Too many people fail to see the bigger picture of life as a musician and the
miserable state of the industry. If you are one of these people
and catch yourself feeling in some way cheerful, stop right
away and follow this simple 12 step plan to guarantee your
return to a completely horrid existence on this miserable
Warning: Contains strong language.
If you don’t like that, then you should
probably still read on anyway as it will just give you more
reasons to be pissed off.
Without further ado.
1. Whine and complain
In your quest for ongoing professional misery it is imperative that you bitch
and moan on a continual basis, especially about things that are out of your
control. Unfortunately the world is not fair and the odds are always stacked
But do not fear, there’s an easy way to get it off your chest and that
is to simply unload your problems onto other people. Other people are almost
always at hand so you should take every opportunity to remind them in intricate
detail how life is much worse than they think it is. Then proceed to follow
this up with a long list of examples.
2. Focus on what sucks
There’s a lot of amazing music out there. It’s just a shame nobody
realises how shitty it is. The human mind is capable of rationalizing pretty
much anything, so why not rationalize that everything sucks? Just joined a new
band? They probably suck. Just nailed that Victor Wooten lick? Whoopty-sodding-doo,
it still probably sounds lame and you’ll forget it by next week.
The world really can be a shitty place, if you’ll just let it.
3. Argue about absolutely everything
When you successfully focus on how everything
sucks then it logically follows that you’re now going
to have to spend a comparable amount of time convincing everybody
else why that’s the case.
This works particularly well when somebody
doesn’t agree with you on YouTube. Be sure not to let
them get away with it. Set aside a few hours of your time
to bring them up to speed on how stupid their opinion is and
why it is wrong.
Additionally, once in a while, and completely
unpredictably, pick a fight over something trivial and make
unwarranted accusations where possible. This interaction should
last ideally for the best part of an evening while ignoring
your children and spouse.
Finally, well-intentioned friends and
relatives can often be overwhelmed by the scale of your misfortune,
sometimes to the extent of agreeing with you. Do not be fooled,
this is merely a form of pity and you must remind them immediately
to stop being such patronizing dicks. Argue about absolutely
4. Compare yourself to other musicians
Another sure fire way to increase your
levels of bitterness and self loathing is to compare how shitty
you are to your idols. Who cares that they gave up their social
lives to practice 8 hours a day for most of their early lives?
Obviously that’s irrelevant. The smug old sods were
just lucky and born with it. The important thing to remember
is that the world isn’t fair and your 30 minutes of
practising too fast once a fortnight is probably a waste of
time because your brain hates you and won’t let you
get any better.
5. Blame everything and everybody else
One of the most important steps in the quest
for all encompassing despair is to realize how all your failures,
shortcomings and problems are actually not your fault but
rather that of soulless profiteers and other such unscrupulous
Think about it, your parents didn’t
raise you properly, your teachers didn’t teach you properly,
your band doesn’t do their job properly, the soundman
can’t mix properly, the engineer can’t stop your
drums sounding like cardboard, the government don’t
support your career properly, your brain doesn’t have
all the same neurons and shit that clever people do…
What an absolute farce.
6. Regularly criticise other musicians
This is very important. It didn’t exactly
take you years to develop a good ear for music, you were just
naturally blessed with sublime taste and substance. If only
everybody else realised it, right? Many new musicians however,
don’t understand why your music is the best.
Often times, you will come across videos of
people demonstrating new patterns they’ve learned or
new songs they’ve covered or written. When you encounter
this, waste no time in pointing out how crappy they are. Feel
free to tell them exactly what they’re doing wrong but
do not by any means offer any form of encouragement to these
people, they are only going to get crappier and they need
to know about it for their own good. Don’t worry, it’s
only the internet, they’re not real people with real
feelings you damn hippie.
On another note, you may also
occasionally encounter naive musicians who don’t yet
see the industry for the lackluster cacophony of wretchedness
and rabid inanity that it is. Sometimes they are even clueless
enough to have actual real-life hopes and dreams. Make it
your duty to indoctrinate them into your world of sourness
and hatred, pronto. 7. Watch more TV
There is no better use of time in your pursuit
of misery than to watch more television. As a matter of fact,
TV advertisements, celebrity culture and, best of all, the
news all serve to deliver an impressive dose of fear, self-loathing
and disconnectedness with the outside world.
As an added bonus, all the time that you spend
watching TV saves you having to practise at your craft, making
you all the shittier and giving you even more to complain
8. Refute that somebody else might know something you don’t
Inevitably, as you go about your day to day despondency, some pompous self-righteous
shitlord will attempt to prove you wrong at something. In this case, it is important
to refute the statement outright with no consideration for the accuracy or substance
of their argument. Retaliate immediately with personal attacks on their character.
9. Quit when you make a mistake
Thomas Edison said “Many of life’s
failures are people who did not realize how close they were
to success when they gave up.” What a nitwit. What does
he know about failure? Everybody knows that if you screw up
a couple of times then you’re not cut out for it.
Stop wasting your time, give up, switch on
the TV and let those sweet, sweet feelings of inadequacy wash
all over you. Feels good, doesn’t it?
10. Practise sustained bitterness
Cultivate the feeling that everything is rubbish and pointless and that people
are only out to irritate you. Question yourself on a regular basis how such
an inherently fascinating person like you wound up in such a completely tedious
and unbearable industry ripe with bleeding idiots.
11. Live in the past
We all remember the good old days, things
were much better back then. Unfortunately however, you were
born in the wrong place at the wrong time and so are destined
for the remainder of your measly existence to bare the asinine
nature of the modern day music industry.
The only solution is to live permanently in
the past. Ignore all new media, ideas, education, music and
art. There is nothing to be gained by engaging with such new-fangled
drivel. Recognise what’s gotten worse over time, which
let’s face it is pretty much everything.
12. Enter into a continued state of pessimism and anxiety
Goal setting and optimism about the future
only leads to inevitable disappointment, so to save time just
expect band practice to suck eggs and all new music to be
unoriginal and lame.
Steve Jobs said that “the only people
who change the world are those who are crazy enough to think
they can.” Obviously, whoever this clueless nutter is
he never tried doing anything new. Experience shows that venturing
outside your comfort zone and trying anything new is stupid