Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Back in the Saddle, Pt. 1

A handful of people have asked me what has prompted me to write new material and get back to playing shows, so I'll explain where I've been the last few years, where I am currently, and where I am headed.  I'm going to break this up into a few posts, so for today I'll stick with where I disappeared to.

Where I've Been

Other than a Bullistic reunion show in June of 2012, I have gone a little over 3 years without getting on a stage to perform as a musician. 

This is a view I haven't had for a while.

There are many reasons why I needed and took the break.  Prominent among those were the facts that I was burnt out on what I saw as a failed attempt at a music career, I wanted to try other things out, and I was tired of being dead broke all of time.

By the late spring of 2010 I felt like my career was going nowhere.  I was really proud of Boss Kean's Ditch, and I thought we were a very special band, but I had grown so jaded and cynical about the music business that I figured we had no shot at "making it."  I figured BKD could be, at best, a regional opener for true touring acts, or, at worst, a bar band devoid of originality.  It was unfair to the rest of the guys in the band for me to quit, but it would have been unfair to them for me to stay and be miserable every time we played. I had conversations with several people telling them and fully convincing myself that I had given music a real, honest shot, but it simply wasn't in the cards.  The joy of simply creating and playing was gone, and I entered a pretty dark period artistically.

Pursuing a music career was out, so I tried my hand at some other things.  I returned to my hometown to be a college football coach at the school where I had played.  Football had been a huge part of my life when I was in high school and college, and I never lost my passion for the strength training that I began while playing the sport.  I figured that I would follow my passion for strength training and work to become a collegiate strength coach.  That path didn't work out either, but it was a fun experience.

While I was coaching I decided to enroll in graduate school.  I relocated again, took out a bunch of student loans, put in the work, and came out with another degree after another year and half as a student.  I was so dead broke and so convinced that I would never again play music that I nearly sold all of my music equipment during this time.  Luckily my wife and several other important people kept me from doing so.

Ah yes, my wife. I'm still not sure how I pulled it off, but I married the most beautiful woman alive while I was back in school, and we became parents to a beautiful daughter.  The vast majority of my time away from performing has been spent trying to be the best husband and father I can be.  Part of that mission is being able to provide for my family, and I saw grad school as the way to make that happen.

In Part 2 I'll explain why grad school may not have been the best idea I have ever had, what got me back to creating music, and what I am currently up to.

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