151 – Sneak Preview: No Escape EP

151 – Sneak Preview: No Escape EP

You may have heard me reference my “forthcoming EP” a few times and wondered when it was coming out.

Well, in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I offer a sneak preview into the No Escape EP, which will be hitting online music stores and streaming platforms any day. Enjoy.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:34 – My latest solo release
  • 01:43 – No Escape
  • 03:52 – Sleepless Blues
  • 05:16 – Don’t Wait Too Long
  • 06:43 – Hope
  • 08:08 – Grace Is Bittersweet
  • 09:24 – Keep an eye open for the No Escape EP

Transcription:

Any day now, my latest solo release, No Escape will become available on all online music stores and streaming platforms.

But because I wanted to do something special for you, I put together a sneak preview for the EP right here on the show.

As a listener of The New Music Industry Podcast, you’ve shown that you’re looking to take your music career or business beyond and that you’re willing to invest in yourself.

Although it’s been said many times by many people, it’s worth saying again – there are few things as important as your willingness to invest in yourself.

Most people will go through life investing in their education to get a job. But if you’re a listener of this podcast, it’s clear you’re looking to live a different kind of life. You want to live your passion and not be constrained by anything.

You’re special. That’s why I wanted to give you a sneak preview of my forthcoming EP, No Escape.

Now, usually the term “sneak preview” is reserved for an early viewing of a movie.

There are no music videos yet, and I have not filmed a movie in connection with the EP. So, this is a sneak peek into the music, what prompted me to write and record the songs I did and how they came together.

The first track on the EP is the title track, “No Escape”.

I wrote this song in fall 2017, which is hard to believe.

In the months leading up to writing “No Escape”, I noticed that my life was synchronizing with my best friend’s, sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes in more overt ways.

For example, we would sometimes wake up at the same time or make meals at the same time.

But our emotions and physical circumstances would also sync up. So, if one was feeling restless, it was common that the other would be feeling restless. If one was feeling exhausted and having trouble sleeping, so it would be for the other.

So, while “No Escape” was written about my best friend, the truth is that I was going through the same things she was.

The song is about restlessness and escapism. It’s human nature to avoid problems and difficulties instead of leaning into them.

And, sometimes we feel the need to escape. At times, that can manifest in relatively innocuous daily activities – going shopping, eating out, traveling, visiting the gym more frequently and so on.

But it can also show up as more harmful and destructive behavior – compulsive gambling, drinking, partying, bringing harm to yourself and others and so on.

An entrepreneur, of course, learns to lean into the challenges instead of trying to avoid or escape them. That’s what leads to personal expansion in the areas of leadership, resilience and problem solving.

Anyway, there’s something someone who’s experienced a lot of life intuitively knows. No matter where they go, they take themselves with them.

That means there truly is no escape from your problems unless you’re willing to dig for the core issue. Outside of that, there’s only temporary relief.

That’s the backdrop against which “No Escape” was written.

The next track, “Sleepless Blues”, predates “No Escape” by many years. I believe I first wrote it in 2007 or 2008.

2008 is when I fell in love for the first time. Of course, I’d had crushes up that point, but I’d never felt how I felt about someone up until that year.

When my heart was broken, I wrote a series of songs to begin the healing process.

I think “Sleepless Blues” was written prior to that time but I was thinking about including it on the same album, to be titled Back on Solid Ground.

That album, unfortunately, didn’t come to be in that space and time.

But I had worked on a couple of demos with my producer-engineer Patrick Zelinski a few years later, and “Sleepless Blues” happened to be one of them.

Originally, I was going to record three songs with him last year, but Patrick managed to dig up the demos we had been working on, including “Sleepless Blues” and “Grace Is Bittersweet”, which resulted in their inclusion on this five-track EP.

Up next is “Don’t Wait Too Long”.

Musically inspired by They Might Be Giants‘ “Man, It’s So Loud in Here”, I wrote the music for “Don’t Wait Too Long” around 2012.

Lyrically, I knew what I wanted to do with the chorus but hadn’t written the verse yet.

I dug up the music in 2016 and decided to put the finishing touches on this track. I released it as a single the same year.

This version of “Don’t Wait Too Long” is distinct in that it features more organic instruments.

The song is about the vacuum of depression and the resulting downward spiral.

It’s not autobiographical, at least not in the sense that I was the one who was depressed when I was writing it.

Prior to selling my home in 2012, I was living with a roommate who was going through difficult times and clearly wasn’t happy with his life. I was remembering him as I was writing the verses.

The song is certainly open to interpretation, but how it shows up for me is that if you don’t believe there are good things coming for you, you have no hope, and if you have no hope, you begin questioning your existence.

The next song, “Hope”, like “Don’t Wait Too Long”, was also released as a single in 2016.

This version, again, features more organic instrumentation than the original.

I’ve already said quite a bit about the song publicly, but in case you’re wondering what it’s about, it’s not about hope at all. It’s about being in limbo.

I once heard that hell is living the same experiences over and over without any change. Sometimes, that’s how life feels.

So, from the perspective of the song, the writer is seeking answers. He’s saying even though he believes good things can happen, he never sees any evidence of them happening. And, he just keeps waiting.

In that sense, this could even be a song about bad luck, if there is such a thing.

Does this song reflect my life experiences? At times, it has.

I now have a broader perspective on who I am and why I am the way I am and that allows me to step outside of my autopilot way of being.

But if that weren’t the case, I’m not certain there would be any hope.

The final track on the EP is “Grace Is Bittersweet”, a song that I started recording with Patrick in 2013 or 2014. It was written when I was still living in my old house.

I tend not to write folky tunes, so I think this is the closest I’ve ever come to that.

The song is about being human, making mistakes repeatedly and bowing down at the feet of the divine, asking for forgiveness.

But when you know it’s in your nature to keep doing the same things you’ve always done, when you know you’re going to be making more of the same mistakes, grace doesn’t feel liberating at all. It feels like a constraint.

The writer doesn’t have the answers. He’s merely living the life he was given.

What I like most about this song is what Patrick was able to do with it. He added keyboards and bass, which made the song far more engaging throughout.

So, keep an eye open for the release of No Escape, which should be coming soon to your favorite online music store or streaming platform. The physical release will be soon to follow.

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Find Your Fans: Using Data to Analyze Your Audience

Find Your Fans: Using Data to Analyze Your Audience

This post first appeared on Megaphone Agency.

In this digital age of music streaming and social media, it is easier than ever to objectively measure an artist’s reach and influence. Whether you like it or not, every social media site and music streaming platform is collecting loads of data about their users. This information can be used to your advantage to draw powerful insights about your audience.

On a high level, anyone can see how many total streams or social media followers an artist has. These superficial stats can be useful for sizing up an artist’s overall popularity.

Digging deeper into the data, however, can give a much clearer picture of who your fans are and where they are located. Most platforms have some kind of reporting interface that exposes more granular metrics. This allows content owners to see how their audience is segmented along various demographic and geographic dimensions.

It is here that you will find detailed information about your fans such as what cities they are in, what age range they fall into, and even what other interests they have. Analyzing this data will reveal valuable findings about your followers that can be used to expand your reach and attract new fans.

Each platform has slight variations in what information is available and how it is presented. Here is a look at few of the most popular platforms and how to access your organic audience data from each.

