In a good way of course. The artex you used to worry about in the hall or the terracotta carpet in the living room doesn't really matter as much as you once thought. The pram situation and funds for a new car have crept to the top of the pile and that is now your main priority. In short the things you used to do don't get the same care and attention they once did.
Before I became a dad I played gigs 3 or 4 nights a week. I had released and recorded 2 full length albums and an EP and shared the stage with people like Pete Doherty, Mark E Smith and The Fall, Alabama 3, Ocean Colour Scene and Roddy Woomble to name but a few all under the name Tragic O’Hara. The going out, gigging, getting drunk and sleeping in skips I was really, really good at. The marketing of music and trying to monetise my talents I wasn't to good at at all I’m afraid. Getting married and having kids has somewhat matured me to certain degree. I now get hair in places I never used to and I find myself asking if my mortgage rate is really the best fit for me and my family.
Since my maturity I have started a couple of companies and I know understand a lot more about how to make money but I am now in the Digital Marketing game. All that time making posters, music videos, recording music and basically messing around with any sort of technology I could get my hands on gave me a pretty decent set of transferable skills and I’m now Head of Content at Boyd Digital.
So...The boys are a bit bigger now. Arran is 3 years old and Robert has turned 1 this year and I’ve decided I’d like to dip my toe back into making music but the two thing have learned over the last four(ish) years are as follows:
1: I hate gigging.
2: In my opinion the traditional way to approach the music industry is slowly dying if it’s not already dead.
Let me explain this a bit more. I understand why people love gigging. The night out. The strange things you ultimately will encounter. The buzz you get when you play and so forth. For me as one guy and a guitar it’s a drive to the middle of nowhere to sit about for 3 hours to stay sober and play acoustic songs to an inebriated crowd to say my goodbyes and pile back in a car to drive back from the middle of nowhere then have three beers alone on the couch to counterweight the three redbulls on the drive home to go to sleep with ears buzzing like a broken fridge to wake up feeling like a burst couch all for £20 if you're lucky. That makes me sound a tad jaded but I’ve played gigs in front of no one and i’ve played gigs where you could move for people but I still can’t shake the feeling that in the long run it isn't worth it.
To address my second point as far as music goes the idea of getting signed to a million dollar record deal is dead. The music industry doesn't gamble anymore . It plays safe bets and doesn't like to rock the boat. The number one retailer of music is a company that designs phones. The traditional idea of “let's start a band and make a million dollars” is gone but music isn’t dead so surely there must be a different approach to it. Since music began its always been about travelling to the audience surely there is another way to do it.
Now that I have my rant out the way (rest assured there will be more of them over the course of this series of blogs) let me tell you why I am writing this in the first place. I’m going to start writing, recording and playing music again but I’m not going to be gigging in the conventional sense. I’m going to live stream them.
I’m going to take some of the things I have learned in Digital Marketing and use them in a practical sense to create and sell music. It’s not all about money but if I can get this to the point where I no longer need to dip into my own pocket to pay for recording time etc then it’s a success. If it pays for itself then job done.
Now you have a bit of background on the whole thing I’ll see you again in The Digital Musician: Episode One.