Some people's perception of a musician's lifestyle is that it is very glamorous and a walk in the park. As a musician I look out onto a world of people going about a seemingly normal nine to five lifestyle and their routine, and feel a mixture of envy and confusion.
I have never known any other lifestyle whereby I feel these emotions and feel pulled in different directions. Body clocks are lost with little perception of hours, days or weeks, it is completely usual to start in the studio at 9am and finish at 5am the following morning... with no recollection of where the time has gone!
When I'm not based in one place, and I'm at it all over the place I think I probably travel more miles than a long distance lorry driver is legally allowed. It's not ideal... rushing around, getting food where you can get it, late night service stations stops (although having Mark and Spencer's has helped - when I can afford it!)
I also know some people who completely disregard their social and family life, it can be so difficult to dedicate time everywhere - those who achieve it must have some serious foundations and understanding within their family. Like any industry there are levels of success but I would say even the rich at some point have experienced empty pockets, those who hack it seem to realise music comes first and money second, the rest is a bit of a grey area!
Musicians and creatives are usually carefree from the roots, resulting in some pretty wild characters and decisions when the success finally does arrive! Either they came up the hard way and don't know how to deal with the success when they do make it, or simply are so detached from reality that money and life's temptations can run away with them!
You hear all these crazy stories about extravagant spending and I'd love to one day be in that position to even have that as a problem! Even stars like Ray Charles had an addiction whilst churning out some of his best ever work. I think it's so easy for someone who only has one goal; to make great music to walk down some pretty dark roads. Is this a bad thing? I'm not sure, maybe a musician's path is crossed with these kind of temptations to produce the end result! With damage, many of the greats seem to be able to get back on their feet pretty quick and have serious survival skills - Frank Sinatra was homeless once you know!
The bare bones of what we do is to perform and create. This can have serious emotional weight... I can spend weeks thinking about and analysing every last detail before a gig! There's always so much going on that my brain never seems to switch off. I do feel a pressure to make sure I deliver and connect to the people whether performing or recording.
These days everything is online, on a CD, on Soundcloud... music can be stored anywhere it would seem - but there is a lot to be said about the here and now of a live show, there's nothing quite like being on that stage and performing to a crowd of people who have come along just to hear you, and your music. I crave it, it's like adrenalin for me.
Not being on the mic brings feelings of boredom and everything feels foreign.
So from my ramblings it would seem that us musicians are a weird breed of people. Like most people we work hard, we just don't clock in the hours - but believe me they are invested!
Personally I love my life, its keeps me on my toes. Even if I have to travel the rest of my days singing for fuel and food for my motor home (that I haven't got yet) as long as I can keep rolling with my purpose, I'm happy.Suggest a correction