Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reality of Rock

I know I shouldn't be complaining, but recently I've had a lot of people ask me about playing music with them. I'm in a position of picking and choosing that's a little more difficult than I thought.

On top of that, we had a discussion about money last night, during which I was thrown for a serious loop. Everything I wrote about in regards to Laverite and money was small change compared to some of the figures we're talking about here; amounts that I cannot even properly fathom at this point.

I'm not sure how much I've got 'the dream' in me. I do all right here and I'd rather not jeopardize my ability to stay in the country or pay bills/feed myself by taking that big of a leap.

I'm sure something will work out and everything will become clear as to what I should do, whether it means I continue with music (that'd be fun and nice!) or not (a bummer, but way safer). But at the time it was just a bit of a shock.

I'm not much of a gambling man. Has anyone had an experience in which they 'gambled' with their life and it paid off? Or when it didn't pay off? Or what life lessons you gleaned from either result?


Anonymous said...

When I look back at some of the things I've done, it still makes me sit back and go, "Really, I managed to pull that off? How the heck did I do that? I was one of, what, 20 people? Why me? Why was I the successful one?"

It seems like there's a certain amount of "random luck" that goes into being successful - you're in the right place at the right time with the right skills, you know someone who puts in a good word for you, etc. But in reality, I think you yourself make most of your own "luck" by working hard, making the right connections, staying on top of things, etc. That way, you're ready to take advantage of opportunities that pop up in front of you, and the "gambles" you take aren't really the longshots that they might seem to be.

I've been in a position where I didn't have a backup plan, and it was the most stressful time in my life. The stress of that year cost me a lot - I had trouble sleeping, I had trouble with important relationships in my life, and when things didn't look good I started flirting with the idea of suicide if I didn't make the cut because I just couldn't imagine doing anything else with my life.

At the same time, that year ended up being an incredible learning experience for me. I learned that I had to be my own best advocate - no one else was going to do it for me. I had to believe in my ability to make things happen - no one was going to just plop my dream into my lap. Having survived something that was so grim to me, I'm less afraid of what the future holds. As a result of that experience, I know I have better tools and resources to cope with stress and uncertainty and pursue my dreams.

I wonder, could you talk to some of your successful sempai in the business and ask them for advice? You can't be the only person who struggles with issues about money and security. You could also talk to people who quit music to get a different perspective, as well.

Klisk said...

Unlike Anonymous, my point of view is very different.

While I would very strongly encourage you NOT to quit music, I would also encourage you to only take risks that you can afford. You can still play music on a Laverite-scale and be perfectly happy with it. Sometimes people take the "all or nothing" approach, and I don't agree with that.

However, unlike Anonymous, I've been in situations in my life, in the past, where I'm not the 'one out of 20'. About 99.5 percent of the time I'm one of the 19 that is a complete failure, has no luck, and loses everything on every life gamble. I've had pretty horrible luck, and I've lost a lot of life experience, and a lot of current, and more importantly FUTURE experiences because of that. I'm pretty much a shut-in now.

That being said, you don't want to be like me, heh. So if anything, don't take the safe route -- Take bigger risks, and commit.

I'm an awkward, creepy, unsociable, and generally very unlikeable person in real life. I don't have anything going for me.

The people who have won spots in situations like this were people like you -- People who know how to be friendly, vocal, and generally enthusiastic and happy.

No matter what the situation, even if I'm in love with what I am doing, I constantly have people asking me why I seem so miserable. I'm usually bewildered by this since the times I'm asked why I seem so unhappy or uncomfortable are the times I'm actually enjoying myself.

Basically, I'm pretty set for failure!

Someone like you needs to take the big risks and find the rewards, of which will be great. Things do have a way of working themselves out, of course. You have the potential to go far with these opportunities, to just throw that away because of a fear of stability is ridiculous especially when you've proven yourself to have what it takes.

Me? I've been taking risks and risks after tons of failure, and knowing that I'm generally a person people are uncomfortable being around. I proved myself not to be capable, and I was too dumb and stubborn to accept that.

