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The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned: Being Resilient

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city-of-the-weakOver the past four years, our band has played some of the largest music festivals in the country, been featured on EMG TV, snagged 14 sponsorships within a few months time, had music on The Today Show, The Food Network, NFL Total Access, & more. One specific thing that has drastically helped our career is our un-compromised resilience.

I’ve been playing in bands since I was 14. When I turned 18 I left my life behind and moved to Minnesota to start a new one. I had no connections, and I didn’t know the first thing about the music industry or the people in it. I just knew that I had a dream, and nothing was going to stop me from accomplishing it. People always like to make sure you know how hard it is going to be, working in the music field. But nothing really prepares you for it, and if you’re truly meant to be there, you’re gonna find a way to stay there. I stayed up for days on end, playing my guitar on the street, taking the bus to multiple shows a night, begging stragglers outside venues to buy tickets to my acoustic shows, or simply to listen to my crappy demos. When people told me ‘no’ I simply moved to the next one.

I started jamming with people at the school, and eventually got people to stick around long enough to play full band shows. I felt like such a rock star when we played our first open mic at McNally Smith College. As we kept trying to book more in-town shows, I had such a high turnover rate of musicians. It was hard to keep it going, but I always managed to pull it together right in time. I would ask a ton of people, and when people told me ‘no’ I simply asked someone else.

I started booking these sketchy tours for us. That was definitely not one of my better ideas. We were by no means ready to even play shows outside of our hometown, let alone tour. Regardless, we piled in our Ford Expedition and headed to Atlanta, Louisville, Tennessee, Iowa and back. We attended a conference while we were in Atlanta to learn from industry execs and meet other artists. We were so enthusiastic about meeting the conference founders, and networking, just so we could get better. A lot of people blew us off or told us ‘no,’ but there are a few contacts from it that we still keep up with today.

Self-booking 15 tours over the next 4 years, I heard a lot of ‘no’. I heard ‘no’ from the very beginning, and I still hear ‘no’ all the time today. I hear ‘no’ from promoters and clubs that we have packed in the past, we hear ‘no’ from people who refuse to take a chance on us for the first time. We hear ‘no’ from radio during campaigns. We hear ‘no’ from producers when we’re trying to find someone to produce the record. No matter how far along we come, we still hear ‘no’ just as much as we heard five years ago.

BUT. We hear ‘yes’ a little bit more every day. It’s the one ‘yes’ in between the hundred ‘no’s’ that matters. It’s the ‘yes’ that put us on Chicago Open Air Festival with Rammstein, Disturbed, and Slipknot. It’s the ‘yes’ that put us on Northern Invasion with Korn, Bring Me the Horizon, and Rob Zombie. It’s the ‘yes’ that helped us start charting on radio this year. It’s the ‘yes’ that allowed us to play 42 states around the country. It’s the ‘yes’ that got us 14 sponsorships. It’s the ‘yes’ that got us featured in countless magazines and interviews. It’s the ‘yes’ that got us working in the studio RIGHT NOW with one of our biggest idols.

I hear ‘no’ all the time. Every day. And guess what? I’m going to continue to hear ‘no’ all the time, and every day for the rest of my life. And that’s okay. Because it’s the one ‘yes’ in a hundred ‘no’s’ that moves you forward. It’s resilience that keeps you going and going and going. Are we famous? Fuck no. We are struggling, and we are going to continue to struggle for a long time. But every single day, we get a little bit closer to our goal. If you really are passionate about something, you can accomplish it. You just have to be resilient and keep going. Even when the world tells you ‘no’.

If you really are passionate about something, you can accomplish it. You just have to be resilient and keep going. Even when the world tells you ‘no’.

From small town Montana to the streets of Minneapolis with a guitar and a fearless attitude. That’s how it all started for firecracker Stef w/ an F as she began building City of the Weak four years ago as a teenager. Add fierce guitarist Brent Lindblad and powerhouse Cody on bass and they became the unstoppable force they are today. They began touring in 2012, and by Spring 2014 were rolling across the country full time, clocking around 120 shows a year. After being featured on EMG TV and receiving 700,000 views on their first four music videos, City of the Weak premiered “Censor This” October 17, 2016 on VEVO.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
December 17th: Mankato, MN @ Red Rocks w/ Royal Bliss

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Angie is a Boston-based music photographer, journalist, and marketer. Catch her out and about at local shows and drinking more coffee than she should

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