165: The Fun Factor: How To Find Joy In The Creative Process And Rekindle Your Passion For Music Production

165: The Fun Factor: How To Find Joy In The Creative Process And Rekindle Your Passion For Music Production

I got a message from one of our coaching students and it really made me think.

This is what he wrote:

"I just wanted to say thank you. It's great to have someone who is so unrelentingly positive and upbeat as part of this. Whether we are talking on zoom, group chat, your video messages or even the podcast. Your positivity comes through all of it and makes it feel like what we're doing (music) is possible, and maybe even fun sometimes!"


Book a free feedback call with Benedikt, the host of the show!

While I love and appreciate this message, it also made me think and reflect on the whole topic of music being fun.

A lot of artist and DIY producers that I work with and talk to seem to forget their "why" sometimes. Why they even got into this. Why they wanted to write and produce music in the first place.

And I've been there, too! When we get ambitious and dive deep into learning something, improving our skills and trying to reach the goals that we set for ourselves, we can get disconnected from the art.

It all turns into projects, tasks, deadlines, schedules and a long list of to-dos.

So how can we separate the to-dos from the process of actually creating art and make sure we enjoy making music?

Malcom and I explore this on the podcast and discuss a long list of ideas on this week's episode:

  • Be clear about what you want to accomplish. You probably don't need to do all the things you see other people do.
  • Separate the prep work from the actual sessions
  • Set aside time to improve your workflow and skills
  • Separate practicing from writing and performing/recording
  • Listen to music you love, as well as new music and let it inspire you
  • Just jam
  • Don't be so hard on yourself. You're doing great. Not every idea has to be a hit and no one's gonna die. 🙂
  • Yes, there are things you just have to get done. But you can learn to enjoy those. Turn it into a game and reward yourself if you have to!
  • Collaborate with others. There are people who love doing the things you hate to do. Also, collaborating is fun. More brains ➡️ more creativity, more ideas, frequent feedback and outside perspectives
  • If it's not your job and nobody's depending on you writing music, then you don't have to show up if you really don't feel like it. It all depends on your goals, of course, and showing up regardless of how you feel is what the pros do all the time. But in many cases it's probably ok to just do something else instead and come back later.
  • Pay attention to your natural rhythm. You're not gonna be equally motivated and creative throughout your day. Learn to go with the flow.
  • Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings, as well as events in your life. Use music as an emotional outlet. Use it as therapy. Use it to communicate.
  • Show it to others and be proud! Getting positive feedback on your music is so rewarding and will boost your confidence. The more confident you are, the more fun you're gonna have. Your music matters and might be life-changing for someone!
  • Frequently reflect on your achievements and your "why". You might just need a reminder.
  • Nothing really worth doing is easy. We really only enjoy things if we have to work for them.
  • We suffer more in imagination than in reality. Often it's our fear and insecurity that make us feel bad or make it seem less fun. It's not that we really suck or that it's really too hard. We're overwhelmed before we even try and then when we finally start and take the first step, we realize that it is actually doable and fun!
  • Have a “just for fun” outlet - could be a recording project, another band, a weekly open mic night, whatever! Just some side-project without any goal or plan.

Let's go!


Mentioned On The Episode:

Malcom's Band - Band of Rascals

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

TSRB 165 - Automatic Episode Transcript - Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy

Benedikt: Hello and welcome to the Self Recording Band podcast. I'm your host, Benedictine. If you are new to the show, welcome. If you are already a listener, thank you for coming back. Today we're talking about a message that I got from a coaching student and it really made me think. So the message was, I just wanted to say thank you. It's great to have someone who is so unrelentingly positive and upbeat as part of this. Whether we are talking on Zoom group chat, your video messages, or even the podcast, your positivity comes through all of it and makes it feel like what we're doing in bracket's music is possible and maybe even fun sometimes. So while I love and appreciate this message, of course, um, it also made me think and reflect on that whole topic of music being fun. You know, a lot of artists and the y producers that I work with and talk to, they sometimes seem to forget their why and like why they even got into this, why they wanted to write and produce their own music in the first place. And I've been there too. When we get, I think when we get ambitious and dive deep into learning something, improving our skills and trying to reach the goals that we set for ourselves, we can get disconnected from the art and it all turns into projects and tasks and deadlines and schedules and a long list of to-dos. So how can we separate the, to-dos from the process of actually creating art and make sure we enjoy making music? This is what we talk, uh, about today. And as always, I'm not gonna do this alone. I'm here with my friend and co-host Malcolm Owen Flood. Hello, Malcolm. How are you?

Malcom: Hey Benny. I'm great, man. How are you?

Benedikt: I'm grade two. Thank you. This time I actually wanna, oh, sorry. Go.

Malcom: Well, I just wanted to, to, I, I realized as you were explaining that you got a question from one of your students that some people might be like, what do you mean students? Are we all students if we listen to the podcast?

Benedikt: You're right.

Malcom: uh, you, I mean, if you consider yourself, yourself a student by listening to the podcast, that's great. Thanks for listening. And, um, we're super happy you're learning, but, uh, you can take things a lot further with Benny. Um, Benny has probably mentioned if on an episode that you've listened to, that he offers like a free one-on-one coaching call, and he offers that on an ongoing basis, plus a lot more plus like a whole academy of video lessons and stuff like that. Uh, for people that want to level up their recording skills really quick and, and in a very thorough, comprehensive way. So that is what Benny's talking about when he mentions that, you know, one of his students reached out to him.

Benedikt: To thank you for that, Malcolm. Totally. Yeah, that's right. It's a, it's, uh, a member of the self recording syndicate. It's what the coaching program is called and, uh, yeah, totally. That's right. And I mean, I love getting these messages and, um, it's obviously great that, that, that I, I'm, I was able to motivate and, and be positive and, you know, encourage people in there. But also, as I said, made me think because, um, music should be fun, right? And, and so that's why we, why we wanted to talk about this. Yeah, exactly. Now be, but before we do that this time, actually for once I can start the banter, um, Because you can expect some more running banter in the future. I guess again, it's been a while, but like it's getting warm here. Yeah, it's getting warm here. Like, you know, spring is here. I'm not at all in winter mode anymore. There's still snow in the mountains, but I don't care. I'm in summer mode and I actually. You know, LA last year I signed up for my first ultra-marathon, which is like every, everything longer than a marathon is considered an ultra-marathon. And I signed up for one last year, which was 68 K, um, in, in like 68 kilometers and two hun 2,500 meters of elevation gain. And I prepared for that and I was ready. And then shortly before the race, I got injured and wasn't, was barely able to walk for weeks and, and couldn't run anymore. But I just signed up for it again this year and now training begins and I'm not gonna give up. So I'm gonna keep you updated on that journey. There's a couple of prep races in between. I'm gonna do half marathon and a road marathon, and then maybe another road marathon in late fall. So it's like a pretty, pretty crazy race schedule this year. And, uh, I just try to test the limits of my body, I guess this year and I will not give up.


Malcom: Oh, awesome man. I'm, uh, I'm, I mean, as if you weren't already testing the limits of your body, it's just, you just keep going. It's amazing. I can't imagine running that far. Um, I, everybody knows I also run, but I'm like the mini me version of Benny when it comes to distance.

Benedikt: Well, but you're fa but you're fast though. You got fast in the last couple of years. I feel like when we first started talking about it, you, your runs were pretty, I mean, you know, hobby level, slow sort of thing. But then all of a sudden there were some races where I thought, ooh, like he's getting, he's getting fast. And that's not my strength really. I just, I can go along and I can suffer for a long time. That's probably my biggest strength, but I'm not that fast. But you are so,

Malcom: Ah, it, it's just about fun for me. I, uh, I, I do want to do some, some races this year, but, um, but for the most part, I just want to keep getting out there. I've got a, a, a TV show that I'm working on coming up. Um, Pretty soon. That starts soon. I'm, I'm not allowed to say what it is, but it requires a lot of running, so I've been training quite hard for that, just trying to get out like a four times a week if I can. Um, keeping the distances pretty short because it's all about, uh, fitness and not injury.

