Written by Andrew Smith of Talk Time
We are a brand new band called Talk Time. Collectively, everything is coming from a fresh start, the musicians, the writing, our work flow, etc. But for the better part of each of our lives we have been making & playing music. We’ve toured arenas, made records with top-producers, had management deals, label deals, you name it. None of those projects, ever got to where we ‘needed’ them to be. Which is why when Talk Time began, we vowed that if we repeated any mistake anybody had made in the past it would be a failure. So collectively, we set out with a plan & process that we hoped to would work in our favor.
I speak with sincerity & sympathy when I explain that music was not a career I chose, but rather it chose me. It wasn’t a tough decision to make, I just realized it was the only decision I could make. After working many jobs — some better than others — I understood that the only thing that would truly make me happy was passing on the blissful feeling of a life changing musical experience, such as those I had when I was a kid. I grew up in the vibrant & eclectic music scene in San Francisco. I grew up on jazz, funk & jam bands & would often sneak up to SF on the train with friends, hoping to jump into clubs that we thought would let minors in pretty easily. We didn’t want to drink or cause any trouble, we just wanted to watch some of these guys whose records we had been listening to for years. I remember being awe-struck by musicians on the stage. Wow’ed at the things they were doing & leaving feeling like my life was changed forever. Numerous people left an imprint that made me decide to do nothing else in life but pass on that same feeling to another curious and strong-willed dreamer. Thus, I set out & moved out to LA to find the answer. As you grow into adulthood, some realize that the ‘dream’ that we are so desperately starving for often takes a long & windy road – a road that’s hard to stay on.
Being a musician can be a funny thing. I can be on tour, driving 7 hours a day in order to play 30 minutes of music. I’m eating Denny’s every morning, going broke and feeling like I’m drowning in a mundane & useless lifestyle and someone we tell me as I get off stage, “man, you’re really living the dream.” It’s an outside perspective that the rest of the world chooses to see. I’m doing what I love so it must be all peaches and cream, right? Well, not always, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Pursuing a creative career of any kind can be a daunting task. Many times it feels as if nothing is going your way. It’s easy to get confused & jaded and lose sight of what your were working towards.
Personally, the struggle to make it where I want has been more difficult than expected. Its had major ups and downs but it all leads me back to one continuous notion that reminds me I’m going to regret not chasing my crazy dreams. This feeling is often conflicted with the ideas put forth by our parents or teachers or society. We are trained to work towards a good job, to afford a down payment on a house and so much more. There’s a fight between the sensible path & your wildest dreams.
If there’s only a few things I’ve learned, one is that you should never be ashamed of what you want to go after & how you go about doing that. There is and will never be a clear path to success – not to mention that success is a relative term that’s different for each individual. You might be more than content living in Bali, selling 1 painting a year, living on coconuts & great waves, whereas your fraternity brother, Chad, from college is only happy when he’s sold his quota of $100k each month. Don’t get me wrong, each is a viable goal for one to have, the point is none other than they are simply different.
The reality is there are endless ways to manifest your own destiny. The world is a complicated web. It’s convoluted and seems to work inside-out & upside-down for most of us. The point is, it’s not easy and I can speak from personal experience that it can get frustrating. I wish I knew more about what goes on & how everything works and I could give everyone a positive outlook, but I don’t think I’ll ever understand completely. No matter your creative pursuit, my solution is to look at all the great things you’re doing. Instead of being upset about all the things you’re not doing, focus on how amazing all the things that you are doing are. Pursing your dreams is going to take patience & grounding. But if you can create something that feels truly fulfilling then you have beat half of the challenge. Being excited about your own work & endeavors will help you balance the future struggles and obstacles and, hopefully, let you turn them into opportunities to grow.
I think it’s important to remember that whatever you want to do, you get to do it however you wish. I can guarantee that it won’t always feel “fun,” but if you accept that there will be setbacks, you will make things much better. Be ready to work your ass off, be passionate and honest and someone will come alone who believes in you as much as you do. When you figure out what you want, go at it with full force. Put both feet forward & don’t look back or get caught up.