Jan 8, 2014

Adios Amigos.

Hello Readers 
No question to answer today, just a quick statement with no hoopla or fanfare: It is time for another hiatus, possibly a long one, but I don't know for sure. A confluence of life, work, location and even computer changes have conspired to help make this decision for me... and since this blog was started in early January of '08 it seems like the start of a new year is a good time to bring it to a (possibly temporary, possibly not) close.

For the past five years, I have taken a lot of pleasure in cranking out a post every Wednesday. I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them, and yeah, I do hope I managed to help at least a few people with my (sometimes) long and rambling answers.  

I will keep the site up and running -- and keep the ebook for sale, of course -- so feel free to browse, but I have to concentrate on some other personal issues and professional projects for a while. 

Stay strong everyone. Remember that our biggest foe is usually ourselves and that, when faced with the chaos of an unhinged world, an uncertain future and the remorseless grinding wheels of time, there is really only one choice... as a friend of mine said recently:

Be Infinitely Brave !

Happy New Year and good luck everyone... and thank you.

Jan 1, 2014

Motley Crue d' etat

Dear AAP -
I've been in a punk band for 3 years. I don't want to sound like a dick and call it MY band but I'm the one that originally got everyone together, and I've almost always ended up handling the details of shows - either booking them for us, or creating the shows for us to play in. We are a PUNK band. That is the whole point. But lately, it seems like everyone else in the band is getting into Metal and wanting us to grow our hair and change the songs we play to sound more metal and the songs everyone is writing are getting more metal and since I'm the only one who disagrees I'm like the asshole who is going to get replaced, from the band I started. I think it is all because in our town the metal bands are considered cooler and the girls like them better or something. I thought the whole point was to not be 'cool' but to be punk rock. Isn't there some kind of way to remind them of what we are - a punk band and not some dumbass metal band. - No Metal.

Dear NM -
Welcome to the wonderful world or irreconcilable creative differences.

A band, any band, is always an evolving thing that is more than the sum of its parts, but it is always made up of individuals with their own ambitions and agendas. It doesn't matter who started what, or who works the phones, not really. I should know. I've been squeezed out of a few bands in my time for similar reasons. Pretty much everyone has. 

There are a million stories of punk bands evolving into Metal bands. The reasons are pretty standard, and you mentioned one of the most common ones: interest from the opposite sex. The other common one is equally unavoidable: Sometimes people just become better musicians, sometimes even, >gasp< taking lessons to become better guitarists, drummers etc. ...when that happens, when punks become "musicians" they start wanting to branch out and play more "challenging" stuff than the standard 1-4-5 in 4/4 time... and hey, even bands that agree with each other musically often break up for other 'creative' reasons, often due to the members' differing levels of ambition. I've seen great bands break up because one guy decided to go to college (or grad school, or fishing) even though they were all on the same page musically. You just never know - but that is no reason to NOT do it. 

Does it suck when you're the odd man out? Yes. Is it the end of the world? ...only if you let it be. Instead of trying to change all their minds, why not seize the initiative and form yourself another band of like-minded punks? Nothing lasts forever and this is especially true of our places in bands. Instead of clinging to the rotting, metalic husk of your previous dream/band, move forward, look to the future and find a new group of musicians who think the same way that you do about these things. ...of course, keep in mind that THAT band won't last forever either. Don't be bitter. Whatever their reasons for wanting to turn into a metal band, I can promise you this: their reason ISN'T just to make you look like an asshole. I'm willing to bet they wish you would get on board and join in the aqua-net soaked fun... but you have to be true to yourself. Always. The idea is to keep playing, and keep being authentic. If you handle that, the rest takes care of itself. Usually.