Blog5 - How to Survive Your New Solo Career…or Something like It

How to Survive Your New Solo Career…or Something like It

Having a band is great but sometimes things just fall apart. If you’re ever thinking of going solo, just how do you go about it? That’s what we’ll be discussing today.

What is going “solo”?

Most musicians start out as part of a group. There’s always been a sort of security in a group—its pretty much hardcoded into our DNA. While it would be great to be surrounded by a supportive bunch that has the same dream as you, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Harmony in the group disintegrates.

Going solo is the decision a musician makes seriously. You still want to be a musician, right? Who says you have to stay in a place where you feel you’ve reached your full growth potential? Just like when shellfish shed their old homes in order to grow larger, that’s pretty much what going solo is. You leave the past behind and you strive forward, blazing your own path in an already precarious industry.

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Going solo isn’t going to be a cakewalk. Scientists have actually found that going solo can be hazardous to your health. The pressure is higher. You no longer have the safety net of a band member stepping up when you slip up over anything. Everything is going to be on your shoulders and that’s it.

So if you’ve made the brave decision to go solo, how do you survive it? Here is a solid tip from someone who has been down that path: Jizzy Pearl.

Do You

One of the primary things that mess you up as an artist is all the bad energy that you bring with from your old band. No matter how tightly knit your band was, when you’re dealing with a creative bunch, it is inevitable that fights are going to break out. Artists don’t usually go solo until either of two things occurs: they have a huge fight with their band or they just decide to try it out on their own. Either one will leave a bit of negative energy in the air.

Either way, it is going to be draining like no one’s business. With that said, once you decide to go solo, it is important to take care of your own needs first. Go on a vacation, cut off connection from those that wish to drag you down, pick up a temporary hobby—whatever it takes just to recuperate your drive and your energy.

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There’s no sense in trying your hand in making new music if you seriously have nothing left in the tank. You’re just setting yourself up for failure and that’s going to hurt you further—as a person and as an artist. Going solo means that you’re taking a break from the entire BS parade that used to dim your possibilities.

Taking care of yourself in the ways YOU think are best is what you should prioritize. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense to other people. Look out for number 1 and everything else will follow.

Blog4 - Scratching the Surface of Love/Hate pt. 2

Scratching the Surface of Love/Hate pt. 2

Today, we continue to explore the origins and struggles of the band Love/Hate through Jizzy Pearl’s unique perspective.

The Story Continues…

We last ended the tale with the subject of a manager that Jizzy describes to be an outright drunken and psychotic mess which tied the band down with a three-year managerial contract. What Jizzy and the band did not know at the time was that Mr. 3-year manager was pretty much a fraud. He harassed record label executives and their secretaries with obscenities when they didn’t answer right away or why they had not signed “his band” yet. He would be obnoxiously pushy with the demos of the band.

The band was completely in the dark and did not realize that the market they wanted to hard to break into was slowly but steadily growing to hate them—worse, laugh at them. It was a downright mess. Then it came to the point when Mr. 3-year manager started billing the band for his “services”. This included his wife’s lunches or his kid’s new drum set, and pretty much anything that he had attributed to “making the band work”.

If you’re wondering why the band got themselves into such a position to begin with, Jizzy says that when you’re a young band and you’re desperate, you go with what’s handed to you. The thirst for success is so strong that it completely blinds you to everything else. The band made a rather costly move and it will continue to haunt them in their latter successes.

sadf - Scratching the Surface of Love/Hate pt. 2

It was in the year 1987 when the band had to take a long hard look at their status as a band. They were now pretty much a laughing stock to the music industry thanks to their “manager” and they still weren’t making any money. So what did the band do next?

They shrugged it all off and kept going. Jizzy calls such a move the best sort of advice he can give to any band: JUST KEEP GOING. Around this time bands like Guns N Roses, Faster Pussycat and others were making it big on the strip. Love/Hate collectively felt extreme frustration yet smiled and congratulated the other bands that made it. See, you definitely needed a strong spine to survive the music world?