Facebook

To access Facebook Page Insights you must be a creator of the page or be assigned a role on the page. To see your insights simply navigate to your Facebook page and select the Insights tab at the top of the page.

Facebook shares a lot of interesting information about post engagement, page views, and audience stats. The People tab is particularly useful for seeing the age and gender breakdown as well as the geographic location of your fans.

Note that demographic data is only available once Facebook is able to collect data on at least 100 page followers. This is to protect the identity of Facebook’s users.

According to Facebook:

Insights provide information about your Page’s performance, like demographic data about your audience and how people are responding to your posts.

You can use Insights to:
-Understand how people are engaging with your Page.
-View metrics about your Page’s performance.
-Learn which posts have the most engagement and see when your audience is on Facebook.

Facebook Data Visualization

For more information click here to visit Facebook’s Page Insights help page.

Spotify

Spotify has a platform called Spotify for Artists. Any artist with music on Spotify can gain access to their Spotify for Artists dashboard and can also give other team members access by making them admins. See Spotify’s FAQ page to find out how to gain access to the platform.

From your artist dashboard you will be able to see information about which songs are most popular, where people are streaming from, and who your audience is. Spotify also has a cool feature that lets you compare your audience to other artists. Note that there is a distinction between streams, listeners, and followers. Each metric provides a slightly different perspective on your audience.

According to Spotify:

With access to Spotify for Artists, you’ll be able to track which of your songs are performing best and learn how fans are discovering and listening to your music around the world. Your stats can help you run promotional campaigns, pick new singles, or even route your next tour.

Spotify Data Visualization

For more information click here to see the Spotify for Artists guide.

Twitter

Twitter’s platform is called Twitter Analytics. To access Twitter Analytics, click on your Twitter profile photo to bring up the menu bar. Then click on Analytics in the pull-down menu.

Twitter Analytics displays information about your individual Tweets, follower demographics, and stats about Twitter users as a whole. Like Facebook, some audience data is only available once you reach a certain number of followers to protect the identity of Twitter users.

Twitter’s audience data is a little less transparent than other platforms since it is derived using aggregated estimates from Twitter and their third-party partners.

According to Twitter:

Twitter’s analytics help you understand how the content you share on Twitter grows your business.

Your audience insights dashboard contains valuable information about the people who follow you on Twitter. You can track your follower growth over time and learn more about your followers’ interests and demographics.

Twitter Data Visualization

For more information click here to visit the Twitter Analytics info page.

Concluding Thoughts

There are a lot of great insights you can gather from all of this data. Use it wisely and it could help you promote your music more effectively, grow your audience, or route your tour.

Explore other online platforms you use to see if they provide stats on user data as well. A few others to look into are SoundCloud Stats, Pinterest Analytics, Pandora Next Big Sound, and Apple Music for Artists.

150 – It’s Not Your Fault

150 – It’s Not Your Fault

How do you handle challenging situations? What do you do when your life seems to be going sideways?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share my reflections from a recent heartbreak.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:34 – Heartbreak
  • 01:32 – Turning to a mentor for help
  • 02:35 – The stories we tell ourselves
  • 02:59 – Have you ever considered that it’s not your fault?
  • 03:53 – The trap of “more, better, different”
  • 05:01 – Parable of the Mexican fisherman and American investment banker
  • 06:35 – Living your dream life
  • 07:12 – How to create breakthroughs

Transcription:

In my life, I recently encountered what we commonly refer to as “heartbreak”.

I’ve discovered from my training that heartbreak isn’t real. It’s just how certain situations show up to us in life. What sustains the emotional response is what we tell ourselves about the situation and what we make it mean.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t encounter a wide range of emotions after a conversation one fateful night.

At first, I felt shocked and heartbroken. I was in pain.

Because I started sharing what I was going through with friends and my extended support group, I turned that around in about half a day.

At that point, the situation was showing up as clarity, freedom, energy in my world.

But only two days later, it was showing up as responsibility.

If only I had read between the lines. If only I had shared my inauthenticity sooner. If only I had spoken up earlier. If only I had been more forthright with my feelings.

I was beating myself up. My mind was foggy, and my emotions clogged.

I was stuck, so again, I turned to sharing, and this time, I called up one of my mentors.

Having explained the situation, my mentor said, “there’s one thing I haven’t heard you say yet, which is that it’s not your fault.”

My mentor continued to reinforce this idea that it wasn’t my fault. And, he shared with me that I am who I am, and that I’m meant to live that out. He also shared that the right person would embrace who I am and even be drawn to it.

We tend to change our behavior around those we care deeply about. We adapt to create a version of ourselves that we think others will accept, without even knowing if that makes us more acceptable. We make up stories about what we think others would find more interesting, more attractive, more valuable, and so on.

That’s not the person others were drawn to in the first place.

So, I got to try on that what I’d experienced was not my fault.

Suddenly, the situation in question was showing up in my world as peace and light excitement.

Of course, I will allow myself to feel whatever I feel over the coming days, weeks or even months.

There is nothing wrong about what any of us we feel.

The problem is the stories we construct around that, which are sometimes subversive but usually detrimental.

I’m not worthy of love.

I’m not attractive.

I’m not valuable.

Those types of thoughts can circulate in our minds, and we accept them as normal.

But then we carry them into future relationships and situations, oftentimes without any sense of awareness. That’s where things get tricky.

Have you ever considered that it’s not your fault?

Have you considered that you are who you are, and that’s who you’re meant to be, that there’s nothing wrong with you?

So, why do I share this with you?

It’s not as though this episode is going to give my site a ton of SEO value, drive traffic, generate book sales or otherwise.

First, I wanted to share this with you because if you’ve listened to all the episodes to this point, you’ve heard me talk about the different types of summer as well as boundaries.

Even my friend, Christopher Sutton of Musical U could tell I was going through something when I published those episodes. I wasn’t explicit in sharing details on the podcast, but he told me he could tell something was up.

What I’m sharing with you today is the impact of what I went through and the choices I made. So, it relates to the episodes just mentioned.

Second, I’m sharing because I want you to look at who you are and what you’re up to in life.

So often, we are in pursuit of something we don’t have.

And, when what we’re doing doesn’t work, and we don’t reach our goals, we try to do more of it, do it better or do it differently.

Have you ever noticed how more, better, different only offers incremental progress or change?

But we keep repeating that cycle of more, better, different. And, I admit that there have been some podcast episodes in the past that focused on more, better, different.

But what my mentor was showing me was that maybe we can shine just as we are. Perhaps we would be better served coming from a place of self-acceptance. Not trying to be someone else. Not trying to be more, better, different. Just shining as we are.

We don’t choose people, projects, jobs or businesses in a vacuum. It’s coming from somewhere, nature, nurture or otherwise. It’s coming from the people we regularly interact with and the media we choose to consume.

And, our choices can solicit criticism from others.

Why are you doing what you’re doing? Couldn’t you do it this way? Why not expand?

When you begin engaging in a project you care about, you start to see that other people have all kinds of other plans for you.

What comes to mind for me is the parable of the Mexican fisherman and investment banker. If you’ve read any personal development books before, you may have come across it.

The essence of the story is this:

An American investment banker was vacationing in a small coastal town in Mexico when he noticed a fisherman in a small boat. He noticed that the fisherman had been successful in catching several large, fresh fish.

So, the banker asked how long it took for the fisherman to catch the fish, and he said it only took him a little while.

