January 12, 2016 - 4:45pm
... sometimes you wake up at 4am thinking "today isn't going to go as planned."
I got a call yesterday evening from Matt (Age Of Days - bassist) and I could tell right away something was wrong.
Me: "Hey, how's it goin'?"
Matt: "Hey Mike, not good... not good at all."
I knew Tim had been sick but I didn't realize he was this sick.
We were scheduled to fly out to Calgary today... should've been at the airport a while ago and should've been in the air right now.
Age of Days was booked to open up for Theory Of A Deadman on their 15 year anniversary acoustic tour out in western Canada. Something we got wind was a possibility in the fall and something we were all looking forward to.
The call finished up and I waited... one way or another for confirmation.
... wandering around the house, mentally continuing to pack while the lady and housemate continued bringing up the topic of my flying out to start an awesome tour tomorrow... cracking jokes about the weather and shenanigans that would ensue for the next 20-ish days.
... meanwhile in the back of my mind I'm sort of stunned... thinking it might not actually be happening now.
... I joke (half joke) often that I don't count any chickens before they hatch. Not to be pessimistic, but nothing is happening until it's happening... and I said it several times leading up... but I assume it's (95%) happening once flights are booked.
That flight confirmation email is what puts my mind at least... makes things "Facebook official."
...but I woke up at 4am this morning and realized it was a thing... this tour is 99.9% no longer happening with Age Of Days... which sorta messes up the schedule for most of us in music...
It's a weird thing to bring up and I don't want to compare it to other great disappointments people experience (that are supposed to be "for sure"), but once you start telling people you have something awesome you're looking forward to, they (if you're surrounded by good people) start feeling excited too!
... plus everyone wants to be a rockstar!
That's a way cooler job.
... but most don't understand what it's like when things in music fall through... which is probably a major reason why so many people who are doing things, don't tell everyone everything they're doing... and the people who announcing things all the time (or announce future announcements constantly) probably don't have much going on... since so many things in the music industry fall through or don't go as planned.
Announcing major plans in the music industry is almost a calculated risk.
... and it's hard to explain to your friends and family what the implications of these things can mean.
... the planning, the rehearsals, the prep, the run of (perhaps tour specific) merch, the acoustic EP that was supposed to compliment this acoustic run... your reputation... sometimes it's hard to salvage all or any of that work... sometimes you just have to cut your losses. These are business decisions.
... and if you work in music full time, you're often booking things several months out, so when something falls through, you're sorta stuck/scrambling to fill the schedule... and time lost is time you don't get back... not to mention lost income. Music is an expensive career choice.
... one of the main reasons so many musicians can't stomach the idea of going both feet in... there's no guarantee of a paycheque... even if you finish the job!
... but if you want to be a musician, or in the arts in general... you care less about the money... that carries over from being a teenager. Sometimes you're doing alright and sometimes you're broke... but most importantly you're waking up doing what you want to do... what you chose... what you love or at least working towards it... and I think that's one of the secrets of happiness.
I'll admit, right now I don't want to be sitting on my couch, next to the loaner cat, listening to Tame Impala, thinking I should vacuum after I finish writing/posting this, thinking I'm glad I got the winter tires put on the car yesterday (it's officially winter in Toronto)... I wanted to be sitting semi-comfortably in a plane, listening to Massive Attack (ritual), playing Plants vs Zombies on my iPhone 5s, checking the progress on the little plane on the flight map channel on the tiny screen in the headrest in front of me... wondering if it's warmer in Calgary... and how many memories would come from the next 3 weeks.
... and the late nights and early mornings I'd spend writing about my travels.
... first world problems, I know.
... but that's not in the cards right now unless something magical happens... and this is not Dec 24th.
I still believe most things happen for a reason so I've been laughing it off most of the day... still disappointing though... we're all really disappointed... but it's not the first time and won't be the last I'm sure... again not being pessimistic. I know what I signed up for... I'm committed to music... regardless which side of the glass.
Today has felt like a long day... but 13hrs later I have a couple projects lined up and can sleep a little better tonight.
As far as I know the Disturbed tour is still a go... and we'll come out swingin'. Age Of Days has a lot of plans for 2016... just a gentle reminder to start the year... you can't predict the weather, and you can't take your health for granted.
Onwards and upwards!
P.S. Adult winter boots! +1
... I guess it took one more day than I thought.
I've been looking forward to New Years Eve since October. As much as I loved my old studio, and it's much more natural to say that now, I mentally checked out after new plans began falling into place.
... it's tough to keep focus on an old project once you're more excited about a new one... and it takes a lot of discipline to complete the remaining tasks... that being finishing up projects (because I'm going to second guess any mixes outside The Pawnshop for a while) before packing up the studio.
A lot of people are looking forward to their new gym memberships Jan 1... I was looking forward to the weight of the old being lifted off my shoulders. Again, loved The Pawnshop but it was time to move on.
... you know the feeling though... watching shores you'll never return to drift away... calling someplace home for a long period of time (an apartment, house, etc) then with the change of a day, it's no longer yours. Someone else has signed for it, they have the keys, and you can no longer simply walk in.
It belongs to someone else. You still have the memories made, but it belongs to someone else.
... a messed up concept when something has sentimental value... but I think it's the truth... and January 1, 2016 marked the first day in years that 170A Baldwin wasn't at my finger tips.
... but I woke up yesterday feeling the same. Feeling like I still had some part in taking care of the place... like I still had things left to do there.
I got a message from Harrison (producer who's moving in as part of the studio/tenant reshuffling at the building) asking about a metal shelf I'd left with plans of picking up.
He asked about it, and said he'd found a use for it. It was part of my "studio purge" for sale list so it was good to stay there.
... and like that, the weight was lifted.
I woke up at 7:30am this morning, fed the (loaner) cat, made breakfast, and went downstairs to the office... finally inspired to write... and listen to music... I need to put in some hours listening in here... still haven't even put any acoustic treatments up...
It's the feeling I've been waiting for since late October... officially the next phase of things... career wise... and it feels awesome!
... 2015 started great but quickly settled into the same routine (not that it's a bad thing) and after a couple projects cancelled last minute in the summer... freeing up 4-6 weeks of cottage time... I remember floating around the lake with my line in the water, half venting to myself that things had to change... my current priorities weren't lining up with my goals.
... and as one of my mentors so eloquently put when people bitch about things they could change... "if you want to stop paying chequing fees, stop paying chequing fees".
... new projects, tour dates, co-writes, new albums/eps, new mix projects, travel opportunities, house, car (finally)... loaner cat... I basically moved 3 times in the last 3 months (you know how you're doing in life depending on who shows up at your funeral, and who shows up to help you move!)... 2015 ended in a whirlwind... but goals were achieved and new ones are now in place.
I feel lighter though... and thank everyone for the emails, texts convo's, and Skype/phone calls the past couple months... so many in this business are in the same position but don't want to talk about it... music is tough... and the line in the sand is just getting deeper between hobbyists/amateurs and professionals... and with that, where you spend your time is even more important.
... so this feels more like the New Years Day I was hoping for... so Happy New Year to everyone!
It's cliche to say "this year is going to be great" so maybe do yourself a favour and put yourself in a position where it has to be. When there's only 2 possible outcomes, that's often the deciding factor whether armies win or lose... for those of you who haven't read Art Of War.
- Mike :-)
P.S. Real winter boots are awesome!! Christmas boots!!!
... I'm keepin' the tags on as long as I can.
Mike Langford - Official Blog
Being on both sides of the glass, I get the chance to wear many hats in the music industry. This is a place to share my thoughts, views, predictions, rants, stories and news!