This does not mean, however, that everything was all harmonious with the band. There would be times when Jon was notorious for his flakiness. Jon would constant be late or not bother to show up to rehearsals. The band brought on Tracy G. to “shake him up”. It seemed to work—for a couple of weeks. Tracy shortly quit over Jon (and his attitude).

On a personal note, JIzzy said this year was the year that truly turned things around for him. After viewing his horrendously drunk performance when they were opening up for LA Guns, Jizzy realized that he needed to clean up his performances. No more drunken rants on stage.

The following year, the band got signed on with Columbia and more funky things went down.

To Be Continued…

Blog3 - Band Mechanics: Is Harmony All That Important?

Band Mechanics: Is Harmony All That Important?

A lot of bands through the years have emphasized the importance of “harmony”. However, just how crucial is it when in comes to band dynamics? That’s what we’ll be picking at today.

What is “harmony”?

No, we’re not talking about harmony in terms of music. We’re actually referring to harmony when it comes to band dynamic. There have been a lot of bands that emphasize the importance of harmony or getting along with everyone who’s in your band.

By “everyone in your band” this isn’t limited to the actual people who play the instruments or the ones that sing. It’s their +1s like lovers, sweethearts, or whomever. There is this great recent belief that great music cannot be borne from adversity or conflict. That’s hardly the case.

metall - Band Mechanics: Is Harmony All That Important?

Here are some bands that recorded great hits but actually despised one another:

  • Metallica
  • Blink 182
  • Guns N Roses
  • Beach Boys
  • Simon and Garfunkel
  • Nightwish

Some of the groups listed above are pretty big icons in the world of music. Most people don’t even truly want to believe that Simon and Garfunkel hate each other. After all, they “harmonize” so well, don’t they?

That’s the thing about music. It can spring from even the most inhabitable and the ugliest places imaginable. You can even think of it as a flower that doesn’t give a damn whether or not it’s surrounded by love or happiness. It just takes whatever energy is there and hangs in the air until it manifests. Take Love/Hate for example, when Jizzy Pearl joined the band it wasn’t exactly their choice on the matter. Their manager had pretty much pulled an ultimatum—it’s either Jizzy becomes part of the band or all their funding gets cut.

guns - Band Mechanics: Is Harmony All That Important?

Now, we don’t know about you guys but if someone we didn’t know was pretty much shoved into our artistic space, there’d be no harmony in that! The band went on to create some classic albums like Blackout all the while there was a lot of fighting going on behind the scenes. When the band first started, they were hungry. Record deals were always the number one pursuit and they weren’t just making the cut somehow.

It was a generally frustrating time and Love/Hate isn’t alone when it came to that time in their journey as a music group. Music isn’t something that you just happen to pick up as you cross the street. It’s something that you pretty much make out of nothing. You will have the raw materials to back you up (talent, funding, equipment, etc) but just because you have all of that with you does not automatically mean the music will come—let alone good music.

Harmony as a group can help the production a little better. However, even when you’re in the midst of fighting, your talents can still all work together to form something bigger than yourselves. If ever a breaking point does occur, you use whatever it is you’ve learned in that time of discord and have better things working for you when you start another journey.

Blog2 - Scratching the Surface of Love/Hate pt. 1

Scratching the Surface of Love/Hate pt. 1

Love/Hate has quite a history to its tale. Today, we try to scratch the surface a little and use the words of Jizzy Pearl himself to see how the band came to be.

What is Love/Hate?

If you aren’t familiar with Love/Hate, you’re missing out on a LOT. This band had a rather rocky start. Ask anyone in the music business and they will tell you how much of it all is pretty much 24/7 cutthroat competition. It’s not something that anyone with a weak spine will live through. Every band pretty much needed to be on call with all their stuff—including guitar amps for practice.

live - Scratching the Surface of Love/Hate pt. 1

If there was anything Love/Hate had in spades, it was a lot of spine. They started out as a band named Data Clan—something that almost made it big but took the wrong gamble at the wrong time. Jizzy had mentioned that while he wasn’t yet part of the band, he was very good friends with the manager at the time. The band was getting some offers for record deals but the then vocalist thought that the standing offers weren’t enough. As such, he had the “brilliant” idea to have a huge event wherein the crème de la crème of record labels of LA would be invited. He had hoped to start a bidding war to drive up the offers.