Benedikt: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And sort of a strength endurance thing where it's like, yeah, yeah. Totally get it. Yeah. Um, we'll see how that goes this year. Yeah, that's, that, that was my banter. Uh, any, I don't know, any music related banter.

Malcom: yeah. We had a question we wanted to ask the audience, and, uh, to be completely honest, it's, it's left my brain. What were we gonna ask them? Benny? I can't remember.

Benedikt: I know, I know what we wanted to ask him. Uh, you're right. Thank you for reminding me. So, um, we were talking about, like, you were telling me that some bands recently, like friends of yours, got grants, like recording grants, like money from the government to help fund recording projects. Right. And uh, so we thought this could be a great topic actually for an episode because funding is a problem for many bands is depending on how big the project is, it can be become pretty expensive, pretty quickly, and in many countries there is ways to get support and, um, to get money, uh, from, from the government to help you bring these projects to life. And so, We know some, like we know a Canadian, like a friend of yours, Malcolm is an expert on this when it comes to Canada and maybe in general how to apply for those things and what to, uh, include in like an application and stuff. So we could bring like a person like that on, uh, to the podcast. But then we also realize that it's probably very different in like different parts of the world. And if you know something about that topic, like you, the listener, I'm talking to you right now, if you know anything about that topic or maybe your band got grants it at some point. You know how it works in your country, uh, and you can help us out with info on that. We really appreciate that. So please reach out to us. Um, induce the email podcast, the surf recording band.com. So just send us an email there, reach out to us and, uh, let us know. Or you can, you know, send us a DM on Instagram, whatever. But like the email is probably most streamlined way of doing it. And, um, let us know. We, we'd love to mention you and your band on the podcast, and if you have valuable info for us, we'll include that and maybe we can get enough info so that we can cover like a couple of countries or, you know, uh, specific things for specific people to make the episode even more valuable. And so, yeah, that was it, I

Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. I think, uh, if, if that sounds like something you'd like to learn more about, we can definitely make that happen. So, but just let us know if it's what you're interested in because it's, it's outside of our normal scope of, uh, DIY recording for, um, you know, self recording bands. So we'd love to know if that's something that actually interests you.

Benedikt: Oh yeah, that, that too, not just Exactly. Thank you Malcolm. Uh, don't just, uh, reach out if you know something about this, but also let us know if you actually want this because, and where you're from, because then we can maybe do the, some research or like ask people from your country if they know something about it. So that would really, uh, help us too. So just reach out, let us know if that is interesting.

Malcom: Maybe for this, it makes sense to do a community forum kind of post, um, in our Facebook community where people can chime in with if they're interested and what they know about and where they're from. So we can really get some data going into this episode. That'd be very helpful, I think.

Benedikt: Great

Malcom: are not already part of our Facebook community, this is yet another reminder to go join that, the self recording band, uh, facebook.com/the self recording band community. Is that right?

Benedikt: Just go to the self recording band.com/community and that will redirect you to the

Malcom: Uh,

Benedikt: Facebook group. Yeah.

Malcom: knew there was one.

Benedikt: Yeah. Or, or just search the self recording band on Facebook and you'll find it. But like, the direct link is the self recording band.com/community. Um, speaking of community, I mean, not to put like too many calls to actions in one episode, uh, here, but, um, at some point, and you don't have to do this right now, uh, but at some point we're gonna, uh, do a little poll again. Also reach out to you about the community because, you know, every year or so, I wanna know if that is actually still relevant or we should move to Discord or, you know, some other medium or whatever, you know, but that's a whole thing for another day. Uh, but for now it is the, the Facebook group still. So just join us and if that changes anytime soon, that's why I'm saying it. You'll, you'll know when you are in there. Like, we'll let you know. Cool. Let's get to today's episode then. So we talked about like the, the what and, and why we feel like this is important. Now, just let's go through some ways that we can think of, um, that could help you, like, uh, yeah. You know, make music fun again, sort of, and, and, uh, You know, actually it's kind of weird that, that we have to do this, but it's also, I totally get it because I've been there myself too. You know, you, you, you'd think that music in and of itself is fun, but you know, it can also, it sometimes if it's a big project or like it is something that is hard, um, it can turn into tedious tasks and we kind of forget about that. It's fun. So, so what can we do to bring that back and to, to make sure we enjoy it?

Malcom: It's so important. I know there are some people listening to this that haven't gotten to to musical burnout yet, and hopefully ever, but I'm also positive that there's a lot of people that have, and there's a point where you take music so seriously that it stops being about fun at all. And it all, it's, it's purely business and, and the pursuit of achievement and, um, progress and whatever your goals are. Uh, and that can be really powerful because for me, when I've got like tangible goals, you know, like this many people in the room, this many streams, this many sales, this many songs recorded by this date, those tangible deadlines and, and goals make it a lot easier to accomplish. But if you do that too long and with too much focus, all of the fun gets, this is like drained out of it. And then you are left with something you don't enjoy anymore. And if you hit burnout hard enough. I know people that have fully quit music and have never come back, which is terrifying to think. Imagine like you're right now you are listening to two nerds talk about recording music because we love it so much and you obviously must love it too because we talk for like an hour at a time with 10 minutes of about running before we even get to the music stuff. So you must really love music. So it would be so sad for you to stop loving music and and to quit. Um, and that is what will happen if you, if you don't get this right, if. Keep loving music and, uh, the art of making it, of playing it, um, the, the kind of like sister and brotherhood of, of jamming and working with teams, it's, it's so important. So, uh, like this feels very close to my heart cause my dad's been on a hi like indefinite hiatus for couple years now and I had no interest in playing music at all. They even jamming with friends until like weeks ago.

Benedikt: Yeah,

Malcom: Just a matter of weeks ago, I've started jamming for fun again, which is crazy. That's like two years of not wanting to play music. Wild.

Benedikt: totally. I I can totally relate. Uh, it's the same for my band, my, like, my original band that I've had for years. Um, we are still on a, on a high risk sort of. And, um, uh, and, and it. It didn't bother me. Like it bothered me in the beginning, but then it didn't bother me because of the same thing. I didn't even want to play music anymore, and now I'm in a, since I'm in a new band, it was kind of hard to get into it and I was very careful and I actually, I wanted to do with like minimal effort and, but I, I thought like some, something inside me told me that like, You probably should do this. And, and it's like, I need a band. I need to be in a band. I cannot be not in a band sort of. Um, and so I just did it and, and now I rediscovered how much fun it actually is. And part of it was playing these first shows and interacting with people again around the, the show and in the venue and all of that. That was part of it for me. And like, I, I rediscovered it and, and turns out not, not just that in the process of like working on our songs and like talking to the bandmates about like mu music that we love or new records that come out. Things I haven't really done so much the last couple of years. Uh, I find myself also listening to music more. Again. I didn't do that too because I was listening to music all day in the studio, and so I mainly listen to podcasts and audiobooks and all of that, but for some reason I'm back into music in general again. And, um, so it can be done. It's just a, a sort of a, a burnout thing that you have to go through, I think, and then, um, and, and kind of, yeah, but it can be done. You can, you can come back and, and it's actually so sad that this even happens.

Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. And, and ideally if you listen to this podcast and, and pay attention, you skip the burnout entirely.

