Here I am, 28 years old, sitting in front of my refurbished laptop, in my stinky and decrepit shared accommodation, writing an article for UG (the first one ever). Who am I and does it matter?
To make the story short, I have been playing in bands since I was 16, up until now. I tried to "make it" like many others. The goal was to become a virtuoso (or expert) musician, play on many albums, travel to exciting cities and entertain people in amazing venues, build a loyal fanbase, inspire people and increase my self-esteem in the process... Fine. Living the dream.
Basically, 13 years later, I still could not make it. I played in 10 metal bands as a bassplayer, recorded 6 demos, 2 EPs, 3 underground albums, and went on stage 15 times. Nothing I have recorded ever hit the shelves. I'll explain later.
There are many reasons why it did not work as expected and an unbelievable amount of factors can be involved. If you are trying to ''make it'' like other amazing bands out there, the basic advices you get are mostly the following:
1. The lifestyle of your musicians could be a liability, the musicians you met might just not fit for the musical project you have, personalities might clash, or, it might be the lack or talent, wrong location, bad technology, or lack of inspiration.
All of those answers are 100% valid, as I recall those experiences personally. You will probably encounter those as well.
During the last years, I managed to identify one of the biggest problems ever in the musical path and I believe other people can relate to that. I sacrificed my quality of life and education path in order to invest more time with bandmates, drink more beer, sleep with more chicks, practice more and spend countless hours in sweaty and yucky rehearsal spaces... All with the idea that one of my many projects could make it one day. Big mistake... Biggest mistake ever.
2. Why is it the biggest mistake? Simply because now, at 28, I have no further education than a High School Diploma, no car, no funds to go back to College/University, no money to buy advanced musical equipment. I'm stuck working as a line cook as a full time job, and teaching guitar to some random beginner students in my free time to pay the bills. I have the same bass since 2007, and a sh-tty beginner's guitar not worth more than $170. And I live in a disgusting sh-thole with messy and lazy international students.
To make it clear, a serious career choice could have enabled me to:
- Find a more fulfilling job than line cook, cashier or janitor.
- Be clear of the stress of being fired in entry level job openings.
- Obtain substantial savings more rapidly.
- Pay professional studio engineers when needed.
- Buy better musical equipment, for myself or for bandmates.
- Build a website for myself and promote my music.
- Literally finance the recordings when no bandmate is able to do so.
- Take extra lessons on home studio recording and such.
- Invest my time in what I love (music) instead of "surviving."
- And everything else you may want to add here.
As for the reason of my "failure" as a musician, I will tell you that 75% or all the bandmates I had in the past had poor education/personal problems and could not support themselves in rough circumstances or pursue the musical adventures thereafter (requiring money and stability).
Some of my former bandmates from the past have hit their late 30s, subscribed to social support, live in shared accommodation, cannot invest any more money into music or band/projects and have a precarious situation.
So... To conclude, follow my advice and choose any relevant training before it is too late. Thanks for reading.