Either way, as an audience stand-point, it'd be pretty anti-climatic for you to quit now. It would be like you ended up like me. Bummer!

I agree with Anon, though -- Definitely ask for advice and support. I realize this is likely a very un-japanese-esque move, since you probably should be entering conversations like that with the mentality that you don't want to be a burden, or seem overly dependant on someone else. However, your case especially, is incredibly unique so I think you get a pass on making your position more vocally known.

mrvolt said...

Montaigne in one place in his Essays muses over the nature of success. He notes how meticulous plans often go aground, while sheer chance carries the seemingly undeserved to great fortune, quite as though such things are beyond the scope of individual control.

As someone who now literally works in a casino, I can claim, I suppose, some authority in gambling matters, but in this case I'd offer only this: follow your gut instinct, Elec, and don't reason overmuch about it.

Scatter in Depth said...

You have a very large mob-like group of friends and family who are going to support you regardless of what you are doing. You can't lose everything if you have that.

Whatever may come out of playing something safe will never outweigh the maturity, and the lessons, and the adventure that comes in taking the chance and not regretting it regardless.

Anonymous said...

a killing unhappiness:
never knowing
what you might have

yay bukowski. :]

liath said...

well it's always a gamble, I know. My own particular life-changing gamble paid off, but I'm farsighted enough to realize that it doesn't always swing that way. I know that everyone here who reads your blog will support you whatever choice you make. If you stay in music and take this 'leap' you speak of, for some of these people (lucky enough to be within traveling distance) that will mean physically going to see you perform,screaming an occasional 'JIMI' and dancing like crazy, and for the rest of us it will mean cheering you on from thousands of miles away via the magic of technology. If you don't leap, we'll still support you and look forward to your blog entries and live reviews, hoping that whatever you'll be doing keeps you sane and makes you smile. The truth is you clearly have the talent, and are getting the contacts in the biz, you just need to do what Anon says and ask questions of folks who've been in your shoes...then make a more informed decision - bearing in mind that not all decisions need be final.

Second Blossoming said...

Trust your heart, but be wary of your mind. Balance of both is the best way to go mate.

If you choose to take a risk, take it with both hands, don't falter as it will only hinder your progress. Head high up, always.

Take care mate.

ken said...

If you take the "gamble" on whatever opportunity is presented to you, and it falls still goes on thereafter. Regardless, you'll be able to say that you took the step and gave it your best shot, which is infinitely better than saying that you didn't try. At the end, you'll come out with a story and an experience that's worth far more than any amount of money ever could be.

EVERYONE has "the dream" in them; for most people, it's just that: a dream. You're lucky; you can make it go do it. Have fun, dude.

fuzzurin said...

I would say that it's extremely valuable to listen to your intuition. While logic and reason are valuable, your natural inclination is, as well.

As someone above me said, a balance is necessary. If you rely too much on logic and reason, choosing may become impossible and it will be difficult to see what your natural inclination is.

I wish you all the luck in the world.

Lisa said...

What is the worst that can happen?

I mean that seriously. I guess I'm assuming that you might end up burnt out and/or poor and/or stuck in a crappy job just to get by as a worst case scenario. But would it be that bad to risk it to do something mind bogglingly awesome?

FWIW, when I saw you in Laverite you were definitely one of the best indie bass players (prolly better than some of the major label ones) so I can see why you have multiple offers.

Lemon said...

I'll be a jedi and say, "Trust your feelings". I'll also quote Jonathan Black in saying, while hypothetically describing the unexplainable laws of human experience, "If you act irrationally, the irrational forces of the universe will reward you for it." I think by putting everything on the line, you will be more pulled towards success. I would say this is the perfect opportunity to be successful, then. But once you go down that path you'll only shoot yourself in the foot by looking back, so don't hesitate, and just go forward.

I myself am in the process of taking a very similar risk, and all of the aforementioned concepts (including those left in the comments here by various people) are all things I considered and implemented in my life and I think they have paid off extremely thus far.