The banker then asked him why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish.

The fisherman responded that he’d caught enough to support his family and immediate needs.

The banker asked what he did with the rest of his time.

The fisherman shared that he slept late, fished, played with his children, took a siesta with his wife, strolled into the village to sip wine and play guitar with his friends.

Seeing an opportunity, the banker suggested that the fisherman spend more time fishing, buy a bigger boat, upgrade to a fleet of boats, sell his fish directly to a processor or open his own cannery. This would involve moving, of course.

The fisherman asked how long this would take, and the banker responded it would take 15 to 20 years. He explained that the fisherman could then go on to sell his company and make millions.

The fisherman asked what came next.

The banker explained that he could retire, move to a small coastal fishing village where he could sleep late, fish a little, play with his kids, take a siesta with his wife, stroll to the village, sip wine and play guitar with his friends.

The point is this – if you’re already living your dream life, you don’t need to change anything!

Maybe playing the local bar circuit is exactly where you need to be and where you would have the most fun. Maybe releasing the occasional single is down your alley. Perhaps sharing your music with your friends and family is enough.

Who am I to judge or criticize?

There are plenty of people out there who will tell you that you should do it more, better or different.

And, maybe you’re excited about that, and you want to pursue that path. That’s fine too.

But maybe, just maybe, you’re already shining exactly where you are. And, maybe a deep sense of self-acceptance will allow you to be at peace with what you’ve chosen.

In conclusion, there will be more episodes about more, better, different in the future. Let me be 100% clear about that.

But we must recognize this may only bring incremental progress. If you want breakthroughs, it’s about seeing what you don’t see right now. And, that’s not going to come from thinking and reflecting. That’s going to come from action and conversations.

You are not a mistake. There’s nothing wrong with you. When choosing a person, a career, a job, a business or otherwise, choose from the core of your being and be unapologetic about it.

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149 – A Conversation on Networking & Collaboration – with Musician Brian Bob Young

149 – A Conversation on Networking & Collaboration – with Musician Brian Bob Young

How effective are you in meeting people and creating meaningful and strategic connections? Do you have contacts that can help you take your music career beyond?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I chat with musician Brian Bob Young, who gave this podcast’s music a makeover.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 01:11 – Who is Brian Bob Young?
  • 04:16 – Being specific about your goals
  • 04:45 – Reading and writing books
  • 08:38 – Being focused in networking and music production
  • 09:34 – How to cold call or approach strangers
  • 11:37 – The evils of non-sequitur networking and marketing
  • 12:47 – Creating context in conversation and generating opportunities
  • 16:55 – Avoid burning bridges
  • 19:37 – Drama is always created
  • 24:03 – Open mics are a great place to network
  • 27:20 – How Brian wrote the music for The New Music Industry Podcast
  • 33:29 – Music on the podcast
  • 34:14 – Finding a need and filling it
  • 37:03 – Getting your first clients
  • 37:45 – Meeting people (or how David got over his fear of talking to people)
  • 39:35 – Booking gigs
  • 43:22 – How many projects does David have?
  • 48:27 – Begin creatively free
  • 52:16 – It’s not just what you know but who you know

Transcription:

David Andrew Wiebe: Today I’m chatting with musician Brian Bob Young. How are you today? Brian?

Brian Bob Young: Great, David Andrew Wiebe. Thank you so much for having me on, man. It is actually a really cool experience to have a working relationship with you and hear my music be a part of a show that I genuinely enjoy, and then be able to talk about it with you too is pretty cool. So, thanks man.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah, thanks for joining me. I guess my listeners have now been hearing your music for probably a few months at this point, right? I’ve been using it for many episodes. And of course, your name is mentioned at the end of every episode. We should maybe get a sense of who you are and then recount how it is that you came to do some of this music?

Brian Bob Young: Yeah, I guess so. Just like most of the people that have been on the show, I love music and I’m engaged with it my whole life. That’s kind of the given for most of us in this field, right. But I guess, I don’t want to be too tangential and like a life story of how I ended up on the production side of things. So, I’ll just be specific with how I was able to work with you was that I made goals about a year and a half ago of what kind of work would I want on the production side and what projects could I do that would help me to get there that would also be meaningful projects.

And then, happen by actually a kind of like a lightning bolt moment where I was working a bunch of jobs, and I came across a buddy of mine that I didn’t even know he was a film producer. He knew that I was starting to reel on the production side and more of the creativity side of the music stuff, which will put a pin in that that I worked on the business side for a long time before doing this. He had a film script and was like, “Hey, do you think you could try your hand on scoring this independent film?” And in the human mode, I was so excited because I love this guy. He’s worked on some of my favorite movies actually. He worked on the movie… He was a part of Whiplash. That kind of fell through a little bit for him but I just know that he had worked on projects that I would be really excited about. But at the time, I was not equipped at all to execute doing a film score. I had no idea what would go into that. Neither the resources nor the skill to execute.

So, I learned that pretty quickly and talked to him about it. He said, “Dude, that’s fine.” But it really got the wheels in motion of like, okay, if another script or something ends up in my lap, I want to be prepared because you’ve heard the quote, “Luck is where preparation and opportunity meet.” right? Yeah. So, that’s kind of what got the wheels in motion.

One of the first ideas I had was like, why not try to help out podcasts that I like and see if they want their music updated or a little bit more catered to the show and all that. And your show, of course, is one of the shows that I enjoy and reached out to see if you want some updated music that kind of had its own little different sounds. So, that is a little bit of the story of how I specifically ended up on doing the production for your show.

David Andrew Wiebe: That’s great. I like what you said about specificity, which is something that Matt Star was very adamant on when he came on the show and talked about that too. So, being really intentional and clear about your goals.

Brian Bob Young: And that’s so hard for me man. It is drudgery for me to be specific and not be idealistic in my head in the clouds. It is hard for me but when I do it, obviously, it’s fruitful. There’s something there.

David Andrew Wiebe: I’m at the same boat for sure. And the thing that I kept talking about this year and continue to talk about this year is publishing 10 to 12 books. I think I’m set up fairly well to do that. And even if I don’t reach that goal, if I end up with five or eight books, I think I can still say, “Okay. If I want to do 10 the following year, I can at least make that adjustment.”

Brian Bob Young: Two things there. Not to go on tangents with it but I know listening to your show that you’re like a voracious reader. You read a book a week last year. Is that true?

David Andrew Wiebe:  I did that in 2015 and 2016. Yeah.

Brian Bob Young: That’s insane. I love to read too but I just got done this book called Educated by Tara Westover. Have you heard of that?

David Andrew Wiebe:  I haven’t.

Brian Bob Young: It’s a memoir of her gnarly story of growing up in an oppressive Mormon household off the grid and how she ended up studying at Cambridge and educating herself and becoming this wonderful speaker and author.

So, I tore through that book in like a week but I’m reading the Subtle Art of Not Giving an F right now and I’ve been on a month, which is like half the size. So, you know, if I’m passionate about it I can get through it but if not, I’m going to take my time. But I know that you were doing that because it’s kind of like the CEO thing, right, of like CEOs read a book a week and now they’re like awesome.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah, no, it’s exactly right. I was inspired by that for sure. But another thing that happened was, I think, I want to say its Triple A accountants, it actually might be Double A Accountants. I’m going to look that up real quick but it’s it was Shas Nawaz. Shahzad Nawaz is the managing director. It’s Double A Accountants. I interviewed him once. It was for a different podcast. I was doing pre-interviews to kind of get the guests answers and coax out cool tidbits from them before they actually went on the show and did the real interview.

