Touring wisdom from an upcoming indie band, “War Twins”
I saw WAR TWINS for the first time, a few years back at a bar at Nyack, NY. My band back then Wizard Sex, also a duo, was opening up for them. Back then I was listening to Gaetana powerful singing as I was thinking to myself, "She is really free! Her voice is amazing, unapologetic, loud and very present." It was beautiful back then in that small bar on that small stage and now years later she is on a national tour. I followed them throughout the year on social media, but when she shared this last post, I was blown away by the sheer and brutal honesty about touring life and her own lessons, which are gold nuggets for anyone getting into music and aspiring to be on that road to music.
As ACDC coined the phrase, "It's a long way to the top if you want to Rock-n-Roll."
Here is what she said:
Now that I have rested from this 2 national month tour, I want to be real and share my experience on what I learned.
First off, to every one of you who give James and I support,
I appreciate you more than you know. Thank you.
Now for the lesson. This past year was one of the most difficult in my personal life and it changed me. After pursuing a career in a DIY band for 7 years, taking all the challenges that come with it, I began to feel a need to change bubbling under the surface.
During this unconscious reevaluation, I was introduced to other sides of the music industry that made me uncomfortable. I began to wonder if success would mean things like the pursuit of money, looks, fame, and the people you "know".
This was not what I wanted from art. I tried to be welcoming to some of these ideas, yet as I looked deeper, it all felt hollow. I felt confused and unable to navigate my next step forward. I began to fear that maybe I had chosen the wrong path in life. That I would need to leave art and music behind as a career.
Then, TOUR HAPPENED!
Since this trip, my whole perspective changed. I came out of a painful fog and remembered why I started making music.
Music is my heart and I love the connection that happens through it.
What I didn't realize was that sometimes you have to change the way you are approaching something instead of the thing itself. I needed to change how I approached the business, not change from being an artist!
Ps. I also got trapped in what I thought I should be doing.
(suggestion: WATCH OUT FOR THE WORD SHOULD!)
On this tour I learned to stop giving a damn what people think of me, speak my truth, walk through my feelings, scribble like hell in my notebook and look at what I wanted and needed changed in my life.
I now understand that I am no longer willing to suffer needlessly or push myself into things that don't jive with me.
(ie. Pain is inevitable and suffering is optional.)
So I feel that this is a truth:
The definition of your success is what you choose.
I make art because I love human expression. I love creating songs. I love performing. I love creating something that makes people ask questions or become uncomfortable with the unknown.
I care about people's insides, how they treat each other and if they live with their heart and soul. I care about growing as a human and an artist. I care about the work of being loving and accepting love.
I don't make art for approval, money, fame, trends or who I know in the process. I don't have to buy what's being sold from any ideology.
Frankly, whatever being successful means to another person, ideology or societal structure is really none of my business.
I feel like the real question to ask is this:
What is your definition of success?
At the end of the day, you are the one living your life. You are the one behind the actions you take, the words you speak and the thoughts you think. You are the storyteller, you choose the characters that stay in your life and you set the stage where it all takes place.
Being human on this Earth is a wild ride.
I hope that as you take the rollercoaster up and down, you are able to throw up and off all the junk you don't need anymore. I hope you can claim and name your fear, joy and experience.
I hope you enjoy the strange exhilaration of this life!
Thanks for listening.