Everything is everything…
…I’m swimming in the sea, soaking up the sun, and pissing on a tree…
Now for something that isn’t mine…I’ve been falling in love with this band so much. Thanks so much to Austin for letting me rip this onto my computer.
I don’t remember what day I left, I don’t remember what day this is. All I know is something has been building, and when it exploded, the dust settled(at least i think the dust has settled?), and we’re still here playing music together, and we’re all still standing.
This has been the hardest tour I’ve ever been on, the most challenging, and also the most rewarding.
I almost killed Aaron in San Antonio. Not a joke, not something I’m proud of, but out of it came the most incredible set we had played that far into the tour, and it’s been getting better ever since. We all agree our best set was in New Orleans, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Just trying to sort out shit so I don’t forget what I want to write about.
I don’t think there’s any such thing as a sane musician. You don’t choose this way of life because your head is exactly right. The conditions are harsh, the road is rough, sleep and food are luxuries you take advantage of the moment they present themselves, and if you’re lucky, you live to play another day.
My happiness is equally matched to the sadness I carry in my heart…there’s no real easy way to say it, my brain goes through a million different emotions, and as a woman, the ability to hang with the boys in this industry is imperative, but that’s always been me regardless of where I was or where the road carried me. So many thoughts.
No filter…I guess I’ll just start with the almost killing Aaron part, because that’s the part that weighs the heaviest on my heart.
I’ve been down a lot of roads in my life, a lot of roads…seen more than my fair share of shit to say the least, and I’m not complaining. Most of my family sucks, and you could say I was born with a beer in my hand. For as much as I love life, I’ve also been very angry about the hand I was dealt, and on most days pretty good at dealing with it and making it into a hand I can play well enough with. Aaron is going through a lot, but it’s not my place to really share his business anymore than how it directly pertains to the punk band we share called SHiT. I will say I love Aaron so fucking much, and agreeing to be in a band with him has been one of the most challenging tasks I’ve ever undertaken. I went from working for him to being on an even playing field in sharing the stage with him. We both harbor a lot of deep emotions, and you never know exactly what is going to happen when you step onto a stage with someone.
I learned at an early age to keep your weakness to yourself. Mainly because there are people who will use them all against you the first chance they get. People are, in general, pretty fucked up. We’re all tripping in our own head space, and trying to sort it all out so we can somehow “function” in the real world. There’s no way to know what exactly is going to set someone off. I used to get popped in the back of the head a lot. If I wouldn’t sit still while my mom was brushing my hair, she’d thump me on the back of the head with the brush, and yell at me to stop squirming. I also got popped in the back of the head a lot by my uncles usually accompanied by, “What are ya, fuckin’ stupid?” or “You’re fucking worthless”. I’ve done a lot of therapy, as anyone who’s followed my writings already know. But I’m still, to say the least, pretty sensitive about the back of my head. A girl barely tapped me their when I was 16, and I broke out into a mess of uncontrollable tears for a good half hour.
While I’ve gotten better about most of my triggers, that one still has unpredictable results.
This journey first began with a phone call that lead to the official start of the band (SHiT) in January of this year. I knew Aaron was going through some shit, and I really try to be the type of person to just live and let live. You be who you are, I’ll be who I am, and we’ll get along fine. Tension builds on stage, and I just let Aaron do what he does…whatever he needs to get it out, he’s slapped me a few times on stage, and while it’s not my favorite, I just ran with it. I guess I figured he’d eventually get it out of his system, and I’ve tried to keep my retaliations to a minimum. I really don’t like being hit, or getting in violent situations, especially with people I care about. So I usually just kick at him, or swing my bass, just enough to get him to leave me alone and stay on his side of the stage. We never really talked about it. He thought everything was in good, clean fun…and for the most part it was only a slight annoyance. Kinda like the way my sister used to leave bruises all over me when we were younger. I laugh about it to avoid losing control, but in San Antonio, Aaron slapped me on the back side of my head I think during the 2nd song. I remember feeling the hit, and a surge of emotions, I remember swinging my bass and colliding it with a body. I remember being consumed by rage, and I went to pull my bass off with the intention of bringing it down on my enemy. Thankfully, the strap caught on my shoulder, and I got a brief moment of clarity to recognize their was no enemy and only Aaron.
It’s hard to explain what exactly transpired on the stage. I felt emotions I hadn’t felt in years, and out of it all mostly anger. I wanted to drop my bass and walk away, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave the stage without playing the full set, no matter what I was feeling, the show must go on. It took everything I had to save the tears for later. When the set was over, I packed up my gear, went straight to the van, and shut myself up in the back where we keep the gear and let the tears flow. Eventually, Aaron found me there, and the anger he felt came out in words.
I can’t explain the blind rage I felt to someone who hasn’t walked in those shoes. I can’t explain, and despite everything, it doesn’t make it right. I wish I hadn’t lost control, but what’s done is done. Out of it came the best set we’d played as SHiT, both of us not certain if this project was over or not. Both of us not really 100% sure exactly what happened. Aaron has been referring to the incident as “don’t touch the pit bulls tail, dog looks friendly, but don’t touch it’s tail.”
