Showing posts from October 24, 2010

Giving Up: When to Say When As An Artist

Quite recently a friend called distressed about his music career (or lack there of). In a defeated tone he asked me the question, “When do you just say when and give up?” I told him that the question was as profound as asking someone how to make it in the music business. There is no one stock answer for everyone. I told him that I could give him some ideas as to when to give it up but that every person has a different situation and different resources. I’m not going to tell a talented musician the same thing I would tell a non-talented musician. Even if I did, what authority do I have to tell anyone when he or she should or shouldn’t stop pursuing his or her dreams? The cliché answer is “Never give up”. That’s all fine and dandy for someone trying to sell self-help books and trick you into buying tickets to their next seminar, but there is something that is being overlooked In that statement: reality.

Reason to Quit #1: Money

I formed my first band in grade school at the age o…

CMJ, Divas, and Distortion

CMJ week in New York started off for me with a phone call from Danny Chavis of Apollo Heights. Danny had referred me to a British woman named Martina Topley-Bird that was in town singing with the group Massive Attack. While on tour with Massive Attack, Topley-Bird was also doing a couple of dates for CMJ to promote her solo record. For reasons still unknown to me, she arrived without a drummer or percussionist. This is where I came in: I was hired as her drummer.

The transfer of information from Topley-Bird to Danny to me was much akin to those experiments in grade school where your teacher tells you something in your ear and you pass it from student to student and the last person says something totally different from the beginning message. Lost in translation where important points like: you have to learn the material in 24 yours, you have to wear a ninja costume, and you will get no credit by name only in payment. I was basically a drumming stunt double. As last minute as it w…