It’s hardest to be honest when you know that honesty is going to hurt someone’s feelings who doesn’t deserve it. And further more talking about the band specifically I always hesitate to write honestly because it could hurt the way we’re perceived, bands are like Santa Claus, if you don’t believe in us then we don’t exist.
That said I still believe in honesty, not as a means to an end but as a rule unto itself.
I haven’t enjoyed any aspect of Greystone Gardens in a long time. I can’t think of the last time that I felt the healing power of jam, as we always say. I haven’t even felt like the four of us are a team, or even a group of friends.
For me Greystone Gardens doesn’t really exist, I don’t believe in it anymore, it’s a thing in name only. And I’ve been exhausting myself trying to keep my spirits up because I know that if the others see me giving up they’ll try even less. But it’s dishonest at this point, I’m just going through the motions, telling myself we’ll get back on track one day if I just ride this out.
The thing is though we were never really on track, we were barely on track to get on track but I didn’t mind because I told myself we were a young, scrappy band and it’s cool to be disorganized underdogs in your early years. As long as you’re building momentum.
It all changed after Christmas, we were recording and we played our anniversary show at mark’s. Everyone said we were great. The feeling was that we were doing awesome for starting our second year.
The foreshadowing when Rob said to me “Now let’s keep the momentum going, let’s not get bogged down in mixing and stuff.”
He and I both knew that if we relaxed so close to the finish line after going hard we’d get lazy and that’s exactly what happened.
Recording got done in 5 ten hour days essentially and mixing got done in clusters over months. Communication around them fell apart and every conversation became a choir.
Meanwhile we were using recording as an excuse not to play shows but really it was because we were all tired of awkwardly asking our friends to drive our gear.
Which looking back now feels like such an embarrassing cop-out.
With nothing coming up practices fell apart, just playing for fun, getting drunk, not showing up.
I tried to fill the void by writing new songs but that just gave us the illusion of progress while we were really doing nothing and the impact of our debut diminished to nothing. It sucks when someone asks you when your next show is and you have nothing to say but it sucks even more when they stop asking.
I kept telling myself to push harder, to at least act motivated in hopes of motivating the others, to find some things to keep the name out there at least.
And just when we got on the may 6 show and committed to practicing a ton Rob got stabbed.
My concern for the mental and physical recovery of my friend outweighed everything for a while. You know I dwell on things and thinking about how to act in his best interest occupied me for about two weeks.
Now that my thoughts have returned to normal though I know that the history books aren’t going to care about why Greystone wasn’t doing anything, all that matters is that we’re not.
And when Rob and I have talked about it he condescendingly said it’s just the high and lows in the life of a band. But I don’t have the time or the patience for normal highs and lows. For people who don’t obsess about age and death and meaning-of-life it’s easy to say that some down time is no big deal. But for me any down time is dead time, it’s time that I’m not breathing. And it’s so easy for a little down time to turn into 4 months to turn into forever. If you think you might be doing this for 5 years then 4 months isn’t much but I always feel like I’ve got 2 years left to live period. Wanting to accomplish so many things in such a short time drives me nuts already and to have everyone around me dragging their feet like everything’s inevitable is even worse. I’m 31, I’ve got no career, no education, no future at all. Music was my one shot out of being a loser.
I wish I had the drive and the leadership skills to just make it work but I don’t. I get depressed and defeated too easily to have any real discipline, I hate ever feeling like I’m manipulating someone even if it’s getting someone excited about the band when I’m not, and I’m not a social climber which is sadly something every band needs and ours doesn’t have.
And of course I’ve tried to talk to the band about this, I’m the guy in the band that insists we have meetings and asks for input from everybody, and then I feel like a tool when all I get are shrugs.
I feel like the house is on fire and Carla doesn’t know, Towelie doesn’t care, and Rob is saying it’s going to rain in the next month or so.
I’ve always taken the stage knowing I have to make the most of this because it could be the last time. But the show coming up at Vern’s, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was our last. Hell I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen at all.
Well today’s our first practice after Rob got stabbed so let’s hope for the healing power of jam.