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FMP 019 – Mackenzie Page

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The Freio Music Podcast
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The Freio Music Podcast


Episode 019 - Mackenzie Page







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The featured artist in this episode of The Freio Music Po
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The Freio Music Podcast


Episode 019 - Mackenzie Page







Overview




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Videos





Overview

The featured artist in this episode of The Freio Music Podcast is Mackenzie Page. Mackenzie was the lead singer in Gipsy Moon and is now embarking on her solo career. She is in the process of recording and finalizing her first solo-album. She is a multi-instrumentalist based out of Colorado. In this episode you will hear about her travels, tactics to learn new instruments and styles and to persevere through hard times.  Stay tuned and enjoy!

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that ending was really quite, like intense for me because I kind of just, like, left everything and moved to Oregon. I did. I just really dipped out. I was supposed to be a wedding, I suppose, through all this stuff and after our last show, I just kind of left. And then I left the country so in a big way, like I needed to, kind of, I guess find myself again because when you're in a project like that and I was in a relationship as well inside that project, it defines you in a lot of ways that when you define yourself by something outside of yourself, which we all kind of end up naturally doing. Oh, I'm a firefighter. Oh, I'm a teacher. Oh, I am this. It's when you lose that there is. And not only that, but, like I kind of at the same time. It was like a relationship. I moved. I did all this stuff within a month. And so it's like when all of your defining factors have then left you and you're just, like, left with yourself. It was as difficult as that moment was for me. It was probably the best experience I've had to go through because it really made me go inside myself and say, like, What is this that you want? What is this what you want from life? And that's I think that's the way change affects people a lot and really more. The best thing you can do for yourself is like get used to it, you know, get used to the constant motion, the constant change, because that is the only thing you can actually count on that in your own death. Those things we do, things you can actually count on and the more comfortable you get with those because those are like two of basic human nature fears, like we fear death and we fear change because of comfort levels and everything. So it's like I saw that is like my fast paced schooling on how to deal with it. And, you know, you talk about like, the job literally. Yesterday I was like, Fuck, I should get a real job. Like, I guess maybe I should get a real job, you know, And it's creeping. Yeah, and like I think, especially as musicians, too. And the new the new Day and age of music. It's, you know, a lot of people have multiple streams of income, like most of my friends who play music have multiple streams of income and like right now, I do. But it's like I think, you know, the more the more you can get comfortable with that. Because even if I were to get a real job, say Okay, so like, say I go back and get my teaching license because I want to be the only other thing I could ever think I would want to be is like a professor teaching kids how to write poetry, maybe not kids, but like adults or young adults. And I'm like, Okay, so then I would have to go back to school, more debt that I would have to. After that, I would like have to find a job in a university, which is actually just as difficult honestly as being a musician, like a lot of the things I could see myself doing, like recently, I've been like Maybe I'll just try to, like, somehow figure out how to be an editor because I love reading and I love correcting. So I've been like researching that and I'm like, Could that be a side hustle? You know, I think it's about finding, like the right side hustles to, like, keep keep your because for me it's like whatever I can do, like here's my creative spirit. Here's my music, my writing. I am in service to you writing world, and I'm like whatever I can do, whatever hustle I can make happen to make that life happen is the key for me is the goal. So it's like I was a bartender all last year, you know, I've I've done babysitting. I've done landscaping. I've done everything I've dreamed we'd for days on end. You know, like I go out to California and do the hustle. I've done a lot of different shit, and it's like sometimes I feel the societal anxiety from that of like shit, like my resume sucks. Like I've never had a real job. I've never like done. I pay taxes all the things, But I you know, as far as like, if I were to be a higher
because there is this, like you have to have an extreme sense of belonging in any creative form. So, you know, it's like I'm meant to be here. Like even if I mess up like I'm here, my existence matters. Here's my song like that's that weird kind of balanced musicians have to play because you do have to have an insane, strong sense of belonging. At the same time, you have to be humble enough to not let that get in the way of the art, if you know what I mean. That my other favorite book, which I religiously listen to over and over again is Elizabeth Gilbert. Big magic. Have you done it? I'm gonna This is I'm not gonna lie like it's a little obsessive. Like this is my fourth time this year alone. Listening to this year were 15 days into the year. Oh, I'm sorry. I guess I'm including this is in 2019. Well, this is my first time again this year, literally. I mean, it was two days in the car and I'm already blew through it. They have it at the library. I also go to the library. Yes. Um, but this book, I mean, she talks about that same thing about putting any creative art out there is like you have to have this very extreme sense of belonging so that you can kind of come up against all of that backlash that you may or may not have, you know? And usually you're more than accepted in the world, you