Benedikt: Yeah, exactly, exactly. And, and to be fair, like I, I, I was always working on music and still enjoying it. I didn't have like complete, you know, creative or music burnout, otherwise I wouldn't be able to do my job. It was just too much and I forgot my own sort of outlet and like that it's fun for me to, to make music, uh, myself. So anyway, um, I think it all starts by, you know, being clear about what you want to accomplish because you probably don't need to do all the things you see other people do. What I mean by that is that, Everyone has different goals. You know, some of us are very ambitious, some of us see music as a career. Others just wanna make music for themselves or their friends or family or just, you know, here and there is a, like a recreational thing, hobby, you know, whatever. And that is totally fine. And if you are not that ambitious and you don't, if that, if you don't have like, business goals basically with your music, then you don't need to do every single thing that all the ambitious people tell you to do or that you see online. Maybe it's okay to just do a little bit when you feel like it, you know? And like, no one's gonna judge you and, and you are gonna have more fun. And I, I've talked to quite a few people who feel like it's too much and they, they feel like they have to do all these things in order to, to record their music. And I'm always like, you know, but what, what for if you don't, you know, like, you don't, you don't have to do it all. Like, so that's, I think what, what it starts with. Like, be clear about your, about what you want to accomplish if you are ambitious. However, if you wanna become successful with your music in any way, then. It's, it's not gonna be easy. So you, that's just the reality of it. But still, it can be fun. Uh, but it all starts with knowing what you actually wanna do, I think.

Malcom: Yeah, I used to run a podcast, another podcast called Your Band Sucks at Business. It's still up there if anybody wants to check it out. Um, and there actually might be very sporadic, new episodes coming out, um, but it like not gonna be a consistent thing, uh, anytime soon for sure. Um, but we, yeah, we talked about the, you know, the business side of running a band and a lot of, a lot of the topics were about releasing music effectively and, you know, having a bunch of digital assets prepped, you know, a music video, uh, you know, promo photos, single art, um, have you like sent it out to radio people ahead of release to. Of music blogs or whatever, you know, there's, there's literally unlimited things you could do. And what I started finding was happening was bands that were about to release their first song, um, like didn't even have a Spotify page at this point. You know, they're brand new bands were messaging me being like, and, and what else? And what else, and what else? And, and, and like, I can't release a song yet because I haven't done this. And it, it's like, well, more is always gonna be more. So there's always gonna be more to be done. And potentially that could equal more success for that song, but it'll never stop. So it, you have to eventually just, just go and, and, and actually do it, um, and, and be satisfied with you did what you could and what was reasonable. So it, it doesn't mean you should always do everything because you actually can't do everything. Does that make sense?

Benedikt: Yeah, to totally, absolutely makes sense. Um, it's oftentimes, and like, like we always said, an advice buffet sort of thing. And, um, sometimes it takes a whole, it would take a whole team to do all the things, you know, and so you, you don't, yeah, you don't have to do it all, but if you want, it will never stop. There's always more to do as you said. Like he, you know, you can always do more and that will if you do it rightly to more results, but it all comes down to what you actually wanna accomplish and how much you actually can do with the time you have without burning out.

Malcom: And it is the same in this podcast in a way too, um, in that like there's always, you know, further steps you could take. And if your brain is working against you, if your uber maybe overly detail orientated, you might keep redoing your guitar parts because you hear a little squeak. And let me tell you, there's always gonna be a squeak.

Benedikt: Yeah,

Malcom: It's okay that there's a

Benedikt: there

Malcom: your guitar track.

Benedikt: Ex. Exactly, exactly. Yeah. So, um, yeah, let, let, let's dive into like the, like some more actionable things that you can do. I'd say, um, part of it that works for me at least, is to separate the prep work from the actual sessions and actually making music. Um, this is something I do in the studio too, where I try to make sure. I have different sort of, I'm in a different sort of state of of mind when I, when I mix versus when I prepare sessions or, you know, fix something in the studio. So, um, the better you, the better prepared you are when you actually sit down to just make music, the more fun it's gonna be. Because then you don't have to think about all those things that you forgot and then this is not working and you know, you have to look up another thing and before you know it, your time is basically over and you haven't really made music. You just, you were just troubleshooting. So, I would separate the two. Uh, it's the same thing, like when, when I track bands at the studio and I knew that we were tracking drums, for example, which takes a long time to set up and prepare. I would always make sure that the band would come in the day before and we would spend like half a day or so setting up the drums, tuning, changing heads, and like moving mics around and all the nerdy shit. And then when we were done, when we were done with that, we would just call it a day and then come back in fresh the next day. And everyone was excited to just start recording right away. Versus what I did in the beginning was to, the band came in in the morning, we spent half the day setting up, and then nobody felt like making music anymore. So if you can separate the preparation from the actual session, that just helps. And then, uh, it's two different, you know, it's gotta be done, but like, it's two different things. And it, and the, the whole prep work and troubleshooting doesn't cause you to, to not enjoy making music anymore. Basically, if you're separated.

Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. This could be applied to your rehearsals as well. You know, if you're, if you're doing band meetings every week at your rehearsals, Like maybe set that to be the end of the jam. So you just show up, you play music and then you talk or vice versa, like whatever system works for you, but don't just kind of have it flip flopping, like in between each song you stop playing music and you have a serious chat. It just is gonna grind kind of like everything to a halt. It's gonna take people out of enjoying the playing because they're just now stressing out about whatever was just talked about. Um, in the band meeting, there's Yeah, like the more you can batch things and uh, isolate the type of activity, I think the.

Benedikt: Exactly, exactly. Another thing that I do is like to, to separate the practicing from actually writing and performing and recording and also to set aside time to improve your workflow and skills. And what I mean by that is I do that with mixing too. Like I'm not practicing or trying new tools or improving my, my tools or workflow while I am. Working on the sessions for my, the artist I'm working with, right? So when I do that, I focus on the, the things that I already know that I feel comfortable with, and I'm focused fully on the music and the creative parts of it, and the emotion and all of that. And I don't try new plugins, or, I mean, every now and again I do because I need something, but usually I try to stick with what I already feel comfortable with, just so I can fully focus on the music. And then I set aside time to improve my skills, to learn new plugins, to improve the workflow at the studio. And I do that separately. So, so that then I can, I can apply what I've learned in that session to my actual sessions, if that makes sense. Instead of doing it all, all the time and then nothing really, you know, um, if that makes sense. So I think there is a benefit to that. So if you're struggling with certain features of your do for example, maybe just, you know, set aside some time to just practice that, to figure that out. And then, and not, and don't do it while you actually just, you know, wanna record that song now. Uh, and, and that way. I think it's much more enjoyable and you can be more present and focused on the music, which is always more fun. So,

Malcom: yeah, definitely. When you're first starting out, learning to record yourself, it feels like it is an impossibly slow process and that it's just impossible to finish like a whole song because it takes so long to do everything. But that is just because you're not very fluent with knowing you're recording gear and your software, um, for that process. So it's just a matter of getting good at it. Uh, almost every industry agrees on this that you should never try out a new piece of gear. On a real gig, you know, you always want to plug it in the night before, at the very least, and, and play with it and, and figure out how it works before you're actually on the job site. Um, so if you think of the actual recording session with your band as the job site, just make sure you get to play with whatever you're doing before then as much as possible.

Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. Preparation is so important in general and, and, uh, and, and being in the right, I think everything's more enjoyable if you're fully focused. I think that's part of it too. It just gets frustrating when your mind's all over the place and you feel like you don't, you're not getting anywhere. And it's overwhelming. I feel the more you can focus on one thing, the more you enjoy it and you can go really deep and you know, and then you, you solve that problem and next time you can focus on something different. And when you want, when you work on music, you can be fully present with the music. And I think that's just, that's just a good thing in general. So, yeah. Um, the other thing is, it sound might sound obvious, um, the next thing here is listen to music you love and, and as well as like, new music. Just discover new artists and, and find joy in that and, and like have fun with that and let it inspire you. You know, just, that's something I forgot to do for a long time, really.

