Monday, 17 October 2011

Changing priorities - stepping back from the music, for now

I tried writing this blog without letting it turn into an emo whinge-fest, then it turned into an emo whinge-fest. I am very good at them but what do they achieve?

Anyway this is a brief note to say I am going to ease up on the music for the foreseeable future to focus on other things.

I jokingly call myself an "ideas generator", but it's with good reason, and it is just as much a boon as a curse. As an example, here's a farcical list of creative things, in no particular order, I want to do:
  • Record album "Airfix Democracies"
  • Release the raw audio of the entire album as part of "Project Airfix"
  • Write and record album "To The Greater Glory Of"
  • Write and record EP "The Great British Public"
  • Record untitled straight-up rock EP (featuring "Alchemy" and "The Hype Of Yesteryear")
  • Write and record album "Cultuur Sugoi"
  • Record Acoustic Warrior dance-rock EP "BELIEVE IT OR PERISH, BITCHES"
  • Record "Without Fear" with full band production
  • Write and self-publish novel "HYPER"
  • Write and self-publish follow-up novel to "HYPER"
  • Write series of short stories about time travel in the South Pacific
  • Write more short stories featuring Sir Ralph Beef Wellington
  • Make a short animated video for Jimmy The Dolphin And The Metric Squid
  • Make a short animated video for Jesus And The All-Stars Episode 1
  • Write more short stories for Jesus And The All-Stars
  • Record audiobooks for NO UP, NO LIES and NO NEVER
  • Create graphic novels for NO UP, NO LIES and NO NEVER
  • Work towards animated feature films for NO UP, NO LIES and NO NEVER
Every single one of these things will take a lot of time and effort to make and do properly. None of them will make me any money in the short term, and probably not in the long term either. And there is no way in hell I am slogging my guts out trying to get signed/published etc. by the mainstream recording and publishing industries - not when:

  1. those industries are about as welcoming as a castle with the drawbridge up
  2. my books are too weird to be commercial, and my music isn't even being downloaded for free, and
  3. especially not when both of those industries are in complete disarray in the age of downloads. The established industry did nothing for people like me before downloads, and now downloads are here there seems to be no reliable business models for the future.
Okay that got a bit emo whinge-festy. What can I say, I'm a pom. It comes naturally.

If I was to be cynical and self-critical, I could say that all the time I've spent/wasted on music and books the last few years I could have dedicated to gaining proper employment and progressing some kind of career. I think considering the overall scheme of things that might not have been a bad idea. Hell, maybe a real human being would have been able to do both.

It's not that I haven't spent a large amount of time in these 3 years applying for and getting rejected from jobs. I just have a feeling a lot of my friends and family wanted to tell me all along that perhaps my priorities were wrong, but being kind and generous people, they didn't say it and supported me in my teenage adventures in writing and music. Oh well.

Music is my passion first and foremost. I will continue to make music, or at least write songs with drums, bass and rock guitars, and the one thing I still really really want to do is record and release Airfix Democracies - it'll be my first full-length full-production album ever after 12 years of being in music. I'm hoping I can make this happen in 2012 - maybe there'll be a music video to go with it, maybe not; probably with some kind of album launch party, although not necessarily.

Beyond this I'll definitely continue to write, make and record music, but probably not in the pattern I've done so far. Maybe I'll record stuff and just pump it out there to the internet - as you can see from the list, I've got more than enough songs to be getting on with, and maybe without the pressure of official releases I can actually be more productive.

What I need to focus on in the near-to-mid future are 2 things:

1) My web skills, which are not quite up-to-scratch in terms of employability. I have admittedly not been spending time on it and this shows. I also get laughed at by web people when I mention my website has an iFrame - quite unfairly in my view, because I think it's suitable in terms of layout and function, but I accept I need to revamp the site into something a bit more modern.

2) Something completely different. I may just have a cunning plan...

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