It was my junior year of high school. Though I grew up in a musical family, I didn’t pick up instrument until my freshman year because suddenly my friends were all learning how to play guitar and be in bands!
So I’m playing my first show ever in front of people. Actually it’s my first time playing, and singing. I never set out to sing, just play bass. But I was the singer now in our band.
This is 1993, so no internet really. Nothing else going on in town. It felt like everyone from my high school was there. Over 500 people, I think.
A few songs in, a buddy of mine yells to me in between songs. Tells me the vocals are too low, they need to get turned up.
So I say to the sound guy, over the microphone, “hey, can you turn up the vocals?”
He replied, over the PA system, in front of everyone, “try singing.”
To which I replied, “fuck you!”
We all laughed, and launched into our next song.
All I remember, after our set, was him coming up to me as I was packing up my bass, and saying something about shoving my heart down my throat or something for telling him off.
Looking back, I’m a third generation musician in my family. I’ve been on some recordings, played a bunch of shows. I never toured, or been part of a big release, but here I am now, some 30 years later, still messing around in music.
That’s the thing, though. Making music doesn’t have to be about reaching #1 on the charts, getting 10,000 viewers on some stream, a million subscribers on YouTube.
Create something that you like, and share it. For everyone person who says they enjoy it, there’s probably 20 that will never let you know.
That’s the trick; you can’t get 10 fans until you get one.
You can’t run 10 miles until you can run one.
You can’t put out a book if you can’t write a chapter.
You can’t release an album until you finish one song.
So don’t look too far into the distance. Make your mistakes now, get your bad stuff out of the way this year. Your work today is to keep piling up your art, your work, your magic.