Brian Bob Young: Gotcha.

David Andrew Wiebe: But he sat there. Some people you create a relationship with. He sat there and talked with me for I don’t know, 10, 20, 30 minutes after the show. I was asking him because he just seemed like really competent with marketing.

Brian Bob Young: Oh, cool.

David Andrew Wiebe: And then he told me, “Oh, well, the reason I know how to do this is because I read a book a week.”

Brian Bob Young: Good. I am always reading. I never stopped reading.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah. He recommended me some Dan Kennedy material, which at the time I was not into but I am actually really into it now, which is funny.

Brian Bob Young: Right. I assume you’ve read like the Seth Godin stuff and all that. Yeah.

David Andrew Wiebe: Oh, yeah.

Brian Bob Young: Yes. That’s like, if you haven’t, it’s like get out of entrepreneurship. It’s like the Bible of entrepreneurs. But anyways, yeah, that’s it. That’s enough. I’m reading everything I could go off on. I love reading but that’s really cool that you’re able to do that.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah. And getting back to what she said too, yeah, I think for a long time I was not terribly specific. It still can be a bad habit of mine at times. But what happened through much experience and reading and learning and growing was there were some people that were just not worth working with. You begin to learn that through experience, you know, kind of the warning signs, “Is this going to work out?” Or is this really going to be just a total disaster that they’re going to be constantly calling me, which I don’t accept calls from clients to begin with. Except on a completely scheduled basis. Are they going to be a huge bother? That’s just going to suck up my time and I’m not going to make any money on that.

Brian Bob Young: Yeah. Well, I hear you on the specificity can be kind of like… or probably like an umbrella to our entire conversation because you talked about one. We talked about networking and some of the music production creativity side. All of it has been slowly learning how to be focused for me, because I am naturally just not a focused individual. And whenever I would read or experience any sort of opportunity, I realized that it’s because people were able to focus and achieve what they wanted to achieve and just sit down, put their head down, work hard, but also be really passionate about it. So, maybe that can kind of transition a little bit into the networking side. Because I feel like that’s been my experience with networking is because I’ve achieved at least some level of being focused there and not just like, walking around Nashville trying you’re trying to run into a bigwig.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah, I think one of the biggest things that I noticed is when you talk to me, it wasn’t like you were talking to a complete stranger. Like you didn’t know anything about me. You were actually asking very specific questions. I find that something that people don’t do well. I’ll probably go off on a rant about non-sequiturs in a moment but that was one of the things you did very, very well.

Brian Bob Young: Very cool. I think that the only reason that happened, I’ll get some consistent work on the production side. And definitely, I’ve been really focusing hard on my original music too. Playing shows and doing all that is because of doing some just some fairly simple research. I listened to your show. I was like, “Man, this guy has a wealth of information.” And then I realized like, “Oh, he’s talking about the new music industry and maybe I could make some really cool creative music for it to make the show even that much better. So, that’s where it’s a mutually beneficial working relationship.

So, when I’m reaching out, when I reached out to you, it wasn’t just like, “Hey, man. Let me do your music because that’d be cool and I’d get money.” It’s very specific. You have a very specific vision. And if I don’t mind saying so like it’s a noble one, you know, giving so much information to people that are trying to work in a field that is so complex, and so heavy and draining or discouraging at times. You just need to have the right information to navigate it. And you do that. So, I’m very proud to be able to be a part of such a show, man. Not be too aggrandizement or anything?

David Andrew Wiebe: No, thank you. I think you’re right. I am pretty transparent. You wouldn’t have to spend hours researching me, who I am, or what I do to kind of come up with that. At the same time, you took the time to do it, which I know many people don’t. It’s a really good teaching point there.

Brian Bob Young: Cool. Cool.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah. So, I kind of hinted at the whole non-sequitur nature of some of the networking that happens these days. The reason that I have trouble with it, I think, is because there’s no established context. So, in other words, people will come to me and suddenly go, “Hey, you’re doing this wrong with your business?” You know, sort of like they were Tai Lopez or somebody like that, who is the perfect example of the non-sequitur? You know, you’ll watch his videos on YouTube and it’s just like, “I just made $10 million last week.” He just doesn’t talk about that. He talks, “Oh, I just read 52 books in a day.” That was kind of his thing for a while.

I just thought like, a, I don’t know who you are, b, you establish no contacts before jumping into this conversation, which I understand why. In the advertising world, you don’t want to spend too much time like introducing who you are and stuff like that. I’ve had investors and people like that come to me, same thing right, without any context, without establishing a rapport. Not even saying, “Hello, David.” Right?

Brian Bob Young: Yeah. And I think some people we know these kinds of people that are the domineering dominant types that just their steamrolling, and they’re in it to win it. I guess it works for them but I don’t know if there’s a lot of like joy and substance with it too. I assume there’s like a trail of tears behind it. You know what mean? That’s just my assumption. But it’s also because I’m biased and that’s not how I naturally operate. In fact, it’s worked for me to create that context, right. And I do have I think myself a pretty good story to share with how I got my first job in a studio in Nashville due to creating context, I guess, if you will.

Maybe in Nashville for six months. I’m originally from Philadelphia. My first career path actually out of college was become a music therapist. That didn’t work. I burned out. We just did a fresh start in Nashville. My wife got a job as a nurse and I was job hunting. About six months in, I was in a steam room at a YMCA. And there’s one older gentleman there. In the steam room, I’m usually head down but I wanted to talk to somebody. I was like, “Hey, I’m Brian. How’s it going today, sir?” We get to talk for like 20 minutes. Long story short, he has been the CEO of a company called Red Ridge Entertainment here in Nashville since the early 90s. He gave me an internship at the studio just to kind of shadow and see if there’s anything I could do that fit which, being a session musician was definitely out as a sidebar, so humbling to be around these musicians. So humbling.

I realized that there was very quickly a need for rebranding. The company’s website had been around since like the early 2000s. So, it was just like a total hodgepodge, total mess. It just needed to be updated for the 21st century. They were getting a steady flow of clients but my kind of pitch was like, “If we can rebrand this company, you might be able to really expand the network.” That turned into a two-year job with that company in rebranding and bringing in people to do that. And then, I also functioned as pretty much an ANR guy. And by ANR, I mean, like, not the classic sense of like Tom Petty’s ANR that’s like, you know, very much of a part of choosing what single they put out, right? I’m talking about kind of half assed ANR of more of like a talent scout. [unclear 15:35] I was just finding people online to see if they want to do professional recordings of their music and do music videos.

