Sunday, March 21, 2010
Break #2, Tour Video Diary
We got back out on the road yesterday after a week off. My week was essentially great - I worked on some songs, recorded a bit, spent time at home, decompressed from the caravan, became myself again. Best of all, I'm nowhere near SXSW! The whole thing should last a little while - I'm hoping at least until Sunday.
A funny thing: you think of musicians as space cadets, and many of them are. Well I certainly am. But they're not all, not at all! And I propose that you can likely bring it down to two categories of musician mentality: frontpeople and sidepeople. And being a frontman playing a sideman, I'm somewhat lost. I'm not talking about onstage mentality - needing the spotlight or whatever. I'm just talking about having your shit together when it comes to normal things - gear, ability to be on time...things like that! It's amazing, but musicians are actually rather responsible people within the confines of their careers. It's intimidating. If you're a responsible guitar or bass player, you do need to be able to play, but you also need to have good gear, know how to be on time, maybe have a GPS, things like that. If you're a space cadet frontman-type, you have one guitar...two tops...you run around like a fire drill to get anywhere on time. You struggle to remember lyrics, nevermind things like where you need to be, how much sleep you need, etc. Truthfully, no-one really expects anything better out of you. At first maybe, but they learn. And it's not because of those things...it's just how it is. I think most musicians start out like this, which is part of why the freedom of rock is so appealing. But slowly as you find out what it takes to be hired, or advance in your career, you grudgingly become an adult. You ever notice how guitar players can usually actually tell you all about impedences and ohms, or where to roll some EQ to make the room sound better? It's impressive. It's impressive to me. I play guitar. I know where to turn the volume up. Natalie's a bit odd in this regard, as she's responsible and has her shit together. You should see her pedal rack! But maybe you can chalk this up to her having trained for many years on a sophisticated instrument...and possibly her having actually finished college. Plus, her parents are still together. She's just got her shit together, I can't explain it. I'm working on it.
Anyway, so this trip we've had two calls, and with creative planning and dedication, I've been on time for both. I also got an A/B switch for my rig, and the rat's nest is minimalized. I'm hoping my personality doesn't completely melt away, but I am going to experiment a bit with being an adult.
Above is part 1 of James' tour diary from the last leg...starring - clearly - the "old" me (stop laughing, old friends!)