3.26.2008

Being in a band is hard.

Community, true community in any enterprise—be it creativity, spirituality, or a family—is so difficult. I make these SONGS in private, little 3 minute exercises of ego that hopefully communicate something to people. I labor over them, some longer than others, and try to get them to a place where they move me and yet also have some element of commonality, some mineral that speaks to the heart and ears of other people on this planet.

Then I do something that makes no sense.

I give them up. I relinquish them to four other guys, none of whom I’ve known over 18 months. I allow them to critique them, change them, break them down and rebuild them.

The process can be excruciating and frustrating.

Most, if not all, of the time we emerge with something better, and I again remember that there is strength in numbers. We are wired for this. Sometimes, the song dies a quiet death, not passing the muster of the first group of ears. It never gets its hearing in the wider world.

But still.

It’s an illusion, I know that we do much of anything by ourselves. As a Believer, I fight against this all the time. Often, my first instinct is that I can do anything—read the scripture, hear from God, figure out life—by myself. I know best. But sometimes this other voice whispers something insane: that I should open up my interpretations, my decision-making, my heart to others around me, and allow them to get in and mess with my “songs” and compositions.

This also, on the surface, makes no sense.

This process can also be excruciating and frustrating.

But just as in songwriting and creativity, I know that the harder path—the path of collaboration—yields richer results. The fields that are tilled in community grow greater crops than the small garden worked by myself. Even when the other guitarists are playing too loudly (I’m too old), even when the backbeat isn’t present enough, and even when the groove sounds too Coldplay and not enough Cash, it has to be worth it in the end.

Being in a band is hard.

But I think it’s the only way we’re really supposed to be.

1 Comments:

At 10:39 PM , Blogger Grace, Every Day said...

I'm borrowing this. Sending it to my band members...

 

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