All that to say, though, that whole experience, which was an adrenaline shot of knowledge about the music industry, came from talking to a dude in the steam room. I wasn’t sitting there trying to say like, “Oh, maybe this guy is like a bigwig around here and I can get an in.” I just wanted to have a conversation. And although ended up leaving that company, we still have a great relationship. The head guy still calls me just to see how I’m doing. And that is so important, right? I’m sure you’ve experienced that where you don’t burn bridges and you’re able to continue to have healthy working relationships because it was built on the foundation, the context of a relationship. As opposed to just trying to work up some ladder and capitalize off people. Right? So yeah, that was I guess my best networking anecdote, and a few others of just my philosophy of it, for sure, but that’s probably a pretty good story for it.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah. Oh, yeah, that’s great. I think what came to mind for me was playing in this one band. It was a Def Leppard tribute band. I’ve done that before. I’m still with him. There was just a period when I had kind of a sense of graduation goggles. In other words, not like, “I’m too good for this.”, just like, “I’m kind of done with this. I think I’m ready to move on.” I did for a couple years. I didn’t burn any relationships. It was just kind of like, “Hey, this will be my last gig for a while. When I came back, it was just the perfect timing based on the need for another player, as well as the economy for us to start getting out there and playing in bars.

Now, I don’t totally believe in this whole concept of economy. It’s mostly based on the confidence of the people involved in that side of things, but yeah, it was great.

Brian Bob Young: I love that that’s so not dramatic. All the things that are portrayed on like rock and roll stories and videos are like, the band is literally kicking the crap out of each other on stage and just total the Bockarie and then it ends and it’s just so much drama. And for you it was like, “Yeah, we’re moving on. And we’re all very professional.” Like, that’s actually the normal story.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah, for the most part. What did end in not so good… No, my band was Breaking Silence, which went on for about a year and a half, which is in retrospect, predictable. There was no project with those specific people that went on any longer than that. There was a band before that was Lightly Toasted Touché which was the same…

Brian Bob Young: What was the name of that?

David Andrew Wiebe: Lightly Toasted Touché. There’s some music on my YouTube channel. Yeah, it’s the weirdest name ever.

Brian Bob Young: I love it.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah.

Brian Bob Young: And to that travel point to like, put my foot my own mouth. In high school, I played in a lot of different bands. There is so much drama. Just like looking back to the high school and the college days. I mean, I’m an emotional guy to begin with but especially in high school, everybody’s so touchy and emotional and going into college even still the same. And pretty much like all my band stories, there’s some sort of like extreme drama looking back. So, I might take it back a little bit but once you become like an adult, that stuff subsides a little bit, I think. I hope.

David Andrew Wiebe: Oh yeah. That’s a part of it. I’ve been going through a series of seminars where we learn that drama is always a creation of our own and trying that on but when you do accept it as being your reality, you begin to see. “Oh, yeah. I guess there’s no need for it.

Brian Bob Young: No, no, absolutely. And you know, to bring it back to like, if you are working with people that have a specific vision, you’re going to be focused, right? I think something, for me that is kind of an anecdote to speak to that was how I got this live gig on Friday in Atlanta. The show’s not a big deal itself but I’m really excited for the location and the artists that I’m opening up for. This can speak to kind of the networking side of I didn’t even really look at how I went about this as networking but it was.

I think I genuinely believe networking is the outcome of what you want to achieve. So, for me, I’m reverse engineering right now from my goals with what I want to do with music production projects and my original music over the next five years. The people I reach out to and people I interact with, if I’m talking about a collaborating thing, then it’s under that umbrella of the goals that I have.

So, if I’m just like walking around Nashville hoping to bump into somebody and say, “Look how awesome I am.” That’s just naive for lack of a better word but it’s probably not going to produce any work. But if I’m intentionally going to gigs that I love and respect and learning from other artists that I love and respect. And then, I have what I have to offer. Who knows what can come in to that and I’ve definitely had some really in experiences?

Back to the Atlanta gig, what I did was I researched some small venues that really support independent artists. And then, I researched who was performing there, who has performed there over the last year. And then I listened to dozens of artists music, and I found a few that I really liked. I reached out to those artists and asked them if they’d like an opener or how they booked at that said venue. That’s how I’m opening for this wonderful artist I can’t wait to meet on Friday named James at the Mosaics. He’s based out of Atlanta and he’s like a folksy jazzy Avant Garde artist. That’s a genre, right? Folksy jazzy Avant Garde.

I think my musical sitting quite nice to open up the night. But again, if I were just to network to try to find someone who’s cool and has some sort of in, that definitely wouldn’t have happened. I literally have no idea how this dude is doing other than his music is friggin’ awesome and he plays out regularly. And he seems weird so that means he’s probably human and I’ll probably enjoy his company.

That is a maybe my most recent example. I guess that is really essentially networking but I really wasn’t looking at it like that. I was just looking at consistent gigs and play with good people.

David Andrew Wiebe: That’s always a good starting point. It’s just to go after what you think is interesting. I recall that I met a local musician years ago when I was just getting started as kind of a solo artist, so probably somewhere in 2003 to 2005 timeframe. It just happened to be at one of the venues that I regularly played at. The singer from there called me up because he worked at the cafe and said, “Hey, you should come check out this guy on Friday night or Saturday night or whatever it was.” And so, one time I finally did see him. He was coming through that venue regularly. I met him then in there but he doesn’t remember. Fast forward a few years, he owned another different cafe in Calgary. He was running a weekly open mic that everybody kind of swore by. And so, I went to check that out. I hung out there. And of course, he looked familiar to me. I think he still thinks that’s where we first met. The first was many years before that.

Brian Bob Young: Right. I mean, for the networking thing, I definitely believe open mics are still really great.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah. Right.

Brian Bob Young: It’s a little different here in Nashville. There is a bit of… and I don’t mean to say this in any sort of cynical way per se, but there’s a bit of a machine here, right. So, the way that operates is a little different. Have you ever been to Nashville? I know you’re in Canada but.

David Andrew Wiebe: I haven’t been I’ve heard a little bit about the open mics that first of all, they can be a little bit hard.

Brian Bob Young: All right. So, when I was working with this studio and young people would come in with kind of stars in their eyes, I guess, right. One thing I would say is like it’s great to be passionate about this but don’t go to an open mic and expect a record deal because you played your song. Go there and enjoy and work up your chops playing live and meet a few people but try not to think of it any more than one this.

I don’t say this story on my end to boast. It’s just weird the way it happened. So, I’d lived in Santa Barbara California for the past year. I played my first open mic in a really long time playing my original music. After a booking agent came up to me and said, “Dude, can you play in two nights for a set at this venue?” And I was so shocked because I spent two years telling people not to expect that, right. But I was like, “Let me look at my schedule next. I got to wrap my head around this.” So I think the way that these open mics or things like an open mic song writing rounds, they can function so differently in different places in the country or the world. Again, it gets back to that focus and specificity of what you want to achieve. I really wanted to get my live champs going and play as much as possible. And so, my radar was up for that. And I was really… I was prepared, you know. So yeah, I guess that’s another networking thing, I would say, right.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah. I think open mics too are just kind of a great way to keep the momentum going sometimes. If you’re in a busy city with no gigs, guess what, go play a few open mics and you can kind of keep your grassroots tour going, so to speak. With a smaller town with a few gigs, it’s kind of the same thing because there’s only so many venues you can go around to so an open my can kind of fill that space too.

Brian Bob Young: No, for sure. And you know what, I probably was a bit prideful going into these first few of them like, “It’s just an open mic and blah, blah, blah.” I feel bad about that because I’ve met some of the greatest friends and some people that I ended up playing live with weekly at venues because I was just consistently going to open mics. And so, there’s like these great communities there and everything. I’m thankful for that. My perspective has totally changed on that for sure.

