It's all about the music, mate!
So, I went back and re-read some of my blog posts that I have put out this past month and a half or so.
I kinda sounded pissed, right?
I feel I need to clarify that I absolutely love what I do. Making music and having the opportunity for people to hear it and connect with it is a lifelong dream of mine.
I remember reading a story about Noel Gallagher at a concert and experiencing all of the fans at this concert singing the words of the song back to the performer. He filed that away as something he wanted to experience and it helped drive him to be the songwriter we all know.
When I read that in my teenage years, I too was moved. The thought of writing a song or a set of lyrics that are so important to someone that no only would they pay to hear you play it, but that they couldn't contain their emotions and sing the song back to you.
One of the bands I am a fan of is Coheed and Cambria, and like many bands, they have a passionate following of hardcore fans. What separates a band like Coheed from any other band is that while every band has that devoted following of people that worship the music, for Coheed, almost every single person in that room falls under 'super fan' status. There are few, if any, casual observers who just like a song or two. These are people that are engrossed in the entire catalog on a deep and spiritual level.
My wife is among that crew. She is the one that got me into Coheed and helped provide guidance along the way to help me get acclimated to their work. She is exactly the kind of fan that every musician dreams of having for their music.
I say all of this to remind myself, and any of you that might be musicians, to remember why we do this. Why do we labor over the writing of a song that bares our inner soul, obsess over the audible presentation of that song in recorded format, practice it over and over to get the performance just ''right'.
Why do we book gigs for little money for the opportunity to play for maybe a handful of people?
Why do we put in hours upon hours, honing our craft, establishing our brand and tirelessly working to create a work of pure art?
It is for the fans like my wife, those that live in your music. Those that want nothing more than to thank you for making an impact on their lives with your songs. Those who had their life changed by an album or performance.
When in reality, it is us who should be thanking them. They are the ones that give us the freedom and ability to live our lives according to this dream. They are the ones that you think about when you stare out the window, planning your next masterpiece.
They are the actual spirit and soul of the music industry.....and for that, I thank you!
So, to my musician friends here, remember next time you are feeling bummed about a crap gig, a bad review, a song that just won't work itself out....remember what is all about. It is all about the music.
It is all about that 16 year old sitting in their room just trying to figure out who they are and what kind of person they will be in their life.....but who has made your songs their whole life because they feel like you are speaking directly to them and how they feel.
It is about that person going through a breakup or otherwise tough time in their life and they feel like your songs saved their life. Your music healed them, if only for a moment. Your songs got them through the torture of a night alone with their thoughts.
It is about plugging in to something greater than ourselves and sharing it with the world.
A very wise musician friend once told me "music is everywhere, it surrounds us every minute of every day for any one to hear. The trick is that not everyone can hear it. So it is up to us that can to translate it for them and put it in a form that they can access and recognize and commit to their heart."
And he was right. Music is the language of nature and the natural world. Even the universe itself has a background hum.
And it is our jobs as musicians to present that language to our fellow travelers and allow them to experience this amazing gift for themselves.
Till next time,