- Sarabeth from the almost too excellent Tower posted a Judas Priest song on her babely Facebook page the other night and it got me thinking how even “bad” Priest is better than everything and how I love the video for “Turbo Lover” and don’t care. It made me think how much metal or good rock n roll or hip hop deserves a fighting chance, no matter what.
Some bands settle for less than they deserve, a few beer tickets every few months at a local show or they never have any drive and want to jerk off alone with a slice of pizza as a glove because they have no fans.It’s easy to say that giving up on metal, noise, punk, rap etc is a (non gender specific) bitch move.That’s because,essentially, this is true. It’s criminal to betray an artform that gives back and nourishes the soul in so many deep ways, though in real world ways it can eat you alive.
Watching White Lung Saint Vitus Bar NYC footage today or recently listening to Give Up The Ghost/American Nightmare’s We’re Down Til We’re Underground, I was moved by the musical power enough to register on some level thanks for these examples of recently active performers who matter. Art can be limited to a time period and still have relevance.There are many short lived, amazing bands.Or time periods we love to mull over (early Metallica, Naked Raygun or Rollins Band albums hold a place in the hearts of various humans like Dave Mustaine, Steve Albini & Scott Ian, for example.)
I’ve been enjoying Dr. Dre’s Compton album (except for the murder fantasy skit as I know lots of people love to re-enact Wu Tang skit’s or whatever and just found it a distraction from brilliant flow of rest of record as well as distasteful, but it’s not unrealistic shitilly enough).There’s part of the record where the master producer Dre mentions how he doesn’t respect whiners, to paraphrase.Cuz it is tough out there, and I legitimately feel that.
The music industry is the same way.Let’s hear from members of bands like Candiria, He Whose Ox Is Gored, Circuitry, Atriarch and more on what’s kept them going. I even asked my rapper pal Mattrix what keeps him grindin’ and rhymin’ (this is a dude who has had way more first week video plays than some established rappers).
- Read More BELOW.
Maybe Ohio or Georgia indie rock scenes aren’t as deadly as the hood, but regardless of genre tastes it is a
hard nut to crack for many to fiscally survive in the music “industry.”Give up?Don’t break the Oath.Maybe you have said what you felt you wanted to with a project, like the band Isis (who get a free pass).
Maybe you died, like a bunch of other bands. Perhaps you had babies or work a lot or your knees hurt.Maybe, like in Beck’s “Loser” you hung yourself with a guitar string and are currently bleeding out (Nylon strings would maybe work better for a less messy…nevermind).
Whatever.As drunk cassette punks from Ohio Fossil Fuel once said wastedly (and I have screamed trashed often with the babely Oriana Fine, a good friend of mine), “WHY CAN’T YOU BE TOUGH?!!!”
I gathered a collection of pirate rabble amongst the best rockers and lifer
types who sprung to mind and many wrote back (some of them are my friends so
it would’ve been lame if they didn’t, haha). The goal? Find out things they
went through that sucked and almost made them quit metal, punk or rock n roll.
- “Never have been (close to quitting) to be honest, mate…love it too much,” comes first entry/ best answer of the bunch via Mr. Sam Kelly-Wallace of mighty Vallenfyre.
- Brooks Blackhawk (Atriarch): So when I was younger I was really into the drugs
part of sex, drugs and rock n roll. I took the “party like a rockstar” life
very seriously, much more so than any attempt at becoming a serious musician.
In October of 2008 I had become aware that I was hopelessly addicted and it
was either jump off a bridge or get clean. To be honest the bridge was very
tempting and much less scary, but I decided to go through with checking into a
The day I got out my best friend Lenny was performing with his band TREES, so
I went to check out the show which was also with CORRUPTED and ASUNDER.I remember feeling more inspiration musically than I have ever felt in my life in that raw state. Here were about a dozen musicians throughout the night all
expressing MY pain and sadness and loss. I felt connected to other humans for
the first time in ages as if they were alchemically transforming darkness into
light. I knew then that I had to do the same.Six months later, Atriarch was born.
Sean-Paul Pillsworth (The Red Owls, Nightmares For A Week, ex-Anadivine/Jerk Magnet): In 2004 I found myself in a weird spot. My band had evolved from a high school local pop punk band into a metal/indie/rock outfit that was signed to a credible indie label, touring non stop, playing big music festivals and making appearances in the background of reality shows and magazines. When this all came to a screeching halt I wound up in Paris for a month visiting my (at the time) girlfriend for a month. I was lost, I was just in the spot I always dreamed musically but I walked away because I felt I had abandoned a lot of what I loved in music. The genre I was in was a compromise of everything I came from. One day I took a walk and listened to Good Riddance’s “Symptoms of a Leveling Spirit”…it put me right back in check mentally. I ran back to the apartment I was staying in and started writing emails to form a new band when I got home. I still think about that day.
John LaMacchia (Candiria): In 1996 I was in a band called Dead Air. The band
was, at that point, falling apart and I was thinking of quitting music and
going to art school. My father convinced me to not quit and told me that I
should stick to doing what I love and that in time things will begin to happen
for me. Two days later I got a call from Carley Coma from Candiria asking me
to join his band and I did. The rest is history.