know, or honestly, more than anything you come up against, people are like, Oh, cool. And then they move on with their lives like and that's what I like to tell creative people is like People are kind of too busy to care, but then when they do care, it's like they really care, you know, like the people I look up to, the writers that the people I'm just like obsessed, you know? But it's like beyond that other people who put stuff out there like Oh, cool, that's great. And then you move on, you know, so that that helps you. Yeah, that helps you as a creator, because you're like it means everything and it means nothing at all. Like that's the most important, like contradicted thinking that you need as an artist as well as like, you have to put all of your work all of yourself, into these creations and like it is the most important thing to get this line right. Like if this line is not right like it won't work. Like I have to work so hard on this one line and then you have to go up and play it to a crowd of no. One. It doesn't matter, you know, Shit, whatever. It's not working on an album. Cut that song. It's out. You know, you have to have this kind of, like, really balanced sense of contradiction in your mind. I think to work through all of that interesting and to not get down on yourself about it. Really, Uh, and to not let somebody else judge your value, you're creating your own value because their opinion isn't like. I like to think that there is me and my writing and what I make. And then I put it out there. But there is this threshold of out there and in here, and so anything I put out there is no longer mine. So the opinions on it, the people who love it, who listen to it that is, there's now, you know, it's not mine anymore. And that's the important distinction to make. Because once it's somebody else's, then you have no like their opinion, whether it be good or bad. It's not about you, it's not. It's not about any, like there's that threshold. You're like there's a wall, you know, like you're the creator. That's your job is to create your job isn't to, like, think about other people's ideas about what you've created really well, said Point, that you're making that. Basically, your job as a creator is to create, and it's not to react to somebody else's opinion. And they're just opinion is a reaction to your work. So there's no need to react to a reaction exactly. And it's really tough now in this day and age because of social media. People do that on their regular life, you know, it's like, Yeah, it's really and I think that point, especially with creators or honestly, anybody who makes anything like If you're making a business making this, it's like take feedback with like a humongous green of soul, you know, and just really like, take what feedback resonates with you more than anything, Everything else. It's like it doesn't matter who said it, What? Anything like unless the feedback really resonates with you. I mean, I don't know. I tend to just, like, stick it all in her pocket. Don't really go from, you know, It's like you were asking me like, Oh, did you listen to the last interview like Nope, didn't like even with my albums like I don't listen to my albums because I'm not there anymore. That's that's out there. I'm over here on what I'm generating, you know, the next stuff and out of curiosity, do you How do you balance that approach of like not taking any feedback, but maybe soliciting a select few friends that you really trust or musicians that you look up to or how do you get? Um, I don't know if it's called feedback or just like creative criticism from people that you will listen to. Not necessarily that you're going to act on it. Yeah, but like a sound engineer, Well, like if I'm working with someone in a project that's a completely different experience, like, I'm talking about people who haven't been involved in any step of the way, you know? Yeah. Or like, you know, your friend who you haven't seen in four years Listen to your album and they're like, have an opinion about it or something like, That's what I'm talking about more than, like, if I'm like my producer, my engineers, like they're, like, hand in hand with me on that And like, I'll be like, What do you think of that line? Like, How is that? Like I'm very back like or like a band member that I'm working with, Like my drummer. He'll help me with arrangements and like, that kind of stuff I'm very big on, like you need that. You need that as a creator, you need somebody to bounce your stuff off of. But it's very particular upon who you do that. Like some of my friends, you know, their style of music like what they listen to isn't my style of music. So I hesitate to show them in a real way because I'm like, you're just gonna love it cause you love me, but it's like it's maybe not like your like what you would listen to, like your super into the Grateful Dead. Like I'm playing like indie music. You know, like it's not your vibe, but like my friends who are like, No, all the indie bands that I do I'm like Yo, like I would love your opinion on this. Yeah, I think it's asking for opinion to if you need it and and a lot of times, like all know what? All no points of my own works And I'm like, That's not really working or like that needs to be tweaked. And if somebody kind of mentions a similar thing, I've already had in my head that I'm like, proof cool. Yeah, like that's when those those times make sense. Even if the person hasn't been in the project, it's like, Oh, you definitely hit on something I also noticed because it it's important to have feedback in that way, you know, because you are creating a thing for people. But I think like just because of our nature, with social media and where we are as a society like that's a really you know, temperamental thing. And like, you have to make sure who you're getting your feedback from, like just be very particular about it, I guess, and not just you know, like, Oh, I only got so many comments on this photo, but I got a bunch on this video like, Why is this You know that kind of shit, And you just that's like, you can't You just got to, like, put it out there and move on to the next thing, I guess. Yeah. So I wanted to go back earlier. You were talking about your college days.
