Wrapping up our Artist of the Week feature with My Body Sings Electric, we have a guest blog from band member Brandon Whalen. Read on for some insight about being a musician, the struggles you will run into, and reasons why you should never give up.
Hey Musicians. Keep Going.As a guy who has been banging his head against the wall in the music industry for the last 10+ years, I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two. There are no secrets to success in this business. Roadblocks or naysayers will seemingly get in your way, but the greatest advice I can give is “you just have to keep going.”The money will be an issue for eternity.Someone is peddling a ridiculous dream to our musical youth. Don’t count on being the musician who gets a big life-changing record contract. That shit doesn’t happen. Besides, if you ever were to get a deal like that the Illuminati bloodsuckers at the top will destroy your art and break your spirit before you can say Britney Spears.You might have a small chance to make a living — a meager one, but that doesn’t happen by being a professional band dude / dudette. You’ll need at least 5 sources of income — touring, recording / producing, songwriting, and a couple other wild cards to be safe.Last year I knew I’d be strapped for cash, so I started up a wedding band booking service to make some extra money. Also, while I’m touring, I also work about eight hours a day doing freelance digital marketing work. Without all of that, I’d be dead broke and miserable, but because music is what I want to do with my life I found a way.Life will get in the way.Nobody is perpetuating a socioecological lie about how you need money to be happy — that’s your logical brain trying to tell you something you already know. You don’t want to live in your mom’s basement forever and you don’t have to do it.Far too many musicians enslave themselves to a weird “I’m never growing up” ideology, and then they never do, and then it gets sad. Everyone needs to earn their chops and bust their ass to make it anywhere in this industry, but as you grow and your life situations change it’s okay to change with them. You will find a way to keep your music career on the move.You will doubt yourself.You’re going to think you’re a total piece of shit every day, after every show, during every record release, and in everything you do. However, if you choose to make it so, this can be a good thing. It means you care and you are willing to work to get better.DO NOT fall into the pity trap. Sure, it feels good to lay around all day wallowing in your own bullshit and counting the reasons why you don’t have what you deserve out of life. Snap out of it. Don’t be selfish. Motivate yourself to go get what you want out of life.People will piss you off.Your bandmates will challenge you. It will be hard to communicate with your agents and managers. Writers will send you 25 crappy interview questions so they can copy and paste your responses without a grammar check. Assholes are going to drop the ball.People are a nightmare to deal with, but you need them to grow your career. Learn some basic people skills, and figure out how to communicate with your team. You are an organization of professionals working toward the same goal, so don’t behave like a bunch of kids kicking a ball around the school yard.You are your own biggest creative block.Instead of finishing a song yesterday you got wrapped up in your Facebook feed. Instead of doing some metronome work you played video games. Instead of practice on Friday night, you got drunk with some friends. Creativity is great, but it’s only worthwhile when you actually make something. Set a schedule and get some shit done.Keep going.Don’t think for one second you can live your life without music. Your brain is infected just like mine. You are hopelessly addicted to writing, recording and performing. You have to keep going, and you will find a way to do so. Because honestly, you don’t have any other choice.