A job is a job is a job is a job some might say — as long as you bring in the dollareuroyenpounds to pay the bills.
Try rent a house, open a new account or get a loan where you have to write down “musician” next to occupation. Although the look on your attendant’s face is priceless, especially if she is in her early/mid twenties, it doesn’t do much for your chances of succeeding.
Coming from a pretty stock standard Afrikaans suburban upbringing, you can imagine what the family has to say about it as well.
This business has an uncanny amount of organisers, booking agents, hippies, kak bands, horrible venues, promoters, media and sound companies that one needs to wade through to get a decent 45 minutes on stage. Not that all of them are dreadful, just most.
Some might think that the ripe old age of 27 is too old to still be dabbling around in “this music business”, but I assure you that I’m still earning the same, if not more, than I did in my job as a copywriter.
I guess the irony in it all is that because one has had a “real job” so to speak, spent hours in boardrooms with all-knowing brand managers, done retail copy till it comes out of your first-stages-of-tinnitus ears and the constant promise of being able to do something “creative” this time around, is what makes me put more effort into my “art” (cause that’s what it’s supposed to be, right?)
Stick it to the man, or in his eye. Or in our case, his ears.
Bands are also brands, and many of the same, if not all, of the guidelines to building it applies. We also have to be careful of alienating our target markets (didn’t think I’d type that down any time soon) and like many of the well-known brands, we’ve also stepped in some unholy nonsense.
All adversity aside, being a full-time musician is essentially a pretty entertaining profession.
You get to travel the country (be it in an often semi-rotten tour bus), meet loads of interesting (a word used purely because there is no other way of describing them) people, fly to the most obscene airports and consume an immense amount of alcohol (at times).
And yes, I’ve seen a fair amount of the fairer sex throwing their stuff, and themselves, around with no repentance.
Now, you might be asking yourself why I am babbling about nothing in particular. That’s because this is an intro to what is to come in the near future.
If you would like to, we can go on a journey through the ins and outs, ups and downright dirty sides and facets of the music industry in the RS of A through the eyes and mind of a relatively successful, self-managed band member.
I’d still like to think, and it’s most probably true, that my job is at times a lot more compelling than yours.