Oliver and I are in full-swing music mode once again. Back in recording studio (a real studio!) once a week, and I’m cooped up in the cabin working on booking a tour about 40 hours a week. I wish I could say that I’ve written a bunch of new material and that we are working out the kinks, but I haven’t had time to think about being creative. It’s amazing how much time and energy goes in to the office-work portion of a music career. It really is a full time job; The Balling Jacks were right. Writing emails to venue managers who mostly don’t get back to me, tweeting to successful people who really couldn’t care less (I’m going to quit twitter, I think it was a stupid idea.) Writing to radio stations is actually getting me somewhere for once. I’ve got four on my side in BC right now, which is sweet. CHLY in Nanaimo, CBC One in Victoria, Long Beach Radio in Tofino and Kootenay Coop Radio in Nelson. I love that. One must focus on the good things!
I’m not intending this to be a depressing blog post at all. It’s just going to be honest. I’ve learned a few things, or I guess maybe just had a few things confirmed lately. Path-changing things.
The other day a really awesome band came to play on Denman Island. They were a Juno-nominated quartet, whose name I won’t mention here because I’m not sure they want to be associated with my ramblings. I got a short opportunity to talk to one of the members of the extremely talented, professional and well-rehearsed group, and we shared a few little tips about gigs and festivals and whatnot. It surprised me to learn that this band is going through the same struggle as I do to get venues, festivals, people to show up for shows, money to tour, time to tour, etc. It actually sounded like there was very little difference between their current battles and my own. Juno nominated, do you remember when I said that? Learning this was two things: Reassuring, and depressing. I thought “I’ve sort of made it then haven’t I? I’m about as pro as I’m ever going to get. Good right?” and I also thought “I’ve got nowhere else to go. This is it. End of the road, it’s a giant struggle or I can just give up.”
A couple years ago a friend of mine had gotten some radio play on the CBC and I was downright jealous. She totally deserved it – a very unique and talented singer/songwriter, but I figured she had it made and honestly, I was green with envy. Famous. Successful- Music-Career.
When I learned I was getting CBC play last month, I did a little happy dance in my chair, and continued sticking my CD envelopes together with my glue stick and licking envelopes and praying that more than one venue in the interior would offer me a gig, because I can’t afford to travel all the way to the interior for one gig, and praying that I’ll get paid for my odd-job work the next day so I can pay the $35 fee to book the Denman Hall for a concert in June. Yes, that’s how broke I am right now.
What do I want from life? I want to spend quality time with friends and family. I want to cook good food. I want to make things. Metal things and fibre things. I want to play a lot of music, and write songs. I guess I want to share the songs I write. I suppose I feel they are incomplete until they are heard, and the more they are heard, the more complete they are. Sharing them gives them life, and I suppose I feel a strong desire to give them life. Some people say songs are like children. I think that’s kind of weird, but I guess I see sense in it. Some of my songs I never want heard though. They get stuffed in a drawer and never get to breathe again, so I don’t think it’s healthy to compare songs to children. No.
I’m wishing for more time for the garden. Time to make some money and build a home. Time to start blacksmithing, time to for friends, time to have kids one day, (if the conservatives ever get taken out and Elizabeth May becomes prime-minister.) Time for canning preserves and smelling the flowers and living life. I guess I thought a music career would be a perfect life. But I seem to be constantly longing for something else. A life in the country. Wine. Laughter. Lazy days.
We have a two-year plan. To push push push this thing and see if it gets somewhere that satisfies me, then breathe again (because it likely won’t) and maybe get a barn cat. And a barn.