I just stuck to, you know, my reference playlists and, and of course like Fran bands and the stuff that I was working on. But it has been a while since I really started to just discover new bands again, listen to like playlists on Spotify and just see what comes up. And then every once in a while I'd be like, that sounds interesting, who is that? And I, I'd love to know who did that and, and you know, and that inspires me and that that's a just fun. And then I immediately have this sort of spark where I hear something exciting that I haven't heard before. And immediately my brain goes, I gotta try to make a sound like that. And, and I'm looking forward to the session now. And now it's fun because I have something that I'm excited about that I wanna do, you know? So that is definitely a way I think to, to bring back some of the fun.

Malcom: Yeah, a, a trick for me when it came to writing music was always learning new music. So every time I would learn a new song, it was like, oh, this is like a new approach or a new style. And that would give me ideas and I'd end up stumbling upon a riff. You know, as a result, it was like the quickest way to come up with song ideas was to learn somebody else's song. It's fascinating.

Benedikt: Totally. And I mean, we don't, we can't reinvent it anyways. Like it's always, you know, you draw on what's been done before and you put your own twist to it and, and, uh, on it and, um, make it your own and, and further develop what's already there. But it's unlikely that you can invent something completely new. So we need this inspiration anyways.

Malcom: Yeah, totally. And, and so much of music is muscle memory, so you might not even realize it, but you fall into these patterns of like what frets you're playing or, or what rhythms you're playing, strumming patterns. So by learning a different one, uh, it, it just kind of like expands what's possible in your brain.

Benedikt: To Totally, absolutely. Cool. Uh, and the next one sounds very simple too. Here is just jam. Um, and I, I think you have done that lately, Malcolm, where you don't, you know, you have a session without any agenda and without any plan or any, you know, things to do. You just sit down and jam. And if

Malcom: Yeah,

Benedikt: of it, that's fine too, you know?

Malcom: it, it's really fun when there's no, no reason, you know, it's not a rehearsal, it's not, uh, like we gotta get this down for a, a show. It's just jam. Usually we're just making stuff up as we go. It's like literally as low pressure as possible. So it's a lot of fun. Um, and I think most people probably started their bands doing exactly that. They got together for a jam and then things developed from there. So see if you can get back to that original.

Benedikt: Yes, exactly. That's a good thing. Um, you mentioned that, that sometimes we just have to remind our. Of what we did when we started this in the first place. Like there was a certain feeling, a certain excitement, a certain thing we did that we loved. And, and if we can bring that back, uh, that can only be fun. You know, I've heard this in other areas too, where, when it comes to like personal development and stuff like that where people talk about, um, when you sort of. When you don't feel like you have a, a purpose or a vision for your life, or you kind of feel lost, you know, to have a crisis, whatever. Then I heard this advice of, uh, to, to like think about what excited you when you were a child. A child, like things you love to, to do when you were, uh, little and, and see if you can do the, some of these things again or similar things or like bring back that, that feeling because we have some natural, you know, things that, that we just enjoy doing and we haven't really thought about it before. We just do it, did it automatically. But as adults we kind of think, we like overthink everything. And with music it's the same. When we were like starting our first bands as teenagers, we didn't think about anything. We just want to jam and and have to band and now we tend to overthink it all. And if you can bring that back and remind yourself of how it felt like 15 years ago or so, that can really help I think.

Malcom: Yeah, kind of on the same topic of jamming is, is the interaction you get with other people, jamming with different people. Um, and when you've been in a band for a long time, you kind of start predicting what other person's gonna do, which is really, you know, powerful and great in, in a lot of cases. But there's something to be said for jamming with different people because it's that same thing as like learning a new song. You get exposed to just a different approach and different feel and different riffs, different whatever. And it that can also be really exciting and fun, but also help creativity, I

Benedikt: Absolutely. And, you know, more people in the room. Uh, this is a thing that comes up in the outline here later too, is like, um, you know, it's just more fun with others usually, and more ideas, you know, more, you know, I don't know. It's just def definitely can, can unblock you. I'm happy to help you get rid, uh, overcome like roadblocks like that. Yeah. Okay. Go ahead Malcolm,

Malcom: Well, I was just thinking that when, I remember when writing with my band every once in a while, like, not every song's gonna be a winner.

Benedikt: Yes.

Malcom: You know, sometimes the majority of the songs won't be winners, and that can be defeating because not everybody in the room realizes that the song sucks. Sometimes it's you that thinks it's gonna be great, but you, you kind of have to get to the finish line to realize, all right, this one's a dud. Uh, but sometimes even more painfully, I think, you know, it's a dud, but you just gotta suffer through and write the song anyways. Um, and you just got to be okay with that. You just gotta like, come to terms with, not every song's gonna be a hit. You just got. Go through the process and realize that you are learning something, even by writing a bad song.

Benedikt: yeah.

Malcom: As weird as that is, just try and enjoy the process. You're just making music after all. You can't like force a good song, so just go through it, get the song done. Uh, enjoy it. Even if you're not gonna play it live, or even if you're not gonna end up recording it, you never know. One of those parts of that song might join, like be used in a good song down the road. So it might seem like a waste of time at the, like, while you're writing it, while you're polishing this turd. But it, it might, it might end up being good down the, down the road.

Benedikt: Absolutely. I had this a couple of times in the coaching program where students would like, like particularly one student I can think of, without saying who it is, but he, he, um, got frustrated because he wrote a bunch of songs and like none of them, and he felt like he just wasn't able to write good songs and he was like, felt like giving up, you know? And then we listened to his ideas on the group coaching call and we were like, and the whole group. In this song, this part is actually really great. And in this song, this idea, this part is actually really great. And we found a couple of these nuggets and then he was able to like, put it together and, you know, they, he had a great song, sort of like, he had a couple of starting points for, for a couple of great songs actually. And he kind of combined them into something new. And so totally what you said there, so true and in general, I mean the, it's easier said than done, but don't be so hard on yourself. I don't, you don't. Why, why would you deserve that? You know, you don't want to be mean to yourself and, uh, you can be proud of whatever of what you do, and you're probably doing great. And, and at the end of the day, what's the worst case scenario? If that song is not great, like, you know, no one's gonna die. And it's like,

Malcom: Yeah.

Benedikt: and you know, it, it's not usually not that important. It is important to us, but it's not a life or death thing. It's not something to worry about or to something that we should really get to us, you know?

Um, so yeah,

Malcom: Yeah, it, it's, it, it just is what it is. Like time is obviously valuable, but it's also the, in this particular case, it's just something we have no real control over. So you just gotta just go with it, create, make, make the process work. Um, just keep writing, uh, and, and try and enjoy it.

Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. And also the things that need to get done, because there will always be some things that are not as much fun, but they just have to get done. You can even learn to enjoy those too. Something I always do with myself is I do a lot of tasks that I don't really enjoy, but I have to do. Uh, that's just part of, of my work and as much as I try to automate things and outsource things, but there's still gonna be something that I have to do that I don't enjoy. But you can turn those things kind of into a game. Um, and I try to always make it fun somehow. You know, I try to, to either, I try to like score myself. I'm very, I'm a very competitive person, so I try to come up with things to just make it fun. And then you can also reward yourself if you have to. You can be like, okay, if I just get this done now. This is an accomplishment and then whatever. Just, just something to make you feel better about it. Jump something to get to look forward to, to be excited about. And, uh, just, you know, gotta be a little creative here, but, um, I think you can learn to enjoy even the tedious things. I learned that as a kid actually when I was ha when I had to do chores and, and stuff. Like, I always found a way to make it enjoyable. And you can do that same thing.