Rebecca Vernon (SubRosa): I guess that saying that in life there are no
mistakes, only “lessons” … as new-age as it sounds, I think it is a nice way
to see things. If you can heal from the pain and remorse, and retain the
lesson, then those experiences were useful and helpful, no matter what.
Sometimes we can’t get to where we’re going if we hadn’t learned those lessons
in exactly the way we did.Christian Colabelli (Circuitry): Well our last guitarist was a pill popping
drug addict that would sabotage gigs in a variety of different ways: he would
show up late, never have any money on him to pay for expenses, and had no idea
how to use his equipment. There was one gig we had at the middleast in Boston
where he showed up 4 hours late, didn’t bring his ID, could barely get into
the bar, and then bombed the gig. We kicked him out after that and had a
really difficult time replacing him. The next guy we got ended up tanking as
well. It turns out we formed Circuitry a few months later.
Sarabeth Eve Linden (Tower): “Although the industry is pretty superficial
now, I believe that Rock & Roll nostalgia is definitely making its comeback.
But whether or not that actually happens, playing music is the only thing that
will ever make sense to me. My advice is to keep doing what you love and f*ck
whoever tells your otherwise. Rock and roll isn’t temporary. Rock and roll is
Mike Luciano (ex-The Paramedic): I’ve been discouraged many times. This industry is so incredibly cut throat. Very few people/bands, if any are actually wanting to help you out in the long run. Everything from growing up through high school playing local shows and not getting enough people there, to getting left in New Jersey to die with a fellow band mate at the time, to getting let go from a group that I had so much fire and passion for. I’ve had, from what it’s seemed in my life at least, all odds against me at almost all times. Every time, however, I did my best to stay resilient and laser focused on my dreams. Even now I plan on continuing my passion for music, singing, and just being a vocalist and good person in general. I know that without a doubt I’m in a place of discouragement right now, but that has not smothered my light. If anything, I want it more now than ever before. In my eyes, in my heart, and in my soul, I need the stage, and it needs me. I have plans for my future in music, still. I have zero plans of stopping. I love music too much, and I will be damned if I ever let it go.
Matthew A Martino (Mattrix): I’ve been making hip-hop music for 16 years, although I wasn’t always serious about it. Around 2002 I realized I have a talent that should be heard. I did some tours and tons of rogue shows and had fun doing it. But then I almost called it quits for the simple fact that alot of hip-hop is mindless music based on repetitive subject matter. Then I had the realization that me, being a very conscious and politically minded person, could use the music as a tool to make a positive impact in the world. I am not afraid to ruffle some feathers in order to get the truth out there. Even if I can get one listener to think about social issues I have accomplished my mission.
Lisa Mungo (He Whose Ox Is Gored):I grew up in a musical family. My grandmother and her mother were both
concert pianists. My parents were in a rock band together.
It was an incredible experience as a child, and my earliest education with music.
As a teenager I started to struggle with it. It can be tricky, constantly moving
from place to place at that age. At 19 I enlisted in the Army, part time. I had seen the hardships of life on the road and checked out.
During Basic Training I was asked to take a leadership position, and part of my
responsibility was to march soldiers around the base screaming cadence in pitch. I gained a lot of confidence, and realized how much I loved to scream/sing. At some point I realized that I wanted to do just that, as often as possible. I wrapped up my obligation, and found my way back. And here we
The industry can be hell. If you let it. Sometimes you can’t see it coming.
This is not a shit talk session and is about PMA getting you through but I’ve personally been lied to by former friends who
named their very successful band after my sister Cambria and broke many
promises to me or pulled shady drug addict or vindictive lyric shit, been
trolled by uneducated haters, dealt with shit promoters and flaky band people
who want it all handed to them, seen good bands fucked over or people who were
once great lose their minds and even descended myself into ten years of hard
liquor abuse before i got my life back on track.
Shit, I did a record co-produced by one of Bad Brains that no one but some die hards knows about but it still means world to me. So fight for your right to party and be pro scene and growth.
Someone who had it harder than you didnt give up and now is making their dreams come true. Those are values that will
keep you alive and people wanting to work with you or you may find it can even heal you on a “this was worth it” level.
Now I have a dope new band GET OUT. and we are booking some shows with Dead Empires and Circuitry among others and have a lot in the works. Focus on solutions not what ifs and might go wrongs, but troubleshoot.
Kurt Cobain died for our sins. Tower’s “Hold On To Me” (just the fuckin’ demo alone!) should be enough to restore your faith. And if it never wavered, you get King Diamond approved Melissa skull kisses of pure win. I will never forget the awe and disbelief I felt when my friend Yakir of Israel’ thrashers Hammercult once wrote me to apologize he hadn’t been able to write a Metal Riot Deep Cuts article on Running Wild’s 3 best lesser known songs because literally at that moment where he lived was being bombed.
So don’t half ass anything, ever.
Fuck a mid life crisis. Be a mid life pit boss.
More On Candiria
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