We had such a fun day at Little Island studio recording bed tracks for my new song “King of My Heart”. And what a great crew! Winston Hauschild producing, Rob Bailey assisting, Buff Allen on drums, Matt Reid on bass, Teun Schut on guitar, and Cam Hayduk filming. Oh, and yours truly! Have a look! 🙂
This past year I’ve seen a growing number of my musician friends post “I quit” letters on various social media. The letters all have a common tone – “I can’t do this anymore. The music biz is bottomless pit. I’m going to settle down, get a real job, and hopefully be happier. It’s been fun, but now it’s a drag. Thanks for your support. Sayonara!” These posts undoubtedly prompt a whole stream of comments from friends and supporters. Usually a mix of “please don’t quit”, to “yep, blame Napster”, to “don’t worry, I’ll still come hear you play at the pub”, that sort of thing.
I find it disappointing, but I can definitely relate. After my last record, I was so burned out, I had to take a long break from touring, hustling, the whole scene. It took YEARS for me to replenish, reconnect, and get inspired to get back out there. I’m still not “back out there” fully, and maybe I never will be now that I have a child. But I will do what I can.
Because while I contemplated the word “quit”, I made a conscious decision to not choose it for my own trajectory. I might choose other words, like “evolve” or “grow” or “change”, but it became crystal clear that I never wanted to make the status of my music career the result of roadblocks, whether internal (frustrations, burnout, etc.) or external (dead business model, lack of funds, family commitments, etc). Thankfully, I never lost interest in going to gigs just to listen. I never lost interest in playing just for the sake of it. And most importantly, I never lost the feeling that I had something to say through music, even though it was buried far beneath my day-to-day artist survival tactics.
I had a lot of reconciling to do. It’s hard to swallow that you’re not “there” yet – wherever that is, arenas, world tours, throngs of fans, whatever. But I realized that I didn’t want to throw away all the ground I had covered. And yes, I might need to rebuild some broken bridges along the way, but those relationships I’d forged in the business were more than just a ladder to climb for me. They are my community.
So here’s my letter to you, my dears. I’m NEVER quitting the music business. EVER. I might need to take breaks. I might need to apologize for stupid things I’ve said. I might need to promote a lot sometimes, and less others. But I will NEVER QUIT. I will never stop trying to make records, or play shows, or tour, and honestly and gracefully share the music I make with you.
Because why would I deny myself the path, the long evolving journey of trying to figure out how to move forward and get better every single day?
And why would I deny YOU the opportunity to see what music I might come up with down the road? What if it’s something we both fall in completely and madly in LOVE with?
And why would I deny us both the chance to meet, literally or figuratively, and share our love of music, and then share it collectively with all the other people who might interact with it. The potential is endless and creative in of itself.
So even if I continue to toil in complete obscurity until my dying day, I will never stop writing or playing music, or calling myself a professional working musician. Because I have paid my dues. And I continue to pay my dues. And I’m still on a journey that is teaching me how to be vulnerable and humble in the wake of a force far greater than myself.
That force, of course is MUSIC!
I’m not here to criticize. In fact, I congratulate anyone who “settles down” and gets a “day job”. God knows I did. It can be an incredibly grounding force.
But, please, think carefully before you use the word “QUIT”. Why do that to yourself? Why do that to the world? We need you to take yourself seriously. (Ok, well maybe not too seriously!)
So here’s to growing and evolving and changing through music, through the music business.
I’m making new music this year and stoked to be back in the game with this website!
In fact, it’s funny that I haven’t given this website much love, because the truth is it’s ALWAYS on my mind. Music is without a doubt the closest thing to my heart. And despite my ebb and flow of energy towards it, it’s the one thing I always aspire to embrace more and improve at.
These days, I’ve been keeping a pretty low profile, only playing a few gigs around Bowen. Surprisingly, I’ve been ok with that, as I realized that my last record left me incredibly burned out of the music business. It’s been a long and slow recovery.
That said, it’s been five years since my last record and I’m ready to get moving again. I’m grateful that the Gods of Music Grants have shined upon me in a very small way, and I’m about to go into the studio to record ONE of my new songs. I’m stoked to have the chance. This time with music, I don’t want it to be a struggle to “make it”. I just want to actually make it – music, that is – and not worry so much about whether big-time success is waiting around the corner.
I’ve also come to realize that I have a lot to say about music, the “biz”, creativity, spirituality, and all that jazz. And it’s about time for me to put those thoughts out in a coherent form so maybe we can all learn from it. Maybe you’ll read something that inspires you back to your own creative muse, like writing has for me.
So, until next time, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more posts about all of the above! 🙂
Back in December, I wrote a guest post for VancouverMom.ca about living on Bowen Island.
You can check it out here: