Jason Fynch NYC – I’ve been a bit depressed about the music business lately. When I finally realized I wasn’t going to be a famous rock star I had a hard time being motivated to play. Now I realize I was playing music all those years and sacrificing a more stable future for all of the wrong reasons. Still, I feel empty with out it. Your thoughts on all of this would be appreciated.
Breck – What shame is there in wanting to be famous? Any one doing music several times a week and putting themselves through the insanity of that, loves it and is doing it because they love it, even if they seem to have a another motive to begin with.
The difference between someone really pursuing music as a career and the person with another profession pursuing music as a hobby is rarely the love of music but a difference in agendas. Some people are just more willing than others to endure the discomfort of poverty and insecurity for a cause than are other people. I’ve known many people with other careers that pursue music on nights and weekends that desperately wish they could do it as a career. They love music. Many of them are not in love with their jobs but are of the opinion that there is no chance of success in the music business so they choose a more responsible path. They choose a direction that affords them a nice lifestyle with some security and a chance to do their passion as a hobby. They are probably the wise ones. Statistically speaking their chance of success is almost exactly the same as someone that pursues music as a full time career. It’s an itty, bitty, teeny, tiny chance of success. And that’s assuming the hobbyist is somewhat serious and actually throws a little music out into the world with their homemade CD, the song-writer contest every now and then and the bar gig every few months. You gotta at least play the lotto a little if you ever even dream about winning it.
The point is they love it to. Your argument would suggest that they do it for the right reason, which is just because they love it.
One could argue that it is the passionate ones that create great art. And it has been a rather universal opinion that sacrifice is needed to really feel passion. Therefore regardless of the outcome so far you can feel good in the fact that you have lived a passionate life despite your feelings of disappointment.
On the other hand I’ve never met a person that was truly pursuing music or any other art form that didn’t have a pretty deep love for. It didn’t mean they were necessarily good at it but they loved it. It’s very often the people that are just as in love with the idea of stardom as they are the actual music they do that live out their star character and bring that character forward in their performance. When it works it works because truly there are just as many people or more perhaps that follow musical trends for what they represent fashion-wise as to what they represent musically. The problem is that when it doesn’t work then you end up with a burnt out unsuccessful rock star. Now that’s the worst kind of rock star. And you know what? The world is full of them.
Basically you’re feeling disappointed because your expectations weren’t met. Well I hate to say this but in the music biz most expectations are not met. There’s a brutal saying in the pursuit of art that goes “if you can quite, do.” It’s a matter of self preservation and you have a right to not feel disappointed all of the time.
What I will say is that most of the people I‘ve ever known who have worked as hard as it takes to pursue music have come out the other side as very driven, motivated people and have turned that into a functional way of being in many different walks of life. Many of those people have stayed in music as educators, producers, agents, managers, record label owners or employees, equipment dealers etc.
It’s sad to see that things can disappoint us and burn us out to the extent that we don’t want to do them any more. But if that is the case it’s not necessary to feel guilty about it. I think people that pursue big lives end up leading several lifetimes. And if music was another lifetime for you then be happy and proud that you had that lifetime. I’m sure it will enrich you in whatever you do.