Contrary to the street wisdom I’ve heard advising us to never mix friends with business, life experience has shown me that it’s quite the opposite. It all depends on what type of friends you choose to work with, or if you’re even able to distinguish friends from acquaintances. I’m going to assume that all of those sayings about working with friends, love interests, or family come from the negative underbelly of the lives we lead. Let’s take a look at it from the “glass half full” vantage point, it’s the Friday before Labor Day, so I’m keeping it light-hearted.
Meaningful friendship is tied to personal growth, challenge, trust, and being able to learn from failure. Surrounding oneself with good people who make us feel good about ourselves to a point which never goes close to “blowing smoke up the ass” is a motivator. Having the ability to call me on my own bullshit by a trusted friend and advisor is valuable to me as a human. Friends that both trust us to fail as part of learning while instilling in us a drive to go beyond our limited perception of ourselves are pure gold.
I’m only as good as the person next to me. This is a fact and understanding as such is one of the keys to a good life. It’s applicable at work, at home, and with the family. In music, art and any form of self-expression it is MISSION CRITICAL. Perhaps it’s different for others, but my abilities are tied to my mental and spiritual state when performing. Listening takes compassion and empathy and a willingness to put yourself out there with no safety net. That’s not a thing you do with people that would use what they learn in that type of situation against you.
Performing is also similar to what I’d imagine a seance would be like, a journey into the spirit world to attain knowledge or across another plane of existence. Abso-fucking-lutely if you are doing it right. Any psychic negativity results in pulling everyone out of the creative zone, the vibe, or the groove. People have always been my connection to that source being referenced. The more I feel it, the more I get to stage infallibility, my confidence in the music grows to a fever pitch where all else disappears. Who else better to share this journey with than friends and loved ones?
At the end of the day, I believe the cliche I quoted earlier is taken from people who’ve gotten burned. I get it. I was kicked out of my own band, the band I founded when I was in my twenties and it broke my heart. If given the chance I would do it all over again because the experience was worth it. When you have to be fearless, its best to do it with people that have your back, with people that help you become more than yourself.