The World of MusicIan 'Lenchi' Frasier

The bassist of the band Legion

a character in “Metal Gods”, as played by RolePlayGateway

Factions, Families, Clans, and Empires

Description

Name: His real name is Ian Jackson Frasier, but for some inexplicable reason, as soon as Vivian first met him, she decided his name was ‘Lenchi’. Which...he really doesn’t understand, but it stuck, and now everyone calls him Lenchi. He’s gotten used to it, and now it almost feels weird when people call him Ian. Which is much to his detriment, because in Georgian, 'lenchi' means 'moron', and obviously no one but Vivian is aware that when they call him Lenchi (or when he calls himself Lenchi) they're calling him Moron (and there ain't a surplus of Georgians around Ian to inform him of it). Then again, Ian would probably refuse to be called any other name even if he did know. He’s just weird like that. It was Vivian's idea of a cruel joke at first, since he’s so damn lazy and laid-back, but eventually even she saw it as...well, just his name, just like everyone else.


Birthdate: Ian Frasier was born on January 20, 1983; as such, he is twenty eight years old.

Role: Lenchi plays the bass guitar for the technical death metal band Legion, as well as providing back-up vocals on some songs. He used to be the bassist and main vocalist of his previous band, a brutal death metal band called Carnality, and it is from Carnality that his combination of bass and vocals in Legion originates.

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Appearance: Ian stands at a height of approximately 181 cm (just over five feet and nine inches tall), with a slender build that, though it could not be called scrawny, doesn’t have a whole lot in the way of muscle to it; he’s just too lazy to work out, even though he bemoans the fact that his female bandmate Vivian has more in the way of musculature than he does. Doesn't help that he's also the shortest member of the band despite being the second eldest, either. His skin tone is more or less typical of his New England heritage, if a little paler in tone than is common, and there are few blemishes to be found across his body. He has smooth, rolling facial features, with a high forehead, rounded, sloping jawline, and a pronounced browline. In terms of hair, much like his bandmate Vivian Ian styles his dark brown hair into dreadlocks, though they are of different styles: Vivian wears freeform dreadlocks, whereas Ian opts for cultivated-style ‘braid locks’—that is, dreadlocks braided at the top. Which seems very strange for someone like Ian, since the braidlocks actually took more effort than one would expect him to go through with. His eyes, possessing a perpetually laid-back, almost bored quality to them, are a light hazel brown.

Lenchi has two tattoos: one of them depicts the name and logo of his old group Carnality (which basically resembles this style and font), which he got when he was around twenty and the band first began, and another, this time the name and logo of Legion, which he had done when he was about twenty four, soon after Legion formed.

As far as clothing, when it comes to casual settings, Lenchi is, in comparison to some of his bandmates, quite tame—mostly because he’s too lazy to really take the time to put on all the accessories and attire that he dons for the stage. On any given day you’ll find him in a casual t-shirt—it can be a band tee, or just a completely blank shirt—along with a pair of regular fit jeans and some converse sneakers. Of course, when it comes to the stage, Lenchi has to get into uniform—and he does it well. On stage you’ll find him either shirtless (because he just loves to flaunt those non-existent muscles...okay, really, because he works up a hell of a sweat playing the way he does), or wearing a leather vest over Band 1’s band tee, along with a pair of patchwork jeans and steel-toed boots that look like they were just made for a riot. Add on chains, bullets, spikes, studs—the whole lot of it. Only for shows, though—he’ll be damned if he can bring himself to put all that shit on every day.

Personality: Lenchi toes the line between being one of the most laid-back, easygoing people you’ll ever meet, and the laziest jackass you would ever have the misfortune to work with. He displays an outwardly carefree, completely blithe attitude, and never seems to regard anything as a serious problem, certainly not worthy of dropping his amiable outlook. He’s neither overtly talkative nor reserved; he prefers to sit back and listen to the conversation, dropping in his own comments from time to time, and in general pretending not to care too much about what’s being discussed so as to avoid confrontation or argument over it. There are three cracks in this amiable, easygoing persona, however, and they all go hand in hand: his laziness, his low self-esteem, and his fierce confidence in his own skills as a bassist.

As said, he’s lazy. In just about any pursuit outside the bass, he’s the laziest motherfucker you’ll ever meet. If, say, he’d tried picking up the electric guitar at first, and upon his very first try he didn’t immediately play something perfect and flawless, he’d immediately give up, convinced he’ll never be any good with it. Blinded by this belief, solidified by an only-too-common history of ‘sibling rivalry’, Lenchi hardly ever tries to do anything outside his own experience and skill set, because he believes that ultimately he’ll just fail at it. In another way, he just can’t seem to stand the concept that others could be better at it than he is, which is part of why he just gives up on it. He can’t settle for second best, and he sure as hell can’t settle for being just ‘good’ at it--but he assumes that's all he'll ever be if he tries anything outside the bass, so he doesn't even bother.

