A little more indispensable career advice…stop talking and do it. Stop setting up meetings, stop preparing spread sheets, stop creating powerpoint presentations =and DO IT. Stop talking about what type of songs you are going to write or what shows you are going to play and DO IT. Stop talking about kicking your singer out, firing your manager, getting a new agent and DO IT. Stop wasting time and take action now! All the talk in the world is not nearly as powerful as actually taking action. Mistakes will happen, but they will only make you smarter and better.
Quit talking and do it!
Twisted Sister’s 10,000 hours
Taken from Bob Lefsetz’s email September 10, 2011.
From Jay Jay French
I have a record of every night and the amount of performances Twisted sister has played since the first one on March 20th 1973 up to the present.
Here are some statistics regarding our years learning our craft in the bars and nightclubs all of which were within a 50 mile radius of Manhattan between March 1973 and December 1982 when we signed with Atlantic Records that I think your readers would find interesting. It speaks directly to the 10,000 theory.
We averaged 250 nights a year for this 10 year span. Also remember that as a “show band’ we did full costume changes for every performance.
We spent the first year 1973 playing 5 40 minute shows per night night
from1974-1976 we played 4 45 minute shows a night
From 1977-1980 we played 3 1 hour shows per night
From 1981 to the end of 1982 we played 2 75 minute shows per night
What this means is that we played an average of 3 hours per night x 250 nights per year x 10 years ( About 7,500 hours of live performance)
Add to that the 250 hours per year of rehearsals and studio time recording demos for record labels and you have 10,000 hours…………..
BEFORE WE GOT A RECORD DEAL!!
We are now headlining more festivals in more countries (33 and counting) and getting paid more money then ever.
What 10,000 hours does is make you an iceberg meaning that what you see on the surface is the astounding end product. beneath the surface lies 90% of ones experience.
That is our business model, It’s called hard work. not that the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame would ever recognize the blood, sweat and tears that we put in.
We really did embody all that is too patronizingly called the “American Work ethic”.
It’s just something that people should know.
After reading these numbers, I’m tired
Do you need a professional studio to make awesome recordings? The short answer is no…the long answer is yes. Wearing a snappy looking cap and walking next to a stewardess doesn’t make you a pilot, just like owning a pro tools rig doesn’t make you an engineer/producer. A whole new generation is embracing the high end headphone market and what once seemed like a lost art is coming back…the ability to tell the difference between shit recordings and amazing ones.
If you are an EDM artist dealing solely with bleeps and bloops and pre designed synthesis…your ability to engineer is largely enhanced by the pre designed sounds you are creating with. If, on the other hand you are a live band…look out because there is an art form to miking drums and guitars, horns and vocals. There are phase relationships, EQ issues, rattles and hums that all are dealt with by a great engineer/producer. There is a wealth of high end gear that can and does make a huge difference sonically.
You spend all your energy crafting songs that come from an emotional place deep inside. You spend days, weeks and months fine tuning every last bit of the writing. Work extra shifts to afford that awesome amp or drum set. Then you call your mate Steve whose father was kind enough to take him to Sam Ash and buy him a Pro Tools LE system…and you put your newborn creation and all your hopes and dreams into the hands of an absolute hack.
So yes you can do it yourself and there are a few very talented people who have made brilliant recordings all on their own. That being said…if this really is your passion, your one shot…find a great facility with all the bells and whistles and more importantly a brilliant staff…you will never regret it and your fans will notice the difference. They are now listening on $300 headphones…not $5 ear buds.
Shameless plug: Bieler Bros. Studios is just such a place, that is why Dashboard Confessional, Skindred, Butch Walker, Don Gilmore, JLO, Justin Bieber, Kuk Harrel and every major label have made that choice….that and the fact that we are clearly the most charming and handsome of all the choices. Click above and check it out.
Are you a sonic leader or a follower? Are you just jumping on the bandwagon and trying to fit in? Or are you trying to create the trend? EVERYONE is influenced by previous heroes the question is are you taking what you have assimilated and moving it forward, really pushing the limits? Or are you just a rehashing what you think is popular? There is a fine line between being a cover band and simply sounding exactly like other bands and that line is razor thin. Hey you are making music and that is truly something to be respected. BUT if your goal is to walk amongst the few musical immortals and have your music and art mean something to people on a large scale…. you simply can’t be one of the sheep you need to be the shepherd.