because when I play a little bit as well, and when I was approaching certain things, I'd realize I know it doesn't sound right, but it's wrong and I hear that it's wrong, but my hands can't make it right. And it's like, really frustrating loop because you notice the deficiency or the inaccuracy and you try it again. You try it again and it's like it's not working. Uh, so, you know, I guess maybe you said that you took a break and would go write some songs. Do you come straight back to it, or how do you deal with those moments where you're super frustrated like Sometimes I'll only practice for like, 15 minutes or 20 minutes. I'll like run vocal scales for 20 minutes. Or like right now. For instance, last night I'm working on his finger, picking Paul Simon. Um oh God, still crazy after all these years and literally I got through the first two staffs, which is literally like the intro. It's like four chords, But the way that the cords move there, it's just like it's not actual like it's not like, Oh, you're playing in a flat minor. It's like no It's just like this weird formation of one. So I'm like sitting there. I did it for, like, 15 minutes, and I'll go back again tonight. But I think it's like I've as I've gotten older. The frustration level has kind of calmed down because I know enough now after I've learned so much that I'm like, Okay, like it'll come like just knowing that you keep kind of chipping away at it like it will come. And that's that consistency that's like, really important. With learning music, you have to be really consistent with it. And if your fingers aren't getting it like, you have to do it so slow, that's the key is like as slow as you possibly can because then you're physical memory. Well, then take over more. You'll be able to program your physical memory more by doing it slow. So a lot of times when people learn stuff, they kind of blow through it like I used to do that a lot of fiddle tunes or like Irish tunes, and then I would try to do it slow and you mess up a bunch so it's like if you can do something, really, really slow musically, you know you got it in your body and you just speed up the tempo. Yeah, because that's that's where you want it. You don't want it in your mind. You want it in your body. You want to be able to, like, feel work through it. Not necessarily think through it. Because, really, I find there's this awesome book. Effortless mastery. My God, Who is it? Kenny Shepherd. Ken Shepherd. I'm not sure who's ever list mastery. Look it up. It's and it's It's a lot about that. Words like the mental mind it's It's based off the idea of meditation as well. Same thing, because when you play, it's the best to get into that meditative state where your body is playing the instrument, not your mind, like you're feeling through it. And is that book specifically for a musician, or is he a musician? The writer he is, he's a sax
afraid to be bad at something, to suck at something like It's really it's kind of a thing that as we get older as adults, we kind of have more fear of sucking and stuff and like we should have everything figured out at some point. And I think I was just enough of like I wanted it bad enough that I didn't care to embarrass myself because that's I mean, that's the hard part. I think that's what I would tell Younger musician is like. You will have embarrassment and shame like that's a big part of any creative, any creative journey. You know, it's like you will have fear. You will have shame. You will have you no fear, fear again like really, But it's It's about learning how to take those things with you and to know an honor that those things are part of your journey. But then to also be like, but the music is more important. But like learning and and if you want it bad enough, that's more important, really. It's just I think I wanted to be able to accompany myself more than I cared about what other people thought, really, that's kind of like a thing I'm dealing with again. I would say, like, right now, I'm actually I'm still in lessons with guitar. I pay for guitar lessons by this awesome guy. And, um, I'm in a poetry class as well, so I think you're just you're never done learning in life. I mean, for me, it's just that that's like, part of my joy in life is just continually searching and like combing through different ideas so that I can, you know, make more stuff. But I you know, as far as the fear and all of that, like, I have a lot of that right now because I'm putting out a new record that's completely different than than anything gypsy moons ever done. And, you know, it's like I kind of will have moments where I'm like, Oh, fuck, like, should I put this out? Probably not. Should I? I don't know. Like people are gonna like it. People are gonna hate it, and I just have to keep coming back to myself of like, it doesn't fucking matter what people think. Like that isn't my job as an artist. My job as an artist has nothing to do pass the moment. I put something out, and I think that's important, too. Two young players to because it's especially difficult when you're playing live because you're getting a direct feedback. So that's almost like, more terrifying because you can see on people's faces if they're digging it or not. As far as that goes, I played two enough empty rooms to the point where I just don't like whatever like I don't care, really. But like with putting out because this records taken me, it would have been a year and like a couple months by the time it's out, and that has been a year of like sitting in my room just being like, Oh my God, I'm so terrified, you know. But at the same time, I asked myself, Okay, so, like, what if you don't What if you just give up? Like what? If you didn't do music, would you still want to do it like, you know, asking yourself or like another thing, too? I ask myself, is like, What if you put this record out and like nothing happens? Nobody cares. Nothing comes from it. Would you still do it? And I keep coming back to like, yeah, I'd still do it. And honestly, like at this point, I'm like, What's next? Like, I'm ready to do the next one because this is in the final mixing stages, So it's really out of my hands at this point. But I was like, You know, I kept asking myself the specific questions and I think, like, especially if you're gonna really, like put stuff out there in the creative world, you have to ask yourself like what you want from it. What are you asking your of yourself for it, you know. So it's like with even some of my poems trying to get some of my poems published right now. And it's like rejection after rejection and you're just, like, comes back and I hit it right back out, you know, and I think that's important just to have this like, dogged determination. And I think that's what got me through learning guitar, because it's insanely frustrating, like people are like, Oh, don't you love practicing like No, I don't I don't like sitting there reading tablature or not even tablature, but I'm doing notation right now, like classical stuff. I hate it I'm like sitting there like it's like you can feel your brain like sludge ng through it, trying so hard to make sense of it and like, I'll do it for like 25 minutes and then be like, Alright, I'm done like That's it. I'm done. I'm gonna go write a song now because that's the fun part for me. But the practicing part, you know, it was like the lessons and flamenco guitar crazy, frustrating, like I would leave sometimes just being like Fuck this, like over it like fuck this. And that's why I would go then bust and I'd play old jazz tunes and whatever I wanted because they also Granada has these, like skinny little walkways, gorgeous reverberation from the from the walls. It's just like the best. It's like singing with the microphone with that one. Get a natural effect. Yeah, it really comes down to, like, dogged determination to where, like people talking shit, the shame, the fear, like at some point, all of that coming at you like you still don't care and you'll still make the art that you want to make. That's it. Really, that's great. I appreciate that message and