As such Lenchi clings to his considerable skills as a bassist. He’s vastly over-competitive when it comes to the bass, because he believes it’s the one thing he can claim to be ‘one of the best’ at—at least, the one thing he can honestly claim to be renowned for in the modern metal scene. As such, he can come off as conceited or full of himself because of how quickly he feels his skills are being insulted or threatened, and he’s also unnaturally afraid that if his skills slip at all, or if someone proves to be better than him, Legion will kick him out. For this reason, he seems to almost completely make up for his laziness in all other things, because it seems he’s always either playing his bass, or humming a bass tune, or miming the motions of playing his bass, and consequently people sometimes get annoyed by how quickly he’s willing to bring up how damn tiring it is playing that one ridiculously complex bass riff, or how hard that little bass solo in that one Legion song is, whenever the conversation veers towards bassists and bass playing. People assume it’s because he’s cocky and vain when in reality he’s constantly second-guessing his own skills and is convinced that everyone else is as well.

Of course, this can sometimes make the cracks in his easygoing persona apparent—and sometimes, it can shatter them outright. Ian has gotten into a fistfight over perceived insults to his skills, or because a discussion over bass playing devolved into an argument over who was the better bassist—in any case, Ian is quick to resort to violence out of his frustration and determination to make whoever it is that’s causing his doubt in his skills to just shut the fuck up, in any way possible—and he can be a vicious fighter, his relative lack of musculature aside. Of course, this typically necessitates that the rest of the band come to help him out whenever whoever pissed him off calls their band into the fray, but Vivian tends to assume that the other person was at fault anyway, even after all this time.

Background: Ian Jackson Frasier was not a product of significant tragedy, nor could his life be called particularly happy and joyous. He was born to two middle-class parents, with an older brother named Alexander, two years his senior. No major tragedies marred their largely happy family; no calamities struck the four, no disasters threatened Ian’s more or less idyllic existence as a youth.

As a child, Ian and his brother Alexander got along amiably. At first, there was no open dislike between them; Alexander would play with his brother, take him for walks, read him stories—typical older brother things. But as Ian grew older, he began to notice something—namely, that Alexander excelled. In everything. School, hobbies, personality—everything Alexander did, he did flawlessly. More importantly, everything Alexander did, he did in such a way that when Ian tried to replicate it, it only made him look stupid. Whereas Ian brought home Cs and Bs on his report cards, Alexander was acing every test he faced, made every honour roll he ever came across, and it was only made worse by the fact his father had a tendency to read off their grades together, only putting into perspective, for Ian, how much more intelligent Alexander was.

It didn’t stop there. Alexander took up painting, and within a month he was creating images that would have done the master artists of the Renaissance proud. Ian tried to do the same, but after two months in which he managed to come up with a lot of...shall we say, ‘abstract art’, Ian got frustrated and tossed it aside. His brother, charismatic and perfect, was well-liked by just about everyone in the school, seen as the ‘cool guy’ everyone wanted to be friends with. Ian, awkward and largely lacking in social skills, was known by most of the school as ‘Alex’s brother’, and he didn’t have many friends. His brother could get any girl he wanted, and every day he seemed to be seen with another stunningly beautiful, popular girl; Ian’s experience was limited to shy schoolboy crushes on girls he never so much as spoke to, half of whom his brother ended up dating.

It created an unconscious rift between them; their relationship soured quickly. Alex never saw it as a competition, but Ian quickly became convinced his brother was maliciously aiming to outdo him in everything, to make a fool out of his brother at every turn and prove his superiority. Ian decided that he couldn’t do anything that his brother couldn’t do exponentially better, and he became highly bitter towards his brother and towards his parents. His brother, in turn, grew bitter towards Ian, and became exactly what Ian thought he’d always been.

It was when he was fifteen that that began to change.

