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121: “Art Is An Expression Of Life – So Go And Experience Some Life!”

Benedikt heard indie-pop producer Mark Eckert talk about this in an Instagram video and thought it’s a really cool and important thing to discuss. 

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Here's why:

A lot of people don’t know what they should write about or get stuck in the same topics over and over again. Many try to force ideas or try to force a switch in their style or genre, because they feel like they have to reinvent themselves and their sound.

We think authentic art is what resonates with people and that is always art that comes from your personal experiences, from how you see the world, from speaking your truth.

 

These are some of the actionable things we talk about on this episode:

  • If you’re an introvert, leave your comfort zone and connect with people (nice side effect will be connections, collaborations, unexpected opportunities, etc.)
  • Switch it up - As much as we love routines, if you find yourself doing the same things over and over in your life, maybe it’s time to change things, do something spontaneous or replace old habits with new ones
  • Find a hobby that both helps you clear your mind and challenges you physically and/or emotionally/mentally. For us this is running.
  • Find a good balance, don’t work on music all the time (Mark Eckert had some great examples there)
  • Pay attention, be mindful. There’s so much to discover, so many interesting things happening around us every day that we don’t even recognize. It could be nature, people, conversations, politics, society, relationships, or our own emotions. Try practicing paying attention to those things and reflecting back on your days and you’ll find plenty of inspiring things to write about.
  • Pay less attention to other creators and artists and don’t compare yourself constantly. You want to avoid being in a bubble and automatically copying what others do. Your life should be the inspiration, not theirs.
  • Use music that you love not just to compare yourself against it but to form a new version of that combining the different influences + your own personal experiences. Pay attention to how the music makes you feel, figure out what you actually like about it, experience the music.
  • Forced and trained creativity is something we believe in: Setting songwriting challenges with certain constraints like time, or only being able to use 3 chords, or forcing yourself to start with a certain instrument, etc. We think that continued work on this creates a more “fit” creativity that's able to overcome not feeling inspired. 
  • Read.


Link to Mark Eckert's Instagram

Link to That Pitch, Mark Eckert's Licensing Company


Book a free feedback call with Benedikt:


This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.

Benedikt's voice on this episode has been recorded with the Antelope Axino Synergy Core.


Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB 121 - Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy

[00:00:00] Benedikt: Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us, just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work.

[00:00:10] All the best ideas come out of the process. They come out of the work itself. Hello and welcome to the self recording band podcast. I am your host Benedict tine, and I'm here with my friend and cohost Malcolm Owen fled. How are you, man?

[00:00:37] Malcom: I'm Great. man. How are you? Benny?

[00:00:39] Benedikt: Great. Thank you. So you are, you have recovered. You're arrested.

[00:00:45] Malcom: Yes. I'm much more well rested. I was thinking a crazy amounts and say that, 

[00:00:49] so, 

[00:00:49] Benedikt: to ask you, did you actually, did you, yeah. Okay.

[00:00:52] Malcom: Yeah. It was like, like, Yeah. 10 to 12 hours for like three days,

[00:00:57] Benedikt: Yeah.

[00:00:58] Malcom: which is very long. That was a big [00:01:00] sleep, but I think I needed it. My body was like, yep, shut down. but yeah, feeling great back to running again. Um, which is awesome. And yeah. 

[00:01:09] Feeling, feeling. 

[00:01:11] Benedikt: Awesome. Perfect. Did, did you have a lot of catch-up work to do or like things piling up while you were away or something like that? Because that's always what hits me when, like I come home, I get some rest, but then a day home or so, um, I start getting nervous because I see all the things that I should be doing now and catch up on 

[00:01:29] Malcom: Right. Uh, I did a pretty good job at saying no while I was away. So people were messaging me and I was like, no, I'm not gonna be able to fit that in. I'm sorry that the gaps just too small. because I'm leaving again on another show, uh, listeners in. three weeks or something. Um, so, so it's just a small window to get some projects done. So I was really good at saying no, honestly, the thing that I was like, oh, I got to get on is actually a new mixes unpacked course that we're doing on this platform, but we got [00:02:00] home. We started talking to him. I was like, oh, I better start that. immediately. 

[00:02:02] Um, uh, cause it's always, uh, more, more work than you think when you're just like, I'm just gonna talk about mixing a song, but it's, there's a lot of prep to be. 

[00:02:12] Benedikt: Yeah, for sure. Definitely. By the time this episode airs, it could be already out. It probably is already out 

[00:02:18] Malcom: Right, right. Yeah. The 

[00:02:19] Benedikt: according to plan. Um, I'm always careful with promising things like that because you never know, but it should be out if not, sorry. We'll, we'll be long. Yeah, this is coming, so yeah, I mean, I hope that one day I will be able to say what you just said. And that is like, I'm really, I was really good at saying no, because that's one critical skill that I'm a completely lacking. That's what's, what's always getting me. That's what always gets me into trouble. Not being able to say no to potentially exciting things, but it's, it's such an important skill that I need definitely need to learn at some 

[00:02:50] Malcom: it's so hard and it hurts so bad being like, well, like I would love to do it, but you're gonna have to wait until August. And it's like, August 

[00:02:57] feels like a long time from now. [00:03:00] Um, but, uh, Yeah, just gotta, just gotta. 

[00:03:04] Benedikt: exactly. 

[00:03:05] All right. 

