Monday, April 19, 2010

All just a dream

The LSAT doesn't scare me, but what it implies for the band does frighten me a little bit. I take the test in June. I would enroll in a law school (somewhere) next fall. I know that the demands of law school's first year are so high, and that playing in this band simultaneously is nearly impossible. I also know that this plan may require a move. Does this all put an expiration date on the band? A ridiculously close expiration date? Well, I'm not giving up that easily, nor am I delaying my future. In fact, I think it should fuel us to work even harder than before. Look at it this way: We have one year to see how far we can get, and then re-evaluate (who knows what happens at that point? If things within the band are going great, then maybe I delay my first year -- but it all depends on what we do now). That's why my work ethic needs to change. That's why we all need to recommit to the band. We owe it to ourselves and to each other. There's a lot invested in this band, personally and financially, to not try to see what the potential pay-offs can be.

I suppose the good news about this LSAT prep class is that when I get busy, I keep myself even busier. This is true: the most productive years of my work in the band's business side coincided with a hectic schedule of college classes, a part-time nights and weekends job, an unrelated editor's job at the college paper, and, of course, the regular duties of a hard working, big dreaming rock band. This isn't to say that my post-college life hasn't been busy, but it hasn't kept me fueled my passion in the same way. That's for certain. If anything, I have just felt bogged down, and have found trouble mustering the mental energy to work my ass off again. Well, consider that changed.

This band needs to get back on track. That's why on this day I'm blogging an original blog for the first time in months -- not merely some show announcement or press release. The principles that we enacted very early on in this band seemingly worked: believe in yourself, in each other, in your hard work and, most importantly, put yourself in a position to succeed and see what comes of it. In this fickle industry, nothing is guaranteed. Talent and hard work are more often than not unrewarded. But that doesn't mean you can't try. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Therefore, this is about getting the four members of Cassavettes back together.

This has been a difficult, weird few months and I think we all felt more estranged from each other, and our collective goals, than ever before. And it's hurt us professionally. Despite putting out arguably our "best" work in November, we find ourselves at a crossroads just a half-year later. We started putting the pieces back together during our great SXSW trip this year, which was the result of a lot of hard work (by me, and by Creamer) and paid dividends interpersonally that I think we continue to enjoy. But a lot to needs to change still. We need to consistently play well -- obviously, you may not play every note correctly, but that's music. But we need to play for each other, and play for the band. The selfishness that hinders us is creeping back into our playing, and often makes me feel like this whole thing isn't worthwhile. Anyone else? Playing these songs is about putting the song first, and everything and everyone else taking a backseat. We made considerable progress at that for awhile, but the problem is that bad habits sneak back in a lot. We need to get people excited about the band, and that starts with US getting excited about the band again. I'm there, and I trust that my cohorts can be as well. We need to diversify and show off our versatility at shows, if it's indeed true that our live shows have grown stale. Fine. We need to increase our web presence, and also get back to the traditional means of promotion -- word of mouth, flyering, flooding bloggers' inboxes, Facebook invites. That's how you get people through the door. That's how you get people excited. It's harder when you're older, and out of college, of course, because there isn't that "community" anymore. But it's not impossible. We need to approach the schedule as a series of steps again instead of a random smattering of shows, as it has been. That one's on me. I got it. We need to build up regionally, and the steps are being taken for that to happen. And finally, we need people to believe in us again. That's the hardest thing to accomplish, but it comes from believing in ourselves. At one point, it was a top priority for me to have everyone who hung out with us and came to shows to feel connected to the band, as if they were in the band themselves. I think the fracturing within the band has led to a divide with our friends, fans, and audience. It's not an impossible chasm to cross, but it will require another leap of faith. I'm willing to work for your trust again.

A lot of this is up to me, and I am willing to meet the challenge. But this is a band, and it's not about what I do as an individual. It's about how we work together, how we play together, how we dream together. Because this whole thing started as a dream. It's time to start dreaming big again.