For starters, I never really got on well with other musicians. In the early 90's I seemed to move from band to band, each band doing a number of gigs before self-imploding. It was disheartening because each band had its merits and its talented players (a select few of which I've maintained some contact with over the years).
I have nothing but the greatest admiration and respect for my few friends that have succeeded at sustaining a career in music. It takes some unique skills. One such skill: Being comfortable with ambiguity and a frequent lack of structure. Over the years I have learned that I am most UNcomfortable when there's an absence of structure (for anyone who's curious my Myers-Briggs is INTJ).
Another realization I've had recently is that the music biz of today is FAR different from the biz of the late 80's when I was learning the ropes and paying my dues. Frankly I never felt completely comfortable selling or promoting my own product. I think part of this comes from being Scandinavian/Minnesotan/raised Lutheran, an interesting combination that often mistakes self-confidence for bragging or cockiness, which is a very bad thing if you're a Scan-MN-Luth mix like I was.
As much of a thrill creating music has always been for me, I've found my professional niche in Higher Education, where I feel at home. I believe it's where I'm at my best. Working on my PhD, despite its occasional headaches, has been a fantastic opportunity. Turns out that I really get off from being in an intellectual environment, and that the satisfaction of creation is often the same whether it's a song or a research article. It's just the end product that is different.
A few weeks ago Leo and I did a massive re-arrangement of the upstairs floor of our house, and I discovered my old TASCAM Portastudio under the bed covered in a thick layer of dust. Since then I've been sifting through some not-so-dusty tapes (carefully stored away in our basement), shining up some old songs and posting them at my tumblr site. Through this process I have made very nice peace with the musical past that is very much a part of who I am. I am extremely proud of the music that my mainstay band Words and I have created over the years. It's not all genius stuff, but that doesn't mean it lacks value. For me each song is like an audio time-capsule; the feeling of being transported to a different time via recorded music can be a very powerful thing.
I've provided a few links below in case you're interested in hearing some of the tracks I've posted recently. If you like what you hear, check back from time to time because I'll probably keep posting stuff, as long as this nostalgia trip maintains my interest. :)
Thank you for reading & listening!