every morning. So, like, I'll wake up, I'll go down, we'll turn the coffee on and then I go back upstairs and I set a timer, which is the most important thing I've done for myself recently. And I bought a kitchen timer because, like, what would end up happening is I was using my phone and I would, like, find myself on Instagram for, like, 20 minutes. Me like, What are you doing? Like you're supposed to be really dating right now. So I bought myself a little kitchen timer and I set it for 15 minutes. A timer is always extremely important. Meditation, Like don't sit down and meditate without timer because that's the thing that will keep you coming back. Is knowing this will end this moment Does end like I'm gonna sit down. I'm gonna do this, but it ends. You know, if you just have this endless meditation time, we're like, it'll stand up when I feel it's like you're never gonna do it. It's not gonna be a consistent practice. Sometimes I do that with music to I'll be like and 20 minute timer boom practice, because it was like having that end time makes you want to do it more. So I'm gonna take for 15 minutes. I have a mantra. Well, I guess I'll tell you it's quite private. But if it helps people you know, then I don't That's the thing. So, um, I said, John, you say everything is always working out For me, everything is always working out. For me. Everything is always working out for me in my head for like, 15 minutes, literally. And it helps to if you listen to, like, the heater like a consistent noise outside. Yeah, yeah, because that will bring you really into the present moment is like listening to what's happening in the moment. And then after that, I do what's called the morning pages. So then I go get my coffee. Then I go into my office and I say, And I said another timer for 20 minutes and I Right. Whatever comes to mind, that's a Julie Cameron. The artist's way tactic. Have you read that? No, I haven't. But I do want Is the app right? Morning pages out? No, I actually sit down with a notebook and I like physical notebook and I Right, So Julie camera has this book called The Artist Way, and it's a fantastic. It's like a 12 week program about, um It helps with people who have, like, creative blocks writer's block, who just feel like they're not. They're stuck creatively. They don't feel creative. Maybe they don't think their their creative. That's another option. So if you read this book, it's a 12 step one, you know, once a week. And so her main thing. One of the first lessons is the morning pages, and it's kind of sitting down and just letting yourself like I have a separate notebook for this that I show absolutely no. One. And it's literally like Good morning morning pages today I have to do this and this and this and this and I got to go to the grocery store and I was feeling so annoyed last night about this and this and this, but then I really came through it like whatever comes through, like even if you can't think of something to write, just write, write, write, write the word, write the word right. I'm writing right. I'm writing right, right, and like just letting it flow out of you because that allows you to really, like, get beyond your judgment mind and into allowing yourself to to physically right this very physical motion. But so I do that every morning and then I, like, go about my
because when you're touring, you're not only like, are you always on, like you're always meeting people. You always talking to people you're like here and there. You're always with people because of your band mates. You're in the car, you're here, you're there, you're eating with them. It's everything. There's no break and like, that's really intense, you know? And I think we had a lot of like, you know, emotional differences and stuff that made that even more difficult. So, you know, it's We are also all young, too. It's like we can't blame ourselves for our past faults. Really, all you can do is learn from that shit. And I think one of my fears of getting back into music was that was that touring lifestyle. And, like, Can I do that again? How can I do that in a different way? Maybe there's another, you know, and I'm still kind of learning that right now I'm still coming up against that, like, Okay, how am I going to structure this now? How am I going to go on tour? Because it's inevitable. You have to tour, but I think I recently kind of stopped drinking. That's my main thing as well. Alcohol is like a huge, you know, it's a it's a day to day battle, and sometimes I fall off the wagon and get back on the wagon. I'm like, Okay, I swear to God, I'm done this time and I'm like shit back on. And I'm just really focusing on finding a really nice balance with that, because that was, I think, what made our whole situation and Gypsy moon very difficult as we like, love to party together, you know, And like, the road is full parties and you're always expected to party. Really? I mean, like, what other job is like drinking on the job? Expected? Do you know what I mean? Like, that's the craziest thing a musician has to come up against. Really, It's like you are supplying the good time, and so within yourself, it's really important to find that balance of like and honestly, I find when I'm like, sober and playing, I'm much better and more fun. I have a better time like it's it's all the things. So it's kind of my my newest school, so I think when I do to her, I'm gonna tour sober. Yeah, because when you like sleep, you keep your voices, all the things, all the benefits, your energy. Yeah, you enjoy yourself. I mean, that's the key. And then really finding balances for yourself because also, in Gypsy Moon, we had that kind of like like her. We got this. We got to do all the things we gotta do, all the things. So we were always available, like shows would come up and we get the show, get the show, get the show. I'm gonna do it next time where it's like I'm taking that month off like I'm going to another country and I'm gonna live there for that time because really, like it was so cheap to live in Spain. Holy shit. So cheap, Like I think I spent like two grand in three months, like including my rent and food and lessons and all the things like it is very affordable. America's heart is very expensive as far as the country goes.
