I saw a great quote today apparently by Joni Mitchell re applause - “It's a hard drug for most people to handle. It ruins their art”.
Yes, I’ve always felt that if you’re doing music or whatever for the applause you’re doing it for the wrong reasons and it’s going to feel very lonely and cavernous at the end. I’ve always felt a disconnect when working with other musicians who are doing it or those reasons, not necessarily the only reason, but it seemed sometimes to be a big part of it. They always had something to prove and it always felt more like a competition… music is a not a sport and I have no time or room for egomaniacs and self-described legends and icons… the judgy and pretentious… seriously, you’re boring, don’t go away mad, just go away. The questions are always the same, “Are you actually David Bowie? Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen? Etc. No? Then why the ego? A small group of longterm YES friends doesn’t make you a legend.”
Music to me is about expression and art, about coming together, about being sonically taken somewhere (why I like large sounding effects) and not about applause or these days… counting “Likes”. It’s also why I prefer to hear other musicians do original material… I want to hear THEIR art, their soul, their thoughts. There’s nothing wrong with doing covers and sometimes people even do them justice… sometimes.
David Bowie’s cover of Scott Walker’s “Nite Flights” comes to mind because I just listened to it. I want to hear THEIR sound… mine, at the moment/subject to change, is Ambient/Soundscape, take you somewhere, create a world to explore built around an acoustic guitar, simple songs and chord structures … because I’m not that great a player, HA!. I like what a producer once said to me when I said I’m not a great player, I just found a way to do it my way, “That’s very Punk Rock”. I never thought of myself as Punk Rock, but I like that way of looking at it. I try to paint with words rather than just tell a story.
“It’s the love of process
The opportunity to SHARE
Trying things that sometimes actually work”
I’d rather share process than wait to get time to record in a studio then release a package of songs (as enjoyable as that is). I cringe at my mistakes, I relish (mmm… Relish) in the massiveness of sound. I stop short when I consider putting my mistakes out there, but then remember how much I enjoy and don’t judge other artist’s/musician’s mistakes and rather I enjoy them, the rawness of it. Music seems to have become too “perfect” these days and it’s lost some of the most important part of what it’s about… soul.
Yesterday I finally I started recording parts of my home rehearsals… mostly to listen back and fix, but then… why not share…? I love checking out the process of other artists as much as, and sometimes more than hearing the final result. So, here’s a few tunes recorded live yesterday at home, in my corner of our shoebox, Vancouver Yaletown apartment. Everything is lined through my amp and mixer then out to headphones and I have to sing quietly… because neighbours and yes, that’s the tv you can hear in the background, probably the weather channel saying it’s going to rain. “Real” rehearsals are done at a rehearsal studio when I need. I’m finding that the vocals distort on my laptop speaker, but fine in headphones and larger computer desktop speaker. Listen with stereo headphones…seriously, it’s much better. Musicians work so hard to record music only to have people listen via tiny earbud and laptop speakers. Ugh.
Play a show…? Maybe this summer, somewhere, sometime if the venue, occasion and people are right.
At the moment I’m mostly working on arrangements … which delays and reverbs on which songs and parts… then remembering it all. That’s the hardest part.
So this is me working at home, with big-ass headphones, in my own little world.
There’s lots of mistakes, but who cares… PUNK ROCK! LoL