There are a million bands all searching for the golden ticket. I'm not going to hide it, we're one of them. If you ask any one of us what the goal of the band is, we might give different versions of the answer, but basically, it's about getting to play in front of numbers of people so large that we can't count them on our collective fingers, toes, and abacuses. I would very much like to be a famous rock and roll star and get the money that comes with it. And I'm not ashamed to admit it.
But we're also not idiots and we see that everywhere we turn there's another band that feels the same way, and in every venue we play, the booking agent makes us realize that we're one of 1000 bands that they book in their venue. So....why do we still love to do what we do? What's the reason that we all look forward to getting to Practice Night and what's the reason that we enjoy being part of the Thing we're part of?
This is What It's Like to Be In The Band.
You all have that friend or relative that's really close to you. So close that sometimes, while being together, an incident happens or something comes up in conversation and for the two of you (or several of you), a reaction gets triggered and you're immediately all on the same page either laughing without sharing a word, or high five-ing, or you all say the exact same thing at the exact same time.
It's a great feeling, and you wouldn't trade that feeling for anything.
That's what it's like to be in the band. We've played "Last Days" so many times that we could stop practicing it for a year and still get on stage and pull it off without a hitch. But the thing is, it's new and different for us every time we play it. The room sounds different, or one of the Mikes lost a string, or Brad tries a different fill. We are all people who play our instruments individually with different passions and different musical backgrounds. We have different reasons why we play and go through different emotions when we play.
But just as close friends high five without saying a word when a 'thing' happens, the guys in the band play their instruments together without needing to communicate when changes in the song or the room or the atmosphere happen.
And outside of the five of us, nobody else gets it. Even if we explain it to them. They don't see it when it happens on stage like we do, they don't hear it in recordings, but this is the truth: every time we play a song, we are each selfishly enjoying the opportunity to play a musical instrument that we love and selflessly making sure that we are giving room for the other guys in the band to do the same.
When there's a hiccup, we rally to each other and find the rhythm together by playing a little cautious and waiting for it all to fall back in line. When there's a great surge of emotion because somebody's feeling it, we respond to it and play harder and louder to meet them at their level of enthusiasm. When one guys loses it for a moment and either plays the wrong chord, drops a stick, busts a string, or forgets a line, we all hold the song together and collectively will our guy to get back on track. And regardless of how the song went while we played it, we make sure we finish it strong and we finish it together. We enjoy the end of every song just like the friends enjoy the high five or the simultaneous laugh.
When you're in the band, you get to selfishly play the musical instrument you love, and you get to selflessly enjoy watching your bandmates do the same thing at the same time....and almost all of the time, the song comes together.
That's What It's Like to be In the Band.