uh, changing with change or overcoming, uh, circumstances. Um, I'm trying to word it better, but it's not coming. You're all good. Like your meaning, Like change when your life changes and or like, let's say gypsy moon broke up or like the band is no longer playing together. Now, somebody else might have, uh, said, Well, shoot now it's all over now. I gotta get a day job or, uh, do something totally different, but you're kind of embracing the change. You're putting out a new album, and you're you're kind of, um, evolving with over time. Yeah. I mean, that ending was really quite, like, intense for me because I kind of just, like, left everything and moved to Oregon. I did. I just I really dipped out. I was supposed to be a wedding. I was supposed to all this stuff and after our last show, I just, like, kind of left. And then I left the country so in a big way, like I needed to kind of, I guess, find myself again because when you're in a project like that and I was in a relationship as well inside that project, it defines you in a lot of ways that when you define yourself by something outside of yourself, which we all kind of end up naturally doing. Oh, I'm a firefighter. Oh, I'm a teacher. Oh, I am this. It's when you lose that there is. And not only that, but, like I kind of at the same time was like, out of relationship. I moved. I did all this stuff within a month. And so it's like when all of your defining factors have then left you and you're just, like, left with yourself. It was as difficult as that moment was for me. It was probably the best experience I've had to go through because it really made me go inside myself and say, like, What is this that you want? What is this what you want from life? And that's I think that's the way change affects people a lot and really more. The best thing you can do for yourself is like get used to it, you know, get used to the constant motion, the constant change, because that is the only thing you can actually count on that in your own death. Those things we do, things you can actually count on and the more comfortable you get with those, because those are like two of basic human nature fears, like we fear death and we fear change because of comfort levels and everything. So it's like I saw that is like my fast paced schooling on how to deal with it. And, you know, you talk about like, the job literally. Yesterday I was like, Fuck, I should get a real job. Like, I guess maybe I should get a real job, you know, And don't creep in. Yeah, And like I think, especially as musicians, too. And the new the new day and age of of music, it's, you know, a lot of people have multiple streams of income, like most of my friends who play music have multiple streams of income and like right now, I do. But it's like I think, you know, the more the more you can get comfortable with that. Because even if I were to get a real job, say okay, so like, say I go back and get my teaching license because I want to be the only other thing I could ever think I would want to be, is like a professor teaching kids how to write poetry. Maybe not kids, but, like adults or young adults. And I'm like, Okay, so then I would have to go back to school, more debt. Then I would have to. After that, I would like have to find a job in a university, which is actually just as difficult honestly as being a musician. Like a lot of the things I could see myself doing, like recently, I've been like, Maybe I'll just try to, like, somehow figure out how to be an editor because I love reading and I love correcting. So I've been like, researching that, and I'm like, Could that be a side hustle? You know, I think it's about finding, like the right side hustles to, like, keep keep your because for me it's like whatever I can do, like here's my creative spirit. Here's my music, my writing. I am in service to you writing world, and I'm like whatever I can do, whatever hustle I can make happen to make that life happen is the key for me is the goal. So it's like I was a bartender all last year, you know, I've I've done babysitting. I've done landscaping. I've done everything I've trimmed. We'd for days on end. You know, like I go out to California and do the hustle. I've done a lot of different shit, and it's like sometimes I feel the societal anxiety from that of like, Oh, shit. Like my resume sucks. Like I've never had a real job. I've never like I don't I pay taxes all the things. But I you know, as far as like, if I were to be a hirable candidate, not so much depends on who's looking exactly, I mean and really in the grand scheme of things like, Oh, you've created and hosted your own festival and you've also had was festival music. That was two years ago. I don't want to slow you down. What else have you done? Well, I mean, running a band is running a business, essentially. So it's like, Yeah, so it's like those kind of things. Yeah, it's like really on. That front is just as reputable as a thing. So trust me, I go back and forth every day. I'm like, Should I get a real job? Should be a real job and I'm like well, but at the same time, I'm always just gonna keep doing this so shit. Why not? I mean, a big part of me questioning that is because, like, life on the road is really difficult. And as much as I absolutely adore traveling like touring is a different thing than traveling.
