I have to admit: I’ve been on the opposite side of the barricade. For many years, I mistakenly thought that depression and anxiety are not the real issues, that they’re made up by people who constantly whine and complain to attract some twisted form of attention, until I realized I was the one dealing with such issues on a daily basis. I would always get weird mood changes for as long as I can remember, it’s something I couldn’t explain, and something I got used to. Other people who are affected accurately refer to them as waves, except they don’t come with such accuracy. Sometimes, those dark waves of unexplained hopelessness and helplessness come and swallow you for days, weeks. You wake up feeling useless, you run your pointless errands, rinse, repeat. Sometimes, everything changes by the hour. You may be full of energy and feeling on top of the world one day, because something positive happened to you, and then you get hit by one of those waves again, and you feel small and all your victories, achievements seem insignificant.
As someone in both music and business, I’m used to both, failures and success. I was procrastinating on making serious steps as a musician for years, and was too involved in solving business problems to realize that time was going by fast. On top of that, a successful business did not make me a happier person. Yes, it brought some sense of accomplishment and a financial stability, but I was looking to be recognized as a successful musician. Attending live shows of other artists was depressing because I felt I was missing out on a huge part of the experience by not being the one on the stage. My New Year’s resolution for 2017 was to make steps towards accomplishing my dreams, so I browsed through Craigslist, got in a band and we started writing songs in our free time.
My hard awakening happened on July 20th 2017, when I heard of Chester Bennington passing. Being a lifelong fan of Linkin Park, and inspired by Bennington’s life story, I was heartbroken and devastated. But later on, after the effects of initial shock cleared, this terrible tragedy helped me to understand two important things:
- We cannot underestimate the importance of mental health
- We should all work on accomplishing our dreams, before it’s too late
I started thinking about my life in a perspective of “what would I regret not doing if I were to die tomorrow?”. The obvious answer was – making music. I decided to quit my business and invest my life’s savings in my band – Major Moment. The first song I’ve written for our debut EP is called “Before It’s Too Late”, which talks about my fears, insecurities, and also reflects on the state of the world we live in, and tries to serve as a wake-up call for the ones in need of such.
I also started paying attention to my own mental health. Chester was in his peak physical form, substance-free, seemingly happy, with a loving wife, and six children. He had just bought a new house, released a number one album and had over 100 million records sold combined. Nothing looked alarming. And still heavy thoughts were there, and that’s what ultimately led to the tragedy.
Getting out of business and finally being able to express myself through music was definitely a step in a right direction. It made me feel proud of my own work, and connected me with wonderful people. However, it also revealed some bigger problems. For the first time in 12 years I was jobless for longer than one week, and my anxiety was through the roof. I can only describe my feelings by comparison with the feeling you get when you forget about some important appointment, or forget some important item for a presentation. Sitting in front of the laptop screen, and not knowing where to start, where to go, how to get where I needed to be – it was overwhelming to say the least.
Having a background in business and management helped me to be organized and to set some temporary and long-distance goals. But this background has also taught me to see immediate results on a daily basis, to be in control of the situation. And that turned out not to be exactly the case in music business for me. I found out you have to be ready to invest everything into what you love and expect nothing in return. I also noticed that it’s hard to see the path, to connect the dots between your goals. Every milestone we passed, every achievement we reached, felt insignificant right after it was done. It’s not that I wasn’t grateful for what I have, it’s rather I was super-critical towards myself and felt the constant pressure of other people’s lives and success depending on results of my work.
I am extremely lucky to have met Sasha, she became my best friend, my soulmate, my bandmate, and my future wife. Her presence in my life makes a huge impact. She often acts like a counterweight to the doubts and fears I’m struggling with, she is extremely supportive, and that’s what gives me strength and inspires me. It amazes me how she seems to be completely immune to the issues I’m dealing with, so even though it’s very hard for her to really understand the depth and reasons behind them, she is trying. I really need that charge of positivity she can provide, it helps me to see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.
To me, making steps towards accomplishing my dreams, working on something I truly love, with someone I love, and sharing those experiences, is the key to keeping my mind healthy.
When you come across a band as multi-cultural, passionate, and talented as Boston’s Major Moment, you have to pay attention. Combining captivating original sounds of alternative rock with their international roots, Major Moment knows how to create new worlds within their music. Inspired by acts like Linkin Park, Nine Inch Nails, 30 Seconds To Mars and more, the band is now on a mission to inspire others, encourage them to follow their dreams, and learn to appreciate life.
This September, Major Moment brings you One Small StEP, a record of various strong topics, including relationship, perspective, and loss. With acclaimed producer Kevin Billingslea and six-time Grammy Winner Adam Ayan on board, the band considers the record to be their greatest accomplishment yet.
What makes the record even more special, is its dedication to Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, one of the band’s biggest inspirations. One Small StEP also features a #makechesterproud tagline.
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