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The Other Gig: The Go Ahead

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San Fransisco rockers The Go Ahead have spent the last 7 years working to find the perfect balance between being musicians and having other gigs. While these musicians consider their band “their baby,” The Go Ahead sees importance in working to sustain their music. To read our full interview with The Go Ahead, continue reading all about their Other Gig below!

Start off by telling me a little bit about yourself and your music:

KYNA: Singer, actress, aspiring vogue dancer living in Los Angeles and San Francisco, nomadic, stressed out, and a lover of life. My band is a reflection of all the things I love about myself. We make music together that we wouldn’t end up making by ourselves. It’s eclectic, soulful, intricate, and our own.

CHRIS: I play drums and a little bit of guitar and bass. I live in San Francisco and love skateboarding and art as well. Lately I’ve been trying to blur the lines between my art and music so that either will influence the other.

JOSH: I play guitar and sing backup for our band. I’m also an extremely mediocre bassist and drummer. Ask our bassist and drummer, they’ll tell you.

ALEX: I play bass, guitars, drums, and keys. I live in San Francisco as well. I’ve been playing music since I was five and can’t see myself doing anything else. I am a huge fan of seafood and an avid billiards player. Our music is an amalgamation of various genres. There are aspects of Rock, Funk, Hip Hop, R&B, Blues, and maybe even a little Punk.

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

KYNA/CHRIS/JOSH/ALEX: Nope.

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

 KYNA: I work in childcare, I cocktail at music venues, and I do theatre gigs. I originally was a kindergarten teacher with hopes of getting a degree to teach elementary school. I’m lucky that I was only working at jobs that I love and that loved me. If I have to work to survive, I make sure I enjoy it.

CHRIS: I teach drum lessons, work at a music camp during the summer, and I work part time at a coffee shop in downtown San Francisco. You have to work hard to make ends meet living in San Francisco, but I love it. Each one of my jobs allows me to be artistic and creative; even the coffee shop job has a heavy emphasis on art and music. I recently sold my first piece of artwork as well!

JOSH: I teach guitar full time, as well as working as an instructor at a summertime music camp.

ALEX: I teach private music lessons in the Bay Area and am attempting to get into the studio musician game. I also worked as a door guy at a bar until recently due to health reasons. The bar gig was purely extra money.

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

 KYNA: Most of the money I make from my other gigs gets funneled back into the band somehow. Our collection of jobs can hinder our availability for how often we tour. It’s tough but we figure it out. Other than that there’s no hindrance.  My jobs allow me to make just enough money to get by and to keep putting time and focus into our music.

CHRIS: Scheduling can definitely be an issue with all of us working different jobs and working different hours. However, just like Kyna mentioned, we make enough money working our own individual jobs to invest more into the band.

JOSH: Teaching music lessons helps my pursuits as a musician because it forces me to play and listen to music every day. I get exposed to new music all the time from students of different ages and backgrounds. They also tell me what’s cool nowadays because, as it turns out, I am an old man.

ALEX: The bar helped with word of mouth promotion. I could tell people coming in and out about upcoming shows.

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

KYNA: My band is very supportive of the opportunities I seek out. We all understand that the band comes first.  We trust that this is our baby and we are all raising it. With that trust comes the freedom to be who we need to be outside of the band. It’s a good relationship model all around.
CHRIS: I think we’re all supportive and generally excited for each other in regards to what we do outside of the band.

JOSH: We try to support each other no matter what so this has not been an issue so far.

ALEX: When on the road, we’re generally just focused on getting to the next stop. Our tours are like mini vacations with your best friends. So many farts…

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

KYNA: OH my goodness, at the music venue I work a, people stop me all the time: “Aren’t you the lead singer of The Go Ahead? What are you doing working here? You should be PLAYING here!” …It’s routinely a moment I’d rather not be in. I use tropes like “Mama needs to eat” and explain that I love being inspired by the bands I see. Both things are true, but yeah, I’d rather be playing.

CHRIS: I don’t have any stories as exciting as Kyna’s but yes; I have had people recognize me at other shows or around town as the drummer of The Go Ahead.

JOSH: I usually don’t even get recognized moments after playing a show so I’m not holding my breath on this one.

ALEX: Yes. I’ve been recognized around San Francisco a few times. It’s always a little strange. I’m the bassist. No one pays attention to me so why am I being noticed? Though it is nice to be recognized for your music.

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

KYNA: Nope! Again, everyone has been wildly supportive of my creative endeavors.

CHRIS: Nope! At least they haven’t yet… (Laughs).

JOSH: Nope!

ALEX: No. I’ve been very lucky in that regard. I’ve been tired the day after a gig going into work but that’s really about it.

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?

KYNA: The only way you’re definitely not giving it enough time is if you stop. The only way you’ll definitely not make money is if you quit.  Do it until you can’t.

CHRIS: I think you have to find a balance between your responsibilities and what makes you happy. Music makes me happy and I work all my extra jobs so that I am able to continue making music.

JOSH: I agree with Chris; balance real responsibilities with making music and being happy. Relax, take a deep breath, pay your water bill, and go play music.

ALEX: Try to work on your music a little bit every day. It doesn’t have to be for a huge chunk of time either. Review unused lyrics or try to come up with a new riff or chord progression. By no means am I saying not to work on your music for huge chunks of time. However, if you’re crunched for time, 15 minutes can be enough.

Any additional thoughts if you have any!

KYNA: We are in our seventh year as a band.  A friend of ours told us, “If you can get through this year, you can be a band forever”.  I’m holding on to that.  It doesn’t really matter if we make money or do this cool thing or that big thing.  We can always find a way to make music together and that’s the most important part of this journey.

CHRIS: Make music that you love, not what you think other people want to hear. We’ve been doing this a long time now and our sound has developed so much since we started. I’m in constant awe of the songs we’re able to write with just the four of us in our rehearsal space together.

JOSH: I love playing in this band, and I love making music with these people and our extended band-family. Here’s to seven more years of these shenanigans.

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Amanda Krause

New Jersey-based music journalist / Twitter: @amandalynn_14

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