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After a nice week on tour with the pop/rock band Fatbook (www.fatbookmusic.wordpress.com), I’ve been thinking a lot about life and music. Though this isn’t necessarily a post that logically fits on our Playblog, I thought I’d post here anyway. I’ve been faced with some interesting dilemmas dealing with music, its place in society, and being away from home and on the road.

I suppose there is a certain mentality that is needed to be a successful road musician, a certain life-style. Now, I’m married. No kids yet, but I love kids, and am looking forward to the time when my wife and I will be ready to go down that road. Being apart is the hard part. I miss her while Im gone, and she misses me, but I miss the road as well. traveling with a group of musicians, playing one-nighters and rehearsing on the days off, its a really wonderful way for musicians to get in to each-others’ heads. We play together, we write together, we go for runs/bike rides in the morning, we eat and drink together. There is really no substitute for being close friends with your bands mates, and living at close proximity. Although Im specifically talking about being on the road here, its actually the same connection that I have with the dudes in Lulu’s Playground, and its why it will be such a devistating blow to the band, when our good friend and accordionist moves away to Boston this fall, with a baby of his own on the way.

It may be hard for our non-musician readers to understand why it makes such a musical difference when a band spends non-musical time together, but its actually very simple. A person’s personality comes out in his/her music. Its as simple as that. When I find out that Evan really likes comic books and Japanese, or that Greg loves Cuban music, or that Cory loves Avacado, I also learn something about their musical intuition, and it helps me to understand the musical decisions they make on the band stand, which in turn informs the way I react to those decisions. Its a beautiful thing. Its the difference between a good band, and a great one. And its a big difference.

So, being on the road with the same group of people for weeks or months at a time basically speeds up that process. Before I started the tour with Fatbook, I had played several shows with them. Each show, I began to know the music a little better, and understand my role a little better, but it wasn’t until the road that I was able to play without a book in front of me. It wasn’t until the road that I was really able to understand their music, and the process they go through writing it. It makes playing music with them so much more satisfying, and makes me want to stay out on the road with them, regardless of my obligations at home.

But its complicated. Its not as simple as saying yes or no to a tour that stretches over an extended period of time. I wish it were. I also want to be home, I also want to be with my wife and dog, enjoying the serenity of sleeping in the same bed for more than one night at a time, and waking up next to someone you know will never judge you, someone who will always love you, no matter what. You can see how hard this is. Luckily for me, my wife is an unbelievable jazz singer (www.janajazz.com) and we have a band on a tour of our own that stretches over the whole month of July (of which Evan has been a long time member as well). I suppose other musicians in my shoes aren’t so lucky.

And I guess thats where I leave it. I’m lucky to have these types of dilemmas at my doorstep. I have the opportunity, if I so desire, to tour with the two time downbeat award winning Fatbook, or stay home and enjoy being with my wife (i’ll have you know, I’ve chosen to do both). I also have the opportunity to tour with my wife, and get to know her on an even deeper level. My only hope is that our readers are lucky enough to be faced with the same problems.

-Adam

ps Lulu’s Playground just got our awesome tshirts and bumper stickers in. So, you know…buy them!

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One Comment

  1. nice brah.


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