Malcom: Told that. Yeah, that, that's a great tip. Just there's a way to kind of gamify anything, um, you know, be, be it how fast you do it, um, coming up with different ways to do it. Like whatever, there's, there's a way to kind of make it less tedious and, and less annoying. I, I think one another point that could be made on this kind of related to this topic is that, If you realize that not everything is equally important, or, or like, like we were saying, not every song is gonna be your hit. Um, not every song's gonna be good, so don't think that you have to do every step of the process for every song. Um, so if you, like, we preach really good pre-production on this podcast a lot, and like if you're doing pre-production, you might as well do it right, because those tracks might be like keeper, you know, you might end up with guitar tracks that are already done by the time you record the album. That's amazing. Um, and you need to make sure they're really in tune. You need to make really good pre-production tracks, but you don't need to do that if the song sucks, because you don't need to record the song at all. I mean, you, you should record the song so you can just listen to it. But like, you don't need to do it in that way, right? So don't think you have to take every song to the finish line because that, like, if you just know it's no good, there's no reason to spend all of that time on

Benedikt: Yeah, so good. It's so important to know when to get out, uh, and to, there's this, um, I can always think of like other areas where this will, the supplies, like there's this, the sunk, I think it's called sunk cost fallacy sort of thing, where people invest a lot in, into something and then they think they have to finish it just because they already invested so much into it. And what that leads to is they usually just end up losing even more. And it, because it never really turns into something. And that's the same thing. Just because you've invested time into a song doesn't mean you have to finish it. You can quit. Uh, and it's better to, to quit early than, than to to finish it and it's still isn't good, and then you've wasted even more time. But we tend to believe that we now have to do it just because we put so much into it already. And this is just a fallacy. This is not.

Malcom: Yeah. Yeah. Here the example is you buy 12 beer, you drink four of 'em, you feel great, and you just keep drinking all of them, and you feel terrible.

Benedikt: Yeah, that's a good way to think about it too. Yeah, exactly. I gotta finish those because I bought them.

Malcom: Yeah.

Benedikt: yeah, yeah. Knowing when to get out also, um, Again, if you're not, if, if it's not your job and nobody's depending on you, like writing music, and if you don't have to to show up, like no, no, then you don't have to show up if you don't feel like it. That's what I wanted to say. Um, you can, you know, it's probably okay to just, you know, um, do something else instead and come back later. It's probably not the end of the world. And, um, it all depends on your goals, of course. But if you were working, if you've been working on a song for a while, it, it leads to nothing. It goes nowhere. The song is not good, then just quit. And if, if that kind of ruined your day and you don't feel like making music again, now just quit for the day and come back tomorrow, you know, if nobody, it's a different thing for like professional songwriters, maybe when there are deadlines and stuff. But if nobody depends on you writing music, you know, throw away that song idea. Come back fresh tomorrow, start something new.

Malcom: Absolutely that, that's like a great point and you should think about that. On like a schedule routine level as well. Um, figure out when creativity works for you. Um, so like for, for me, I do much better work in the morning than I do in the evening. The idea of trying to write a song or even record a song late at night, just like makes me shiver. There's, there's no juice left in my tank late at night. I just want to be sleeping.

Benedikt: yeah.

Malcom: All of my energy is in the morning, and other people are the total opposite. So if you are finding yourself in that situation where you're tr like the, you, the only time you've set aside for your, uh, recording project, for example, is late at night and you just can't get results late at night, you gotta figure out, you just gotta wake up early and do it in the morning or fi figure out another way to get it into a more optimal spot for you.

Benedikt: totally. Pay attention to your natural rhythm. And it's interesting for me that. I is the same. I have most energy in the morning, but I can do different types of tasks best at different times of the day. So, for example, deep work that requires a lot of thinking and problem solving and like really a lot of energy. Absolutely mourning, um, strategic work, you know, thinking deep works type of stuff. Um, interestingly though, creative things that don't require a lot of like, really like thinking and brain power, but more of like intuition and just going with the flow. I'm better at that when I'm actually slightly tired already. So sometimes I find myself do better mixes or even like riding or just jamming away in the afternoon when I'm, I don't have enough energy anymore to really overthink it and I just let it happen. And, and, you know, and I, I don't know, that's a, so creative things is for me sometimes better later in the day. Deep work stuff. Absolutely. In the mornings. And then whatever time is left, I, I do, I use for just tasks that just need to get done, you know, like the, the, the sort of. Don't think just do it, you know, type of work. Um, there's always al almost always room for that. But important is that you know, your own rhythm and also you'll have like ups and downs. For me, for example, I usually get relatively, yeah, sometimes in the afternoon I will start to get tired and then, but then I find that in the evenings, like sometime after dinner, sometimes even I get a second sort of high sometimes where I could do more work. Usually I try to still go to bed early and stuff, but I could do work actually at night after a certain, like after certain ti break, you know? So I get that sort of second wind and another, you know, energy, um, thing in the evenings and you just have to pay attention to that. And. When you do, when you're able to, to do your best work, and maybe you, you can spot a pattern, you know, maybe you feel like, yeah, you're, that's right. Like the last three great songs I, I've written, I've all done them, you know, Saturday evening or whatever, or whenever. And then, you know, that probably works for you.

Malcom: absolutely. Uh, and different things for different times, like you kind of mention. I do my work in the morning, but I can study like crazy at night.

Benedikt: Oh yeah. For exa that's a good one too. Me too.

Malcom: that totally works for me. Um, so you'll figure out what works for you and it can change. Like I used to be a night person now I am not, so

Benedikt: totally. Same

Malcom: if that's just getting old.

Benedikt: Yeah, no, same here. You can absolutely change. I think staying consistent is more important. You can change and then after a while of staying consistent, you adapt basically. And then you find a new, you have some natural cl uh, some sort of natural clock, I think. But I think we, we can still adapt

Malcom: rhythm.

Benedikt: Yes, exactly, exactly. But I think to a degree you can change that and adapt. Um, but you just gotta find out for yourself. What's important is that you pay attention to it. Um, then again, collaborate with others. Um, we talked about that before. I just wanted to add that if there are things that you absolutely hate to do, no matter what, which time the day, you know, whatever, uh, you just don't like it. You can't turn it into a game. You just can't. You just, you know, don't do it. You just, uh, avoid doing it. Just know that there are people, Definitely who love doing the things that you hate to do. Believe it or not, there are gonna be people who love doing these things and who are good at it and fast at it and maybe not even expensive. And so, um, collaborating is always a good idea to make it more fun and to make it quicker. And it's fun in general. Maybe it's not even a pay thing. Maybe you find a group of people that you just make music together, like in a band or an online collaboration or something. And more brains. It's like more creativity, more ideas, frequent feedback, outside perspectives. It's just fun. A certain sense of accountability also. And um, and yeah, that, you know, you don't have to do all the things if you can't find a way to make it fun. Find somebody, somebody else to do it.

Malcom: Yes. Yeah. It, it, a delegation doesn't have to be a dirty word.

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: Somebody might be happy that you have assigned a job to them. Um, so it just, when you figure that out, it really levels up like the, especially in a band situation, if you can delegate tasks across the band, it really increases like output and pro productivity.

Benedikt: Yeah, totally. And the next one is really big for me too. That's the ultimate like, reason for me why I want to, to be in a band and especially on stage and have, feel that energy and like yell into the microphone and all the things I do in a, in a hardcore band, it's like, um, Pay attention to, I think, your thoughts and feelings, certain events in your life and how you deal with those and use music as an emotional outlet and, and just pay attention to how good it feels to make music and, and rediscover that. Because music can be sort of a, a therapy definitely. And, you know, it can be a way to communicate or it is a way to communicate. And once you rediscover how good that feels and what that does to, for your men, for your mental health, it's, it starts to become fun again. Definitely. That, that's what, what happened with me in, with like my new band, the moment we started playing shows again and I was able to just scream into a microphone and, and jump around on stage and feel the energy from the audience and all of that.

That was so good that I, that, that it made me want to be in a band again, just because that felt so good. So

Malcom: Yeah, that, that, that's wicked. Um, Benny, can you book a show for when I'm coming to Germany? Can you? That'd be really fun for me.

