Thursday, April 23, 2009

My god you're greasy!

Work work work work work work work. Yaaaaaaaaay!!!! The highlight of my life, just a few moments away now. Hell, by the time you read this, I’ll probably be washing glasses or cutting limes. It promises to be awesome. I actually get a little surge of energy on the days when I have to work. I don’t know if it’s me rising to the challenge or what, but it seems like I waste all my free days dreading work and lots of my work days not really minding it so much. Hmmm…well, I hate washing the dishes and I hate a few of my coworkers and I hate a few of my regulars, but that’s not really any different than the amount of hate I have for anything…Let’s talk about something I love and I’ll tell you why I hate it too. Uh, let’s see…how about family. That’s a good one, right? Everyone can relate to loving their family, and also hating them, or just wanting them to go away, right? I love my family to death, but there’s no doubt about it, if they were all dead, there’d be a lot less pressure, headaches, guilt, shame etc. I’d also be completely destroyed, alone, depressed, without any will to live whatsoever, so make no mistake, I’m in no way looking for a dead family, but you get the point…Even the very best things in the world can get to you. Okay, not that my job is one of the best things in the world either. It bugs the shit out of me, BUT, without it I’d be broke, aimless, panicky and definitely feeling a lot more pressure, headaches, guilt and shame you know, because of having a family, which would probably be worse than just hating my job. Jesus. I should really change the subject.
For ever, playing in a band was my only job. Never mind that we just barely are big enough to do that as an only job and we kind of scrape through by being on the road constantly. It was our only job, and we even have employees, who, when we’re going full time, have no other job either. Something about meeting someone at a party and saying “yeah, I play in a band” when they say “what do you do?” and then responding to the inevitable follow up: “What else do you do?” with “nothing” feels pretty great. There are times when I think I’d almost, ALMOST rather just be jobless than be a bartender, because at least I could still maintain this completely false image of jet setting leisure, you know? “what do you do?” “Oh, I just hang out with my kid and fuck around. I used to tour in a band, but we’re taking some time off so I can be with the baby” sounds so much cooler than “bartender”. BUT, doesn’t really work, does it? Nah, because aimlessness is the worst cancer your soul can get. It’s impossible to shake and it’s what turns easy tasks into impossible obstacles.
Entitlement is the problem with music. There’s a point, after a band has gotten any level of success, that they start feeling entitled to it. And this is true on two levels. First, the actual empirical number of kids at a show/records sold etc. As soon as this number goes down, there is a soul crushing level of devastation that completely destroys the performers on said stages/records. This is, mind you, only true if you’ve actually reached a point where the kids are coming to SEE YOU SPECIFICALLY. If your crappy band played down the street to thirty kids one night, and ten the next week, well, that’s a bummer, sure, but it’s not that feeling of ENTITLED outrage and again, devastation that say, Puddle of Mudd probably feels playing county fairs right now.
The second and much more dangerous form of false entitlement is that of relative popularity. No one likes to see a band that opened up for them on tour blow past their level of success. This is the one that usually ends up making people bitter, shitty old grumps. It doesn’t matter if your band is still popular. If your friend’s newer band suddenly becomes more popular, or has stayed popular longer as you’ve started to fade a little, that’s a bad scene, spirit wise.
I try not to let this sort of shit get to me, especially the second one, because let’s face it, it’s not important. You can only worry about what you do as a band, not what other people do. That’s just a recipe for feeling like shit, because no matter who you are, there’s always someone who’s gonna go farther and last longer. Always. AND there’s nothing AT ALL that’s cool about hating on someone just for being popular. It’s jealousy, and you look like a fucking pussy. Every time, in every situation. (Yeah, crusty kid who no longer listens to NOFX or Against Me!, you too). That’s all it is, that’s all it ever looks like, and if you think it’s not, you’re deluded. Sorry.
The first one is trickier, because it’s actually your own numbers dipping, and this one DOES bother me (not that it’s really happened to us too much, actually…but I always prepare for it) but it’s still a completely retarded thing to worry about. There’s no point in worrying about something you can’t control. If people stop coming, or stop buying or listening, and you’re still doing your thing to the best of your ability, hey man, join the rest of the zillion assholes who make records and play shows that no one gives a shit about. It’s not like they’re gonna lock you up in a tiny shit filled box. You’re just going back to being a regular dude, and one with better memories than most people, so suck a dong, you fucking baby.
It’s funny, because I’m trying to book us shows right now, and I had forgotten what a headache it is. People’s agents, talent buyers, clashes of egos, money hungry cocksmokers on every fucking level of every fucking thing-- the whole thing makes me insane. It’s like bartending, or family or anything else…No matter how great it is, there’s something that’s just gonna fucking make you impossibly pissed.

21 comments:

Adam said...

There must be $20 of grease on his forehead alone...

Manny Los Gatos said...

I had that thought about certain bands getting bigger than others. I saw Rise Against open for the Trio back in like 02 or something and then the Trio opened for them a couple of months ago. I still think that's weird. I guess RA is pretty big. The only record I like of theirs is The Unraveling.