So, one thing I did want to talk about though is the… I know we talked about before recording here was the actual production of the music on the show.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah, of course because it is an important topic. The music that you did, I know the intro theme was inspired by the original intro theme, which was almost like a GarageBand funk kind of thing.

Brian Bob Young: Yeah. So, I remember so vividly working on this project. It’s really, really fun. I think, you know, as a sidebar, so this is the whole point of all that time and energy of cold emailing you, I guess, and researching you. It’s because the end goal is the ideal situation where I’m producing music for a meaningful content, right.

So, if that is not enjoyable to a person, don’t do this job. Because there’s so much work on the front end that goes into it. But doing that music was so much fun. Maybe this is a good opportunity to talk about kind of my perspective of work and art, right? Because in that setting, I’m sitting down and I need to treat it like work and a certain amount of time where no matter what I’m getting this amount of stuff done in order to meet deadline. On the other side, I need to treat it like art. So, I can’t approach it like I’m going to be sitting in a proverbial cubicle.

When I first sat down to work on the theme song, I was really, my head, like everything I’m putting down sounds so dumb and like, “I hate this.” So, I went for a walk. Fortunately, at the time, I was living in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, where it’s just like perpetually beautiful. I went on a walk just to at least come up with a little melody line. That’s when I was like, you know, just walking down the street and I was going to <music>. And I was like, “Okay, let me try that on a little synthesizer and mess around with it.” And also, it was like, “Oh, I could expound upon what he already had because his listeners will be familiar to that <music>. But that all kind of explode into this new sound, right.

David Andrew Wiebe: Which I liked. Yeah.

Brian Bob Young: Thank you. And you know what, I knew I was taking a risk too because I think the sound of it is like jovial and over the top.

David Andrew Wiebe: It is over the top.

Brian Bob Young:  And I was like, you know, for theme songs that I love and I think there are those people like me out there that they’re pretty over the top. They might be like tongue in cheek almost, you know. Like I grew up with like Ren and Stimpy, their theme song is like <music>. So, that’s what I like but I knew it was a risk. I think you said on the email, you’re like, “It’s pretty over the top but you know, I like it.” And I was prepared to give you other ideas and everything if you really hated it and stuff but I’m glad that that nailed it. But then from there, the other stuff I just love working on because we’re emailing with our shared love for like prints and all that. I’m like, “This dude’s got great taste in music.” I’m just a white guy with a guitar but I at least can do like a little bit of funk stuff so the outro that you use…

David Andrew Wiebe: Yes.

Brian Bob Young: Man, when I hear that I’m like, “I’m really happy with that.” It was so fun to make. And actually, it came from ice… Do you remember the first one I sent that was literally twice the tempo?

David Andrew Wiebe: Yes. And it was also pretty cool.

Brian Bob Young: Yeah, thank you. Yeah, I want like <music>. So, the idea was, “Okay. If he wants to use this for like transitions into advertisements or for the outro, that would be cool but maybe the outro could be halftime of that riff.” That’s pretty frantic and fast. So, then it just kind of created this really cool vibe of <music>. A lot of room to do those kinds of bluesy riffs, and some little jazz and corporations, you know. So, I just had a ball doing it. It was so fun. I’m not being overstated. It’s so true. I’ve had a week of producing really fun music.

David Andrew Wiebe: I’m so glad to hear that. It definitely turned out great. The intro theme kind of has that news show vibe or let’s say independent news show vibe. Because there are theme songs that are always a little bit over the top, which is why I said, “Okay. Let’s go.”

Brian Bob Young: Yeah, I wasn’t offended at all. I knew what I was getting myself into. I grew up with, yeah, like local news stations and stuff that are so ridiculous with their theme songs.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah, exactly. They are.

Brian Bob Young: I will never forget channel six ABC News theme song. That’s the thing.

David Andrew Wiebe: It’ll stick in your head. Yeah.

Brian Bob Young: Yeah. <Music> Yep, that’s still it, man. It is still there. Ridiculous but it works.

David Andrew Wiebe: And you had originally come to me saying, “For podcasts that’s in the music industry, there’s so little music in it.

Brian Bob Young: I was like, I feel this is a good pitch but I’m also like, I do not hope he’s offended. I didn’t want it to be like condescending or anything because on the email that could sound like, “Where’s the music, bro?”

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah, totally. I said that’s a fair point. You know what, you just have blind spots. You do. And you know, we were talking about music entrepreneurship. This is a tough sell from the very start in a way, right? For those who are like, “Oh, yeah. I want to do this.” I have no hustle and grind, which I don’t advise. But like, those kinds of people are gone come going, “Oh, yeah, I can do this more efficiently. I can do this more systematically to make it work for me.” But that was a blind spot in the sense that, yeah, not only have I not included a lot of music, I haven’t actually talked about the music that I enjoy.

Brian Bob Young: Well, you do have your specific content on the show and all that. So sometimes, it’s just not going to be a part of it. I totally get that. But, you know, part of this too is that came from a typical sales perspective, where you find a need and fill the need.

David Andrew Wiebe: That’s right.

Brian Bob Young: So, that was just kind of a simple, “All right. There might be a need here. I might be able to fill it. Let’s see what we can do.” But you’re doing this project though to kind of expound on and really put the wheels in motion for me to have getting some more production jobs. I’m working on a show right now called Vitality Radio. That’s like a wellness show. So, that music is a ton of fun, but actually back in November and December, so not too long after I finished your project, I worked on what has been one of the most profound experiences for me, a show that’s essentially about Holocaust survivors. I got the gig through a friend of mine. She’s a producer in LA. Mainly producer of podcast shows and everything. It was really heavy but it was definitely such a profound learning experience, both on a life side and on a work side. And that’s why this business, I guess, can be so rewarding. So, for a month and a half I was reading like Holocaust survivor stories. I was reading all the research that they did for the show and really had my head in the emotion and the philosophies that came out of this unimaginable time in human history, right. And they wanted music that was kind of like explosions in the sky stuff. So, that really kind of droning but beautiful and heavy music. And I thought that was very smart of them that that kind of sound could be perfectly matched up with the content of the show so heavy.

So yeah, I got to complete that project right before the new year. I’m excited for it to come out. Because I produced five songs for it. I think they’re going to use at least three or four. So yeah, they kind of arranged from having explosions in the sky type sound to being just very light instrumentation in the background to fill in space. But yeah, that was just another story of kind of building on these projects. Right? You learn what we learned. I learned a lot from working for this to apply to the next one. So yeah, that’s another experience there.

David Andrew Wiebe: Well, yeah. And imagine like in this kind of business, really getting your first couple of clients is a big deal because that gives you a bit of a confidence boost and potentially a momentum boost. There might be referrals that come through that. So, yeah, that’s really important to just get those first couple of clients then you know it’s something that’s workable.

Brian Bob Young: Right. Yeah, you’re going to learn so much. In any capacity, taking risks is just part of it. You’re going to be humbled but you could experience things that are really rewarding, of course. I know when we talked, I was really inspired to hear about a little bit of your story of like, I remember you said that for a long time you found it difficult to meet people, correct? And you made it a goal to just go out and talk to people regularly. Is that kind of how that story went?

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah. I was going to work my way out of my shell and I got into network marketing in 2011. I kind of used that as a catalyst to start getting into conversations every day.

Brian Bob Young: That’s brilliant. Now you’re a really great interviewer. That’s crazy.