And like others have said, even if you fail, look at all of the people already here to support your indecision and give you advice. Clearly you have a stellar network of support.

Doubt is a much smaller beast than regret!

Kagami said...

Almost everything I wanted to write where mentioned by these wonderful supporters of you who seem to have a lot more experience than I currently have.

It would be a waste of your talent, skills and your happy, sociable nature to "give up" on music.

You should think about making that leap towards your dream because if you don't try you could regret it later on. Maybe that could be too late to try it and if you don't try you'll never now what your future could be!

Wouldn't you be more satisfied (when it goes bad)if you could say :" Whatever at least I tried it and gave my best" instead of thinking how it would have been the rest of your live?

As it was earlier mentioned: "What is the worst that can happen?

I'm sure what decision you may make you'll give all your best and we (if I can speak in the name of everyone here)will support you to our fullest!!!

Go said...

safer's def. better, and you have to go with the odds (like, 100,000 people wanted to be Sugizo, but only one guy became Sugizo, and the other 99,999 guys are now middle-aged and live alone in shitty apartments and work at convenience stores, yanno?)

That said, do crazy/risky stuff til you're 25 or so. Then gradually reduce the craziness and increase the safeness for the decade after that, which will be easy, because you'll notice yourself thinking, "god, do i really wanna go out drinking all night with those bondage chicks from that goth club AGAIN?"

Klisk said...

I plan to keep doing risky stuff until I'm 35, and I'm 24 now. Granted, I've been enough of a shut-in since I was 20 think I think it's warranted. Or maybe I'm just stupid. Whatever!

I do know if I was in the position where I could have stability (and a cool, fun lifestyle with it), that I'd definitely take that over being risky. At the end of the day I'm really envious of people who had more supportive family situations, instead of discouraging ones.

Toaster said...

Trust your instincts, listen to others' advice, and never look back. Those are the only 3 things I can offer to you from my limited wisdom. Best of luck to you and hope you can conquer the world.

Anonymous said...


stephen said...

i don't know anything about any of this, but if it's an obscene amount of money that could lead to more obscene amounts of money (and i were you), i'd do it for two reasons:

-to finance the ability to not have to work and therefore pursue any interest at any time, no matter how dilettante-ish they may be and
-because if i were offered the chance to make a ton of money, i'd take it. it's money, and with money, you can do almost anything in our capitalist world. you never know if you'd ever get that chance again, and if it worked out, you got paid, and then you decided you didn't want to do it, you could always go back to something else. imo, life's about doing a bunch of different things.

plus, the ability to be philanthropic is always cool.

did i read this whole thing wrong?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it a gamble for x to keep pushing forward after high school?

If you have no dream, the what do you have to live for?

Anonymous said...

jim, you have to ake your own band, something similar to laverite in terms of 'contract'. I think if you join other guy project, I don't know... as you mentioned, It cost teh $. I think you should make a 'test' band and later (when you have the demo and the project idea) invite a major member to join.

If there is ANYONE in the world with the ability/talent/looks to be in japan RIGHT NOW and start a LEGEND..........

THAT'S YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fundy Photographics said...

Nothing's shittier than living out of your car. Oh don't HAVE a car.

Nothing's shittier than living in a park. In winter.

But seriously? Live it up while you're young. If that many people are offering, one of them should be a good fit that won't leave you broke. There is risk taking, but you can always have a safety net (even if it's only 1x1').

You'll eventually hit an age where you start thinking about retirement and your body will just physically not be able to stay up past 1am, so do what you dream to do now.

erin said...

You're still young enough to take risks. I mean, you don't have responsibilities like a mortgage, wife, or kids to worry about. It gets a lot more difficult to take chances the older you get. If it's something you want (and it sorta seems like it is) I think you should go for it. I agree with what Anonymous said about it not really being a longshot when you've been working hard, making connection, and lining everything up to fall into place. It sure seems like you've been building towards something for a while now.