Benedikt: Y Maybe. Maybe, maybe. Yeah. Uh, that's actually good. A good idea. Yeah. Let, let's, let's try and make that work. Yeah. So, so cool. Yeah. I would love to, to see you there. So, yeah, I think, you know, um, that is, um, that is really, that is really important. And like if you're going through, you know, a hard time or whatever, maybe making music is exactly what you need, um, to deal with that or to help you deal with it. So, and, and I think that's at the core of it, right? I think all art basically is sort of an expression of like the events in our, in our life and what happens to us and how we deal with it and how we want to communicate. That's ultimately what it's all about. So maybe try to reconnect with that. Then, you know, again about collaborating. I think not only is collaboration good, but like, show it to others and be proud of your work and don't be afraid to show it to someone, because I think getting positive feedback on your music, Is really, really rewarding. It will boost your confidence and the more confident you are, the more fun you're gonna have. And just know that your music is not only helpful for yourself, your music matters and might be life changing for someone else. Like if you start releasing music and overcome that fear and show it to people, show it to friends, um, you know, you, you might not just get, um, good feedback. That might be bad feedback, I don't know. But in general, um, it, it feels good to put it out there, get feedback and, and usually, I mean, it depends, but usually you'll get good feedback, at least from your friends and family and stuff. And, and if you, somebody's gonna resonate with your music and, and the moment you discover that your music matters to someone else, that's definitely fun and definitely a confidence boost and just feels rewarding.

Malcom: It can be so rewarding. I've had somebody come up to me and tell me that like a song of ours has saved their life through a depression, which is like incredib. Emotional and, and so like, yeah, like really mind blowing. They were like literally crying, telling me this. It's like, whoa, didn't expect that. It's not what we set out to do and it's way better than what we set out to do. You know? Um, we've had people like send us like, like drawings and paintings of us. It's like, you know, like you don't realize how much what you create can impact somebody else. Because usually when we write a song, it's because we're coping with something that we're going through. But it can, it can be even more useful and powerful for somebody else, which is really amazing to think about. And that brings me to the next idea of reflecting on what you've accomplished and achieved with your music. Uh, can really remind you why you're doing it and just how rewarding it is to be doing it. So if you get caught up in, you know, the grind. Of having to output and having to rehearse and all of these things, and it's tiring you out. If you reflect on like what all of that work has done, it can really help remind you that like, wow, this is pretty cool that I get to do this. And that it is impacting other people in this way or impacting you in certain ways as well. Um, you know, when I, the memories I have of like our best shows is so valuable to me and it, it, I'm just so happy that those memories are, are there forever.

Benedikt: Oh yeah, to definitely. Totally. And you said a very important thing there. You get to do this and you gotta remember this. You don't have to do it. You get to. You could be, I mean, gratitude is a big thing here too. You could be in a different situation where you would have to spend, you know, farming and hunting or whatever all day just to like survive. Or you could have to, you know, struggle to, to get by and, you know, and would, like, there's so many people on this planet who, who don't have time to do something like that. And to be able to just to be able to have the time to create art and communicate and like that and express yourself like that, that's a privilege and that's something we should be very grateful for. And the fact that you get to do this and get to impact others with it, and you're free to do this and you have time to do this, this alone, if, if you put that into perspective is like, makes it feel good. I think it's, um, it's not something you have to do. It could be way worse. It's like something you get to do really. And, and so, yeah.

Malcom: It, it really is, even if it's not at the level. Shit was, you're still getting to do it at a level which is, you know, really a pretty awesome thing.

Benedikt: Yeah. And the world needs it. You know, we need art. We need, um, to express ourselves. We need this, this outlet we like this is, the culture is, that's so important. Like, imagine a word without that. So, um, you, you, you're, you, you're the, you, you have the privilege to be a part of that and to get to com contribute to that. And, um, that is, that is fantastic. So, yeah.

Malcom: Is is music taught in school in Germany?

Benedikt: Yeah, it is

Malcom: They're, they're trying to remove it out here, and they have in some places. It just, I can't wrap my head around what evil people are

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: making these decisions. It's like they, it's so dumb.

Benedikt: Blows my mind. Like the school that my daughter goes to is like, they call themselves a musical, like the literal translation would be a musical elementary school, sort of where they, um, they focus a lot on music. They actually use music in all the other, um, parts that they're teaching too. Not just in music class, but like all the other topics that they teach. They, they use music to do that. And, um, they have a lot of like, concerts throughout the year and a lot of projects that involve music, they use l Music as a learning tool and, and it's so great. It's so cool. But the, what's so sad is that only a couple of people, like very few people actually think like, like us, like our family and we, uh, and support that. And a lot of people don't see the value in it, and they are trying to, you know, Why do, do, like, they're saying things like, why do these kids need to sing and dance all day? And they, uh, should aren't, they're supposed to like, learn how to read and write and like, what, you know, they don't have to, they don't see the value in it. And I'm, I'm so grateful that they do it, and I see how good it is for the kids. I see how, how easy it becomes to learn other things and how valuable this is. But unfortunately, a lot of people don't see this.

Malcom: like from an AC academic standpoint, it's so good for like your, your brain and problem solving and, and memory skills and motor skills and, and, and like pa problem solving and patterns. It's like, it's in, it's, it's obviously beneficial in all of those ways, but it's also this huge social learning tool. It's a communication learning tool. It's a coping like medicine. Uh, everybody in, everybody on the planet listens to music. Like, I mean of, of course everybody that has hearing ability listens to music, right? It's universal in that way. So how could people not think That's wise? Don't get me wrong. I think the, the music program, uh, in, in our schools in Canada is, is ridiculous. Like, it, it's a band, right? Like, you know, big band kind of format. You know, they probably average like less than a 10th of a percent of people that actually go on to be musicians that go into the music program, which is ridiculously low. But even that, I think is still a good thing. It doesn't really matter if they end up becoming musicians. Like the program could be much better, you know, could be, uh, something relevant about, you know, creating music that people actually like to listen to and that these students enjoy. But that's my own rant. The, just the fact that they get ex they have the option to be exposed to music is, is obviously so powerful.

Benedikt: Yes. Period. Absolutely. Yeah. Um, yeah, to totally blows my mind.

Malcom: And we're, we're off topic.

Benedikt: Yeah, but no, that's, but that's important. But that, that, yeah. No, but that's

Malcom: I'm so worked up.

Benedikt: yeah. No, but that's,

Malcom: Canadian export. Like we, it's a, one of our,

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: Like we got Bieber and Shawn Mendes and stuff on the weekend. It's like, it's a huge Canadian export and they don't invest anything into it. So dumb.

Benedikt: yeah. It's so dumb. Blows my mind too, like, but yeah, I don't know. And but so, um, yeah, back, back on that, back on topic though, and it, it is kind of related though, and thank you for bringing it up and I, I totally agree with everything you said there. Um, the next thing on the list would be for me that. Sometimes the fact that it's not fun at the moment is actually a good thing, or you can't kind of embrace that or just know that you will get through it because nothing really worth doing is, is easy really. So the fact that you have to work for it, you have to learn it, you have to put in some effort to get better at it just means that it is something important and something worth doing. If it was easy all the time, you wouldn't actually enjoy it that much. And we really only enjoy those things that we have to work for. And, and so don't expect it to be easy and don't expect it to be like, um, you know, um, something that is just you, you, you can do wherever and always feel good doing so. Um, It is good that it is hard and that it challenges you because then when you get through it and when you accomplish it and you write your first song, you really enjoy it. Imagine the difference between writing your own lyrics that mean something to you and getting that done versus entering a prompt into chat, G P T and that getting lyrics from that. In both cases you would have a song and they would both be about the topic that you want it to be about, but which one would feel better and and more rewarding. The one that you fought for and you know, put hours into and it was hard to get to those lyrics, but then they mean something to you at the end. And this is just part of it,

Malcom: And it, it, it's the same for every, everything you do.