[00:03:06] Malcom: I want to do 

[00:03:07] once shameless plug here, uh, because we're, we're on a roll here. So if you have listened to the intro of this podcast before you have heard my band band of Rascals playing, uh, as the theme music, um, and where you're just having like this weird. Freakish, good luck streak here where our monthly listeners and Spotify have just been climbing and climbing and climbing every month. And as of today, we hit an all new high at 40,150 monthly listeners, which is up from like 14,000. So it's, it's more than doubled by quite a bit already. Um, so I want you to message it on him, mentioned it on here so that people go listen to us. And we just have like, let's give this thing some momentum. 

[00:03:47] Benedikt: Yeah, for sure. I find that fascinating. Is it even higher than it was when you were still active? Like 

[00:03:53] Malcom: Yes. 

[00:03:53] So our, our, I 

[00:03:54] think our peak was a 32,000 or 34,000. I can't really remember around [00:04:00] there for an all time high, when we were at our busiest. So all of a sudden, for no reason after a few years of dormancy and just be clear, we're still dormant. We've got no plans of writing or doing shows or anything right? now. It's just going up is Spotify is rewarding us for something. I guess people are liking it and listening to it and yeah, I don't know whatever it is. We're stoked. 

[00:04:20] Benedikt: okay. Yeah. So you haven't ever been able to. Sorry, you haven't been able to figure out what it actually was. That's 

[00:04:26] Malcom: All we can really see is that Spotify is showing it to people. So it's like it is algorithmic, but that usually points to that people are listening to, like, it's giving it a shot with people and people are listening to it and liking it and adding it to their personal playlist and stuff. So, so essentially people are just liking the music and it's rewarding that. 

[00:04:46] Benedikt: That's awesome. Congrats, man. That that's that's really cool. Is it an individual song then or one or two songs or is it across the board? Like all your.

[00:04:55] Malcom: It's kind of across the board. Um, as far as the last time I checked, I need to check again because like [00:05:00] there's a lot more going on then when I did check. So I'll have more to report on that soon. Maybe. 

[00:05:05] Benedikt: Awesome. I was just listening to a podcast, a interview episode, or like a, yeah, some episode with, uh, Jesse Cannon, who you also had on your other podcasts, your band sex at business, where they were talking about. Like when, when streaming numbers miraculously arise, for whatever reason, for no reason. And then she was like, you can easily check if it's like real people or not, if you click on a song and then you, all you see is like people from it was Indonesia back then, but the extended close, the, the. 

[00:05:31] Bots farms or whatever, but now if you see, like, what was the countries? I think he was like, uh, Mexico, Denmark and a couple of other countries, New Zealand. I think if you see those countries there, then it's not people. So, but I'm not, I I'm assuming it's not the case in your case because it's across multiple songs because this typically happens when people buy shady 

[00:05:49] Malcom: that's usually a buying, buying, plays thing, which is not going to help you. Um, yeah, Quincy, incidentally, I guess, uh, America is kind of [00:06:00] the fastest growing for us, 

[00:06:01] um, in, in the states. 

[00:06:04] Benedikt: Yeah. Wow. Interesting. So cool to see that that also gives like that's cool to know. I think included here for people because that means even while you're not actively doing. It just sort of took a life, took on a life of its own on its own. And it's, you know, this is just, well, I guess what I'm trying to say is this goes to show that you better put care into making music because you don't never know, it could blow up years from now. You know, you never know. Somebody could discover that people could start to like it, it could somehow fit in the context of whatever happens and then it kind of blows up. So you definitely want to make sure it's good and sort of timeless. And, uh, not half ass things because you never know.

[00:06:46] Malcom: Yeah. It'll probably outlast the project that is created under. Um, so that, that, yeah, that's spot on. You don't 

[00:06:53] know where it's going to end up. 

[00:06:56] Benedikt: Perfect. All right. So before we dive into today's episode, I want to say something too, [00:07:00] and that is, I haven't talked about it too much on the podcast lately, and then I'd have to do it more often, uh, because as people probably know that I'm offering coaching at this point, but. It's for some reason I've seen a dip in like the free calls that I'm doing at the moment whilst having seen arise in podcast listeners. So. I'm not talking about it often enough. And I once again, want to say that I offer free coaching sessions, free one-on-one calls with me, where you can get feedback on your recordings or roadmap with steps that you can take to further improve your recordings, your overall production, quality and a roadmap to reaching your goals as an. It's completely free, no strings attached. We can jump on a call, talk for an hour and we can see where you, we can find out where you are, where you want to go and whether or not I can help you get there. And I really want people to take advantage of that because I enjoy these conversations. I learn a lot about our community. I can help people on the spot and every single person on this call [00:08:00] was really happy and got a lot out of it. I know that because I'm always asking. And so, yeah, please go to the self recording band.com/call and schedule a call. Worst thing that could happen is that we talk for an hour and you'll learn something. So,

[00:08:15] Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. I don't think I knew that your calls, your free calls were an hour 

[00:08:20] I think I thought they were like 15 minutes. 

[00:08:21] Um, yeah, that would, that's incredible. And it, it blows my mind that people wouldn't be taking you up on that because they listen to us chat for an hour every week. 

[00:08:30] Um, so imagine you get your own pretty much. You get your penny without me interrupting. 

