With SXSW coming to a close, I have been reflecting on music all day. How it’s shaped me, changed me, given me friends, given me family, frustrated me, let me down, and straight up confused me. And, I am looking forward with hope wondering how it will continue to shape my life.

Since the age of 12 (when I first started playing drums), I have always been surrounded by music in some form or fashion. Even before that, I was singing in community theatre musicals and “singing in the choir” at my elementary school. It would take me a whole series of posts to completely chronicle my musical endeavors, involvements, projects, accomplishments, frustrations, failures, opinions, and journey. SO, I’ll get to the point.

I never stopped thinking about playing music once I started. I literally think about playing music every day. Hmmm…maybe that’s a hint. Anyways, when I don’t do it on a regular basis, I can get pretty uneasy and really not realize why. It’s sort of an obsession—which could also be called a vice.

However, music has simultaneously been a vice and a virtue. Music has always had that ambiguous effect on me. I never know if I’m working for it, or the other way around. I feel the same way about acting and writing.

In that way “Art”, in my life, has always given me what I needed—but not always what I wanted. It has saved me when I needed saving, challenged me when I was in a rut, pestered me when I ignored it, soothed me when I needed comfort, and kept me cognizant of the most essential part of making any type of art—a deep and inexplicable feeling of joy. For me, it’s not a happy go lucky smiley kind of joy, it is from a far deeper well of emotion and it comes up to the surface like a river of exploding sensation. The feeling I get from playing good music is the closest I have ever truly known “God”.

Though I’ve had various forms of involvement in music throughout my life, lately I’ve been:

  • Launching a podcast covering the local music scene in Austin, TX.
  • Helping to organize a community music event that will coincide with the release of this podcast.
  • Working with my girlfriend on our musical projects and pursuits.
  • Playing drums…always playing drums…I’ve played drums so long I sometimes forget that I’m a drummer. That’s not meant to sound pretentious, I just usually don’t identify as drummer. Being a drummer to me is like being a human with skin. It’s just a fact of life.
  • Working out a song on piano or guitar occasionally.
  • Working on my Mandolin skills even more occasionally.

It’s a hobby for some, a passion for others, a job for even fewer, and a lifestyle for all. As far as vices go, there are far worse ones to have….I just couldn’t not include this one for the month. Plus, I like the ring of that rule.