It was, at first glance, a rather simple occurrence. Ian and his brother had accompanied their father to a local music store--hell, he doesn't even really remember the specific reason they went, because it's long since become inconsequential. Whilst there, Ian, out of minute curiosity, picked up a Fender bass guitar he found nearby and started, slowly but surely, playing it. He figured out a little melody that sounded good, and played it over and over until he thought he had it flawless. Alexander, seeing this, attempted to replicate it--but when he in turn picked up a bass guitar and tried to play what Ian was doing, he simply couldn't do it. His fingers wouldn't align properly on the fretboard, or he wasn't plucking the strings just right--for the first time, it seemed, Ian was doing something that his brother, no matter how hard he tried, couldn't match. When Ian realised that he’d found something he could do that his brother couldn’t, it made him want to pursue that voraciously. His parents, glad that Ian had found something at last to take enjoyment in after it seemed for years that he had no interests or hobbies, went out and bought him a bass guitar, a little amplifier, and bass lessons.

The lessons were, at first, jazz playing. Ian excelled at it, quickly picking up the techniques and the style, but he soon began to realise it wasn’t truly satisfying him. This was around the time he began listening to punk and heavy metal music—and he realised he wanted to recreate the aggression and assault of those genres, but tempering it with the sophistication and technique he’d learnt in that first year as a jazz student. He began practicing day in and day out, until there was barely a moment when the house wasn’t filled with the raucous attack of his bass guitar rumbling and ringing throughout the house. His constant practice and enthusiasm paid off, as he rapidly became highly skilled for his age, and even though Alex graduated high school as one of the top students in the entire nation, destined to study physics at the prestigious Stanford University, Ian no longer cared.

Age twenty was the first point at which Ian saw fit to join a band—he responded to a local advertisement in a nearby music store, and upon auditioning met scepticism from those holding the auditions due to his young age. Nevertheless, his technical prowess and the skill evident in his playing could not be denied, and eventually he, along with four other musicians, formed the death metal group known as Carnality. They started out recording covers before eventually attempting to record original materiel, but the other members of the band clearly didn’t have the patience to work towards fame and wealth. When it became apparent after a mere couple of months that they weren’t getting a record deal yet, the founding members of the band got fed up and quit, leaving Ian wondering what the hell had happened.

After this, Ian drifted from band to band, finding none of the groups he came across appealing--they were often short-lived, and the other members, for whatever reason, were often assholes whose immaturity contributed to the short-lived fate of the group. It would, in fact, be four years before Ian came across the band that would break this chain of events that was exasperating him. He happened upon an advertisement calling for skilled musicians interested in forming a technical death metal band, put out by one 'Vivian Nakani-Maisuradze'. Well, after fruitlessly stumbling over the name about twenty times, Ian, figuring he counted as a skilled musician, followed the instructions on the ad and went in for the audition. When he showed up and found out the kind of music they were playing, Ian realised that it fit perfectly his style of playing—and the rest of the band, upon his audition, quickly realised that as well. As such it wasn’t surprising when he got the part (as well as the nickname ‘Lenchi’, which apparently came with the territory), and the rest is, as they say, history--the band, christened Legion, began the slow crawl to the top, managing to play shows with such death metal legends as Suffocation and Nile--before becoming the death metal band of the modern metal scene.a

Playing Style: Lenchi utilises a very technical approach to the bass guitar, rather than playing with a pick or using the instrument as just a background to the guitars themselves. Using a four-finger galloping style, Lenchi can play at exceptionally high speeds (and often does), more than matching a guitarist using double picking; he also uses slapping techniques, a relative rarity in metal, and bass chords. Lenchi typically plays at very high speeds (because when he does follow, he follows bass drum patterns, not the guitars. . . which makes blast beating very . . . interesting) and, also a rarity in most metal, is known to play bass solos in some songs; his solos typically involve chromatic scaling, slide playing, and two handed tapping. Interestingly enough, his time as a death metal bassist, giving his playing a very harsh, brutal edge, is tempered by his early experience playing, in fact, jazz, and it's not strange to hear inflections of this influence in his playing.

Rather than use a clean tone, as most bassists do, Ian turns the bass and gain on his amplifiers to full capacity, making his bass sound more like a drastically detuned guitar and adding a real punch of heaviness to the music. And as far as vocals (though he only sings on a song every now and then, and at that only at a few parts to augment Vivian), Lenchi sings with an extremely guttural, deep style that seems utterly unprecedented given his everyday speaking voice. And while playing on stage, Lenchi tends to be very showy, and while he's playing a song it's rare you can see his face rather than a mass of braidlocks headbanging furiously.

Instrument: Lenchi owns two basses; one is a custom onyx black Neal Moser Arachnid bass guitar, outlined with bullet holes running up the fingerboard rather than fret markers. The other is a six-string Ibanez SR500E with a mahogany finish; both are tuned to Dropped A, and he uses both interchangeably in playing for Legion.

So begins...

Ian 'Lenchi' Frasier's Story