Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's Better to Have Loved and Lost...

I was just reading a Facebook message from a friend. We were lamenting over the demise of Q101 in Chicago and how it was affecting each of us. We were talking about the business and how so many we know have been chewed up and spit out by it. Last year I posted about why I was a musician. Many of you that read my blog responded with your own stories. Music touches you in a way that nothing else can. With all of this said I am writing to musicians tonight. I am writing to radio DJ's tonight. I am writing to the many that I know that are programmers, record label personnel, indie promoters, music writers, music attorneys, managers, agents, road crew, sound guys, light guys, tour managers and all of us, fans of music. We all started out by listening. Music spoke to us a bit more that the next person. For many including myself, music spoke to me and motivated me in ways that my parents and family could never understand. We were the black sheep. "Why can't you be more like (insert the name of your "responsible" sibling or academically prodigious friend here)." We became seduced. We all bought in. We chose the path less traveled. We chose a rockier road. At some point we decided to roll the dice and jump into the business that surrounded us with music. Maybe we never thought the end would come. We made our deal with the devil to forego a normal life and in most cases, have far less monetary gain to be with the one we loved, music.

In a time where the formal and traditional side of the music business is in constant upheaval and disruption, let's remember that at the end of the day that music is the most important part of the equation. It is the embryo of every reason we got into the business. It is the reason we picked up an instrument or made every effort to be involved in getting music to others. Music is a calling, not a vocation. Music is who we are. Could I have done something else with my life given the 20/20 vision of hindsight? NO FUCKING WAY! That is why I am currently making new Gravity Kills music.

To you musicians reading this, the business side of music can be seductive. Don't let opportunity ever steer you away from creating and know that what you do in the studio and on stage are really what count for you. Most of all, never take for granted that you will get to play another show or record another song.

For those friends of mine at Q101 and WXRP in New York City, I don't think you would have chosen a different path if you could go back in time. Maybe I am wrong and I do understand in a different way what you are going through tonight. Just remember that the song remains the same. I wish all of you the best.


  1. Nothing in school prepared me for the hours upon hours of paperwork and general grunt work required to get my music out to the masses. I've spent hours standing in line at the post office (what USPS budget crisis? I am keeping them in business...) mailing scores and recordings to contests and ensembles. The business end of making music can be brutal but I wouldn't have it any other way - it feels great to have that envelope out of your hands and on it's way to another potential listener.


  2. I think you hit the nail on the head, here. I've been writing and releasing music for many years. I've never tasted success quite like you did, with Gravity Kills, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Why? Because when everything else fell apart, when I truly felt destructive forces and thoughts taking over my head, music was the one outlet I could turn to. It was the one place that I could put everything out in the open without fear of judgement... the best part? In that process, I managed to connect. To find people out there who appreciate the effort to take something so destructive and create with it. In short, I discovered that I was not alone. If that's not cause to continue, then I don't know what is. Thanks for sharing your take on things. It's flat out, inspiring.

  3. I've always been perplexed by the music business, because like with many other entertainment industries I do not understand why ownership and internal politic could ever eclipse the entire point of that industry - to entertain. It always comes down to business, and as an occasional participant I find that to be a major turn-off.

    I don't necessarily think the upheaval of the dedicated industry is a terrible thing. I've observed time and again how notable bands, comprised of passionate people, like you and your crew in Gravity Kills, are put out to pasture for the sake of new fads. Thanks for choosing not to back down.

    - Ty S