[00:08:36] Benedikt: Yeah. It's really it's it's it's so, so much fun. It's uh, I learned a lot from these calls obviously, too, which helps us make better content and all that. And obviously it's meant to, for you to learn something. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so go to the self recording band.com/call. There is a little bit of an application process there you have to go through because I only want people to really take it seriously. And who also want to show, who will show up on these calls because I'm there every single time [00:09:00] guaranteed. And, uh, I don't want no show, so I want people to be there, but that's the only requirement. It doesn't cost anything except for filling out a form and then jumping on a call with me. 

[00:09:10] Malcom: Do it. 

[00:09:11] Benedikt: Very cool. So today's episode is something a little different than what we usually do. It's one of those big picture mindset episodes, and the idea came from me seeing a post. There is a pop producer called mark Ecker that. Uh, Def and following for a while now he's a substitute co-host on another podcast that I listened to. Anyway, he's a pop producer. He also runs a sync licensing company, and I saw a post that he made where he addressed the problem of like what, where people are feeling uninspired or the lack of. Um, they don't feel creative. They feel like they don't know what they should write about. They feel like they're running out of ideas and he made a video and posted it on Instagram and talked about this problem because, and I've, and I wanted to talk about this because I [00:10:00] found his video pretty cool. And I wanted to talk about this topic because from my conversations that I have with people on the coaching calls or in my actual coaching program, I know from conversations with people in our community. Also, I know that this is a true problem for a lot of people, and I've experienced that myself too, that sometimes we just don't know what we should write about, or we get stuck in the same topics over and over again. Or we have to sort of try and force ideas or try to manufacture. Um, a plan where we want to switch our like in, uh, in the style or genre that we were in or whatever, or we want to, we feel like we have to reinvent ourselves or our sounds. And so this can be a true problem. And I think that. Authentic art is, would resonates with people. And that is always art. That comes from your personal experiences from things you have experienced, seen, whatever in your life talked about, heard about read about, and it comes from how you see the world from speaking your truth. So basically the [00:11:00] topic of this episode title could be that this is a quote that mark used in this video. Art is an expression of life. So go and experience some life. And I want to talk about that and I want to give you, and so I'm not going to, I want to give you a couple of ideas that you can implement to solve this problem, to get your creativity back, to feel inspired again, and to draw from the experiences and everything that happens around you basically, and how you can actually do that and get out of your bubble in a way. So I hope this makes sense. It's a long winded way of saying that we're going to talk about writer's block, maybe. And so that's good.

[00:11:37] Malcom: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I think more than ever, people have maybe been, uh, living in their rooms for a couple of years now. So, uh, if you're feeling stuck, it's not really a big surprise. So I hope this. 

[00:11:49] Benedikt: Yes, totally. I hope so too. And it kind of helped me even think about this and prepare this episode because I feel like that too, just like Europe of the person. So I spend a lot of time in my studio. I kind of have [00:12:00] two full-time things here that I do the mixing and the coaching and spend a lot of time alone in my room. I talk to people, thankfully, like I have these conversations, so I'm not entirely isolated, but I'm not as. In my community or scene or whatever, as I was back then when it was still in a band and organizing shows and all of that. So, and I also need to actively make time for things outside of music, because if I don't do that, I kind of default to just thinking, talking and working on music all day, like thinking about talking about and working on music all day and. Has led me to to, to points where I've, I've just felt stuck and I felt uninspired and I needed to get out and do something else just in order to get some perspective, get some new, you know things that I could use in my work. 

[00:12:47] Malcom: Yeah, 

[00:12:48] Benedikt: I'd say the first thing, sorry. Sorry, go ahead. Yeah.

[00:12:50] Malcom: Oh, I was going to say, I kind of have the perfect analogy, which is going to just drive our audience mental, but what if we relate it to running? Um, 

[00:12:59] cause we don't [00:13:00] talk about running enough on this podcast. 

[00:13:01] Benedikt: outline. 

[00:13:04] Malcom: Uh, well, yes, I, you talking about running for a reason, but uh, I, because you said you're, you're kind of living in. All day, every day. And, and I think there are probably somebody, or there's probably somebody listening to this podcast. I think that is things that is a good thing. And that's going to help them output as much art and, and have inspiration. And, and just if you're living in music all, all day long, but if we relate it to running and if you were to just run all day every day, You're going to get really sore and eventually injured, and then you can't run at all until you rest. Right? So that, that is kind of the cycle that does happen in music as well. If you don't get out there and kind of fill your life with other experiences and give your mind room to think, develop ideas and, and all of these things that we're going to talk about today, you're going to just hit a block and have no, no inspiration or an energy to create with. Um, and then what do you, no, no, no new music will come out of you. 

