JUMPING DARKNESS PARADE WITH EYAL LEVI: THINGS I’VE LEARNED, PARTS 5 & 6
Eyal Levi from Dååth, Levi/Werstler, and Audiohammer Studios has obviously been in this business for some time now, and he’s learned a thing or two about a thing or two. This week, he imparts ten lessons about the music biz — and life in general — to you, our beloved readers, once a day, two installments at a time. You can read the week’s first two lessons here, and the week’s next two lessons here; check out lesson numbers three and four below!
#5: EVERYTHING GETS OLD
My favorite dickhead line about dating is, “Show me a super hot girl, and I’ll show you the guy that’s tired of fucking her.” Other variations include “…tired of putting up with her” or “…tired of dealing with her shit.” Any way you say it, the point is that no matter how great something is at one point in your life, you will eventually need something else that’s bigger and better (i.e., The Next Step). In my opinion, it’s the same phenomenon as when your brain stops registering physical stimulus if you repeat it enough (try scratching an itch for too long to see what I mean). Anything you do long enough without variation will not get you going anymore. Mark Lewis and I even have some theories about how this relates to sound and mixing. But that’s another article…
Is there anything that’s now normal to you which once was just a fantasy? Look at your life. Is there anything you have now that at one point was just a dream? Is there anything you can do now that you couldn’t even imagine doing at one point in time? I’m sure there is. Big or small, I’m sure there is at least one thing in each of your lives that fits the bill. Again, is there anything in your life right now that you almost or do take for granted which you would have killed for in the past?
Even if you’ve achieved your dream, fucked every girl there is to fuck, done every drug there is to do, played to more people than you ever imagined, been to more places doing it than you ever imagined, gotten the grades you wanted, made the money you wanted to make, got the car you dreamt about, scored the job, attained the perfect body, bought the private jet, own your dream house – even if you did all that was in the past just a daydream… (Feel free to remove some of those if you’re straight edge)… EVEN if you’ve done and accomplished all of that, there comes a point where it’s just not enough to keep you happy anymore.
Question. Are you still dreaming the same things you were when you were eleven years old? Life hasn’t changed you at all? I find that as I accomplish things, I find new things I want to do. Doing the same thing over and over and over is just so fucking boring and mind numbing. Doesn’t matter what it is. Are you really accomplishing anything if you’re just repeating yourself? That’s called maintenance not progress. In a universe where evolution is law, remaining static is actually devolution.
Whenever you accomplish a goal or live a dream, be sure you’ve got in the back of your mind where you want to go next. Another dream to live for will revitalize you with the same passion you had when you were going for the now obsolete dreams.
Recommended Reading: Donald Trump, Trump: The Art Of The Deal (1987)
Do you really think your band is going to last forever? How many bands have a career like Metallica or Slayer? The prospect of staying with the same band forever is less likely than a marriage staying together these days… and we all know the statistics on that. And say your band is actually doing well — how much money are you pulling in? Do you make enough to retire on? Buy a house? Afford health insurance? What about if your band were to break up tomorrow? How would you take care of yourself? Would you go back to the real world? Live on couches until the next opportunity?
I understand that you may be twenty-three and enjoy touring on a bus while getting your dick sucked nightly. But you’re not going to be twenty-three for too much longer, and I’m pretty sure that unless you actually have a true passion besides music, you will be majorly bummed when your band breaks up and you have to get a real job.
There is a solution, though. But if you thought you were already working your ass off, get ready to work even harder. The solution is, as the name of this article states, to DIVERSIFY! Look at it this way: If Sumerian Records, Good Fight Entertainment, and an unnamed dude I respect very much who plays in a HUGE band all have to diversify, then what makes you think that you don’t? These people are on top. And they can’t afford to stick to one thing. As a business, if you want to stay alive, you have to be a label, and a merch company, and a booking agency, and a management company, etc. Wearing multiple hats is the answer. There’s no other way. Unless if you get lucky. And don’t count on that. That’s why it’s called “getting lucky.”
Even before the CD industry started crashing, all the leading thinkers on making money in music told us that we had to set up multiple income sources. That way, if one of them started to dry up, the others would sustain us. That’s truer than ever these days. Gone are the days of having one big hit make you all the money. Now you need to have a series of smaller things all generating income. And if you can do that, you will survive the crash. If you wait for your band to pay for your life, keep waiting. Don’t hold your breath, though.
I know it’s so much fun to just fuck off and live like it’s 1987. Trust me, I’ve been there, and have fucked off quite a bit. But things are worse now than they were in even 2008, and in 2008 they were worse than in 2007, and so on. Things are too unstable for people to sit around and not be constantly making moves.
Recommended Reading : Chris Anderson, The Long Tail: Why The Future Of Business Is Selling Less Of More (2006)
You can sign up for the new Jumping Darkness Parade mailing list here! You can also keep up with Eyal by visiting the Audiohammer Studios official website, Dååth on Facebook, or the official Levi/Werstler website.