Benedikt: Yes.

Malcom: Um, book recommendation, the obstacle is the way. Can't recommend it enough. Uh, such a good book that really drives this point home. But, uh, yeah, it should be hard. It's told the, it's a good sign if it's, uh, if it's work.

Benedikt: Yeah, exactly. Um, and also trust the process and learn to enjoy this process. It's not about the, the results, it's about enjoying the small steps to take along the way and just trusting that if you keep doing that, you will eventually get there. It like, it compounds, it's like, seems like small progress now, but you will get there if you just don't give up. And, um, and then at the end you will, you will reap the, the, the benefits and the rewards and it's, it's gonna be awesome. Um, the next thing is also related to that actually, and it's, you brought up the, the obstacle the way by Ryan Holiday. He's a big teacher of like the, the whole stoic philosophy thing that I, I love to, to read about too. And one thing that the stoics actually also says, I think is a Seneca quote, is that we suffer more in imagination than in reality. And this is relevant here because often. It's not really the fact that it is so hard or not enjoyable, but it's like the fear and the insecurity that make us feel bad or make it seem less fun. It's not that we really suck or that it's really too hard right now, we're just overwhelmed before we even try looking at this big project that we have in front of us. And we, we are overwhelmed before we even start. But then when we finally start and just take the first step, we realize that it is actually doable and fun. It's some, so sometimes we just go through this whole project in our mind, suffering through it and like, um, feeling bad and like that, that we suck and we get insecure and we think we can't do it. But it's actually not real. It's just in our imagination because we haven't even started. And, you know, there, there's this quote, I think, um, mark Twain, uh, quote that I love where he says, uh, I, I suffered, I think he says something like, um, I've gone through like terrible. I've gone through many, many terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened. So

Malcom: That's awesome. I like that a lot.

Benedikt: I've, I've lived through many terrible things, some of which actually happened. Yeah. And, and that's, that's so good. And I find myself doing that all the time. You know, I have something in front of me and I, I suffer through all of it as if it already happened when it actually, I didn't even, I haven't even started and already makes me feel bad and, you know, doesn't make sense.

Malcom: Very good. Um, yeah, I think an example that musicians could relate to is like, you get together and jam with your band and you have fun and you go play a show with like a ton of people in front of you and it's really fun. And then you play a show where there's like two people in the audience is an empty bar and it's just like, terrible. You just like, ah, this sucks. And like they're, they're not listening, you know, or, or worse yet you're a rock band and it's like a sit down venue.

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: just trying to enjoy their, your dinner and you're like, ah, this is awful. But there's no difference between that and your rehearsal space really. Right. When you think about it, why isn't it as fun as the rehearsal? It's just you and your friends on stage playing music and it's like, it's entirely imagined that this is an awful situation. You, you don't have to think about it that way.

Benedikt: You're so right. Yeah. That's a such a good example. Absolutely. And actually I, yeah, yeah, totally. Let's leave it like that. I never, I never

Malcom: I realize that's easier said than done.

Benedikt: yeah. But I also never, I wanted to say that I never really understand. I, I never really understood bands who would, um, make it really obvious that they don't enjoy their show right now. It's such a weird thing to watch from the audience's perspective when I'm like, I mean, I'm here and I paid to see this, or I, I made, I made my way here. Like, I'm here to see this. Why would you not do your best now? I mean, I'm, it's not my fault that the others didn't show up. You know? And like, you always have to do your best and you, and it doesn't, it doesn't even have to suck. Like you said. Like, you have fun. You should have fun just playing music regardless of the circumstances. And, and yeah, we, we all know the other perspective too. It's sometimes not as easy, but still you should, I think, and. And with recording projects, same thing. You, you look at this when you do it for the first time and you, you fir, you hear what goes into recording a song. For example, like the people who start the coaching program with me and they see their roadmap, they see the phases of like producing a song or a record. Yes. That feels, that can't feel overwhelming. That's also the reason why I don't give people all the action plans at once, but I start at step one and when that is completed, we do step two and, and so on and so forth. Because if you look at the whole thing, it makes you want to give up because, because it's so much that you have to learn. There's the gear aspect, there's pre-production, there's arrangements, there's recording, editing, mixing, mastering, consolidating, like all these things. Um, But you don't have to suffer through all of that before you start. You can just focus on the first thing and make that fun. And when you've done that, you can go onto the next thing. And each step is fun. Each step is different, a different challenge. And, and so don't, don't be so hard on yourself. And then the next one, you edit this Muk, which is great. Um, also about fun, of course, having a fun, a four fun outlet.

What is that for you?

Malcom: Yeah, so I mean, that could be anything you want. Some people like to go to open mic nights, um, you know, and just try out a new song or play a cover or whatever. Or even just sit there and watch other people play. Um, yet it could be going to a concert and not performing. Could just have, uh, a group of friends you jam with that aren't your, you know, your serious band. It's just, Jamming for fun. Just have, uh, an outlet that is musical that is purely for fun. That is the goal of this point. Um, and I totally wish I did more of this, uh, cuz it like all became professional for a long time. And if I had, I think I would've maintained my relationship with music a lot to a, to a lot healthier degree. If I had a for fun, I would outlet at the same time.

Benedikt: Interesting. For me, it's probably my, my one band that I have is the for Fun Outlet, because my job is the other part of it, you know, so I have this, this for fun outlet with my band. If you are in a band or you're making your own, um, records and it's not your gig, um, and you still, and you feel overwhelmed, then maybe you need a, a second like side project where we don't have any goals or it's just for fun, like Malcolm said. Um, but, but definitely the, the open night, mic night or jam sessions. Yeah, we have, we have, there's a venue here in town where there's like frequently they, they just do, yeah, open stage jam sessions type of thing. Um, super awesome. Uh, and. And try, I would really make it a point to, to not have any ambition or goal or anything there. Just let it happen and, and just use it as a, as a purely for fun outlet, really. Yeah.

Malcom: That's the, again, the topic of this episode was music should be fun. Um, so just make sure you're finding ways to keep it fun. If, if you're not, if you're dreading your, what, what you're gonna have to do later in the day that, like your musical hour, if you're dreading that, it's time to reflect on that and figure out why and, and what can be done to change your perspective on that.

Benedikt: Yeah. Malcolm, did you ever, with your band, when you found some success and when you, you know, you were pretty successful with your band and like, did you, did it ever get to the point where this turned being in a band and making music back then, like into something that wasn't as much fun anymore? Like I, I'm just asking because. I never had that with my band. We, we were, we, we were touring Europe, of course, and we had like, um, small record deal and all of that, and that was like very cool and definitely achievements, but it wasn't, it was far from being a job. It was always a, a fun thing on the side. And we had some opportunities where we could have turned it into something bigger, like, and, and monetized it more and turn it into some sort of career. And I always was afraid of that, to be honest. It sounds like the dream, but I actually, I preferred to focus on the studio side of things and I was afraid of doing that with my band because I loved doing it so much that I was afraid that if I turn this into a job, I might not enjoy it as much anymore. And then it becomes something I have to do, and that's something I want to do. And I could separate that with like the work that I'm doing for other people. I enjoy that too. But when I do it for other people, it's okay for me that it is kind of a job, but with my own music, my own art, I didn't want that to be a job. So my, my question again is like, did you ever feel like. It was not as much fun anymore doing your own music once it turned into a career.

Malcom: Yeah, I think so.

Benedikt: Okay.

