Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Luxembourg Insomnia...

"I have thousands of opinions still - but that is down from millions - and, as always,  I know nothing."   - Harold Brodkey

I'm sitting cross legged at the foot of a bed at 4:50 AM, half drunk, in a hotel room in Luxembourg with our guitar tech Brad sleeping a few feet away from me.  A situation that has somehow become normal for me, even mundane.  When I think about what my perceived adult reality was as a kid, and what it has become, I'm blown away.  It's even further in the future now than the time Marty McFly went to in Back to the Future 2.  As a kid, I thought by now I'd be a college graduate, a working guy with a family and all that. Probably with a flying car and meals in pill form.  After a certain point, 13 or 14 maybe, I thought I'd be exactly what I am.  It's just that I had no idea what becoming what I wanted to be entailed. Something I probably haven't fully realized until recently, over the course of the last few years when the band I created with 3 other people turned into something bigger. 

From the ground to the underground to the outer tinges of soccer mom's stereos.  From booking local shows, to booking east coast dates to spending 9 months a year on the road.  It's seriously a fucking trip, from the advantages, to the troubles, to the scruples and everything in between.  I would not trade it for any other life, but the perception of my life to a lot of people from the outside is starting to get interesting.  It now begins in my late twenties, when random people began digging my band.   People think they know you.  Your history and your baggage and your former pains and accomplishments.  Even the people who I've toured with for years couldn't tell me what my Mom's name is.  The kind of student I was in school.  How much bands like Strength 691, or 108, or CR meant to me.  What weekends with my Grandparents were like.  But to them, by listening to drum parts and reading a Wikipedia page, they think they know exactly who I am, who we are.   

It's this sort of judgement that's obtuse and dangerous and silly, and important to not take too seriously.   I'm an extremely opinionated and judgemental person, it's taken me the bulk of my adult life to let people be themselves without opinion, especially if it has no bearing on my life.  Now I've never been judged more in my life.  Everyone has an opinion, and one that has to mean something because my friends and I have chosen to publicly parade ourselves around and hire gigantic companies to promote our music.  Everything we say and do and write and record is now layed out for the court of public opinion.  And that's OK, it's part of the game.  It's just so much more important, now more than ever, to realize what a giant crock of shit it is. 

It's the most important time in my life to remember myself and where I come from.  To not let the leaking pen of a journalist or the quick fingers of a blogger define me.  They're random people, just like me.  People with their own histories, friends and families and scruples and insecurities to deal with. And I hope they find joy in what they do, malice driven or not.  It's like my Mom always said, "whatever gets you through the night".  The subjective nature of all of this is what keeps my skin thick.  6 years ago I was a pothead, college dropout who had a good job, a litany of past and present bands, and who's prime seemed to have passed when I stopped booking shows at 20 years old.    But I kept working and caught a break and now random people from all over want to pretend to know who I am, what motivates me and my friends and the type of people we are behind closed doors.  Let me lift the veil for you.  A bunch of lunkheads working their way through life, trying to figure it out...just like everybody else.