I tried to share with him the few triggers I have after the incident, but he doesn’t want to live with rules, so he said he doesn’t want to know.
In a way, I kinda feel like I’m on my own out here to a certain extent, but I think that maybe he does too. we’re both fucking crazy on many different levels. Can’t say that feeling alone is all that unfamiliar. I have come to learn that in order to play well, you do need a certain level of struggle. You need the energy to channel it on stage. So all the little annoyances and things that happen I just hold on to and let go on stage. I don’t hate Aaron, I’m not mad at him…it’s hard to explain. It’s hard to be in close quarters with anyone. I’m the only girl on a tour comprised of 12 artists total. Add to that, we’re on tour with The Mentors. I’m not complaining. I know the tight rope I walk, I know it well. In all things in life, I always go back to that scene in Natural Born Killers…”you knew I was a snake”.
In everything I feel pretty fortunate that I am not a completely bitter and jaded person. I know most people who’ve walked a similar path are. I still find joy in a double scoop on a waffle cone, or in the patterns of the clouds. I’m still young at heart, and I’d rather be dead than have that taken away from me.
I’ve been beaten down, raped, and sexually abused. I’ve been shut down, shut out, and backed into a corner more times than I can count in the 29 years I’ve been alive on this planet, and ya know what? I’m still standing. I don’t want to be a bad ass, I don’t want to fight anyone, I’m sick of fighting, I’m sick of getting hurt and sick of hurting others. When it comes to music, I will do anything except for sacrifice my soul if it means I can entertain one more crowd. I have almost nothing in my pockets when it comes to money, and shame is not something I’m accustomed to. I don’t feel like I have to prove myself to anyone, and I don’t want to. I just want to play my bass and have a good time with people who feel the same as I do.
In all of the chaos, we are turning into a dominating 3 piece…Aaron, Justin, and I. Each night, playing harder than the night before, smiling, and sweating our hearts out all because we love music. All the bullshit is fuel for the fire, and on stage is the only place I want to burn anymore. No desire to compete with each other, only wanting to shine within’ our own elements, and every time I see a video, I am amazed at how far we’ve all come in such a short time on this project.
The Mentors have been super encouraging in helping to forge our talents, and it’s awesome to be sharing a stage every night with folks who’ve been doing this for so long and are willing to help guide us along the path.
Unless you’re willing to bleed and sacrifice everything for your art, don’t be a musician, go do something else with your life. As a woman, I feel like I have to work 3-5 times harder just to hold any kind of rank, and I’m fine with it. Again, not complaining. To be honest, it feels really good to have people compliment on my bass playing abilities instead of telling me how “I’m fun to watch” or “the way my tits bounce”. I can deal with it, and I have…but after going deaf on stage in New Orleans, and having to see the set through regardless, going only by the feeling of the vibrations and watching what Aaron was singing or where him and Justin were playing on their instruments, and still making it happen…it was that pivotal point where I knew I had crossed over, and I finally understood what it meant to play. The vibe of the crowd, combined with every ounce of my being I poured into that set, I walked away drunk on endorphins, knowing that i had just played the very best show of my life, and if the culmination of everything else had not happened up until that point, maybe I never would’ve reached it.
Idunno…it’s hard to explain…chaos creates life.
I don’t want sympathy, I want people to understand that you CAN DO ANYTHING, no matter what life has thrown at you. I started drinking at 3 years old or so, and mostly sober minded is only a recent friend. While I may have a lot of holes in my head and some weird quirks, I’m still pretty fuckin’ smart and capable to get my goals accomplished. Don’t make excuses. There are many reasons as to why things happen, but don’t turn reasons into excuses.
More than anything, I hate guilt trips and excuses, I have little patience for either of them. If you want to do something or get something done, fucking do it. If there’s conflict, see it through. Life is conflict, don’t be a fucking pussy. If you can’t face the conflict and ride it out, you will never know what it feels like to be accomplished, because nothing worth having is ever fucking easy.
I share my life in my writings for two reasons…1. because it’s my way of dealing with it and getting it out and 2. in hopes to inspire others to stand up for themselves.
People only have as much power over you as you allow them to have. At any point, you are able to leave the situation, you might not walk away completely unscathed, but better a few broken bones than a broken will.
There’s so much I want to write about, but I’m having a hard time finding the words. Listening to ‘The Builders and The Butchers’ is helping…I’ve been listening to the album “Salvation Is A Deep Dark Well” on repeat while typing up this blog. Life is fucking pain, deal with it, and make the best of it. Nothing is ever achieved without sacrifice. Don’t betray your heart, be good to the people you love, and live for today because tomorrow never comes.
I am having the most amazing time of my life, and my struggles are what they are…without the struggle I don’t think I’d be having such an amazing time.