I first got into music after seeing School of Rock starring Jack Black in theaters when I was 13. Being young and impressionable, I asked for a guitar for my birthday and my parents were kind enough to fuel my newfound interest in music by giving me an Ibanez Gio starter pack. From there, I took lessons for several years, before eventually getting the opportunity to attend the Berklee College of Music for their summer program after graduating high school. I'm glad I went there, because I figured out I didn't want to stay there. Instead, I attended Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. I studied jazz at WSU, and it shook up my world of progressive rock and metal and I suddenly knew theory and chords better than I had before. I don't play much jazz these days, but I still use the knowledge I got during school every time I write. I've been making a big push towards recording and production, and I even have my own home studio and business called tB Audio LLC. I've begun taking on clients on top of recording my own music, so if you're in the metro Detroit area and are looking for a place to record, feel free to message me.
For me, music is a means of telling a story. Music has a way of creating such gripping and emotional experiences when all the right elements come together.
To have a band like Dweezil Zappa's. His bands are so tight, so talented, so creative, and the thing that gets me is when they flow from one song to the next during a set. It's truly an amazing thing to see Dweezil and his band play his father's music live.
Oh jeez, what's a philosophical question doing here? If we're talking about musical changes I would make, I would make it so artists actually get paid what they deserve. Peter Frampton has 55 million Spotify plays on one song and only got $1700 out of it. Yeah, something about that doesn't seem right.
Oh man... Gotta dig up some memories for this... Hmm... The one that comes to mind is Dance of Eternity by Dream Theater. Not only is that song nuts, but it set me on the path of listening to progressive music and learning about time signatures and theory. I thought it was so cool how dynamic and ever-changing that song is and I aspire to make music like that all the time.
Between the Buried and Me is the top dog for me. They have been for about 10 years at this point. But I'll spare you the tedious list of bands I like. If there's one I can mention though, listen to Scapegoat Wax. Their one and only LP called SWAX is absolute perfection and nobody has heard it. You should change that fact right now and go listen to it.
The prospect of trying to create something new and different. Something that no one else is doing. Kind of a cliche answer, but it's true.
I don't know that there is any particular message that's in my music. I think the overall meta-theme is to just have fun making music (or whatever art you're in) and to not take yourself too seriously. Have humility and be real with what you're making and I think your art and your well being will prosper.
Well, I don't play out much and I haven't played an actual show in several years, so I barely know what it feels like. But from what I recall of the few shows I've played, it felt right. It's always nerve-wracking in the lead up to taking the stage. But when the music starts, I feel right at home. I always feel the most comfortable with a guitar in my hands and it's no exception when I'm on stage. Not that I'm ever on them to begin with, but hey...
Currently, creating music has never been easier. You go out and buy a laptop and you've got the potentiality of having an entire studio in one device, which is incredible if you really think about it. Not only that, but the internet provides you the platform to host and promote your music, which is also an incredible advantage over past decades. However, I think the value of music is underappreciated and undersold. It's treated more as a commodity in some ways and it's not fair that musicians go through all this training and spend a lot of time honing their craft, and yet it's next to impossible to make a living creating or performing music. For as much as the public consumes music on a daily basis, I feel its importance is underestimated. I suppose it's the plight of every artist, regardless of art form, but I think it's something that needs to change.
Still figuring it out. I think it's an interesting tool to share music among musicians, but we'll see how it pans out.
Marketing. Writer's block too, I guess, but mostly marketing. I'm not good at it, whatsoever. So I need to get better with social media and marketing tactics. Also, I don't like that people don't buy or listen to full albums anymore, but that's another discussion entirely.
No, there really isn't much of a scene where I live, outside of bar bands playing covers. I do, however, teach at a local music store every week, and I feel like I'm supporting my students along their musical journey, so that's something.
A good sense of how to market it would be a good quality to have. I also think handling criticism helps a lot. Go in knowing your music won't appeal to everyone, and understand how to distinguish between actual critiques/feedback versus someone having different tastes than what your music offers.
As I said above, Scapegoat Wax. One of the best bands you've never heard of. Listen to their album SWAX. There's also Beardfish, a now defunct, Swedish progressive rock band with a 60s/70s appeal, even though they started in the early 2000s. Check out their album Sleeping in Traffic: Part 2.