David Andrew Wiebe: Thank you for saying that.

Brian Bob Young: That’s so crazy.

David Andrew Wiebe: I think I am too.

Brian Bob Young: But no, that is the human spirit, right? That is perseverance and like seeing, you know, a bit of a flaw, right? Or not a flaw but just a weakness and saying like, “I got to work at this.” It was probably so hard for you, man. That crosses over into everything, right? Life, music, and the business. That’s so cool.

David Andrew Wiebe: Oh, yeah. I don’t necessarily think about it now but I’m sure if I look back, I could see that it was a challenge. Part of the challenge too was just going into environments that are unfamiliar to me. Maybe I was comfortable stepping into a subway but not comfortable stepping into an Applebee’s. Whatever it was. I just went in anyway.

Brian Bob Young: Yeah, I don’t know if you can cuss on your show so I’m not going to cuss but I really love meeting people. I’m pretty extremely extroverted. But with that said, it’s still nerve-wracking, especially when you’re putting your art out there to bring it back to the music side. In my experience over the last year of trying to play out as much as possible of playing my original music out was that I had a wakeup call on how incredibly difficult it was going to be to get booked.

You know this better than I do but I would say in my experience, it has been like a 30:1 ratio of getting clients. And because I don’t have like a professional electronic booking tape, I have fairly reasonable iPhone videos of me playing and then I have to go by word of mouth. So, what I did was there was this spot in Santa Barbara that I really wanted to play. Really cool Loki brewery that compensated but also was very intentional on getting up and coming independent artists playing there. I was like, “This is the place I got to get into.” So, I worked hard playing on these little venues in the area and getting some footage and emailed the booking agent there. Of course, they didn’t get back to me. I followed up. They didn’t get back to me. I was like, “You know what, I’m just going to go there and just yell wildly. Show me the gatekeeper.” No, I didn’t. I wasn’t crazy about it. But I did just go to the brewery and say like, “Who’s in charge of booking here? Can I speak with them? I wanted to follow up.” And the person was just really busy, right. I was really nervous because I didn’t want to be overbearing. And then be like, “This kind of awkward. We don’t want you here. We don’t like your music.” But they were so sweet. And you know, I was booked out like a month after that. And I played that spot twice. And each time was the most fun best gigs that I’ve played to this point. I got to play with some great artists that really wanted to play there too. The reason this is specific too is because although it’s just a brewery, they’re very focused on the arts. They have an art gallery that’s literally right next to the tap room area in the bar. And the music is very specific and where it’s set up so the bar can either kind of just like having the background or be right there in the foreground. So anyways, that was definitely my story of being like, I really got to… I guess I have to seriously put myself out there in new ways that are actually quite difficult.

David Andrew Wiebe: We’ve got breweries like that too that are pretty arts focused and open minded as far as what sort of entertainment they bring in. The Indie YYC is one of my new projects that I started or co-founded basically. We had an opportunity to take one of our events because we sponsor two events right now. One is the new beat and what is storytellers. The new beat is basically sort of beat poetry inspired but a fresh take on it, a non-depressing take on it. We were able to bring that to the to the brewery.

Brian Bob Young: I think I overlooked for so long that craft breweries, they are artists. They are so passionate about their product. And a lot of them are passionate about music and the arts and they want very intentional artists to play there to match the vibe they’re trying to create. And I love beer so it just totally works out. That’s cool, though. I mean, how many projects do you do? I feel like you have… when I listen to your shows like, “Wait. He was just talking about like five other projects he’s done. That’s crazy.” You’re pretty busy. Yeah.

David Andrew Wiebe: That’s one way of framing it for sure. Well, the Music Entrepreneur HQ has got the blog and the podcast. I am the one creating most of that content, although I do have a transcriptionist. There’s the Indie YYC. I am a staff writer at Music Industry How-To and I’m working hard on helping build that into a bigger thing right now. I also have Your Music Matters.

Brian Bob Young: I actually heard about that. I listen to… I think it was a podcast episode where you explained about it. That sounds really cool.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah, thank you. Yeah, that’s been an ongoing project because a series of seminars that I’ve been taking. In a way, it supports what I’m already doing with Music Entrepreneur HQ and at the same time it’s a complimentary project because it’s a way to give back something to artists.

Brian Bob Young: That’s so cool. I love that because something I’ve tried to really have a part of my philosophy, I guess if you will, as of over the last year we’ve worked really hard at this stuff is that arts purpose is its ability to connect. Right? And this is something that… Have you listened to the Creative Pep Talk podcast?

David Andrew Wiebe: I did a little bit, yeah.

Brian Bob Young: With Andy J. Pizza.

David Andrew Wiebe: Right.

Brian Bob Young: So, this is like his ongoing theme. The art’s purpose is its ability to connect. Remember that. He has this incredible podcast with a huge listener base. He’s in the visual arts. He’s just pretty wildly successful. So, for him to share such a humble and kind of beautiful philosophy has been really inspiring to me to keep an integral rudder, if you will, to all this. Because like, when it comes to it, we can get so egotistical and in our heads that we forget. In life and art, it’s about connecting with people and doing meaningful projects like you are. So yeah, that is definitely making me all jazzed.

David Andrew Wiebe: Maybe we’ll have to talk about your involvement.

Brian Bob Young: Who knows? To maybe go off on a little tangent with it, I am applying that philosophy to business though it’s really hard. Because for me and I’ll just speak from my experience because I’m the authority of my own experience. If art and music is something for somebody to just vent, like, they come home from work and the jam a little bit and that’s it, that can seriously affect their livelihood in such a beautiful way. But if they’re trying to share it with people or God forbid, make a living with it, then they have to both hold intention this artistic integrity mindset, while also saying, “If its purpose is to connect, I need to think about what people want, and what people want to hear.” And that’s the reason I don’t play certain spots because they’re going to be pissed if I don’t do a cover of wagon wheel and I play my quirky stuff for an hour, right.

David Andrew Wiebe: Oh my God.

Brian Bob Young: But it’s because of my respect for the people there. Like, I could probably get a little bit more gigs but I know that I won’t deliver that well and that would crash and burn, as opposed to this brewery that I was talking about where they were like, “That was really cool. What you provided us was really cool.” And so, I’ve been trying to think about that a lot. And now, I paint and draw a lot actually. But the beautiful thing with that is I give zero Fs. Can I say that?

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah.

Brian Bob Young: I give zero F if people are affected by my paintings and drawings. It is really I’m just throwing paint. I have no technical skill with it. I think they’ll look cool. And that’s it. But with my music, I can’t stand behind the concept of subjectivity and say, well, this little venue or if you didn’t like my music, he just subjectively sees it differently. If there is a bit of objectivity, then I need to provide something that is fitting, right. So yeah, that’s just a complex tangent on the artistic perspective, right?

David Andrew Wiebe: I totally get that. I think it is great to have something in your life where you’re creatively free. If it’s not your music, hopefully it’s something else you do just like you do with your art. For me, I get to write and that’s a little more where the cash is made. But the music side is where I’ve chosen and I always get to be free. I tend to write from a relatively pop mindset to begin with because I really love the melody but I also like intricacies in forming that too. So, it’s not just like put it put a bead on and think through it. But even some of the track, I have nothing against covers at all. Some of the tracks that I’ve been working on in my spare time lately are covers of some of my favorite songs.