How do you deal with those moments where you're super frustrated? Yeah, like sometimes I'll only practice for like, 15 minutes or 20 minutes. I'll like run vocal scales for 20 minutes. Or like right now. For instance, last night I'm working on his finger picking Paul Simon. Um oh, God, Still crazy after all these years and literally I got through the first two staffs, which is literally like the intro. It's like four chords, But the way that the cords move there, it's just like it's not actual like it's not like, Oh, you're playing in a flat minor. It's like, No, it's just like this weird formation of one. So I'm like sitting there. I did it for, like, 15 minutes, and I'll go back again tonight, but I think it's like as I've gotten older, the frustration level has kind of calmed down because I know enough now, after I've learned so much that I'm like, Okay, like it'll come like just knowing that you keep kind of chipping away at it like it'll come and that's that consistency. That's like, really important with learning music, because you have to be really consistent with it and If your fingers aren't getting it like you have to do it so slow, that's the key is like as slow as you possibly can because then you're physical memory. Well, then take over more. You'll be able to program your physical memory more by doing it slow. So a lot of times when people learn stuff that kind of blow through it, like I used to do that a lot of fiddle tunes or like Irish tunes And then I would try to do it slow and you mess up a bunch. So it's like if you can do something really, really slow musically, you know you got it in your body and you just speed up the tempo. Yeah, because that's that's where you want it. You don't want it in your mind. You want it in your body. You want to be able to, like, feel work through it, not necessarily think through it, because really, I find there's this awesome book. Effortless mastery by God. Who is it? Kenny Shepherd? Ken Shepherd? I'm not sure who's ever list mastery. Look it up. It's and it's It's a lot about that where it's like the mental mind it's It's based off the idea of meditation as well. Same thing, because when you play, it's the best to get into that meditative state where your body is playing the instrument, not your mind, like you're feeling through it. And is that book specifically for a musician or is he a musician? The writer he is, he's a saxophonist. Okay, is that the right way to say saxophonist? He plays his ex, and, um, he was, like, big in the New York scene for a while and um, yeah, he wrote this. And I think he's a piano player to um yeah, he just It's really sure it's like a pdf you can get online or I think I got the audio version of it. And it's gorgeous because it's really like implementing meditative practices within the playing of music. And a lot of like dealing with the ego, too, because I think that, like, you know, musicians come up against ego more than more than anybody. Because there is this, like you have to have an extreme sense of belonging in any creative form. So, you know, it's like I'm meant to be here, like, even if I mess up like I'm here. My existence matters. Here's my song like that's that weird kind of balanced musicians have to play because you do have to have an insane, strong sense of belonging at the same time, you have to be humble enough to not let that get in the way of the art, if you know what I mean. My other favorite book, which I religiously listen to over and over again is Elizabeth Gilbert. Big magic. Have you done it? I'm gonna This I'm not gonna lie like it's a little obsessive. Like this is my fourth time this year alone. Listening to this year, we're like, we're 15 days into the year. Oh, I'm sorry. I guess I'm including this is in 2019. Well, this is my first time again this year, literally. I mean, it was two days in the car, and I'm already blew through it. They have it at the library. I also go to the library. Yes. Um, but this book, I mean, she talks about that same thing about putting any creative art out there is like, you have to have this very extreme sense of belonging. So that you can kind of come up against all of that backlash that you may or may not have, you know, And usually you're more than accepted in the world, you know, or honestly, more than anything you come up against, people are like, Oh, cool. And then they move on with their lives like and that's what I like to tell creative people is like, People are kind of too busy to care, But then when they do care, it's like they really care, You know, like the people I look up to, the writers, the people. I'm just like obsessed, you know? But it's like beyond that other people who put stuff out there like Oh, cool, that was great. And then you move on, you know, so that that helps you. Yeah, that helps you as a creator, because you're like it means everything. And it means nothing at all. Like that's the most important, like contradicted thinking that you need as an artist as well as like, you have to put all of your work all of yourself, into these creations and like it is the most important thing to get this line right. Like if this line is not right like it won't work like I have to work so hard on this one line and then you have to go up and play it to a crowd of No. One. It doesn't matter, you know, Shit, whatever. It's not working on an album. Cut that song. It's out. You know, you have to have this kind of like, really balanced sense of contradiction in your mind. I think to work through all of that interesting and to not get down on yourself about it. Really, Uh, and to not let somebody else judge your value, you're creating your own value because their opinion isn't like. I like to think that there is me and my writing and what I make, and then I put it out there. But there is this threshold of out there and in here, and so anything I put out there is no longer mine. So the opinions on it, the people who love it, who listen to it, that is, there's now, you know, it's not mine anymore. And that's the important distinction to make. Because once it's somebody else's, then you have no like their opinion, whether it be good or bad. It's not about you, it's not. It's not about any, like there's that