By Seamus Anthony
Here is a slightly exaggerated list of the reasons why my music career kind of stalled …
1) Either by fluke or an initial burst of hard work, achieve a minor level of proficiency and/or success and then decide you have made it already, that the world owes you continued growth, success and adulation, and that you don’t need to try anymore.
2) Foster and fertilise your ego until it becomes so inflated that you can’t see around it anymore.
3) Believe your own hype.
4) Get stuck into drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes until you are both psychologically and physiologically addicted to both. Allow the unchecked consumption of these vices to eat up all of your cash, and destroy your health and your grip on reality. Eat badly and allow your fitness levels to plunge, and your body image to go to pot.
5) Don’t listen to other musicians and learn from them. Don’t listen to many different kinds of music. Don’t constantly read and research, ask questions, pay attention to what the Pros do, or invest any time whatsoever into learning new skills. And NEVER practice. Fail completely to plan your career in advance, and be very careful to utterly neglect to utilize any strategy or common sense whatsoever as you go about your business. MOST IMPORTANTLY – ALWAYS REFUSE POINT BLANK TO GET INVOLVED IN ANYTHING THAT EVEN VAGUELY RESEMBLES HARD WORK.
6) Believe every two bit, self-deluded, no-hoper Manager/Agent/Record Company Owner/Publisher and all of the lies and empty promises they feed you. Be eager to hand control of your career over to them, and happily let them go about destroying any chance you have of getting anywhere worthwhile.
7) Be impatient, irritable, irresponsible, unreliable, dishonest and lazy.
8 ) Pay no heed to the way you treat others. Forget who your real friends are, and disown your family. Harbour bitter, long-standing grudges against other people, and never, ever, try and see things from another person’s perspective. Always be rude and disrespectful.
9) Rampantly cheat on your lover, and then lie through your teeth to them about it. Use your perceived status to use up and hurt both your lover and those you cheat on your lover with.
10) Pay no attention to your financials; just let someone deal with that because you are an Artist and it is beneath you to have to think about money. Then, expect to always have all of your material needs met, at no cost to yourself, even when you have done nothing to earn this. Get angry, throw public tantrums and lay blame every which way but on yourself when you don’t get what you want immediately.
11) Make it clear to your fellow musicians that you alone are the star of the show. Get rid of any great musicians who have the balls to upstage you, or stand up to you and threaten your out-of-control, massively insecure ego. Resolutely keep using any crap musicians that you like to have around because they can somehow manage to swallow your bullshit (and smile while they chew), even if it’s obvious that they have absolutely no talent.
12) Blindly believe that your music is perfect in every way, and that anyone who provides you with any constructive criticism is a moronic philistine with bad taste and no idea about anything. Let the praises of the easily impressionable bloat your feelings of self-worth until you are in danger of bursting.
13) When things aren’t going your way, give into self-defeatism and depression, crawl into your hole, and self-medicate the pain away.
14) As the years slip past without any real progress being made, begin to foster massive feelings of cancerous resentment against the world and everyone in it. Let bitterness be your guide as you feel the disease of long-term disappointment stagnate in your veins and your heart grow black with despair.
15) Learn to counter your feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing by negatively criticizing others. Try to keep your gasping ego alive through feeble attempts to make yourself look better at other people’s expense.
16) When you have children, project your limiting beliefs onto them from an early age so that they may follow in your footsteps and likewise become masters of Zen and The Art Of NOT Becoming A Rock Star.
17) Die at an early age a broken, substance abusing, unhappy soul without a friend in the world and a family who hates your guts – because you were always nasty to them and don’t have any money to leave them when you go.