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The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned: Patience

I have played in various musical projects for the majority of my life, some of those projects did better than others, but the main points of learning ring true for every band, regardless of skill or genre. The main, and most important learning moment that happened for me, and this took quite a while to sink in, but it is critical, is that while playing music you have to learn to be very patient. Patience is a virtue that will never hurt you, but is unfortunately very difficult to manage…

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The Most Important Thing We’ve Learned: Finding Your Niche & Creating a Community

One night last year, Derek and I were standing by a dumpster in an alley before playing a small club in Hollywood. Having just loaded in down a narrow hallway, ducking around bartenders, dishwashers, and drunk patrons, we found ourselves back in the alley by our van. We were checking each side of a dumpster for gear we had pre-loaded around it, when a black pickup truck with oversized tires pulled in behind our van and started honking. It was a bartender about to start his shift, and understanding we…

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The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned: Use Your Shows To Build Relationships

Our touring experiences have definitely changed our outlook on playing shows. Instead of just focusing on the performance, we have learned to treat the entire night as a networking event. From the time we arrive for load-in until we close the doors of the van to leave, we look for every opportunity to build relationships with everyone at the show. There are a lot of bands who choose to hang out in their vans or hang out backstage before they go on stage, but those bands miss out on a…

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The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned: Identify What You’re Thinking & Feeling In The Moment

Building a career in the music industry is difficult. Being in a working band is difficult. Writing and crafting sincere, yet marketable songs is difficult. All of this would be IMPOSSIBLE if you don’t have a highly developed sense of how to clearly communicate with all parties involved. It took awhile to figure it out, but I’ve learned that listening more and speaking directly and articulately, will move you forward faster by avoiding problems before they happen. Before we get too far here, I am no expert. I’m still learning,…

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Mental Health Matters: Helping Someone Through Depression

When my dear friend had a really terrible season of depression, it was difficult for her to get out of bed in the morning, to function normally in her daily life. She missed days of work and spent most of her time in her room alone. As a person with naturally high serotonin levels my first reaction was to tell her to snap out of it. People with depression hear this type of advice all the time, but they, more than any of us want to be happy, and they…

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Mental Health Matters: Self-Loathing

I found music in a very typical way: I was searching for something, anything, to hold onto for dear life. A traumatic early childhood left me silenced by fear and unable to find any words to communicate what happened to me even if I had wanted to tell someone. I cried the first time I listened to Seether’s “Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces” at 11 years old. Shaun Morgan’s lyrics hit me in a place that I had buried so deeply I didn’t expect anything ever to find it. I…

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Mental Health Matters: Stage Fright (and Facing Your Fears)

Six years ago I was huddled backstage with a prominent world musician at an iconic Sydney music venue, gripped by a familiar sense of dread. My stomach churned and a thought passed through my mind. Why do I keep doing this to myself? I was about to walk on stage and stand in front of a group of absolute strangers who would sit quietly, between the photographs of musical greats that lined the walls, staring at me while I sang. What a weird thing to do! I thought, I could…

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Mental Health Matters: ” I was dying, and I was still trying to keep up with everyone else.”

First, I want to say that I am so grateful that more and more people are becoming more open to sharing their own personal struggles with mental health. I have learned that, unfortunately, there is a negative stigma attached to talking about these issues- especially in the music industry. There is so much pressure to be constantly busy, productive, and always ‘on our game’. We are in a world where everything everyone does appears in our social media feed, and whether we are aware of it or not, we are…

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Mental Health Matters: Bullying

I have always been an over the top music fan, and as a result of that I’ve been severely bullied from the 7th to 12th grade. I found my solitude within music, however, the more I surrounded myself with it, the more it caused me to drown. If I learned anything over my four years of high school, it is that kids are mean, and will do anything to prevent themselves from being the next target. So, as a result, I was the forever target because of my commitment and…

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Mental Health Matters: “You Are Not Your Pain”

There’s a notion at open mics, DIY spaces, and the backstage areas of larger venues: that the only difference between eccentric and insane is your talent. That there’s a fine line between madness and genius. That great inspiration can only come from great pain. Whatever made Van Gogh cut his ear off is also what let him make beautiful paintings. Suffer for art. We romanticize it. The 27 Club is a higher honor than living to Leonard Cohen’s age. The true rockstar: desperate and angst-ridden, smashing TVs in hotel rooms,…

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