[00:13:59] Benedikt: Yes, [00:14:00] absolutely. I love, and I love the way that mark puts it in his, in his little video that he posted, where he was like, maybe hang out here less and hang out here more. And the first, when he set the first sentence, he showed the studio and then the second part of the sentence he showed nature and a river or whatever outside. Uh, and then he said, maybe spend less time with this showing guitars spent more time with that showing his dog, you know, so this is exactly what you're talking about. Just getting, seeing, and experiencing things out of the music and actively doing that. And making time for that is, is really, really crucial. So, so the first thing on our list here is, and that is something that I think a lot of creatives are struggling. If you're an introvert, which a lot of us are. If you like you mean, I mean, the fact that you like sitting in front of the computer for hours and creating music and doing all of that, it probably could be assigned that you are at least some, some, some sort of like introvert. Have a tendency like that. I certainly have, I'm perfectly happy without people around [00:15:00] me for long periods of time. So I don't get bored. I have plenty of things to do. I need to sort of make myself go out. I enjoyed when I do, but I'm totally fine by myself. So in a lot of us are, so if you're. Maybe leave your comfort zone and connect with people actively nice side effect of that will be not only inspiration and seeing something else, but also connections with other people, collaborations, unexpected, potential opportunities. You know, there's a lot to be gained by just leaving your comfort zone, reaching out to people either personally or just over the internet for starters, like just reach out and, and talk to other humans and get new perspectives. I think that is something that a lot of us need to do more often. Uh, especially maybe now after this whole COVID thing where we were isolated in front of the computers, even more, and for introverts, this could, this could lead to like a, really a real isolation problem without you even noticing. So.

[00:15:53] Malcom: Absolutely. Yeah, nothing really to add, just getting outside of your comfort zone is kind of the key [00:16:00] phrase there. And, and that can be in small steps like joining, uh, like, uh, you know, our Facebook community. If you're not already in there, you could make a connection there that leads to some exciting new music, um, opportunities for you. Or if you want to go bigger, you know, getting out to a show and meeting some more musicians in your community, stuff like that. Um, and then on the flip side, It doesn't have to be music related at all. You could just go and like to the dog park and meet somebody there. And you know, it doesn't have to be related. It was the big thing. The stress. 

[00:16:29] Benedikt: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Now for the next one, I w I'd love to hear your thoughts on that and I'll come, and this is. I personally love routines so much so that I, maybe I'm going too far with, in some parts of my life. Like I have routines and habits and processes and structures that are on everything, even my personal life, which maybe is a little crazy, but I just love routines because they give me I do that because I feel like I can be more, we've talked about that on other episodes, but I feel like I can [00:17:00] be even more creative and do better work and focus more if I sort of systemize. Stuff that just has to be done. That being said, sometimes I need to switch it up still and I need to get rid of some routines, even if there are good ones, I need to, even if it's just for a while, I need to get rid of them, try something new, just because I find myself doing the same things over and over again. And that can mean. I dunno. That's I think that's, that can be detrimental to creativity. This can be, this can lead to yeah. Being, feeling uninspired or feeling like you've created yourself a nine to five or something that you actually don't want or whatever, like too much structure. So as much as I love routines, I also have to sometimes break them and completely do something completely different. Even if it feels weird at the beginning. But what happens is. I might go back to my routines, but the short break from that, that interrupt, basically that pattern interrupt that happens is like always beneficial. And I'm more excited to, to be working again after that. And [00:18:00] like, you know, I, but I don't know. Maybe that's just me. Do you feel like that too? Do you sometimes completely ignore your, uh, some of your rhythms or routines or habits or, or entirely replace them with new ones? Or do you just keep everything the same? Because it works and you don't want.

[00:18:16] Malcom: So the reason we do, we try and get ourselves into routines and build habits and, and and muscle memory and stuff like that. Like, you know, picture practicing a riff. That's hard. Eventually you don't even have to think about it anymore. You can just play it and like your brain isn't hurting by that of it, you know? But when you start learning a new song, imagine, Do you remember when you started learning guitar and how much your brain hurt as you tried to like make your middle finger go down for a bar chord? And you're like, how do I press just that one finger? And, uh, like your, your brain, literally, you get a headache by the end of the guitar lesson because you're using so much mental power and that stops as you get good at this. And that is what routines do. They take, we're kind of offloading a certain amount of brain power because our, it's memory is, it's familiar and we don't [00:19:00] have to use all this processing power to get the job done. And that is really great, except for when we need to use it for something like songwriting, you know, like it's kind of the opposite. We need our brain to engage. We want to use like as much processing power as we can. So I totally agree. I like to, I've got like certain things I like to break up. Like anytime I go for a run of can't believe it, we're talking about running again. Uh, I, I always take a different. Like without a doubt, I'm going to take a term that I, I haven't, I, well, if in a perfect world haven't done before, but I've ran the hell out of my mountain now. So it's getting hard to find new, new paths, but it's always like unpredictable and a spur of the moment decision, um, to avoid. Yeah. Like I just find that it's like, okay, I'm going to make an uncomfortable choice. I don't know where this trail is going to take me and how long it's going to take. But let's just see it through stuff like that. I really liked doing, um, I do this all over the place actually, and it's super weird. Like I'll try and park in a new parking spot. So I have to take a different walk to my grocery store or whatever. Um, 

[00:19:58] like little decisions [00:20:00] like that, doing laundry. I'm going to not put my socks away first, this time I'm going to, and sometimes I'll switch drawers. Like my, my underwear now goes on the opposite side and my socks go on the other side, like weird shit like that. I'm just 

[00:20:10] constantly trying to kind of wake my brain. And these little moments. I swear it helps me, but it maybe I'm just crazy as well. 

[00:20:17] Benedikt: Do do you know, because when you're talking about like, uh, laundry and stuff at home, do you know the feeling of when you rearrange something, even something minor in a room it's the same items, the same room, nothing you, but you rearrange things and you go somewhere and you come back in and it feels like you've renovated the house or something. It just feels you just like you're home more for whatever reason. And it just. Good. Just because things are different because your best, you say your brain wakes up and all of a sudden you see your actual items that you like, and you know, you haven't seen them before and it went away. 