I met someone last night who was a Birder. Nice woman. That's a category of person though, birder. If you don't write about it, I will.

J said...

Oh! Calcutta! was your most well-reviewed and popular record yet, dude. You start touring with new shit, and your bodies-in-attendance numbers are going to skyrocket. A lot of new kids now know TLA because of that album.

And it's always great to see a Simpsons reference right in the title.

Nico said...

This is kinda off-topic, but I've been curious for a while to see you tackle high-school reunions. Please do that...

afalker said...

Would it be too much to ask for a show in Iowa? Probably...

Gregory said...

i like your band a lot. i see you in st. louis at the creepy crawl whenever you guys come through.

I've been a teacher for the past two years and i definitely feel you on work. I graduated from university of missouri in 2007 and went straight into working 60 hour weeks of stress and anxiety.

i often fantasize about moving to hawaii and living on the beach and doing jackshit everyday except go to school again.

hang in there dude. it can ALWAYS be worse.

and yes, go on tour again ASAP. St. Louis misses you.

Tyler J. Bernard said...

I agree with Nico on the HS reunion request. My 5-year reunion is coming up.

Denise said...

Have you heard of this new band, Tinted Windows? It has James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne), Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick), and get this, Taylor Hanson (Hanson). It sounds pretty interesting to me. My sister and her bf are going to check them out next week in Chicago.

Jesus said...

Dude, if you were to come to Vancouver I've got a group of friends that would not only fill the place but pay for drinks for you guys for the rest of the night. All we do nowadays is drink and listen to your records on shuffle, I'm having a blast.

When do you think you'll actually be out and around, a guesstimate at least.

Drew said...

please. please. please. play a show in Chicago this summer.


please.

Dax said...

If you happen to be booking a tour, I think you be really sorry if you skipped the music capital of the world, Austin TX!!!

yeeee haaaaw!!!

Dax said...

Question:

I'm 31 years old and I never went to college (actually I got about one year done, but that don't mean shit). I need to find a career that will pay alright, doesn't suck too much and will not require me to go back to school. Any suggestions? (fyi... my schlong isn't large enough for the adult film business)

Tony said...

I don't think there is a single Lawrence Arms fan who would stop buying your records!!

Denise said...

yeah, yeah, my 10 yr reunion is this year. damn, I'm getting old. lol

Let me holla atcha. said...

Puddle of Mudd, oh hell, def forgot about those shit tits. I wonder if at the county fairs they play that song about the singer liking his ass smacked. That's passion.

Mike Destruction said...

http://www.i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=11377
just can't get enough simpsons quotes!

wilddanimal said...

Two things: One, if you're booking a tour, for the love of everything sacred, come back to San Francisco. We love you more than we love fog and weed smoke and burritos and rich girls with underarm hair. I'll buy you drinks and fanboy out about how brilliant you are, cos TLA are seriously one of my most favoritest bands.

Two: As long as you're writing about types of people, I suggest 'manipulative hotties'. I'm sure you've met a few, and they make you glad you met your wife. Zooey Deschanel's character when she was on "Weeds" is a great example. That one girl we all went to junior high with, the one who had porn star tits when she was 12, likely became one of those girls. They're very good looking and very charming, they know it, and their life's work is to dupe men. Dumb guys literally kill each other over these chicks, and they usually don't get no conjugal visits while rotting in the state pen. The rest of us may be really into them at first, but eventually go "hey, you know what? Fucking you is awesome, as is getting to tell my friends I'm fucking you, but you are not worth the drama. GTFO bitch."

Owner Operator said...

question.
i'm 23. from perth, western australia. just shacked up with my lover. (insert random potty mouth sentance to make you happy) working as a process engineer (yeh earning the big bucks-not) and really wanna know if we're gunna see you play in Perth anytime soon so i can take her to your show, watch her get drunk, have her pass out on the couch before the end of the show. let her sleep there til you play brick wall views for me then make her wait again while you abuse religious people from the bible belt before yelling at someone for another beer. then take her home to sleep it off and have her tell me how awesome my friends taste of music is and how she want's to be on me.

oh, my word verification is "sactist"... what doies that mean? is it some sort of sexual act with your scrotum?


cheers n beers

DC

Mikey said...

one of those shows better be within a few days of(but not on) July 10.

that's a demand. a threat even.

ok, but a question. does it bother you when fans ask stuff like that. are you like "fuck that guy. he should stop asking me to do shit" or are you like "well awesome, a fan"?

Sam Tie Blogger said...

These are the posts I enjoy; the thought provoking emotional posts instead of the mindless use of "felching".. But who am I.. I identify a lot with this post. Also, whether or not Larry arms do another record, easily one of the best punk rock bands of the decade. So make some music!

Nate said...

Okay so people in bands shouldn't hate on other bands that start out later and get more popular. That's fair I guess. But what about the rest of us who aren't in bands? Do we have the right to hate bands that start later than our favorite bands and then go on to make more money than our favorite bands? Cuz I totally do that all the time and I don't want to, you know, like break a rule or something.

Oh and is there a similar rule for TV? Loads of my favorite TV shows got canceled while total shit stays on and it makes me hate the shitty TV even more.