However, what history will tell you is that talent isn’t the primary ingredient to success in the music industry. It’s more about timing. Needless to day, the plan had backfired and now no one wanted to offer the band anything. To recuperate their morale, the manager had the band packed up to play six weeks in Japan. However, for his own personal reasons, the vocalist up and left with 2 weeks to go. The band left Japan in disgrace and along comes Jizzy Pearl to join the band.

The band had moved in together in a warehouse and tried their hand making things work. Jizzy Pearl had stated that they weren’t at all musically compatible with his vocal range being a tenor and the rest being baritone. The band was constantly struggling with making ends meet—with band member Joey’s parents stepping in to fund the band whenever their utilities were about to get cut. They tried their hand at the glam rock scene and sadly did not make it through to the industry. Jizzy Pearl had shared several anecdotes through the years of having to go out dressed like a woman.

 They did, however, had a tour down in Mexico—which was a tad disastrous—with centavos, bottles, and small rocks being hurled at the band and even an unfortunate concussion incident involving a rude fan and an overzealous roadie. It was in 1986 that Data Clan had officially transitioned into Love/Hate. Breaking away from the glam rock thing, they tried their hand at the whole British gothic style.

The band went through some ups and downs which included a crazy manager which signed them up for a three-year contract and turned them into a toxic subject for record labels everywhere.

To be continued…

Blog1 - Chicago: The Home of Amazing Artists

Chicago: The Home of Amazing Artists

Music can come from anywhere. Chicago, however, has a special talent of producing some of the best musicians and artists of their generation. Today, we take a look at some of them!

Chicago

The rock band with the self-styled description of “rock and roll band with horns”! These gentlemen have made their mark in musical history with their hits like “You’re the Inspiration” and “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”. They’ve had the honor of being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame—not a small feat in the least! Not a lot of bands can claim that they have more than four albums that have reached number 1 in several music charts all over the world.

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The Smashing Pumpkins

Anyone who has been into the alternative scene will automatically know who this band is. With the highly talented Billy Corgan leading the band, they dominated much of the 90s music charts. While the band has been rocked with internal turmoil, this has not stopped them from producing enduring hits like “Ava Adore” and “Tonight, Tonight”.

Earth, Wind & Fire

If you were to think of soul, funk, and disco, there’s a high probability that this band is going to pop up in your mind. This is the band responsible for the great dance hits of “September” and “Boogie Wonderland”.

Muddy Waters

Just because he wasn’t born in Chicago doesn’t mean this talented blues player isn’t considered an honorary Chicago resident! His contributions to the Chicago blues sound are legendary! His influence is continued to be felt to this day in age. In fact, the thriving blues community of Chicago has Muddy Waters to thank!

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Fall Out Boy

You don’t have to an old band in order to make this list! While these fine gentlemen have had a bad rep through they years (we can’t understand why), they have powered through all the hate and delivered hit after hit. Their vocalist, Patrick Stump, has an amazing vocal range and continues to improve with each album that this band releases!

Buddy Guy

How can we not include the person who has inspired the likes of Eric Clapton and the legendary Jimi Hendrix? Buddy Guy is one of the pillars of the blues community along with his fellow band member Muddy Waters. So it’s only right that he’s part of this list!

styxx - Chicago: The Home of Amazing Artists

Styx

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto! Who in their right mind has not heard of that phrase? Well, these legendary rockers also gave us all “The Best of Times”. Their album entitled “Paradise Theater” treated listeners with instant classic gems that are still worth listening to this day.

Jizzy Pearl

This isn’t just our bias speaking. Jizzy Pearl and his voice are treasures that have given birth to some iconic performances and songs. We’ll be discussing more about Jizzy Pearl and his accomplishments in latter articles so you’d best stay tuned!

Twista

Once called the fastest rapper in the world, this incredible rapper has a legacy that will stand the test of time.