I’m sitting here on a plane next to one of my favorite vocalists, hell the vocalist of two of my favorite bands about to watch him go play a reunion show with a third band who I love because I get to fucking work with him. that’s fucking insane. I don’t care how you slice it. I’m young, I’m pissed, I fuck up, all the time, but somehow I’m here. This isn’t me sucking my own dick, it’s just sort of how things are and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Which is why I want to talk about the importance of sitting down and properly fucking hustling. This isn’t exactly something a lot of young people understand and it’s the thing that is going consistently set your band apart in an industry where most folks think that things are going to get handed to them. It creates a crazy and difficult reality that I think no one wants to properly own up too. there’s a few points I want to pick apart though to talk about how the hustle is going to get you where you need to go.
There’s a subreddit I really love called r/nozerodays. The entire concept is that every day of your life you should be doing at least something to get you closer to your goal. This can be very tricky. We all have days where we are sick and tired or just too goddamn depressed to do anything. Yet it’s also something that you can tangibly do to build up your bands career. Before we really get into this I want to specify the difference between building your bands career and building your skills as a musician. If you’re trying to make a band who have a lasting impression then you need to focus on the career side. Your musical skills are a separate thing that you also need to build, but odds are if you are at a point in your playing where you are in a band and seriously trying to push your music forward then you know how to not have zero days with your playing. Instead you need to figure out how you are actively pushing your career.
Now this concept of no zero days can be extremely tricky to figure out. It’s so much easier to sit down with your guitar and write a song than it is to tangible advance your music career. Realize that the concept of having no zero days is that you are allowed to start small. Not every day needs to be dominated by reaching out to people for a small regional tour. Not every day needs to be spent going to a music business conference and networking. You need to have days that balance out who you are and what you are worth. One way to start is just by making sure all of your socials are updated every day. That’s one that should only take you 15 minutes a day to do properly and will build up your standing in the scene. It can also be as easy as interacting with other fans of the type of music you play online and just becoming a part of the community. Not every time you go to a show is a non zero event, but if you make sure to network with the bands then you are going to go far.
A lot of this will feel like work, and that’s because a lot of it is. You need to grind it out to prove that you have the aggressive urge to succeed that the biggest achievers out there have. It’s not a case of wanting it really bad, it’s a question of sitting down and grinding your fucking ass off as much as possible in order to prove to people that you want it. I know there are a lot of artists out there who seem to survive purely on the coat tails of others, and they are happy with that. You might want to be one of those artists. In that case you still need to realize that there is work involved. In those cases though it’s more about straight networking and becoming hip with the other session musicians in your scene so that you can make sure that you will end up with regular work and hopefully can get enough sessions ot be able to get the sort of longstanding triumphs that are going to help you become the artist youv’e always wanted to be.
Be aware that in the midst of all of this hustling you are probably going to piss a lot of people off. You are probably going to fuck up in a big bad way a whole bunch of times before you even get iyt right once. That’s just how it’s going ot be. There isn’t a lot of hope out there and some moments are going to feel pretty shitty. I have certainly had my fair share of those. The goal I think is to be smart and charismatic enough that even if you piss a few people off you can probably recoup your losses and make a way forward. When it comes down to it – if you have enough people won over then even those who are pissed off of you are going to probably come around sooner or later. Reputation in this industry is everything and it can be extremely challenging to maintain that especially when surrounded by so many temptations. Believe me, I know.
Point being – I’m fucking tired. Everything is terrible, but somehow things are working out. We need to all be able to sit down and bring people together. We want to make music that matters to people and we want to have people understand that there is an importance to having no zero days. Hell – I’m using this article as an excuse to have a non zero plane flight even though I’m running on maybe 9 hours of sleep over the last 60 hours. This is just how it is. If you want it, fucking get it. If you don’t want to punish yourself to succeed then you might find something – but who fucking knows, I’m certainly not gonna help. What I am gonna do though is take a fucking nap.