My kid isn’t a kid anymore. He’s a physics major in college.
He was born the day the Nixons break up began. Now we’re back making loud noises and he’s kicking ass in his world. He mentioned this thing called Chaos Theory.
I won’t attempt to fully delve into it cause that would be hilarious. And stupid. But essentially, it’s a mathematical theory that states that events can go through the same process with completely different results if only one tiny thing changes.
It’s funny cause I always thought of a Nixons show as an experiment in chaos. And over the years I watch bands, solo artists and performers and start to notice patterns. Certain go to moves, certain cues they play off with band mates.
And full disclosure: I’m down with that. For those artists it works. They know what their crowd wants to see, to hear. I just always thought for our band, our fans needed a little chaos.
We needed a little chaos.
It’s also probably why we broke up, didn’t speak for 17 years and why we are now back together playing, writing, releasing music in a way I’m not sure we ever have. When a club owner asked me at one of the first reunion shows, “you gonna do fire”? I said, “I didn’t figure it would be okay”. He said, “if ya feel it, go for it…we got extinguishers on each side of the stage”. I did feel it, and we did burn some stuff.
We also moved and still move across the stage in a way that inevitably involves a collision. Me and Ricky. Jess and Ricky. Me and the drum riser. Or a fall: me off a lighting truss ending in jail in Houston. Ricky into his bass cabinet resulting in blood. Me off the side of a Deep Ellum stage ending in broken finger (thanks Dr. Tom for the late night reset). We have never ended “Happy Song” the exact same way. Or “1X1”(okay, that’s also cause I seem to forget a line or two every time we do it. Even after a million years).
We do the same thing. A rock show. Same guitars, drums, dudes. Generally, same songs…
Events can go through the same process with completely different results if only one tiny thing changes
Those last minute decisions to wear a towel as opposed to pants (Trees circa 90s), to duct tape my guitar to my body when my strap broke then light said guitar on fire and realize instantly that was a bad idea (east coast?), to smash a guitar that bounced back up to crack my head right around the widows peak area (Edgefest) (more blood), to jump into the drums and forget the next few seconds (black out) (Whiskey A-Go-Go).
That’s what we did and will do. To a different degree at the ages we all are. Though…I still love a little on stage fire and a dive out into those crowds.
Keep coming. Keep catching me.
Keep bailing me out of jail.
Keep the chaos.