Don’t usually post much about myself, since I tend to be a rather private person. However, the way I view music is significantly different than most, so it seemed like a good topic to write about.

I’ve always known I was different, musically speaking. Everyone else I knew wanted to be in bands, when what I wanted was the “man vs. machines” challenge of doing everything myself. Twenty years ago that meant lots of keyboards, sequencers, and drum machines connected in Byzantine ways and recorded on cassettes or reel-to-reel tape. It was a very daunting way of creating, especially for someone of limited means and hellbent on creating 30 minute rock operas. Consequently, most of what I did ended up being aborted before it ever came close to being finished. In the last ten years, technology has revolutionized the music creation process and, along with tempered expectations, now I’m able to create complete works.

Another difference is most musicians get their start by learning songs from bands they love. I’ve never really done that. Never wanted to spend endless nights learning every note of my heroes’ solos, or even learning their songs well enough to do rough covers. Playing music written by other people just never appealed to me. I’ve certainly done it a lot at school, in churches, and for paying gigs, but on my own, no. That’s probably helped me to be more original, but originality comes at the cost of people being a little slower to warm up to your music.

Perhaps the most shocking difference is that I don’t listen to music very much. Never really have. Most musicians I know are FAR more well versed on other artists. There’s always been a few bands and artists I really like and I’ll listen to everything by them, but that’s it. Those are also the only bands I have any interest in seeing live. In the last two years I’ve listened to lots of music by fellow independent artists to support them, but that’s been the exception. Music creation has always appealed to me more than music listening.

I have found that I do well working with other artists on their material, but I treat those situations as me being an employee. I take my own personality out of the equation and try to use my talents to help them realize their vision. I don’t think I could do it in reverse, though. Writing music is too personal for me, so I’m sure I would be incredibly difficult to work with. Unless I could afford to pay someone a lot of money, I wouldn’t put anyone through that.

So, there you have it. My rather strange views on music. I’ll probably never get to the top of the charts being this way, but it’s taken me a long time to be comfortable with how I am and I actually enjoy it now. Feel free to leave any questions, comments, or let me know how you relate to music and songwriting.

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