neal_guitar

As a band, we are always striving to perfect ourselves musically and refine the ideas of what we want to accomplish. That is and will always be a perpetual task, because musicians and artists rarely get to a point where they are satisfied with their abilities. As the saying goes, “There is always room for improvement.” However, there is one area that seems to get overlooked sometimes in music. Take a second and think back to yourself about the all the bands that you’ve seen or heard (signed artists and local) through your life. Then think about why those bands were memorable to you. Maybe they had an amazing live performance, or maybe insane guitar solos, or perhaps something they said lyrically connected with you. In this day and age, we have all heard tons of different music from all different genres, but why do the bands or music that came to your mind in the previous question, stick out above all the other music that you’ve heard. The answer is really simple: They are different. Those particular bands or artists stood out, because they had the creative genius and confidence to stand behind the music that they believed in playing and put it out there for everyone to see. Every band is faced with the monumental struggle to take the creative “bone”  in their body and push that as far as they can to make something that makes them proud when it’s finally put together. It’s extremely difficult to do, but that’s what creates the musical variety  we get to enjoy today.

Unfortunately, nowadays, there is an extremely large group of artists or bands that have made music into nothing more than a formula factory to sell singles and records. It’s something I like to call the “creative slide.” You take something like music, that can be molded into anything you want it to be, rather happy and quick, or slow and somber, and you ride the normal train all the way down til it’s nothing more than a means to an end. It’s kinda like taking the “Mona Lisa” and making it into a paint by number. Kinda sucks, right?

I’m not here to criticize music and judge anyone’s abilities. In fact, I’m actually writing this as an encouragement, and also as an introspective for myself, and how we write our music. There are many times in art, business, or even life in general, where we some how fall into the groove of doing the cliche thing, and ride it out till it’s nothing but a means to an end. I think though, that if we can learn to really push ourselves creatively, to do things that may be uncomfortable, and appreciate the creativity in others, then we all might be surprised at what happens. It might even begin to weed out the normality and the formula factories that we allow ourselves to be surrounded with. Is there always guidelines and help to keep you moving in a certain area? Sure, but don’t live or create by a formula. Live and create from whats inside “You“.

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