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The Other Gig: Eternal Boy

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Pittsburgh natives Eternal Boy know all about working other gigs while pursuing their music dreams. This month for The Other Gig, we spoke to Eternal Boy vocalist Rishi Bal about finishing school and working in various fields all while being a full time, touring musician. To read our full interview with Rishi, make sure to keep scrolling below!
Start off by telling me a little bit about yourself and your music:

 

My name is Rishi. I am the lead singer and guitarist of Eternal Boy and we play a kind of pop punk that evokes the early 2000’s scene: The Starting Line, New Found Glory, The Ataris, etc. You know, the kind that people care less about now…

 

Do you attend school while making music/touring? If so, what are you studying and why are you pursuing other studies? 

 

We graduated, however we did throughout our entire careers. Joe, our bass player has degrees in Math and Secondary Education. I have my undergraduate degrees in Political Science, Communication and Economics, my Masters in Public Administration, and my PhD in Marketing. Throughout all of that education, we did tour full time and essentially performed in a band full time.

 

Do you work an Other Gig (in terms of a job) while making music? If so, why did you pick up this second trade? 

 

Our drummer Andy works in shipping and receiving at a large manufacturing firm, Joe runs his own music lessons business and tutoring business, and I am a college professor in Marketing.

 

How does your Other Gig/school work both help and hinder your band?

 

Let me reiterate: despite all of this we are full time musicians. I am not sure there is a better band out there that can balance their time. We have never turned down an opportunity to tour or any other band related event, but we also know that touring is tough and we need to be comfortable while we are home. I noticed that so many bands get burnt out or have no comfortability when they are home. It often times breaks bands up. Our “other gigs” enhance our ability to play music and be in a serious band.

 

If you work your Other Gig/take classes while on the road, how do your bandmates react to your work?

 

We are a bit beyond that now, but I now we all support each others endeavors  as long as they don’t debilitate the band. Having two lives is important to keep ones sanity.

 

Has a fan of your music ever recognized you at work/school? If so, what was that interaction like?

 

Hahahha. Yes, all the time for me. I try to keep my band life separate from my professorial life but students eventually find out. Also, I am not that much older than the students so they always seem to catch on quickly or already know. It can be…awkward. I know Joe also deals with this all the time since he teaches music.

 

Has your band/music ever cost you a job/negatively affected your school work?

 

Not for me, but I know Joe worries about this some times. I think that the band has been such a positive factor in all our lives and we have learned so much that it is impossible to view it in a negative way. From music, to business, to working with others, it really is a testament to ones abilities if you can survive being in a band.

 

Some bands working Other Gigs might feel stuck. They potentially feel worried about making money, finishing school, not devoting enough time to their music, etc. What advice would you give to these musicians?

 

I would say that you must learn balance. If you love both parts of your life as much as we do, then balancing it becomes easy. I think people feel stuck when they are not loving one or both parts of their band/work life. I can assure all bands out there, that you can be successful in both areas if you want to.

 

Any additional thoughts if you have any!

 

Yo. Buy our new album “Awkward Phase” on July 14th via any digital outlets. You’ll love it, I promise.

 

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Amanda Krause

New Jersey-based music journalist / Twitter: @amandalynn_14

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