[00:20:49] Malcom: Totally. Absolutely. Honestly, I heard that doing stuff like this was good for kind of combating Alzheimer's. That's like my main reason I started doing stuff like this. Um, but I think it has other benefits too. [00:21:00] 

[00:21:00] Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah, totally. And I think this has positive side effects on, on creativity and making music because you, you just, yeah, it's just, you wake up right now. You see things differently and maybe even these personal things can, I think be beneficial to your creativity and music, but then when you do. On the actual music side and you switch things up, as you create, you use a different guitar pedal, or you do change the order of pills for whatever reason, or you, can you try completely new plugins this time? Or are you going to start you know, maybe even download a different dine and experiment with that and see what comes out of it or whatever, something completely new, not every time, because that would be like wildly inefficient and, and, and weird, but like every now and again, doing something like that could give you. Boost in your creativity and inspiration, maybe. 

[00:21:50] Malcom: Yep. 

[00:21:51] Benedikt: Hopefully. Yeah. I, as I assume you do that and mixing too, when you like, maybe try a new plugin or just get rid of an entire chain and try something you've never done or [00:22:00] whatever.

[00:22:01] Malcom: Yeah. absolutely. Yeah, Like I think we've said on the podcast, a new guitar pedal equals a new song. Like you can't help, but write a new song. Once you have like this new sound in front of you, and it's the same for mixing, you know? Those, anytime you get stuck, if you just introduce a new element, it's probably going to help you overcome that.

[00:22:17] Benedikt: Yeah, for sure. And when it comes to, because we want to talk about things outside of music, what I think what you could also do is just maybe change the time you work on music. Maybe if you want to get, um, Inspiration from, from outside. And that you can take into the, you can use then in, in your, in your music making, maybe just switch it from, instead of, I don't know, instead of making music at night, maybe go out tonight and meet people and be somewhere, and then maybe do that on a Friday night where you would usually meet music maybe. And then instead of that start making music Saturday morning, after that experience or whatever, you know, just changing the routine around that and replacing some habits with others. Okay, cool. Now the next one, [00:23:00] unfortunately, is going to be about running because it's about finding a hobby that both helps you clear your mind and challenges you physically and, or emotionally or mentally, which for me, is running. What I mean by that is that you should have, I think you should have something outside of music that is just as, or maybe not just as, but also fascinating to you that you love. Um, you many people will have one thing that they absolutely love the most and are most passionate about, but maybe you can find another thing that you really like doing and that you really like putting energy into. And ideally it's something that's also a little bit challenging that helps you clear your mind that helps you focus on this one thing that helps you forget about music and you can take the lessons learned in that and apply it to music and vice versa. You can, learn about yourself, about you, about how you, How you deal with certain challenges, maybe that's the big thing about running for me is part of this, it's this mental challenge it's physically challenging, but it's also mentally challenging. [00:24:00] Every time I overcome something hard when I run, I can use that in other areas of my life. You know, it's a weird way. I don't know. It just helps. So it doesn't have to be running, but maybe you can find some other hobby that's challenging either physically or mentally or both or emotionally, and you'll learn, it will be hard, but you'll learn a lot. And that will definitely influence how you do other creative things. At least I believe so. 

[00:24:26] I 

[00:24:26] think it's healthy to have a second obsessions.

[00:24:30] Malcom: Yeah, a hundred percent, because if, if music is your only obsession and you're obsessed to the point where you're listening to this podcast, um, which you all are, you're all obsessed with music, by the way, if you hadn't noticed it, it's really easy for it to get to a kind of an unhealthy level. Um, so I think having another hobby that is more just for fun or more just for like mental relief or whatever it is, um, is, is really important because I think the people that listen to this podcast tend to take music [00:25:00] very seriously. Which is great, but 

[00:25:02] you, you also want to, you don't want it so serious that you're not enjoying it anymore. Um, so Yeah. um, running is also for me, obviously that's very clear by now, I think, but, uh, I'm sure you could find something, um, and it told you, encourage you to, so if music is the only medicine that you've got there's, you should experiment until you find a second. 

[00:25:22] Benedikt: Yeah. And it could be all sorts of things. It's just like, you know, as like Brian Hood, who we both know who roasts his own coffee and many people do that could be something, you know, it could be gardening could be whatever, something doesn't have to be a sport, but just try 

[00:25:35] Malcom: Yup. 

[00:25:36] Benedikt: something 

[00:25:36] else. All right, cool. Now, what else do we have here? Yeah, that's a general one, but I think an important one. And that is, I put, I wrote down pay attention and be mindful because there's, you know, I think even if you don't do any of the things we were talking about, if, if you do the same things that you've always done, I think even then you could discover new things. If you just pay close [00:26:00] attention to what is actually happening, and if you're a mindful. 