Malcom: And, and I, it's, it's honestly, I think that falls on, on me personally, um, by not doing what we talked about in this episode enough. Um, just not finding ways to keep it fun. There were things that I always would enjoy. Um, for example, the thing keeping me going was the, the, the, the best shows, the, you know, the, the, the OneNote of 10 show where it's packed and, and just everything goes awesome, sounds great. All of these requirements. Um, and actually like it, I wasn't alone in this. I know that other people have had this, but, uh, I've talked with some other musicians about what I call post show blues. Um, Benny, have you ever had post show blues where something is so good and you have like, so many endorphins that after it's gone, you kind of get depressed?

Benedikt: Yes, for sure. That actually is the reason why you get depression, like after the same thing. It happens with drinking. When people get the post alcohol depression, you, you're so ecstatic while you're drunk that the next day is completely messed up because you, you have nothing left. Same thing can happen with a show. Yeah,

Malcom: Yeah. And, and when you're touring and you have a great show and you get that rush and then you get this like quite literally natural depression after it because your body's just like, I've used up all the happiness that was available, and then you have. Like eight hours of driving across the center of Canada to a show with a grumpy bar lady yelling that we're too loud and there's nobody there.

Like, it, like was just like shattering

Benedikt: Yes,

Malcom: and, and it, in reality, like it's imagined, it's not shattering. I'm, I'm getting to travel and play music with like, some of my best friends and we're playing our own songs and stuff like that. And we just played a, a sold out show. We should be happy.

Benedikt: yeah.

Malcom: Um, but like, that got really, really tough and, and all of the other stuff like it there, we were trying to do it for real. So there's like, there's money on the line, there's, uh, you know, you're away from, from your, your loved ones for months and, and, uh, like there's so many things to it. Interband relationships can get really tense and stuff like that. It's, it's a lot of things that can make music not fun if you're not careful.

Benedikt: Yes, yes, absolutely. To totally. And, and some of these things aren't really a problem. There's reasons for that. And if you are aware of that, you can maybe, you know, breathe, control yourself a little bit, like, know that it's not actually terrible and there's a reason for why you feel like that, and then it's not as, as bad anymore.

Malcom: Yes. Yeah. Um, yeah. Postal blues. I kind of forgot about that until you

Benedikt: me too. Like that brings up, that's, that brings back so many memories of like exactly. Those situations and Yeah, and in a different, like on a different day that same show where nobody's, there would've been great fun, you know? Or like there's some reason still to enjoy it, but on the, on the wrong day, it's like shattering, as you said,

Malcom: yep. Yep. Yep. And yeah. Um, just side tips on the post show blues thing. Uh, for, for people, if you're listening and experiencing that, obviously people often drink at concerts, including the musicians. That doesn't help things with the post show blues. It's just like an amplifier to how terrible you're gonna feel the next day and sad. So, uh, so if you are recurringly getting this stay sober, play the show, you'll play better anyways. Um, it just, yeah, it takes practice playing sober, um, if, if you're used to playing a little inebriated.

Benedikt: yeah.

Malcom: So, yeah. Um, yeah, by the end, my entire band, like we, we stayed sober for all the shows cuz it just was like, I can't perform, uh, otherwise. And, and I think the feelings afterwards were too rough.

Benedikt: Yeah. Yeah. I do the same too. When I play, um, this, like, I, I remember one, I have one show where I was really drunk and that was a disaster. Uh, it happened once and I played a lot of shows, uh, and that this wasn't the reason that I stopped it. I didn't do it before then. I just, I don't know why it happened once, but it happened and it was a disaster. And other than that, I really don't, I don't do it, um, because of many reasons. Also, I experienced the show better. That's another thing. I can be more present and if it, like, it's a different type of, a more intense experience to me.

Malcom: it is, yeah, I feel like the, it's, you know, people drink before playing calm nerves, but then that can actually kind of inhibit you in entering the flow state. Um, so it, it's like kind of, again, embrace the suck and, and the obstacle is the way, if you're nervous, it's cuz you're excited. So lean into that and you'll just explode on stage.

Benedikt: totally. You know, the thing with those types of, with that type of advice is though I just know that we probably won't convert a single person, because what happens is the, the ones who enjoy drinking and playing are like, fuck you. Like I, I

Malcom: totally.

Benedikt: it's part of it. And the others are like, yeah, I already know that.

So that, that's why I don't drink. But I don't think that any of those people who drink will now be like, Hmm, I now I will not drink anymore because they said it, but maybe, maybe, maybe we, maybe there's a chance.

Malcom: I'm not trying to convert anybody. I'm just, uh, yeah. Offering my experience and, and I mean, I, like, I would often have a beer or whatever, you know, like, it just, just, uh, I wouldn't lean into the alcohol. It was kind of the change that happened as I played more and more.

Benedikt: Yeah. Side effect. And that is real. Also a big one that affected, um, bands that I was in actually also. W like we all, when we're like, everyone's different, but to a degree we all don't, you know, we all change a little bit when we drink and we don't behave as well, or we say things we don't wanna say. And side effect, even if you're not turning into complete dick, um, what still happens is that when you're talking to promoters and other bands and like people there, you, you wanna be in control of like, the impression that you leave.

It's so important for your band. Um, it can be, you know, the, the, the difference between getting another call or being, you know, getting on to tour with another band, you know, being booked for another show or not. Because if you, even if you don't, you know, become a complete asshole, it's just if you're just annoying and, and don't, you know, you know what I mean? It's like, it can really affect your band in ways you don't want to, and you are gonna feel bad about it and you're gonna, um, you might even lose, you know, opportunities that you would've had had you been sober.

Malcom: Absolutely. Yeah. I, I, if you are a series band, like you're doing this for series aspirations, um, you've got goals. Being drunk at a concert is like insane to me. There, there's almost no circumstance that excuses that, um, both from the point of view of the audience you're interacting with, the other bands on the bill and the venue and show promoters as well.

Nobody wants to deal with a drunk person. Um,

Benedikt: Yeah.

Malcom: yeah, can't, can't really make sense of it. Um, been there, of course,

Benedikt: Yeah, for Of course, of

Malcom: but, uh, it's, uh, yeah, we, we had rules about that for sure. There's like, there, and don't get me wrong, there's, you know, parties happen, so, you know, you'll, every once in a while there'll be the promoter that wants to crack a bottle of vodka after the, the show is done and like, stay up until six in the morning with the bar closed down with you. And that's a different situation, you know? Um, but when you're on the clock still, that's not the, that that's not the case.

Benedikt: That's a total difference. However, the whole post show blues problem stays the same.

Malcom: Yes. Yeah. You will feel terrible if you stay up all night drinking with the bar owner.

Benedikt: Yeah. But that can totally happen. And if that's a kind, your kind of thing, and everybody's on the same board there and they got the same page there, then it's all, it's all good. Um, so cool. All right. How did we get there?

Malcom: I don't know. I feel like we went on a couple tangents. I, I digged into the Canadian school system. We talked about running, we talked about drinking at shows. We went all over. Big

Benedikt: I, I think, I feel like it's a good one though. I think it's a really good episode though. And at the end of the day, it is about having fun and so we have, we also get to get to do this podcast and we have fun doing

Malcom: Yeah, we do. Yeah. Yeah. There you go. There's another tip. Start a podcast.

Benedikt: Yeah. All right, so let's wrap this up. Um, if you got any value out of this, as always, please make a screenshot, post it on your socials, uh, tag at Malcolm own Flood at Benedictine, at the surf recording band. Tag us on Instagram, reach out to us. Um, share stories. We love to see those. We, we've applied to those. We share your posts. If you tag us, let us know. If this episode did, did help you, uh, we'd love to hear like success stories wins and if, if that helped you overcome sort of a, a block or, um, find like fun again making music, that would be awesome, um, to hear.

And yeah, uh, we appreciate you. Thank you for listening to the show.

Malcom: Yeah. Thank you so much everyone. We'll see you

Benedikt: you next week. Bye.

Malcom: Bye.

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