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, failing, succeeding and trying new things everyday. My execution is a work in progress, but I am always mindful of it. My bandmates can attest.
I’ll just tackle when I had my breakthrough and when my journey to being a better communicator started. I’ll try and keep this concise (also an important component to good communication!)
When I learned to identify what I was thinking and feeling in the moment, doors started to open for me.
Starting out, I’d have an idea and immediately spit it out. There are virtues to being impulsive, but when I’d have those immediate ideas, I wouldn’t think them through. I’d become instantly attached to them, shout them from the rooftops for all to hear, and pursue them with reckless abandon. They’d be incomplete thoughts, not well articulated most of the time and unfocused. Ultimately, it was a bit selfish. When putting that process into a group dynamic, like a band, a couple things would happen.
I would become frustrated when others didn’t agree or see my vision. I would bulldoze others. And worst of all, I would miss opportunities.
I know you must be thinking, “Damn, this dude sounds like a dick!” Yes and no. It was never malicious. It was always out of excitement of a new idea and wanting to do what was best for the band or particular song we were working on. But it was unaware of myself and that could be destructive at times. My brashness could be seen dick-ish.
If I had taken the time to identify what this idea made me feel, and why I was so excited about it, I could then articulate it clearly through examples and parallels. This would give my bandmates the opportunity to see the real nature of a flushed out idea, and me the time to listen to feedback and reactions, which in turn would continue to flush out the idea and give it more shape and focus. Now it has become a group effort, no one is getting bulldozed and new ideas naturally spring up, creating new opportunities for creativity and growth.
In closing, when the ideas you present, starts to take shape with the influence of your bandmates, it becomes the group’s idea. It’s less about you and more about the whole. The ego drops out of it, and you become less precious with ideas. It takes the pressure off of you, knowing that the group is there to help craft. You’ve built trust.
And then sometimes, the idea is just bad. Thankfully there are people there you trust to let you know and you can bury that bad idea together.
If you’ve had similar experiences or think I’m full of shit, please reach out. I’m happy to discuss!
THE WITHOUT is a creative venture between five lifelong friends. Their sound is highly influenced by the grit and vigor of their hometown, Portland, OR. They deliver a unifying sound composed of elements of rock, post-hardcore, punk and perhaps even a touch of thrash. Sonically brash, with a message of urgency and action, THE WITHOUT attempt to create music without ego.
Limits. Ego. Fear. Be Without