[00:26:02] Because a lot of things are happening around you all day. Probably even if you're like just going to the grocery store, you probably doing something outside of music or your home, but it's just not very exciting things maybe, but even then things are happening around you. It could be nature. It could be, people could be conversations that are happening, could be something going on in politics or society, relationships. Your own emotions, whatever things are happening all the time, but you might not recognize that they are happening. And if you pay close attention to what's actually happening and to how you react to that could give you new inspiration. You insights, you learn about yourself. Maybe you'll learn something about yourself. You, I don't know. I find that this is a very interesting practice. I do that very often actually now, uh, and meditation was sort of what got me into. Where I try to, not only when I meditate, I try to be mindful and pay attention, but also I try to do, to, to do the same thing. When I'm standing in line at the [00:27:00] grocery store, I try to really see what is actually happening. Like what, what clothes are people wearing? What are people. Doing like what? I don't know. What's the weather outside? What, what does this tree actually look like? Or whatever things we just usually see, but don't pay attention to, I try to really see them and it's kind of fascinating. if you do that 

[00:27:21] Malcom: It is. Yeah. 

[00:27:22] Benedikt: So, so I think that could also be, be helpful if you just practice that. And then also at the end of the day, that's also cool exercise. Try to just reflect on what has actually happened today, what you did and how you reacted to certain situations, because you will. Yeah, I think that is also part of it. That's just in the moment being attention, paying attention, but then also reflecting back. Thinking about what was actually cool, what was not so cool and how you react to different things. And that might again teach you something about yourself and might be things that you could actually put into words that might resonate with other people too, which could lead to a song idea or some other piece of art. You know, [00:28:00] these are your personal experiences. And, you know, I don't know. I think this is yeah, I dunno, this works. It works for me. And I think you should at least try it. You should give it a try. It's.

[00:28:10] Malcom: Definitely. Yeah, just be a, the main key points are being like mindful in the moment and then reflective whenever you have the time to be, um, and schedule it. If you can't schedule a little bit like a reflective period and to every day, you'll, there'll be very grateful for that investment in your time. 

[00:28:27] Benedikt: Yeah, absolutely. So, and a lot of I've read a lot about like how, how artists outside of music, like painters or whatever, who like how they. What they use for inspiration or where they draw their inspiration from in a lot of the things that they use are basic things that happen to us every single time they just pay attention. It's just, as we said, at the beginning, art is an expression of life. They see something, they react to it. They want to write about it or paint a picture or put it into some, you know, put it out to the world, share it with others, that experience. And oftentimes it's not [00:29:00] something really spectacular it's, but. Yeah, that's basically it. Okay, so the next one also big one. And that's something I want to ask you again, Malcolm. I don't know. I think we'd have to talk to, we, we've never talked about this, but I'm sometimes I'm struggling with always having to compare myself to others and therefore. I don't know, having a hard time creating something really unique because I automatically try to do the same thing that other people do, even though it's not what I should be doing. So it's hard to describe that. But if you're an artist, if you're a music, I'm a musician and you follow a lot of bands and creators and artists on the internet. And you see what they're doing, what they putting out, their video content, their songs, their music, all of that. And you like them, you follow them. And you do a lot of that. A lot of us start to compare ourselves to these people and we try to make something similar, which is, can be cool because we need inspiration and we [00:30:00] need, you know, otherwise we wouldn't have anything that we could relate to, but. I think it can also be, at least for me, it can be pretty dangerous because it could lead to either imposter syndrome and not doing anything at all, because you think you will never be as good as those people or it can lead to. Automatically always copying other people's art instead of figuring out what it is that you want to make and you want to express. So I'm not sure if that is just something that I am struggling with or is that something that you've also experienced? Because I think it is dangerous in today's world, where we're constantly able to compare ourselves to other creators and artists.

[00:30:34] Malcom: Yeah, I think most of us live in a one of two spaces where this is either, um, like looking at others for inspiration and, and, you know, quotation marks copying them is either exactly what they need to do or the exact thing they need to stop doing. Um, it's really easy to get fixated on, on, you know, trying to like write a song in the latest style of your favorite band kind of thing. And then everybody's. The same kind of music happening. You see it [00:31:00] happened in music scenes, like, like little bubbles of, of bands that all sound and dress the same in this one town kind of thing. And sometimes that leads to great things, but not always, you know? Um, and yeah, you can definitely lose the opportunity for some original thoughts, but that being said, I, I do think that if you're intentional, you can learn so much by analyzing the success of other people. it's really a balancing act. Yeah, I think it just kind of takes, it takes some time and experimentation to kind of find your groove with this, of how to pull what you need from other people, but only, only what you need and not get fixated on doing, like you said, stuff that isn't right for you. There's yeah. I don't really know how to explain that other than I hope it makes sense. 

[00:31:44] Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah, totally makes sense. Totally makes sense. And I'm glad you brought that up. That it can be beneficial. Of course it can be exactly what people need to do more is like some people need to listen more to other people's music. Um, to figure out what actually works, what resonates with people, what is cool about that [00:32:00] music? They need that to find, to figure out what they actually like. And then, but the key is you need to take those influences. I think, figure out what it is that you like about them, what it is that resonates with you, and then add your own personal experiences to that and create your own version of like combining these different influences plus your own personal experiences and create your own. Art from that. I think it's impossible to create something without the influence of others or what you've heard, because I mean, how we've always you draw on what's been done before, and then you add your own thing to it. It's if I think I've interviewed Greg Bennett, once on my other podcast, he's a genius seat and he says, he's a songwriter as well. And he says that if you make something. If it would try to make something entirely new that has nothing to do with anything that anybody's ever heard, then chances are, it's very unlikely that anybody would like that because it's not relatable. We've [00:33:00] never heard that before. So we can't, we won't remember any emotions or experiences or anything else. So it's like, You know, what should we do with this? So it's cool that we take inspiration from other artists and we observe what they do. We figure out what we like, but it's important to then turn this into our own thing and add our own personal experiences and not just try and be another, like a copy of that basically, because aid will never be as good as the original and B it's not authentic and not yours. And it's going to be, it's gonna be, um, uninspired and, uh, it's not going to feel very creative. So there's this fine line. 

