e-book How to Make it Small in the Music Business - The survival guide for the beginning band

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The answers lead to more questions For me, songwriting is standing at the top of that, looking down, and picking your route to get to the ground. I'm guessing you weren't exactly working that way on your early albums. How has your songwriting process evolved? When you're younger, you just go. Over time, you start to want more out of the process.

And I think it's important to know why. At this point in our career, why are we making something else? We have nine albums already.

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Do you need more? I love music. I'll always do something with music, but I feel if we're going to put something up against everything we've ever done, you have to have a reason for it. That's the main difference now. Your new single "All The Way Stay " has a big sax solo -- how did that fit into the process? We always wanted to try this gag that happens a lot in '80s music: you get to the end of the song and then this ripping solo of something that hasn't yet appeared in the song just kicks in and then it fades out.

It just sounded like something he would sing. His backing part sounds like AFI.


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I called Davey and he was worried about getting to a studio. On the acoustic part of the intro to [ Surviving ] song "One Mil," I really wanted something spontaneous that wasn't your typical studio setup. I went into the garage of our studio, set my phone down, did the part, and when I dumped it into the session, it sounded really good.

I had to mess it up after I dumped it in, because it sounded too good. So when Davey was stressing about getting to a studio I was like, "No, no, no. Put headphones on, set your phone down, sing it, and just send that to me. I can totally see how there are Soundcloud rappers who have never seen an XLR cable, pumping out platinum hits now. In your press release, you wrote you were "a passenger in [your] own body for 36 years and never realized it.

Quitting drinking was the main thing. I have friends who don't finish a beer because it got warm -- that's not me.

How to Start a Band: Get Started in 10 Proven Steps

I'm all or nothing, so it's got to be nothing. If I had to characterize it, I'm a passenger. I was just kind of going along with things under my default operating system and sort of accepting things about myself that really weren't true. They were as true as the power I gave them and I didn't really understand or conceive that it was actually a choice for me. Compared to beforehand, how does it feel to write and perform music with a sober mind and body?

Everything is better -- percent better -- no question about it. When you're able to really focus and be as present as you can, hold onto a sense of self-awareness when you're playing music Especially for us. It's satisfying in a way I wasn't tuned into before. It feels safer to not let in the small victories. Now I realize it's way better to just enjoy it. I can see the appeal of [being a monk], devoting your entire existence to negating your ego. If you can really let go of expectation, you can do this forever. You guys were this punk band, and after "The Middle" broke, you suddenly had so many eyes on you.

When you don't feel anything, you can't get hurt.


And the fact it might all go away at any moment is something you can deal with in healthy or unhealthy ways and I chose unhealthy ways. This might be a sensitive topic, but what made you want to write about that? Panic attacks and anxiety disorders, I guess. Pills were never really part of my story as far as Pills were never an -ism of mine I guess periods of anti-depression type stuff. Those aren't really a body high sensation; they're an overall blanket-over-your-feelings sensation.

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If you need it, it's great, but you need to listen to your body for when you don't need it anymore. I'm fortunate that I took action and stopped taking it when I didn't need it anymore.

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  • Jimmy Eat World has been such a constant since it formed: 10 albums never more than a few years apart, plenty of touring, the same lineup. What kind of structure has the band given your life over the years? It's hard to compare it to anything because it's all I really know. I think we do a good job of protecting where the music comes from.

    It's important that we're working on the cure that we feel we're born from. To get that reward, you've got to to challenge yourself. I believe it's the only way you can sustain. If you want to control this, you can do so in a rider. You also can make sound requirements for equipment that will be necessary when you perform, and place restrictions on where and how the show will be mixed.

    You can set a schedule for your performance that includes the amount of time you'll require for setup, sound checks, and meal breaks. You even can state when you're willing to have the doors open so the audience can begin streaming in. Other common riders address insurance provisions and cancellation terms in the event something goes wrong and prevents the show from going on as planned. If a promoter finds it and follows it, it shows that he read the rider carefully and most likely intends to abide by the contract. If he misses or ignores it, he also could be overlooking other essential contractual demands , such as security or lighting.

    One of the most infamous riders was from the band Van Halen back in the s. They did this, according to lead singer David Lee Roth, to make sure the venues were actually reading the riders and not just glossing over them. They spend most of their waking hours in the green rooms at venues when they're on tour, so the comforts they request are intended to make them feel more relaxed and ease the strain.

    It's an opportunity to get comfortable while traveling. Unless you're a major star, you should limit your rider demands to only the absolute essentials. Food allergies might mean that you may have specific dietary needs, so demands along these lines would be considered essential—although if you're not a superstar or highly in demand, you might want to include an explanation as to why you're making the demand. If you're making really ambitious demands like certain-colored furniture or imported food, you should expect that you'll have to deliver very profitable gigs.

    Musicians' Survival Guide Your guide on how to survive and thrive in the music industry. Read the previous editions of our Musician's Survival Guide. Featured Musicians' Survival Guide Articles. Read all news.