I was doing some artwork for thel website the other day, and I found myself overcome with a feeling of pride as I looked back over my creative output from the last 10 years. 10+ releases with 4 different acts since 2000...2 LPs with Best Of Seven, 2 more with Bombshell Crush, 2 EPs & 2 LPs with fORMER, and 3 LPS with The Great Affairs....not bad for a guy who in 1999 had given up on any notion of pursuing music as a career, if I do say so myself.
Granted, none of these records has propelled me to glory, or done much to line my wallet by any significant measure, but each one has drawn enough attention, and inspired sufficient affection from whatever constituency I've assembled in my travels to warrant a followup. What I've begun to wonder is when will that reward no longer be enough?
This reflection comes at an odd time too, as I've recently begun to question whether or not I want to continue this cycle of what is essentially non-profit work. As much as I enjoy doing what it is I do, and regardless of the compensation-to-labor ratio being somewhat cockeyed, the urge to invest myself in other endeavors can be overwhelming at times.
Would my time be better spent concentrating on crafting songs for other artists? Yeah, probably(see definitely)....no guarantee of positive financial yield, but far greater likelihood of eventual profit. Of course, I do actually apply myself to this type of work, when I feel like it, but certainly not on a regular basis, because quite frankly, I'd rather be writing and recording stuff for MY band to perform, even if we're doing so for peanuts as opposed to the legitimate wealth that might be generated by landing a cut on even a modestly successful pop or country record.
These opportunities present themselves all the time, and I do what it is I always do, make a "note to self" to work on such and such for so and so.....just as soon as I wrap up this killer idea for MY next record that I'm well aware is essentially nothing more than a vanity project designed to keep me (and my heart) in the game.
If any of this sounds like complaining, it's not. My life is great, and I almost always enjoy where this work takes me, but I find myself thinking out loud more and more often about what happens next, and when do I need to make the conscious decision to change gears. I suspect that fork in the road is fast approaching.
In the morning, I'll be on a plane to Los Angeles, and I'm hoping to find some clarity on this trip, some perspective, away from my day to day routine....in the place, and with the people that set me back down this path in the first place. I'd hate to imagine my life without the experiences I've had since first setting foot in that rehearsal room in Burbank some 12 years ago, but no one is immune to contemplating "the road less traveled" scenario from time to time....certainly not me.
Maybe going back through all this old material has made me a bit wistful, but there is definitely a change in the air.