[00:33:35] Malcom: And yeah, it's very easy to go through like a 

[00:33:37] phase as well, where you 

[00:33:38] think this is what you want to be doing. And then once it's all done, you're like, okay, I don't know why we went down this road for so long. 

[00:33:45] Benedikt: yeah, yeah, totally. And part of it, I think is also the paying attention thing, the being mindful and paying attention thing, because. Even if you've been listening to a certain artist for a while, maybe you need to pay attention more to some of the details. Maybe [00:34:00] try to think about what you actually like about that song that you listen to all the time. Why is that cool? What makes, what does it make you feel? And just try and experience the music maybe differently, try to get a new perspective or something, because then you can, once you figure out what it is that works with you, that you like about this, maybe you can add those elements to your own music, but not necessarily the whole thing. And I think this switching perspectives and really experiencing the music and what it does to you is more important than the actual techniques or chords or whatever. It's like figuring out why, why this song ends up being on your playlist. Every single day. 

[00:34:37] Malcom: Right. Yeah. 

[00:34:38] 

[00:34:38] I think again, this kind of goes back to being introspective and reflecting on, on what's happening. Um, and what you're writing and stuff like that. I think the, the best songwriters I know can tell you who influenced the song that they just showed me? They're like, yeah, I was thinking about hotel California when I wrote this one kind of thing. It's like, okay. You're it was intense. You know, to draw [00:35:00] on that style, not just you happen to be listening to the Eagles and you accidentally ripped off hotel, California. It's going to be better if it's an intentional inspiration. 

[00:35:08] Benedikt: Yes, totally. And you know, it all happened to us at some point where we wrote and that's totally okay. But like it's sometimes hilarious when you write a song and you're really excited about it and you think it's the best thing ever only to discover two weeks later that it's the exact same riff that another band used and. Subconsciously, whatever you copied that, and you didn't realize that it is the exact thing. And then it's so disappointing because you can't use it. I mean, that's happened a lot to me where I wrote something and I totally thought it was mine, but it was a complete rip off of some of his other song. And I didn't even notice why that was doing it. So yeah, I mean, but that's cool when that happens, you know? And then you just, again, why, why did you, why did you, what did you like about this? Maybe you can make another version of that. That is yours and, you know 

[00:35:53] yeah. 

[00:35:53] Malcom: there's something to be pulled from it, for sure. 

[00:35:56] Um, now the flip this on its 

[00:35:59] head, we've been [00:36:00] talking about like, Expanding horizons a lot. 

[00:36:03] Um, but I do also like the idea of forcing creativity through limitation. And again, this is just something that I find recurring among like the professional songwriters that I come across that can just turn it off. Is that they're pretty diligent. They, they kind of work creativity like a muscle and train it, um, and, and kind of force creativity through the mutation is a great way of doing that. So they might say, okay, I got 30 minutes to write a song, or maybe it's just write a hook or maybe it's 30 minutes. It's a bit like as many hooks as I can, or even better the whole band's in on it. And they split off into splinter groups and they all have to go write a hook and then they bring it back. And whoever writes the one they think is the best. That's third, next song idea. You know, there's like little. Challenges. 

[00:36:49] Um, and that might be okay. We're only allowed to use three songs this time. If you're a private band, that's going to be really hard. Right. 

[00:36:55] Uh, and, and, or, or it's going to be like[00:37:00] this key and starts with a, um, piano instead of guitar. And you're a guitarist. Um, do that with anything you do that pushes you out of your, I mean, this is pushing you out of your, your zone actually. It is expanding horizons, but it's kind of also making you have to work within some rules and that's going to make, you have to choose decisions that aren't comfortable. 

[00:37:20] Benedikt: For 

[00:37:21] Malcom: So K can't recommend that enough. 

[00:37:23] Benedikt: Yeah. I'm a big believer in that, in there too. Yeah, as we said before, I, I totally believe that, but even if you that's still, um, still everything we said before is of course true, because if you force yourself, To be creative, or if you kind of just show up and do the greatest work and you put these limitations on you and then that all works, but it only works if you've experienced anything that you can then turn into a song during that, you know, focused work that you, that you put in. So still you have to leave your bubble. You have to do all the things we said before so that you then. [00:38:00] When you are in writing mode and when you are focused and you do a challenge like that, you have something that you could then quickly use, uh, because if not, it's going to be very hard, but I'm absolutely absolutely a fan of this, what you just said. And I'll come. I think that creative work is also work and that requires you to just show up and do it and be okay with the fact that sometimes it's going to be crappy and it maybe it's going to take 10. 

[00:38:24] Uh, tries until something good comes out. And a lot of writers have told me that they write a hundred crappy pages and then one good one shows up and that's just part of the process. So I think you just have to show up and do the work and there's this famous quote. I keep thinking about it, but I don't think I can say correctly. And I don't even remember the artist, but. I think I've even mentioned it on the podcast before, where he's like, basically we were saying is that you can sit there and wait for inspiration to, to, to strike you basically, or. I don't know what he, what his exact words were, but he's like inspiration, but the bottom line was inspiration is for amateurs [00:39:00] and professionals, just show up and do it basically and put in the work. Um, and he was an artist and, but he still believed in that because yeah, I think that, I think that's true. I think that's absolutely true. And you know, it, maybe you can't forward it. An outcome in that session, but the process will definitely lead to an outcome if you just keep doing it. 