threshold. You're like there's a wall, you know, like you're the creator. That's your job is to create your job, isn't to, like, think about other people's ideas about what you've created really well, said Point, that you're making that. Basically, your job as a creator is to create, and it's not to react to somebody else's opinion. And they're just opinion is a reaction to your work. So there's no need to react to a reaction exactly. And it's really tough now in this day and age because of social media. People do that on their regular life. You know, it's like, Yeah, it's really and I think that point, especially with creators or honestly, anybody who makes anything like If you're making a business making this, it's like take feedback with like a humongous green of soul, you know, and just really like, take what feedback resonates with you more than anything. Everything else it's like it doesn't matter who said it, what anything like unless the feedback really resonates with you. I mean, I don't know. I tend to just like stick it all in her pocket. Don't really go from you know. It's like you were asking me like, Oh, did you listen to the last interview like? Nope, didn't like even with my albums like I don't listen to my albums because I'm not there anymore. That's that's out there. I'm over here on what I'm generating, you know, the next stuff and out of curiosity, do you? How do you balance that approach of, like not taking any feedback, but maybe soliciting a select few friends that you really trust or musicians that you look up to or how do you get? Um, I don't know if it's called feedback or just like creative criticism from people that you will listen to. Not necessarily that you're going to act on it, but, like a sound engineer. Well, like if I'm working with someone in a project that's a completely different experience, like, I'm talking about people who haven't been involved in any step of the way, you know? Yeah, or, like, you know, your friend who you haven't seen in four years listen to your album and they're like, have an opinion about it or something like That's what I'm talking about more than like, if I'm like my producer, my engineers, like they're, like, hand in hand with me on that and like, I'll be like, What do you think of that line? Like, How is that? Like I'm very back like or like a band member that I'm working with, Like my drummer. He'll help me with arrangements and like, that kind of stuff I'm very big on, like you need that. You need that as a creator, you need somebody to bounce your stuff off of. But it's very particular upon who you do that. Like some of my friends, you know their style of music, like what they listen to isn't my style of music. So I hesitate to show them in a real way because I'm like, you're just gonna love it cause you love me, but it's like it's maybe not like your like what you would listen to, like your super into the Grateful Dead. Like I'm playing like indie music, you know, like it's not your vibe. But like my friends who are like, no, all the indie bands that I do, I'm like Yo like I would love your opinion on this. Yeah, I think it's asking for opinion to if you need it, and and a lot of times, like we all know what all no points of my own works. And I'm like That's not really working or like that needs to be tweaked. And if somebody kind of mentions a similar thing, I've already had in my head that I'm like, proof cool. Yeah, like that's when those those times make sense. Even if the person hasn't been in the project, it's like, Oh, you definitely hit on something. I also noticed because it it's important to have feedback in that way because you are creating a thing for people. But I think like just because of our nature, with social media and where we are as a society like that's a really you know, temperamental thing. And like, you have to make sure who you're getting your feedback from, like, just be very particular about it, I guess, and not just, you know, like, Oh, I only got so many comments on this photo, but I got to a bunch on this video like, Why is this? You know that kind of shit and you just that's like you can't you just got to, like, put it out there and move on
I mean, what advice would you give to somebody else like a younger musician starting out today, that might be trying to develop something, and they know that they're not quite there yet or they want to pick up a new instrument, but they're nervous because they haven't played it. And you picked up instruments as an adult. And and that's not something that everybody can say. Yeah, I mean, I think the way I come to it, like I've never been afraid to be bad at something to suck at something like It's really it's kind of a thing that as we get older as adults, we kind of have more fear of sucking and stuff and, like we should have everything figured out at some point. And I think I was just enough of like I wanted it bad enough that I didn't care to embarrass myself because that's I mean, that's the hard part. I think that's what I would tell. Younger musician is like. You will have embarrassment and shame like that's a big part of any creative, any creative journey. You know, it's like you will have fear. You will have shame. You will have you no fear, fear again like really, But it's it's about learning how to take those things with you and to know an honor that those things are part of your journey. But then to also be like, but the music is more important. But like learning and and if you want it bad enough, that's more important, really. It's just I think I wanted to be able to accompany myself more than I cared about what other people thought, Really. That's kind of like a thing I'm dealing with again. I would say, Like right now, I'm actually I'm still in lessons with guitar. I pay for guitar lessons by this awesome guy, and, um, I'm in a poetry class as well. So I think you're just you're never done learning in life. I mean, for me, it's just that that's like, part of my joy in life. It's just continually searching and like combing through different ideas so that I can, you know, make more stuff. But I you know, as far as the fear and all of that, like I have a lot of that right now because I'm putting out a new record that's completely