... and I have so many CD's from bands.
I've gone on record (no pun intended) many times how I feel about hard copies, but I have SOOO many CD's from bands and I can only imagine 70% of their run is sitting in a closet or a basement.
If you can't sell enough in the first 2 months to offset the cost of manufacturing, I'd strongly consider other options to get your music out there.
... even though it's not that expensive to press up 500-1,000 discs... especially once it's split between 3-5 people... it's (another) mental thing. You see something you're (hopefully) really proud of but nobody is hearing... or you see the all too common (real effort, investment, and sacrifice) failure to launch a career in music.
... so many CDs... some are good, some are awful... and sometimes the bands themselves would tell me their record is awful... and if it was made in the last 5 years, that's a shame.... unless they self recorded/produced... then I'm happy for them... you learn a lot doing the process that way.
So... I'd like to thank everyone who's reached out the last week. Again, to clarify, I'm not dying, and I'm not quitting music/recording/etc... just changing things up next year... and while some people would see this as a step backwards, and perhaps they're right... I think sometimes you need to dive head first into that squiggly line on the chart of success to realign yourself with your goals.
... and it's ok for your small goals to change en route to your big goals.
... enjoy the journey but be aware of the results you're after.
... I need to clean the bathroom here... for the last time.
P.S. I can't wait to get back to full band rehearsals. That Theory Of A Deadman tour is coming up quick!
... it was a late night on Wednesday and a long day Thursday (yesterday). Finished up sorting, trashing, donating, and packing the remaining odds and ends I could make decisions on. In one way it doesn't look like a lot of things, but then in others... I hope it all fits in the U-haul booked.
Long story short, truck was at the studio before 7pm and most of it was loaded within an hour. By 10:30pm it was done though... studio moved, truck returned.
I still have until the end of the month to finish tidying up and whatnot... and I'll head down to the (now old) studio this afternoon before doing some judging/mentorship sessions at The Hideout... I'm curious how I'll feel opening the door there today though...
I wasn't sure how I'd feel waking up this morning... it's a combination of the same/normal... but repeatedly hit with baseball bats.
... it's not a horrible feeling... I actually feel pretty good overall! lol.
... Xmas holidays are somewhat ready to begin... I can hear a few people thinking "must be nice"... but if you saw my house right now... I'm sure you'd take it back.
... onwards and upwards!
- Mike :-)
... I'm really surprised how hard today turned out to be... it didn't really sink in until around 7pm on a TTC bus heading home (I skipped out for a few hours to play hockey).
... pack up the studio... no big deal, right?
It's been difficult...
Not just because I realized how many things I have stashed away in the place, but I started feeling really guilty not taking pics of every nook and cranny of the studio before pulling it apart.
Well... share on Facebook I guess... I don't even know... I guess I just wanted to remember (proof) how great this place was to me... how awesome (beautiful) it was, for me, in its prime.
I'd like to believe the last few days here, the studio was running at and looking it's best... and I think that's why I feel bad not taking more pics... and the one I did (of the live room) turned out blurry!
I finished the Age Of Days acoustic EP this morning too... we went back and forth a few times on mixes but my internet was cutting in and out and I really needed to start pulling the control room apart... I wish I could've got a chance to play the final mixes here for the guys... it sounds awesome... I think it sounds awesome... but the truck and people are booked for tomorrow... had to get packin'.
I feel the very last song on the very last project here was one of, if not, the best sounding tune I've produced, recorded, and mixed... just funny how it's for my own band... considering how I feel about things like that... life is funny sometimes.
... I actually set my speakers up again to listen to the track one more time... the lady stopped by and I wanted her to hear it too... the last song to be played through my mains, on loud...
... I battled the urge all evening to just set everything back up... even though I know that's not really possible at this point.
Despite the rollercoaster of emotions today, I know for several reasons this is the right move to make and the right time to make it... until then... I hope this f'n works.
"I hope this works."
... when you run a business... any kind of business... there are two points which are the toughest. When to (actually) start, and when to stop... and although I haven't worded it so eloquently in the past, I've learned the phrase "strength to begin and the strength to destroy"... but in the life of an entrepreneur there's also the courage to pivot relaxing with its feet up in the bottom of your gut.
... and your gut is what drives you... especially when have big plans.
I wanted to post something a week ago since it's already official but I didn't like what I wrote... I'm up to 37 unposted/unfinished blog posts now by the way.
... I routinely look at my schedule, bank account, personal life, career goals, etc. I had a list of conditions written down in my business plan before I took over the studio...
October 6th all those conditions were met.
At the end of the month I'll be locking the door to The Pawnshop for the last time... the place I've musically called home for the last 7 years... I've always used the poppies pinned above the door as my official total... and a reminder.
It doesn't feel like that long at all... and that's the scary part... how quickly it's flown by...
My mentors told me early on that money is the easy part... you can always find money for something that's worth it... it's the time you can never get back... and to be careful how you spend your time and how other people will try and spend your time to free up their own.
... and that was the major upside I saw with the studio... how I'd be able to spend not only my time but with the bands and artists I saw potential in...
I remember crunching the numbers, consulting with a few mentors, friends and family, putting together a 5-year business plan, taking out my 3rd loan, signing the lease, shaking a couple hands... and what it felt like standing in the live room the first day...
I'm a big believer in externalizing things... I think it's good to (occasionally... and in a reasonable tone) let the universe know what your thoughts are... and I feel important moments in life should be accompanied by a few simple words adding up to a timeless phrase to help mark the occasion.
"I hope this works."
I remember laughing to myself and saying it a couple more times in the middle of the room...
It wasn't a "wtf am I doing?!" moment... but I just wanted the universe to know that I wanted to look back on my time here, regardless how long or short, and for it to be a net positive.
... 60+ albums/EPs, 700+ songs... from the first guinea pig 3-piece band I found on Craigslist to the last Age Of Days acoustic EP... Luke Michielsen's first full length album... Charlie Hope's debut children's album and Juno nomination... 4 Parabelle albums (and 1 DVD)... rehearsals... writing sessions... xbox vocal breaks... Team Canada/Leafs hockey gatherings... work slowdown during any and all Olympics... the many rants, debates, arguments, hugs, high fives, and laughs... and the times I've been a trusted ear for artists to unbottle the dreams that drive them and the fears that hold them back.
You learn a lot about people when you're in emotionally demanding close quarters for long periods of time... you learn a lot about yourself too...
... so many good times.
So... am I quitting music/recording?
... well I shouldn't say that... but safe to say 99.9% not.
Considering the schedule... Dec/Jan things usually quiet down for the holidays and with Age Of Days heading out on tour Jan/Feb... and plans of touring a bit more in 2016, it felt like the right time to make the change.
... but the main thing about the change I'm looking forward to is having (a little) more free time and flexibility. There are other people I'd like to work with, other places I'd like to work in, and other things I'd like to do. The past year I've (loosely) started 2 more businesses I'd like to dedicate more time to... and tour... I really miss playing live... and I'm not getting any younger... apparently. (lol)
*"wrap it up" music fades in*
I'd like to thank everyone who's been a part of this chapter and helped make this little studio in Kensington Market the great place it's been. The people really do make the difference... anywhere... and I will miss the vibe of the market. It's one of a kind!
In closing, the great thing about the strength to destroy/pivot is you already have the momentum to start again and begin the next chapter.
... now... to find the right words when the time comes.
- Mike :-)
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!