[00:39:20] Malcom: Yeah. 

[00:39:21] Yeah. Consistency. 

[00:39:22] Consistency will definitely yield results eventually. now the challenge, one more kind of belief about this, uh, is that because like we've been talking about, you know, expanding your experiences, so you have something to draw on. And I think a lot of people skip the fact that. it doesn't have to be real. 

[00:39:40] Benedikt: Yeah. 

[00:39:40] Malcom: You, uh, you've probably 

[00:39:41] read a fiction book that you liked. You 

[00:39:43] know,

[00:39:44] um, if you, if everybody's probably read, you know, either Lord of the rings or Harry Potter or game of Thrones, 

[00:39:49] one of those it's chances are high and you've loved it. And that is all fictional make-believe stuff. Um, I I'm sure there's some real stuff drawn on do to create those [00:40:00] works, of course. But. Chances are some of your favorite songs are about fictional stories as well, and fiction can still connect with people emotionally. So, uh, one of our bullet points on here is read, read books. You will get some creative bandwidth out of that a hundred percent not to mind all the other benefits that come from it. But also, uh, you know, treat your songs like you're writing a book. You, you might be able to tell a story through, through fiction. 

[00:40:27] Um, so it doesn't have to be. You don't, you don't have to go through hell to write a sad song. 

[00:40:32] Benedikt: no such a good one. Such a good one too. And in fact it is kind of real because what I said, it's about speaking your truth and about expressing how you see the world, how you deal with things and all of that. And that can totally be done in fiction, because if you read a book, even if it's a fictional one, um, or if you write fiction, then you still. W w what you write down is still how you react to certain things, [00:41:00] how you, uh, w what, what a certain story make you think, or, or feel, or it's still you, it's your personality. You can't help it, it, it can be, it can't happen in the real world or in a, in a story. But at the end of the day, it's still how you, it's your values, how you see the world, it's how you feel about things. So it is actually pretty real, I think. And the it's just a different way of communicating that I think so. Yep. Absolutely. It doesn't have to be real life experiences. And that is maybe very helpful for some people who have a hard time going out and who are introverts, maybe because if you can't really do that, but you can experience things. By reading books or watching movies or whatever, then a whole world of like emotions and thoughts and feelings will open up that you can use and put into your own words and use in your stories that you're telling. So,

[00:41:49] Malcom: Yeah, you might not be comfortable sharing your own experiences too. You might want to 

[00:41:54] keep stuff private to yourself. So, this allows you to still have. Uh, a different type of story. [00:42:00] 

[00:42:00] Benedikt: Yes, absolutely. Such a great one. I found that quote by the way, the guys called Chuck close and I think I've mentioned it before, but the. Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us, just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process. They come out of the work itself. So that's the quote. Yeah. Yup. It's true. Uh, and the limitations part in addition to that, uh, that's also a big one that you said that I can not just showing up, but maybe limiting yourself even in some, some 

[00:42:34] Malcom: Yeah, you never know. Right. Uh, simplifying things is, tend to work. Uh, you know, it's like a tried and true method of improving a product. So why not for this. 

[00:42:45] Benedikt: Yeah, yeah. Business. It's the same thing. Business is also, I don't talk a lot about this, obviously on this podcast, but it's a creative thing actually, to build a business, especially in the creative industry like we are, but it's the same thing. There's this cool exercise that you can do where it's. What, like, just pretend [00:43:00] you've lost everything, all your, all your money, everything you've ever had. Every platform, every website you're starting from zero. Like what would you do to get back to where you were if you only had, like, if you lost everything and you only had 30 days of time or something, there's this, this exercise that you can do, and then you really have to be creative and come up with ways. You know how you could make that happen. And oftentimes if you do an exercise like that, with those kinds of limitations, new ideas come up, that you can then actually use in real life, even without having this problem. And the music could be the same thing. You have all the tools in the world and you, you, your options are limitless, but what if you only had these two plugins and 24 hours to make a song or whatever, like how would you pull that off if you had to, you know, and then you can be creative and maybe you've discovered something that's really useful. 

[00:43:46] Really cool. All right. Hope this was a helpful episode. I know that. Um, I actually know, and I think that I really liked that. I think that's a cool thing. I know that our audience or in this part of our audience really likes [00:44:00] these big picture episodes. So if that is the case, please reach out and tell us, or share this episode with your friends, tag us on Instagram. At Malcolm Olin flat at Benedictine or our Instagram handles, um, share the episodes, post a screenshot, give us a review on wherever you listen to podcasts. Let us know if you like these kinds of things. And of course, there's also going to be a thread in the community again. So yeah. you for listening. 

[00:44:26] Malcom: Yeah. 

[00:44:26] Thank 

[00:44:27] Benedikt: to you next week. Sorry. What is that?

[00:44:29] Malcom: Oh, I was just saying, thank you. And bye as 

[00:44:31] well. I was doing the 

[00:44:32] same thing. Yeah. 

[00:44:34] Benedikt: Thank you. Bye. See you next week. 


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