Recently, I’ve had the chance to reflect a little bit (which can be rare for me) about my years playing music. Being in a band at this point in time is harder than it may have ever been. The industry is flooded with bands, good and bad, and being in a rock band isn’t the same situation that it used to be. Anyone can buy a strat, an amp, a chord book, and start playing shows. Rock music is homogenized and about as cheap as water. How can you pick out each drop of water in an ocean?
I never intended to play music. Somewhere in the back of my tiny youthful skull, I had the ambition to go into acting. For a short time, I took part in plays. I did improv comedy summer camps. For a while, it was really what I enjoyed doing. Anyone who has seen us live, may know that being animated can come easy to me. Being in a rock band wasn’t my golden dream in the clouds. Oddly enough though, thanks to some pushing by an old babysitter of mine, I started to play guitar a little. With time, I began to learn more songs. I even joined the youth band at my church and played guitar. From there it snowballed. I can’t rightly say when it really caught on, but I do remember my first show when I was 16. It was an open mic at a coffee shop. There were about 7 people there total, probably about three of them family members. Terrified couldn’t even explain how I felt. The worst part was, that particular open mic was on a slow night, and I was the only act. Even after nearly passing a pancreas out of fear, it just felt right, and from there I started to take music a bit more seriously. At the same time, I realized early on that as a “career choice” it was a total gamble.
Fast-forward to the present, in a world where there are a million bands, digital music sales are where the action is at, NME and Spin magazine find a “Up and coming hot new band of the future” every week, Donald Trump is still alive, and venues are hard to find, the focus of music for me can easily be shifted to things that aren’t nearly as genuine or real as when I first started. Its hard not to worry about numbers when you’re barely scraping by on gas money to get to the next show, or there is about one good venue a city to choose from. Sometimes, I forget that I did this because I love music, not because I love money or some kind of contrived rock star image. The things that I’ve become concerned with, and sometimes not out of choice, but necessity, are honestly just pure and simple, utter crap. Who cares how “Hip” we are. Who cares what gear we play. Who cares what shoes we wear, or if our pants were bought at some boutique indie wank store. Who cares how many people we can draw. Who cares if we are making “Sound business choices”. Maybe this is why bands have minders.
It hit me only last week, that I do this because I love music. Its all I talk about, and it consumes all my thoughts. If I was looking to make money, I realized, I would have gone to school. Sometimes its so easy to forget that when everything is numbers. When I take the time to think about it, its absolutely mental that I get to share songs I’ve written with people, who by whatever turn of events, enjoy it. It may sound cliche to say, but I’d rather live in a van down by the river and still be playing music I love and live for, than to be some Hollywood Hit Single machine.
All I can say, is a sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported our music, and for those of you who choose to continue to support what we do. We love you all , and its my only hope that we can humble, and be a blessing to you all in some small way.