OCCUPATION: Guitar shredder
WHAT’S YOUR HUSTLE: I somehow got paid to play music full time. I pay my rent by playing guitar. WTF! I did it by playing music at small clubs, basements and warehouses all over the U.S. for seven years. I just kept at it ‘til I eventually caught the attention of some cool record companies and booking agents. I never gave up believing in myself and just made my art the best I could with what limited resources I had available. I never let the lack of attention from labels or the general public get me down. I was psyched to have the opportunities to play music on whatever scale I could. I never needed to be recognized for what I did, I was happy to just make music. But, eventually getting the chance to make money by being creative was a huge relief. It meant that I could give more time to following whatever crazy creative ideas I had and not be held back by a limited amount of time.
WHAT DOES YOUR HUSTLE MEAN TO YOU: It means I don’t have to sweat paying bills by working for the man. I worked so many nine-to-five jobs over the years while playing in bands. Now I have the time and energy to commit to being creative 24/7.
IF YOU COULD HAVE ONLY THREE TOOLS FOR YOUR HUSTLE, WHAT WOULD THEY BE: A cell phone, because it helps to be in touch while I am on the road; a guitar, because I need that shit to rock the fuck out on; and a backpack to hold my smelly t-shirts while I travel.
A WORD OF ADVICE TO WANNABE HUSTLERS IN YOUR FIELD: Just keep making music as much as possible. Finish every idea you have or at least run the numbers on an idea to see if whatever cash you currently have will be enough to help you accomplish what you wanna do. Don’t wait for someone to give you what you want, just go out and take it. Don’t be afraid to beg, borrow or steal whatever you need to get the job done. At the end of the day, no one will hear your almost-finished demo. You need to have something completed, no matter how good you think the finished product it. You can always take what you learned from making the first song/record/project and apply those new ideas to the next song/record/project. People don’t expect you to be perfect right out of the gate, so you shouldn’t expect perfection either. Having room to grow is what being a full-time artist/hustler is all about. If your first thing kills it, people will only be expecting bigger and better things from you, which is rad. You always wanna have the next bigger better idea brewing in your head, no matter how crazy it might sound to you right now. Stretching your comfort zones will only mean that you are growing. Don’t be afraid to fuck up or fail. Nobody ever got what they wanted by sitting on the sidelines. You gotta get your hands dirty and make mistakes to know where you need to improve and get stronger.