Who the heck is Bob3?
Bob 3 is me, Bob Wachunas. I adopted the "3" When I played in a Devo tribute band in San Francisco between 2002 and 2004, and it stuck. I tried to drop the 3 and discovered that at least one to two people know me as bob 3 so it stuck with me. Plus it sets me apart from all the other Bobs out there.
You could definitely say I am indecisive musician. My own music I have been known to call "blues punk," although these days I have been experimenting with the term "rock music for insomniacs." On occasion I have compared it to Beck, the The Swell Maps, The Fall, Modest Mouse, The Violent Femmes. I can't decide...
Indecisive because I am also enthusiastic about two other very different kinds of music. The first is Traditional West African folk music, specifically music of the djembe. I play traditional rhythms from Mali, Senegal, and Guinea, which often are accompanied by singing and dancing. Just before the turn of the century I spent five weeks in Senegal, West Africa, playing traditional rhythms and some not-so-traditional rhythms. We partied like it's 1999, because it was, and we had a great time. The only part I didn't like was sometimes smelling trash burning, and getting diarrhea for two days. Jeremy started calling the outdoor bathroom "mason du babajara." Babajara was my knick-name, apparantly visitors are typically given African names. I still sometimes call myself Babajara, but I don't have a nick-name for the bathroom.
The second is called Old Time Music, which is primarily civil-war era Appalachian folk music and is a predecessor to a similar, more modern and complex Bluegrass music. Clawhammer banjo is a crucial element of this music.
Old Time Music is dance music. It is rhythmic and melodic, and if you are accustomed to bluegrass music, it may sound a little bit repetitive. You might not hear an intro, verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus, and an ending. You might hear an enchanting melody which seems to go on forever without a strong chord progression. Get used to it, and start dancing.
About this Album
Out of the blue, a friend said, "Bob, you should make an album." Well, why not. I began recording stuff on my computer using Pro Tools in 2004. I switched to a program called Reaper in 2008, and am glad I did, as it is faster and much easier to use in every respect. The last two years of the project have been spent almost entirely on mastering: that is, getting levels right, making the CD sound sparkly, and with enough bass but not so much as to blow up your speakers. Mastering is an art and a science all in itself.
On one hand I prefer instrumental music, playing in a jazz trio and for West African dance classes. On the other hand I envy singer-songwriters. So there is a tension between the ease of creating instrumental music and the expectation to sing interesting lyrics. That said, the focus of this recording is instrumental. Some have noted it sounds good while driving, especially at night. There is a bit of singing and some muttering and mumbling as well.
All tracks are written and performed entirely by me, Bob Wachunas, a solo effort of at least four years. I am a bass player, so most of this is a little loud on the bass. I also play guitar on most of these tracks and sing or mumble a bit on a few. All the other parts are played on a keyboard controller using MIDI. All the drums are played on the keyboard. The synths, rhodes, hammond organ, mellotron, are all virtual instruments running on the computer. The song "Dynamo" is almost entirely "loop-based." This song was an experiment using loops I played on the guitar; plus Reason and Rebith programming.
I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed recording this.