Oh dear! We totally forgot to introduce ourselves. Here’s a little documentary to sink your teeth in while sipping your morning coffee. Or afternoon tea. Or late night smoothie.
These days it’s very much possible to start a band, with a musician you’ve never met, on the other side of the planet. Super super cool and it opens up possibilities for collaborations that probably never would have happened without the technology we have today. I think it’s awesome and I’d love to make more use of that possibility.
But I can’t help thinking it doesn’t come close to the satisfaction of getting in a room with some friends and jam out or write a song together. The feeling when Hotlips hit a magical note on his harp in a solo and it puts a smile on the faces of everybody in the room. Or when I mess up on the piano with my poor piano playing and somebody just loses it and starts laughing. Or when everybody in the room gets into the zone all at once and you get the chills from what you’re building together.
I haven’t been able to reach that feeling from writing songs and sending them by email or whatever to somebody. Even if the person really loves the song and get super inspired by what I’ve written. It’s a good feeling indeed. Just not as good at being in a room together.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that when you’re able to work with people from your sofa in front of the tv.
Don’t underestimate the magic of physical presence. (Tomas Juto, aka ‘Barba’)
Mint condition it said… but it sure didn’t taste mint.
There’s a whole lot of different kinds of harmonicas out there, and I had been looking for quite some time for a bass harmonica, and finally one day, I found one I could afford on EBay, the seller located in the US. In the description of the instrument it said that the used harmonica was in mint condition.
A few weeks later after I bought it, I got a notice that I had a package to pick up at the mail office. After picking up the harmonica, I opened the package as I sat down in my car, I put my lips to the harmonica it and blew air carefully into it. I instantly got a hunch of what kind of a person had used the harmonica before me.
An artist, probably traveling around the world with a circus, mesmerizing the audience by playing the harmonica and smoking a cigarette at the same time. Inhaling the smoke and then exhaling it through the harmonica… two shows every night, six days a week, and not to mention all the hours put to practicing… such a dedication to the art.. Wow!
Anyhow, I took it apart carefully, and cleaned it.. and cleaned it, aaaaand cleaned it.
It works great now and the bad taste is gone! I’m using it on a tune not released yet, so let’s see if you hear it when it’s released. Keep your ears open! (Mårten ‘Hotlips’ Forssman, harmonica)
A friend of mine posted on facebook the other day that people shouldn’t give to charity and then post about it on social media. They should keep it to themselves for it to be an honest act of kindness. And I said something along the lines that ‘isn’t it better to post about it so that you remind other people to give what they can’? And he said that he just wanted to make people look harder at themselves why they do that. Is it a vanity project or do they really wanna help people?
And then I started thinking, does it matter? At least they are giving. Posting that people should think about why they post on social media that they give to charity isn’t helping anybody at all.
In fact it says more about that persons vanity, caring about what it looks like than about the person who in fact gave something. Or am I wrong? I’m confused here.
Anyway! We met a new friend here through the blog. A wonderful guy who straight away started spreading our music to his friends and even to radio. We should focus more on that on social media. If you see a great drawing, film clip or a piece of music you like, share it! Tell a friend! The person who made it will be forever grateful and you get to be the one who found something nice and made some other person’s day better by showing this great find to them.
I will definitely try to get better at doing that. It’s a beautiful thing. Thanks Timothy! (Tomas Juto, aka Barba).
What’s the best part of simultaneously being a grumpy old guy and an instrument owner (a.k.a. ”musician”)?
Well, first of all, you’ve had years and years of honing your craft and your artistic voice, in other words, you should by now at least have some vague sort of idea what you’re doing. You should have your shit together. This is a good thing.
Second, you have hopefully gained enough experience to come to the conclusion that putting up with assholes, bullies and fake people is not worth your time of day just because you want a gig. You’ve grown enough backbone and cultivated enough character to make awesome music together with equally awesome people. If the very thought of spending 12 hours non-stop in a car going down the highway with this person makes you cringe, don’t play with them, because you will spend a lot more time in that car than on that stage. Get your priorities straight.
You have hopefully also learned a lot of lessons the hard way, and understood that it’s way better to be a good person than a huge success. Walking all over people in order to build a career is a despicable thing to do, so don’t. Build solid relationships, be trustworthy and reliable, deliver on your promises and don’t talk shit behind people’s backs. The respect of your peers is earned by doing these things. Seasoned players know this. In essence, don’t be an asshole.
What’s the worst part of simultaneously being a grumpy old guy and an instrument owner (a.k.a. ”musician”)?
Well, adult diapers kinda suck. Also, my back hurts. (Gramps: drums, vocals)
It’s finally happening! I bought my own house. Not big. Not fancy. But all mine!
And it has a livingroom juuuuust big enough to squeeze in a drumkit, a grand piano and some guitar amplifiers.
What more do you need, ey?
I can watch tv in the bedroom and every good house party always ends up in the kitchen anyway, right? So who needs a livingroom? (Barba: lead vocal, keyboards)
I’ve never been one of those great lyricists that can just make up a story about a heart broken blind man who is unhappily in love with a deaf woman cause he can’t find a way to chat her up, and build an amazing story around that. I’m more of a hands on kind of guy. I have to fuck things up a little to have something to write about.
So going into another writing period as we are at the moment is always interesting. I’m in a quite peaceful and calm state of mind at the moment and have been for a while now. I guess times they are a changing.
Hold on to your hats friends. New songs in the making.