Hello everyone, at this point it wouldn’t even be redundant to say I’m sorry that I haven’t blogged in a while. It’s nearly downright embarrassing that I haven’t. Especially since this is the longest I have gone without making a new post. Ironically enough, I was planning on doing this post almost a year ago. So obviously a lot has gone on between now and then. We recently released a new album called “the Sorrows” and we’ve already done three out of town trips to perform. In the interim, we have parted ways with some bandmembers and gain new ones. One of which literally risked life and limb on one of the tours.
The actions of our new drummer, Kenn Holley who came in literally one week before we were going to go out on the road are the complete opposite of the title of this post. I’m sure many of you recognize the title as a line from a song by The late great Tom Petty. He was certainly onto something, and that’s not the only reason why I spent last summer learning a bunch of his songs. Not many people know this but Petty and his original band, Mudcrutch even threw their own music festivals in his home state of Florida. Not the other bands haven’t done this since then. But these days there’s a lot more red tape if you will to go through, with permits, age restrictions, liquor laws, etc. For example, one of my friends, Kore Rozzik has been throwing his own music festivals locally, Kore Fest, Which in part has become a springboard for him to be playing at other music festivals such as “Rock-Lahoma” and he has recently been signed to Cleopatra Records. Another festival that I must mention, is “Froggy Daze” which is partially run by our former bass player and Co-Engineer of our new album, Julius Heuman. The great thing about any music festival is, if you have an open mind you can be exposed to lots of new bands that you’ve never heard before and with each passing year most festivals just attract more and more people. Most of the shows we’ve played recently were considered festivals, “Smite Fest” in Williamsport,Pennsylvania,”TCI fest” in Philadelphia,PA and “Boohoo fest” in Baltimore,MD. The basic idea is strength in numbers as well. If each band can bring in a decent amount of people, times that by 10,20 or 30 bands well,you get the idea. This is one of the key elements that I feel is absent these days in the music scene. We all know about the fabled days of the British invasion, the lower Eastside Scene with CBGB’s and a few decades later, the Seattle grunge scene. Most musicians have been inspired or aspire to be as successful as most of the bands that prospered during in these eras. One of the key elements that has been overlooked, is the selflessness and teamwork that all of these artists believed in. Each member of the band knew their place and new with the job was. There were less egos and a lot less detachment that we have today with all of our technology and many people don’t have the same sense of community like they did in those days. This is why bands like the Beatles and Led Zeppelin were so successful. They had a bond with each other and in fact, The passing of John Bonham made the other members of the band feel that they could not continue on doing Led Zeppelin because of the close friendship making them feel that he was “irreplaceable”. Personally I think this was a good choice and the only acceptable person to sit in for him would be his son Jason Bonham, which has happened on several occasions.
This kind of stuff makes me truly feel like I missed out on a great time in music and what it truly is like to be a successful artist. Yes I have had my moments performing and enjoying time with bandmates as a result of traveling out on the road to perform. However, I’m not sure if all of my former bandmates feel my sentimentality or even feel that they have bonded with me because of this. As I mentioned earlier, I was forced to find a replacement drummer about a week before I went out of town to perform shows. And this was due to our former drummer not having a sense of teamwork or what is best for the band as a whole. He simply left me no choice but to replace them because I realize that he was not a team player and had no understanding or the willingness to understand what was best for the band at the time. In his mind he was a hired gun, but session players express what they want and in writing before you even set foot in the studio with them. Also they don’t and trash the bands that they’ve worked with publicly. This is an extreme case and I have omitted many other parts of this story but this attitude seems to be quite normal these days. People join bands temporarily with their minds on forming a separate project and not contributing to the writing process of the current band that they have joined. Keep in mind these are only internal problems. Several bands don’t support other bands, and that just doesn’t mean not going to see other bands play. Many people don’t recommend other bands word-of-mouth, or share other bands posts or even buy CDs or other merchandise from other bands. I recall one musician that I have seen perform sever al times and even took pictures of on stage to post them on social media just as a way to keep things going in the scene. In return this person has flat out declined so my performances and when I handed them a band button, I later found the button sitting on the table instead of on their jacket. Well I’ll tell you this, that’s the last time I ever see that asshole perform. Afterall, as I always say : “If you don’t reciprocate, you don’t appreciate”. No one needs to know who I’m speaking of and Yes I’m being blunt. However, I’m sure that this kind of snobbery happens more to often than not. I also recall being accused of something similar, basically (taking and not giving) I shut this person down immediately making them aware of the fact that I even helped said band get rid of some show tickets when they were performing one of those shows that they were forced to do that on (another pet peeve of mine,working for free)
Well before this just seems like some rant, I would like to make people aware of the fact that if you do help other bands it will in turn help you. Unlike the ingrate I mentioned in the last paragraph, not only will most of them appreciate it but you can learn and even be inspired by other artists that are out there doing the same thing that you do and surprisingly, vice versa.
A few months ago I was given the opportunity to attend a book premiere party hosted by Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR. That night, I met several new people in the industry and it was set up so that each of us could share our talents with one another and offer to help each other. It was truly a breath of fresh air in an industry that at many times, makes you feel like you’re gasping for some. The book that was being premiered that night is one that I’m currently reading called : “CrowdStart“, which is rightfully so a #1 release on Amazon. I’ve already learned so much from this book and I’m only halfway through it. It really knocked me down a few notches, i’ve already learned so much from this book and I’m only halfway through it. It really knocked me down a few notches as to how much I’m not doing to promote.
I have to admit when I started not writing* this entry, I had no idea what I was going to say. Truthfully, I was sitting here on a Sunday afternoon in discontent over what’s going on not only in my life lately but everything around me. So instead of sitting here feeling trapped, I took a few hours to bring back my blog. The one thing I did have was a theme about the lack of teamwork and community that has plauged the music industry. More importantly the local music scene. But thanks to Ms. Hyatt’s book I think that this entry came around full circle from my disdain over the detachment and lethargic attitudes that have become the norm for most aspiring musicians. This is yet another issue with the current state of The music industry, people being uninformed and unaware. Reading books such as “Crowd Start” and several others that are compiled and my other blog I feel are a must for any aspiring musician or anyone that’s even setting foot on a stage. The more you know the more you can share and make things better not just for your own band and others but for your audience as well, which should always be taken into consideration when you’re deciding what to do and what not to do.
Thank you all for reading this and, please feel free to comment below. In case you were wondering when I said not writing this entry, I took a tip from another great author and life coach Jason Capitol who used speech to type for his entire book.
And please enjoy this video and memory of the person who inspired the title of this post, Tom Petty May He Rest in Peace