First, the very lovely Ciara Lira has a DIK interview with me up at her blog. She took the footage at the booksigning this weekend at Emerald City.
Second – on my way back from dropping the wee monster off at preschool, I listened to Adam Carrola interview Tom Morello on his morning show. I’m a huge Rage Against The Machine fan so I already knew Morello (an amazing musician) went to Harvard, had a Kenyan father and an American mother who raised him in Chicago. But what I hadn’t really heard before was the story of how he decided to be a musician.
See, he came out to LA in 1986 to start a metal band. Only at the time, it was all Poison and hair bands on Sunset Strip. Hair was WAY more important than talent (and I was there at that time, that’s the truth). So he came out and wanted to create a combo of hardcore metal with rap (which hadn’t been done so much at the time) but he had, in his words, a Lionel Ritchie mullet and everyone wanted long, pretty hair and he was even asked to wear a wig!
He’s such an awesome guitar player but he was talking about being at some show with the pretty haired guys and thinking, “I may never make this”
But he didn’t quit. He got knocked down over and over. He got fired for not having good hair! he lost jobs to people who weren’t nearly as talented as he was because of things that shouldn’t have mattered.
And finally, in 1991, Rage was founded. FIVE years of living in a squat on Normandy and Santa Monica (those who are from LA shudder at that neighborhood, LOL, I did when he said where the apartment was). In 1992 their first and hugely successful self titled record came out and he made it. Like triple platinum made it. In all this time he knew what he wanted. What he wanted was NOT popular (very political lyrics, hard rock sound with rap). But he stuck with it for years and he created something that changed the face of music.
If you’re a music freak like I am, the above video is great because he goes through his style step by step so you see all his equipment and how he makes all those signature riffs.
Anyhoodle, just listening to the interview made me so happy. Not that he had to struggle for so long. That part sucks. But so many people lose hope when they fail over and over. When they dont’ sell over and over. It’s easy to after a while because it is hard to pick yourself up after so much rejection. But when everything was right – things worked for him (like triple platinum worked). All those things you can’t control – right person (agent, editor, AR rep, whatever), right time (trends shift, eveyrone is in a good mood and wants to take a chance, whatever), right piece – all worked together and he made it.
I guess the moral of this rambling story is: Don’t quit.