|KlusterFunq: Marcus, Jason, Eli, John, Bobby|
Well... it's my birthday month. Yay? Not sure. This time, last year, I was getting set, with my KlusterFunq family, to go play a gig in Times Square. NYC. My hometown. I was so excited. I was bringing my new NE family to meet my NY family. I could almost hear Mr. Rogers singing, "It's such a good feeling to know you're alive".
Almost... And then...
And Then There Was Music
2020 was set to be my best year in music yet. Before it even started, I was booked for no fewer than three gigs per month, for THE ENTIRE YEAR! I was stoked. I was chuffed. I was a hundred other euphemisms for being filled with excited anticipation. Up till February, all was right with my little universe.
In the midst of setting up for a full band gig, at the end of March, in Plymouth, MA., with a potentially awesome interview to kick it off, the news started seeping into the cracks in my personal cosm. As, I'm sure, it did to all of us. No need to expound on that. It is known. But, the gig was cancelled. Shortly after that, all gigs were cancelled. Here I am. Stuck in the middle with you. (I knew that song would come in handy someday.)
It was, in those early days of the plague, that people, from all over, started throwing around the, "You've just gotta...", and the, "All you need to do is...", and my personally abhorred, "Well, if you just...". I understand that none of them live in my shoes. Not a single one of those people have been through what I've been through - walked a mile in my moccasins, so to speak.
I was moving out of desperation. A while before this, I had a job that was tearing me apart. Long, strenuous hours away from my children, stress between my wife and me, the general disrespect from the coworkers and owners unless you're the top salesperson, etc. Well, I got a push to move to another job. A job where those things wouldn't be an issue. So I left. Only to find the other job had turned to vapor, I would be left with nothing, and even unemployment wouldn't help me. For two years, I had zero income. I had to decide to move to music full time. It was what I wanted anyway. I knew it wouldn't be easy. But Damn, son.
After a year of pushing, little by little to find whatever I could in terms of venues, in Massachusetts, a State I've only lived int for a blink of an eye, I was ready for this year to matter. So ready. Like a teen boy on his first time, ready. (That might even be a little too ready.) Then... BAM! Gone. I needed music, STAT, or I would fall into despair.
Someone asked me why I create music. I didn’t have to think about my answer. It simply spilled forth. “Because I know what it’s like to feel utterly alone. I know how music changed that feeling, made it copable, even removed it for me. Music quite literally has saved my life. If something I create can do that, for one person, in a crowd of hundreds, it’s worth every note, every chord, every second. I will create music until the day I die.”
This was one of those times when I needed music the most. Fast forward, just a little. I tried a few live streams. They're hard to do when you have everyone at home (Including a houseguest that is now stuck living with you for the rest of the year & beyond due to... reasons.), Small kids for whom being quiet is a game they shall forever lose, and a rather hefty case os RSD that keeps you from wanting to do these things around the people you live with, for fear of silent judgement at any flubbs or errors. But, "All you need to do is...". Right. It's that easy.
I kept feeling like I should be learning new songs for the future. Wife's working from home. Kids are schooling from home. By the time I'm done with them, I need to make dinner for the family +1, then family time. By the time I have a moment to myself, people are going to bed. I can't be free to work in those conditions, and I have nowhere else to go.
Thank goodness for Warren Huart. If not for the Produce Like a Pro YouTube and Academy, I could have lost (what infinitesimal fragment remains of) my mind. I set myself to learning. Learn EVERYTHING. That was what I had. That was what I could do. I set my controls to the heart of mixing and music production. Trust me when I tell you that you won't find a better teacher. The man knows his stuff. He teaches from the heart. He actually cares. And I've learned more from him, in the past couple years, than I have throughout my entire life in music. And this isn't the first time he's affected my life. One day I'll tell him about that other thing. But...
I've sat in the studio, wix a mix engineer/producer, with a Grammy under his belt. I learned a bit. But I had to struggle to grasps some of the concepts. I found Warren by complete accident, and learned without any hindrance. That really stuck with me. And I would urge anyone, with any form of interest in music production whatsoever, to go check out his channel. I mean it. You won't be sorry.
The Battle Thus Far:
I'm working hard to keep myself as close to sane as I could ever possibly get. Part of that has been finding ways to help others through music. Not only in putting my own music out there. But in learning these new skills from the academy, sharing them, and lending an ear when I can, utilizing said new skills, and showing the support I always wished I had. I feels good. I feel good. I have hope. Gonna spread that hope like a plague.