This is going to be a wimpy blog. I know, I know. Most of you think I’m the toughest SOB on Earth, but I do own Secondhand Lions on DVD. I have a sensitive side that involves beating up kids, shooting salesman, hating my family, and going out with my boots on.
So my ruckus unit (band) and I had some opposing viewpoints. There have been some “points of disagreement” for some time, but overall it was a great thing. It turns out that the biggest mistake I made was not quitting earlier.
Let’s Get Complicated
Quitting is always a bad thing where I come from. The idea of quitting a band is near-treason to the guys you’ve mutually agreed to go on a mission with. The mission needs to complete itself before anyone goes their own way. That’s the black and white viewpoint. I’ll call it the WW2 point of view.
In reality, life is a lot more like a Vietnam. In my specific band situation, we were all struggling with lack of resources. One guy didn’t have much cash to contribute. One guy ran off his fiance presumably because he wasn’t giving her enough time. I have fallen WAY behind on my RecordingReview duties (what else is new). The other two guys were dumbasses. (har har)
While I can’t speak for the other guys, I was facing MAJOR stress for not doing my RecordingReview.com duty. I felt guilty after each and every band practice (unless I was extra thirsty that day) for not giving proper time to this dream gig I refer to as RecordingReview.com.
What I didn’t realize was I bitching about this whole choosing the band over RecordingReview work to my band mates. I was bitching about all the opportunity I was losing. I thought I was just talking about life. I thought it was no different than “my girlfriend cheated on me” or “I broke my leg” or “I got fired”. It turns out that my personal issues were directly conflicting with the band and were bringing down my band mates. They thought I was blaming them for my career problems.
I knew when I joined the band (directly after the first KHR launch in October of 2009) that I just didn’t have much time. A part of me wanted to make time for fun after working nearly 400 hours in September of 2009. It turns out that I WAS having fun with RecordingReview. KHR was just a bitch to create and launch. I didn’t need a new hobby. I just needed a nap.
The general idea was to make a record, start playing shows all the time, and see what happens. I always had a MAJOR problem with playing the shows because I knew that would throw my life even further out of balance in the time department. For some of you, Saturday night is a natural night for rocking out at the local bar. For me, a studio hermit and workaholic, it was my one time each week to interact with the human species. I would have to tell the woman, my family, and myself “too bad” as I played my shows all over the area. This would cause more problems. In short, I was trying to fit 9 days into a 7 day week. Something has to give and I’m already missing sleep. It would have gotten ugly.
I found myself rationalizing all kinds of reasons not to want to play live when, in reality, I knew it was going to wreck my time and throw my whole life out of whack. I liken this to the guy who now owes the mob boss $80,000 in Vegas after a few bad gambling decisions. I knew I had a debt that was going to be VERY painful to pay!
Hell, I found myself playing guitar ONLY at practice. I’m normally a 1-2 hours a day kind of guy. I wasn’t prepared for practice. I was falling way behind. (This was while I was having my ultra-fun console wiring month!) The band knew I was short on time and not contributing like I normally do.
Right off the bat, we should have made a list of how much time and money each of us could allocate to all band duties. (I would have came up with 0 minutes if I was being honest with myself.) I should have spoken up and said, “Here is how much time and money I’ve got for this project. If you can live with it, great. If not, I should bail now.” I never really did that. That’s where I screwed up.
The band should officially declared our “mission”. (Not a “mission statement” like people who go to “business school” do. I mean a mission like “which village are we going to attack today?”). We should have said, “We are going to play out this often and it’s going to cost this much money to obtain PA, props, etc”. Then, everyone could agree to the official mission. If anyone had a problem with playing 8 shows per month, they could say, “Uhhh, this ain’t gonna work for me”.
None of us ever formally committed to any form of investment. It was just kinda implied. This reminds me of when you are dating a chick. There’s that implied moment where it’s not cool to bang any other chicks, and it MUST be spoken that you and the chick are official and that means you are officially off the meat market.
The second you realize that you do not have the required resources to give to the band, get together, talk about it, and if you are holding the band back, GET OUT..
If you are bitching and whining (or just talking about) how the band is a major pain in your life-ass, you aren’t doing anyone any favors. You are sabotaging the thing.
If you feel relieved that you skipped band practice, GET OUT.
Call a meeting and tell everyone that you’ll only be holding them back as you just can’t scrape up the required resources without causing major pain in other life areas. They will already know exactly what is going on. If they are are decent people, they will respect you for admitting that you don’t have the time for the gig and understand that your other commitments are what they are. If you are anything like me, you are easily replaceable. (har har)
If they don’t realize your contributions have been lacking, or don’t respect your other commitments, they are scum. Enjoy watching them get angry with you as it reflects how unaware they are and how much they don’t give a damn about you.
It’s been three weeks since I wrote the first draft for this blog. In that time, I’ve have dramatically more time for RecordingReview.com, the woman, guitar playing, and all the other things that make me happy. It’s amazing what freeing up just one day per week and a lot of guilt can do. Life is good. Very good!
I haven’t seen my former band mates, and this does suck a little bit, but running out of egg nog the other day was more devastating. Dudes have a way of hanging out when they can and it’s not like you lose sleep when you haven’t seen them in a few weeks.
Best of all, I don’t have this big dark cloud over my head that makes me feel obligated to do something I ultimately don’t want to do.
Moving on was the right decision.