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For two cents....

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by Justyn, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. Justyn

    Justyn Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2002
    Richmond, VA
    Hi Justin,

    I'm a big fan of yours and have always been impressed with how centered and down-to-earth you come across in interviews. I'm at a bit of a crisis / crossroads and I'm not sure if I have the drive to continue, musically speaking. Has there ever been a time in your career that you don't mind commenting on when you've been at a point where you considered packing it in or just questioning your choice of career? What happened or what helped you get through it?

    Definitely not asking you to be JMJ, LCSW, just looking for some insight or observations from someone who's doing what I've long been telling myself I aspired to.

    Thanks for your time,

    Justin Poroszok
  2. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Firstly, thanks for your generous complements. They are gratefully received.

    Secondly, I don't know that I've ever been at the point of questioning whether or not I should keep doing it or not, but I most certainly have been at the point when it was questionable whether or not I could sustain myself financially doing music. And of course, I've been in a situation several times where I didn't like the gig or project that I was doing at the time.

    I don't really know what specifically got me through those particular times, other than my need to do music, which is not something that can be easily quenched.

    I don't know if I would give you any advice other than to ask: what was your original purpose in doing music in the first place? I'd urge you to have a good, long look at that. Life gets in the way of our dreams, but it's vital that we don't actually let it do so!!

    It can also be wearying to grind through music when you need to "make it", and the gigs are just not of the quality you desire, and/or the money just isn't good enough to live on.

    But again, the dream is and always is more important, particularly if you can take inventory of what those original goals/purpose/whatever were, then you can re-live that a bit, and renew the fire.

    Nothing wrong with taking a short break from music, as long as you don't make it too long. I hate to see people get all "legit" with their livesand putting their bass in the closet. That is a sad day.

    So don't go there.

    Find the original fire.

  3. mrokern

    mrokern TB's resident Rush freak

    Jul 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN

    I'm going to print that up in a very, very large font and hang it in my practice space. That's some of the best advice I think I've ever heard, and I think a lot of music educators could take a page from your outlook and drive.

    Kudos, and serious respect,

  4. Justyn

    Justyn Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2002
    Richmond, VA

    Thanks very much for the thoughtful response. I definitely struggle with letting the layers of mundane concern (and by 'mundane' I don't necessarily mean 'unimportant' as things like 'living indoors' and 'eating regularly' fall into that category) overwhelm the fire that makes me want --need, even -- to play music.

    My wife also had this to add: "Don't stop playing music, or you'll get all cranky.'

    Well, there you go.

    Thanks again,
  5. mrokern

    mrokern TB's resident Rush freak

    Jul 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    LOL! That's why my wife never has an issue with my playing as well...if I'm playing, I'm in a normal mood. If I'm on hiatus, I'm a son-of-a-you-know-what to be around.

  6. +1 to that.
    This is a good thread that I, & I'm sure many,many others can personally relate to at some time or another. Been in the same boat few times myself.
    Mr. J's comments above - bang-on.
    Playing music is an emotive experience both ways.

    Been through similar to yourself a few times. Was in a few bands in past decade that nearly hit the big-time; singles,good support slots etc, only to be crushed afterwards.
    Everytime felt like packing it in.:crying:

    All I can say is don't give up,hang in there - it will pass. If necessary, have a short break - refresh yourself on an inspiration basis. Even seek out some new music - amazing what a kick-start that can sometimes be.

    Bass is a way of life, but it's good if you have at least have a hobbie or two. I'm a vegetable gardener/kite flyer myself - I've come up with a few of my best basslines whilst digging up carrots!:)

    Jah Wobble had quite a lengthy hiatus after PIL, working as a ticket inspector on London Underground before getting back into it, & producing his best stuff.

    Really hope it comes together for you mate, feel for you - you'll be OK.

    All the best & don't worry too much.

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