Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Scott Byrne, Instant Death

l to r: dave dreiwitz, me, scott byrne, cartoon characters
Scott Byrne was a fantastic drummer and composer and electronic musician. I met him at a Barbecue Bob gig. He was a working drummer, meaning he played out up to 4 days a week with different bands, but he worked primarily for Bob and on his own project "Instant Death."

He studied a lot to be a great drummer. He had been studying the drums his whole life. In his teens he became a fan of John Bonham, who was a great influence on his sound. He also went to the Percussion Institute in California and studied percussion at Rutgers University. What made him a great drummer, other than having great swing and great time, was that he would play the notes of the song on the drums and cymbals.

He was able to feature that talent and his songwriting in his bass-drums duo, "Instant Death" with Dave Dreiwitz. Dave is such a great bassplayer, I kissed his hands once. And I don't like touching people.

Here they are doing one of their most popular songs, "The Enabler."

Scott and I really connected because we were both mellow people who shared a sense of the demented. If there were any two people who could just walk through Manhattan and laugh at almost everything we saw, it was us. And we did it all the time. We also connected because I thought he was a genius of a certain level, and I believed in his career. After we got married, I didn't ask him to go into something "more stable" like the family business because I wanted him out there, playing, where people could hear him.

Things went downhill, for a hundred reasons the way marriages can. The job situation sucked as well, and we were both in and out of shitty jobs. I tried all kinds of remedies, including having us move out to his sister's house in Pittsburgh.I wanted him to be out playing, I wanted the marriage to work out. I guess the whole thing just wasn't meant to be. I feel bad that I pushed us to move out of town, away from our friends. At that moment, it seemed like a fresh start would help us stay together and accomplish our goals. I was wrong.

Everything tanked as soon as we moved out of town.

We split up in 1998. He died in July 2005. When he passed on, I felt like people wanted me to say things...I was still angry and not ready to say them. I feel very sorry for that too.

Scott was a fantastic drummer and composer and electronic musician. He was a working drummer....

You can learn more about Instant Death and their ties to Ween and the Fab Faux here:

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