wah pedal, and a looper. He hooked those up and turn on the amplifier.
"Here's some cool overdrive metal thing I've been working on for a while. It's sort of Cliff Burton like in style," Simon said. He then turn the volume up and started playing.
From the first couple of notes he played, Ichigo was astonished. The bass had this metal edge but it sounded very good, despite how distorted it was. He watched as Simon plucked the notes with his fingers and fretted the notes. It was fast but had a melodic center to it.
This went on for several minutes until Simon finally hit the final open note and created a vibrato sound by bending behind the nut on the bass. After several seconds of silence, Issei and Ichigo applauded. Simon gave a bow to them.
"Thank you, thank you very much," he said like Elvis, "this next one is something I'm currently working on. It's an instrumental that I use with a pick."
He took the pick out of his pocket and set the overdrive down slightly. He started by performing harmonic bass notes, which he looped. While the loop played over and over Simon began playing the bass fast, this time using the notes and the wah pedal. This instrumental sounded not just like a bass but more like a trip through the unknown. It was amazing.
After around two minutes of this, Simon finally finished. Ichigo and Issei applauded him yet again. And again he took a bow. Issei then had the main thought on his mind. This guy was definitely going to be their bassist.
"Simon that was great," Ichigo said. He was literally cursing himself now for doubting this kid earlier. "God, I was so stupid. Yeah you know I am stupid, I might be the stupidest of the stupidest." Literally.
"How do you do it man, you must've been playing for a long time?" Issei asked.
"Well I started music very young, I was playing acoustic guitar around the time I was six. I used to do all these shows and I really wanted to play electric guitar. My mom was going to get me one when I was around ten but a mix up in shipping got me this bass guitar instead. I wasn't upset though, in fact I was getting so much into bass players at the time so I spent most of the time playing this. And well here I am," Simon explained his entire story to the two,
"That's really something," Issei said astonished, "but do you play guitar too?"
"Yeah I tend to play acoustically, I also write lyrics and sing too."
"Cool, sing something," Ichigo said.
"Can't right now," Simon said, "I have a cold at the moment, but I promise I can sing no doubt about it."
"Okay I've made my decision, you're in," Issei said.
"I agree you're definitely in," Ichigo said right behind him.
"Really, thanks," Simon yelled out in excitement.
This was going well. They now had two guitarists and a bassist. They all could sing, and were both capable of writing lyrics which was essential. But they were still missing one thing.
"But we still need a drummer," Ichigo said realizing they were still short.
"Aww man," Issei groaned disappointed.
"Hey don't be discouraged, I know someone that can help us," Simon suddenly said. This seems to lighten the spirits of Ichigo and Issei as they both looked at him with dumb, open mouth smiles, staring at him creepily.
"Who," they both said in unison.
"First get out of my face, you're creeping me out," he said to them as they were leaning in towards him. Realizing how creepy they were, they moved back suddenly.
"Sorry," they both said,
"Anyway there's this friend of mine in my neighborhood. He plays drums, his name is Natsu Dragneel. He and I made friends when I moved in. Believe me his drumming is amazing."
"Where can we meet him," Issei asked.
"You'll have to come with me to my neighborhood," Simon told them, "it's not far."
"Alright let's get going," Issei said, "lead the way."
"Alright then," Simon said as he got up. They walked out the door and started to walk with Simon to his neighborhood.
They got there in only eight minutes. This place was a small suburban neighborhood. It was nice to say the least. There were kids playing in their driveways, people sitting on their porches reading, it was all nice. They walked in the streets looking at all the houses.
"Nice place," Ichigo complimented.
"Yeah, my dad felt where we lived before was too strenuous so he decided we'd move out here."
"Where did you live before, I think you said in Tokyo," Issei asked.
"Yeah we lived in one of the large apartments in the city, it was nice but a little too much."
"Yeah that's understandable," Issei said, "So anyway where is this Natsu guy?"
After he asked that, the sound of drums began playing. Their heads shot to a house down the street. They could hear the sound coming from there. Right on cue.
"There he is, he's probably doing some practice in his garage, come on," Simon urged them as they walked over to the house and into the driveway. Looking into the garage, they found the source of the sound.
Inside the garage was a fifteen year old kid. He had pink hair and was fairly muscular for a kid his age, probably played a lot of sports. He was seated on a stool and was going at it with the drums. His playing was not just fast, it was actually impossibly complicated. It seemed as though he was going beyond the usual drumming skills and creating something cooler.
The three friends watched in astonishment as he kept playing the drums going. He hit the breakdown and as he finished starting banging on each of the drums and cymbals. Eventually he culminated it into a final bang on the drumset. Once that was done he took a wash cloth and wiped his face of sweat.
"Hey Natsu," Simon called out as they walked into the garage. Natsu took notice and smiled.
"Hey Simon, my man how you doing," he exclaimed as they fist pounded each other.
"I'm doing great, nice to see your still at the drums."
"You kidding, this drum set here is my life. I'll never part with it," he stated proudly as he then noticed Issei and Ichigo standing there. "Who are these guys?"
"This is Issei Hyoudou and Ichigo Kurosaki. I met them today."
"Hey there," Issei said waving.
"What's up," Ichigo said as he too was waving.
"Nice to meet you guys, but why are you all here anyway," Natsu asked.
"Well Issei and Simon both go to Kuoh Academy and he heard Simon playing bass today. He later came over to his house and we saw him play. We're trying to start a band but we need a drummer, and since we just saw you play we figured you'd be perfect," Ichigo explained to him.
Natsu then thought this was great. He was being asked to join a band? He had always wanted to join one but there haven't really been any real people to play with. So hearing this felt like a great opportunity.
"Sure, I'll do it, but I'm not that great of a singer so don't ask me to do that because I'll pretty much cause so many people to drop dead," Natsu said with a smile.
"Okay I guess that settles it," Issei said, "we'll all start a band together."
Yeah go out and start that band dudes. I brought in Simon from Gurren Lagann and Natsu from Fairy Tail and so far I'm really liking where this is going now, but it's not gonna go right from there. We still have some more to add here which will be followed up in the next chapter. Anyway all credit to the song The Fish belongs to Yes and the late Chris Squire, the video tribute belongs to zerothehero76. The metal bass solo video belongs to Davie504 and the amazing drum solo video belongs to navberkami. Everybody rock on.