Over these past few days I’ve had a few good experiences, and a few bad ones. I’ll spare you the details but as a result I’ve finally decided to put my feelings on this subject out in the open. My thoughts today are centered particularly on up and coming musicians– more specifically, bands. In my own experience as a musician and an artist I’ve had the privilege of  becoming closer with different bands on a personal level, and through my work become somewhat attached to them. Over the past few years I’ve seen some of the most talented musicians I know decide that their own goals were just too hard to reach. They settled for a mediocre career, they gave in to the pressure of others to give up, or they just lacked the willpower to continue on. I myself have had my own fair share of discouragement. I’ve been berated by judges for my music, been destructively criticized in posts, and even seen my own art burned by ill tempered kids. I’ll be completely honest, there are times that the pressure that one goes through being a musician can pile up too quickly. What I’d really like to do is find one of you musicians who gave up on your aspirations and dreams, and hear what really did you in. At the end of your life are you going to be proud because you gave in to the jealous hands of humanity? Maybe you tried your best, maybe you didn’t.  Maybe it wasn’t your fault, maybe it was your band that let you down.

My advice?

1.Find strength in your friends. Find the spark in them that fuels your passion. Don’t waste your time with people who would seek to use you as a means to a better end.

2.Never allow yourself to be the middle man. Always put your foot in the door, and never discredit your own abilities.

3.If you can’t look someone in the eyes and proudly shake their hand, then move on without a moments notice. There are leeches and vultures around every turn, and usually  in the most familiar places. If you find yourself in a shake down, don’t wait around for that person to leave you high and dry. Remove the thorn, and move forward.

4. Listen to others, but never give in to discouragement, or doubt. Some people are selfish, jealous speed bumps that try to stop you from becoming your true self, even when they have good intentions. Take every word you hear with an open ear and respect, but always be prepared to defend yourself.

5. Never give up. The biggest cliché in the business I know. All your heroes tell you to follow your dreams and be diligent, but there is nothing more true than this advice. Don’t ever allow yourself to settle. Even if you come in last place at the race, at least you still finished.  Think of yourself as snow rolling down a hill–start off small, but finish big. Don’t die wondering what COULD have been.

I hope that music never ceases to thrive off of strong willed individuals that never gave up. Pour yourself onto the pages of creativity, and always look for an open hand.

“That’s Life”


2 thoughts on “Motivation

  1. I couldn’t agree more. The path of a metal musician is extremely difficult, the ego takes a real beating. Nobody believes in you, you get ripped off at every turn, a lot of people don’t respect you, and nobody goes to local shows. The greatest enemy of any metal band is time. But if you can stick through the shit storm and press on then SOMETHING good will come of it. “Life is very rough and mean, it’ll always bring you to your knees and keep you there, if you let it. But it’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can GET hit, and keep moving forward. If you know what you’re worth, go out and take what you’re worth..but you gotta be willing to take the hit.”

  2. The main thing I would add is making the right decisions in life for getting started. It’s tough to get a start as a musician (well, let’s say as an artist) if you have other people relying on you for support, like kids. Don’t get me wrong, having kids is awesome, but the tasks of being creative and the imperative of the artist to improve his or her craft are much easier if they can be carried out near full time. Not having financial burdens always helps when things are lean to begin with – that means staying out of debt and living within the means of the income you can get. Finally, learning that creativity is a result of applying knowledge, and that the creative process can be improved through practice and hard work is what sets the true artists apart. Anyone who is pursuing their creativity is a hero in my book.

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