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So if you read my article yesterday, you will know I am going down an interesting path in my life. Having turned 31 years old this year, I have decided to quit the rat race and chase my dream. That dream, normally the preserve of those younger than me, is to be a full time, independent musician.
Over the years, like many a youngster I would imagine, I dreamed of 'making it', of 'being a star', all the usual. Obviously, this was fuelled by a certain amount of naivety that youth often affords a man. As I grew older though, and wiser, my perspective has changed somewhat and now it is time to move forward with my life.
Western culture, based on a consumer-based capitalism is a fantastic thing when you consider it. Without going too far left field the indoctrination that our young receive is simply mind-boggling. Consider your teachers, your career counselor, your university lectures. All of it is set, for you, for me, for everyone, to follow a path that leads to a husband or wife, a house, a mortgage, a job and a pension. 20 working days is enough for you to experience the world outside of your hometown. If you need a pick me up or distraction there is coffee, there is TV and there is wine. Now please don't misunderstand me, I love coffee, a good smoke, and a movie to spend a night time, nothing better really. It is the formula that annoyed me so much, it was the routine, like life is something to be regulated.
80 years is a long time when you are 10, it is far too short when you are 75.
When I look back on my life I would wager my memories will bring a smile to my face much more than a promotion. Don't get me wrong I still have bills to pay, I still have to eat, but the scenery and perception changed. Between the ages of 18 and 30 my hold world went through more changes than some people experience in a lifetime. From the death of my father to a marriage and divorce to a whole range of things I fully intend to explore with you at a later date and the time just seemed right.
The phrase 'making it' as a musician is not as simple as it once was. Many people have written at length on the issue with more authority than me but it comes back to a wider ethos I will be focusing on. And that is 'what is success?' Is it the car, the house, the wife, the kids? If it is, more power to your elbow, go and get those things. For me, it was surviving, doing the thing I loved doing, music.
So there it is, Chase the River, my musical project. Now I can fill you up with all the lovely reviews and the quotes and the things that people are saying about me and the tunes I write, but I won't do that (yet). Instead, this introduction is the reason for the name. Chase the river is a good a way as I can paraphrase the concept of what I want in life in the title of a band. Chasing a River, is wandering, is exploring and never really reaching a set destination, but the peace that comes with that. At the start of this article, you can see a video from a recent gig in Belfast, gives you a good idea. Below is a link to stream the most recent album through Spotify although if you use the wonders of the interweb your preferred method of streaming is available. Now don't get me wrong, I love that you are reading this and that is enough for me, and we will continue to talk about the music that has influenced me, the stories behind all of the songs I have written, dealing with loss, regret, and a whole range of other topics, but if you like it, share it, tell the world of a mad Irish man quitting the rat race, trying to make a difficult life in a difficult profession.
But until next time, Peace and Love,