different. than anything Gypsy moons ever done. And, you know, it's like I kind of will have moments where I'm like, Oh, fuck like, Should I put this out? Probably not. Should I? I don't know, Like people are gonna like it. People are gonna hate it to, and I just have to keep coming back to myself of, like, It doesn't fucking matter what people think like that isn't my job as an artist. My job as an artist has nothing to do. Pass the moment. I put something out, and I think that's like important to two young players to, because it's especially difficult when you're playing live because you're getting a direct feedback. So that's almost like more terrifying, because you can see on people's faces if they're digging it or not. As far as that goes, I played two enough empty rooms to the point where I just like whatever like you don't care, really. But like with putting out because this records taken me, it would have been a year and like a couple months by the time it's out, and that has been a year of like sitting in my room just being like, Oh my God, I'm so terrified, you know, But at the same time, I asked myself. Okay, So, like, what if you don't? What if you just give up? Like what? If you didn't do music, would you still want to do it? Like, you know, asking yourself or like another thing too, I ask myself, is like, What if you put this record out and like nothing happens? Nobody cares. Nothing comes from it. Would you still do it? And I keep coming back to like, Yeah, I'd still do it. And honestly, like at this point, I'm like, What's next? Like, I'm ready to do the next one because this is in the final mixing stages. So it's really out of my hands at this point. But I was like, You know, I kept asking myself the specific questions, and I think, like, especially if you're gonna really, like put stuff out there in the creative world, you have to ask yourself like what you want from it. What are you asking your of yourself for it, You know. So it's like with even some of my poems trying to get some of my poems published right now and It's like rejection after rejection and you're just like, comes back and I hit it right back out, you know? And I think that's important just to have this like, dogged determination. And I think that's what got me through learning guitar because it's insanely frustrating, like people are like, Oh, don't you love practicing like No, I don't I don't like sitting there reading tablature or not even tablature, But I'm doing notation right now, like classical stuff. I hate it. I'm like sitting there like, Oh, it's like you can feel your brain like slugging through it, trying so hard to make sense of it and like, I'll do it for, like 25 minutes and then be like, Alright, I'm done like That's it. I'm done. I'm gonna go write a song now because that's the fun part for me. But the practicing part, you know, it was like the lessons and flamenco guitar crazy, frustrating, like I would leave sometimes just being like fuck this, like over it like fuck this And that's why I would go then bust and I'd play old jazz tunes and whatever I wanted, because they also Granada has these, like skinny little walkways, gorgeous reverberation from the from the walls. It's just like the best. It's like singing with the microphone with that one. Get a natural effect. Yeah, it really comes down to, like, dogged determination to where, like people talking shit, the shame, the fear, like at some point, all of that coming at you like you still don't care and you'll still make the art that you want to make. That's it, really.
I was like a was like a car singer. Like I did it. Yeah, And like people, you know, my friends from high school. When they found out I was playing music, they were like, What? Like you never saying you weren't inquire, you weren't You weren't doing any of that kind of stuff before, So I really came to it late and I think a decent amount out of fear. You know, I definitely it's kind of scary opening your mouth, attempting to seeing if you're not brought up with that, and my family is not musical at all. So it was like by hidden secret, and I would my friend, he was in high school. He would loan me his guitar, and I would take his guitar home at night and sit in my house, and it sends quietly attempt to play like hidden Lee in the closet, like very, uh, interesting kind of way to come at it. But I I have a friend to, um Aylin Aereo. She she had a similar experience with singing where she, like, was scared to do it and just didn't really do it in front of people until, you know, her later years of 1920 21. And I had a very similar kind of experience with it, where I was just terrified. Honestly, though, listening to those older recordings I'm like, no wonder I was terrified was just whack. So, like shit takes practice. Yeah, and that's the thing to when people think about singing. They're like, It's this natural God given talent you're like to a certain extent. Yes, there is tone. There's your natural bodily tone, but like it's fucking practice, you have to sit there and practice and to know where your voice is because it's not. It's not an instrument like a guitar, where you can see what you're doing, very internal and mental to have to feel where it's vibrating in your body, and you're also hearing yourself in the same area as it's being produced. So you're kind of not getting the accurate picture. It's 100% true, like anybody learning to do music. And if they ask me advice, I'm like, Listen to yourself, record it. It's the most painful thing you'll do, and you'll have that self doubt moment. We're like, Oh my God, why I give up all the things. But if you can really get yourself to an early stage of, like, an objective looking at that that you made like, you're going to be so much further along in the end. So we started doing that in Gypsy Moon near the end, we would record our shows, and I would just sit in the back of the van cringing at certain moments. But then when I would go back the next day and play those shows, I knew those certain moments in which I was maybe flat on a word or a word came out wrong or something like that, and I'd be like, conscious of that while I was singing so
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