Ah yes, it’s that time again. A brand new year, a brand new beginning. Some of us make half-assed resolutions at 11:53 on December 31st, already drunk, and then forget come morning. But some of us make our resolutions because we are in dire need of change. For some of us, it is make or break. This can be incredibly stressful and anxiety inducing. Some of us are losing hair, sleep, and weight. I feel as though 2015 is an important, pivotal year for creative types. So I rustled up some New Year’s Resolutions from some musicians I know, because a lot of you probably have similar things going on in your head spaces and need to know you’re not alone.
So you can stop crying in the shower and get to work, now. Go on, get.
“Our resolution is to simply embrace our vast love of all that music has to offer. Who’s to say a band can’t switch between playing free jazz, to playing an Ernest Tubb cover? We must simply keep going wherever we are going.” – Gregg Kearns, Mediseasin [mediseasin.bandcamp.com]
“1. Less money on lawyers, more on records.
2. Obtain intellectual property rights to Paul Stanley’s stage banter album.
3. Cancel punk.” – John Guttschall, Quone City Press [quonecitypress.bigcartel.com]
“Last year I had the worst tour that has been my displeasure to experience since the dramatically excruciating weeklong ride in a car with a strange and completely full of himself musician that I had just met and could not sing, but still managed to a book a string of poorly attended shows on the East Coast in 2007. It was the week where folks came up and apologized for leaving before my set, but they just couldn’t take his grating songs any longer; it was my first tour. My October tour this year topped it. Rained out and poorly planned shows, my face covered in bed bug bites, quarantining myself from my friends because of the bed bugs, wet and itching uncontrollably and a host of bad people experiences. For example, someone explaining that the reason people stay in abusive relationships is because they secretly like to be abused. Hooray. But that’s not going to happen again. I’ve learned it’s not usually a good idea to take chances on venues and people who I’m not sure about. Usually I know long before I play a show whether it’s actually going to be worthwhile, and I really need to stop agreeing to the ones I already know will be awful. It’s not even good exposure when no one shows up. I need to start coming to terms with the fact that while touring, I might have to start asking for a guarantee. Not a big one, just a few dollars to prove that we’re all committed to at least trying to make this work. I am not a musician nor do I tour because of how incredibly lucrative it is, that should be obvious. I know it’s hard for non-touring bands or folks who don’t have to support themselves to understand, but I also have to survive. I can dumpster all the food at supermarket, but at the end of the day, I still have to pay my rent. I cannot drive 20 hours just cos it’s good experience. I don’t have that luxury, and I need to stop putting myself down for that. Actually, I need to stop putting myself down in general.” – Michelle Antisocial, Everyone Except Me [everyoneexceptme.bandcamp.com]
“1. Learn to trust my instincts. Let a song be what it is. Don’t meddle.
2. Accept and embrace my limitations when it comes to writing, recording, and performing.
3. Stop writing every song for her.” – Joseph West [josephwestmusic.com / facebook.com/josephwestmusic]
“Having just released one song in December my resolutions as an act are pretty easy: start. And that is exactly what I am doing just past the New Year. C’Mere is the project and you can listen to “Show Me That” at: http://soundcloud.com/cmere_music/show-me-that; electropop in sound but not attitude. As a writer and singer my resolution is to write a song a day. That will help me better C’Mere and reach other personal goals as a writer for other acts.” – Beth Hansen, C’Mere [link cited previously]
“I want to practice rudiments more. Get back in the swing of the classical approach. I also want to acquire a vintage kit, ’60s or ’70s; although I’m learning more about antique drums from the ’20s to ’50s as well. Very different than the kits we play today.” – Richard Perello, Haethen and Coastal Plain [haethen.com / as of right now you’ll just have to catch Coastal Plain live]
“My resolution is to not let worrying control my decisions. We all have our personal, irrational fears I think. I think I’ve made decisions in the past, or chose not to do something, because I was worried what would happen.” – Adam Bird, Those Mockingbirds [thosemockingbirds.com]
“1. Get better gear. Time to do away with the shit we’ve been clawing at for the past two years.
2. Jam more. We really need to do that.
3. Get out to the East Coast as a full band.” – Jay Gambit, Crowhurst [facebook.com/crowhurstnoise]
“More night drives. You know, sometimes driving 90 miles at 12:00 am is exactly what you need to strike up the inventive to write something heart wrenching. More ink and paper…less…iPad. It’s easy to get lazy, and jot down words on your phone. Where’s the fun without blood, sweat and hand cramps? Healthier brains. As a whole, we need to swap the occasional beer with a water, or tea or something…healthy. It’s great to have too much fun being in a band and all, but no one works well with a bad case of the hangover.” – Christine Dixon, Twin Coves [facebook.com/twincovesnj]
“1. I’m going to write the concept album that me and my infinitely better half have been discussing for almost two years. We’ve tossed around so many neat ideas but nothing has come to fruition. Now that our lives and living arrangements are stabilizing, it’s gonna be a good time to really put some work into something well be proud of. We’re gonna branch out with it a lot. She’s written one in the past already composed almost entirely of midi and she’s a whiz so we’re really gonna utilize that end of it. TL;DR—she’s making something, I’m taking some credit.
2. I’m going to write about things I haven’t written about in the past. I think about a lot of crazy shit, but I tend to stick to a handful of themes in the songs I write. I’ve noticed a pattern in most of them in that they’re totally self-absorbed and since becoming aware of it, it doesn’t really sit right with me. It’s almost all about what James feels or James’ struggles—but what about how good or bad I’ve made other people feel? And on a global scale, willful ignorance and armchair activism are at a peak. It’s 2014 and there are people on this planet who are actively enslaved, people who are trafficked for sex, people who can’t practice the religion they hold dear, people who are killed for arguably nothing more than being black and party lines have never been more divisive. Kevin Devine’s Bubblegum has a song about PFC Chelsea Manning called “Private First Class” and when I saw him at Asbury Lanes this year, he said he would be playing that song at every show until she is released from prison. And that fucking rules.
3. I’m going to try to be a little more candid in the way I write. I think about what other people are going to think of something when I write and I kind of wanna shake that. I think it’s really inhibiting because there is so much I’ve written but never used because of fear, and while fear can be a good healthy motivator it’s also equally crippling. So I guess in a sense this third one is actually more about embracing fear and being able to bend it to my will.” – James McKenna, Great Estates [reverbnation.com/greatestates]
“Sniffling Indie Kids is run by myself (Holy City Zoo, NGHTCRWLRS, Fleeting), Eric Goldberg (The Nico Blues, All Sensory Void, NGHTCRWLRS) and Joe Lanza (Holy City Zoo, Rocky Catanese and The Chapter). Previously, the three of us, along with a few other friends, had founded the Tiny Giant Artist Collective. Sniffling Indie Kids is our new endeavor which we are all incredibly excited about. In October, we put out our first release, Space Jamz: 5 Bands 1 Practice Space. The name of the release pretty much explains itself. The practice space we share in Clifton is shared amongst five bands (Holy City Zoo, All Sensory Void, France, Lake Effect and NGHTCRWLRS) who are all close friends. The five-way split features one song from each band that is not available on any other release. The split can be streamed/downloaded for free at http://snifflingindiekids.bandcamp.com. Going into 2015 we have two major goals in mind:
1. Release at least 10 different albums in a physical format (CD, cassette and/or vinyl).
2. Work to help increase communication/networking of bands from different regions of NJ to create a more unified music scene within the state.
The first goal we have a pretty decent start to, as we already have our first six releases planned out for 2015. The second goal we hope to achieve through booking shows with bills featuring bands from different regions of the state, helping introduce them to one another. This, along with growing the family-type atmosphere we’ve strived to create amongst the bands involved with Sniffling Indie Kids, makes us feel that our goals are realistically attainable.” – Frank DeFranco, Sniffling Indie Kids [snifflingindiekids.com]
Get at me to contribute or complain here: facebook.com/medioxcore