Brian Bob Young: Oh, man. I mean, the gigs I’ve played recently, they’re 50/50 for the most part, original and covers. So, I’ll do a Hendrix song all day. I’m all about it but that’s very intentional, you know. And I was going to say too, on the original music side. So, this year I plan on releasing original music. I totally agree with you that I really try to approach it with a lot of freedom. I get my inspiration from independent artists that when I hear them, I’m like that sounds absolutely vulnerably who they are. Have you heard of Courtney Barnett or Mack DeMarco or even guys like Father John Misty, when they hear these independent artists of today, I’m like, I don’t hear any fluff but I also hear music that they are thinking about their audience? They’re thinking about people that enjoy, like you said, a simple melody. But at the same time, they’re achieving creating art that sounds really quite almost revolutionary, I don’t know revolutionary. But pretty amazing, you know?

David Andrew Wiebe: I think it just speaks to the fact that you can sort of do it without compromise because everybody is worried about selling out, right. And the reality is you can still be very expressive in how you want to be expressive while still being commercial. It’s possible.

Brian Bob Young: Yes. Yes. Have you ever been around people that really don’t care about selling out though? It’s incredible.

David Andrew Wiebe: Well, yeah, because you’re free. You’re free to create more in the ways that you want to create.

Brian Bob Young: Actually, I’m using his example for somebody that holds this bounce really well. I’ve been working with this pop artists for the last year, a good friend of mine, Jamal Anthony. We grew up actually in the same hometown. He ended up in LA. I think he achieves this balance so well. He is totally functioning in the pop world. He writes songs for guys like, and this isn’t to name drop it’s just what he’s doing, like Grace and Chance and everything, just read one of his singles. But it’s totally who he is. He is having a ball. And it’s been so fun to like play gigs with him or for him and just be around this guy that’s totally doing pop stuff. And is like, this is genuinely who he is. Like, there’s no element of selling out. He is just being Jamaal Anthony, which is cool to be around. I like a lot of his music too, man. It’s kind of R&B, pop, and all that. I can get into it. So yeah, there’s always a balance with it but it’s achievable.

David Andrew Wiebe: Absolutely, yeah. For some people it’s just how they write and who they are. Well, this has been a really great conversation. I guess to kind of offer a final thought. It’s not just what you know but who you know that counts. It doesn’t mean you have to know everybody on this planet to succeed at the level that you want to succeed. And I don’t either. I just happen to know enough people that they book shows for the band that I play in or they give me references for solo shows that I could potentially play to where I never have to book my own gigs. And in fact, when I try to book my own gigs, usually it goes very badly.

Brian Bob Young: Yeah, it’s so hard.

David Andrew Wiebe: Yeah, exactly. I used to do the booking but yeah, that’s been years. I got enough gigs from other people’s recommendations.

Brian Bob Young: Good for you, man. Oh, my gosh. Well, thank you so much, man, too. It’s going to be pulled in to the queue in Brian Young outro.

David Andrew Wiebe: Exactly. Absolutely. So yeah, we’ll talk again soon.

Brian Bob Young: All right, David Andrew Wiebe, I appreciate it.

David Andrew Wiebe: All right. Thanks, Brian.

Brian Bob Young: Bye.

David Andrew Wiebe: Bye.

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How do I Choose a Guitar That’s Right for Me?

How do I Choose a Guitar That’s Right for Me?

I probably spent the better part of three years trying to find the right guitar for me.

I owned a classical guitar, so that’s what I started taking lessons on. As it turns out, it was the perfect guitar for me to learn on.

But it wasn’t long before I started getting into classic rock and hard rock. That meant that I needed an electric guitar.

As with many beginners, I started learning on a Squier Stratocaster and before long had upgraded to a Mexican made Fender Stratocaster, which I still own to this day.

But that wasn’t my “perfect” guitar and the search continued until I found the Ernie Ball Music Man Axis.

The search stopped there. I’ve been playing guitar for 18 years now and haven’t felt the need to find a substitute.

But it’s fair to say the process was painful at times because I didn’t think I’d ever find the Holy Grail.

Looking for your perfect guitar? Feeling discouraged in the process? Don’t worry – I can help.

Classical, Acoustic or Electric Guitar?

There are a lot of guitar products out there and it can be challenging to wade through all the brands and models.

The first thing we should consider is whether to invest in a classical, acoustic or electric guitar.

I say “invest” because a guitar makes a huge difference in how motivated you feel to play, and as we all know, the more you practice, the better you get.

So, here’s a basic breakdown of the different types of guitars and what they’re good for.

Should I Get a Classical Guitar?

A classical guitar generally comes equipped with nylon strings, which are easier on the fingers. That’s what makes it ideal for beginners.

It’s great for classical, flamenco and Spanish style guitar as you might expect.

But it can also be used for jazz, guitar solos in practically every genre, and for those beautiful fingerpicked interludes.

Though you certainly can use it in other genres, the fact that you can’t effectively bend notes makes it less appealing for blues, rock and metal players.

A beautiful instrument all around and great for the genres and purposes already mentioned, classical guitars are perfect for fingerstyle.

Is Acoustic Guitar Right for Me?

Acoustic guitars usually come with steel strings. That can make it tougher on your fingers (if you don’t have your calluses yet), but an instrument that’s been properly set up can still be a joy to play.

Acoustic guitars are used in many genres, even in metal. But you’re probably not going to hammer out those bloodcurdling heavy riffs on an acoustic. You’d used it for strumming, picking and maybe the occasional solo in that context.

And, let’s face it – there is a time and a place for an acoustic guitar solo, but these sections of music are usually reserved for electric guitar.

Acoustic guitar is ideal for folk, country, bluegrass, blues, singer-songwriter and the like, and bands like Heart and Extreme proved they can be great for rock too.

Another advantage of acoustic guitars in general is that you can basically take them wherever you go so long as you’ve got space in the car.

Today, many acoustic guitars come equipped with microphones and/or pickups, which means you can plug them into amps and PA systems, and even run them through effects (even with custom pedalboards for guitar or bass) if you so desire.

I don’t want to drone on too long here, but one more thing. Percussive style guitar has become quite the niche market thanks to innovators like Michael Hedges, Don Ross, Andy Mckee and others like them.

You can see what I mean in this video:

So, if you want to play percussive style, you’ll probably want to pick up an acoustic guitar.

Is Electric Guitar the Best Choice?

Electric guitar can be heard in practically every modern rock band’s music. Like acoustic guitar, they come with steel strings, but they are generally lighter gauge.

Electric guitars can be heard in all types of rock, including hard rock, punk rock and metal, and of course, blues, country, reggae, funk, R&B and others.

They are less common in classical, flamenco, bluegrass or folk, but they still show up there from time to time too.

And, there is an incredible amount of outboard gear for electric guitar, whether it’s amplifiers, effects pedals, rackmount units or otherwise. Honestly, I don’t think there’s any other instrument with as many peripherals.

In simple terms, that means you can produce a lot of different sounds on electric guitar.

When I was searching for my perfect guitar, I was looking for an electric, because I was inspired by players like Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen.

What Comes Next?

Hopefully you have a better idea whether to get a classical, acoustic or electric guitar now.

Of course, this isn’t the only consideration. There are plenty of other criteria to think about.

I’m going to go rapid fire from here but knowing what type of guitar you want (classical, acoustic or electric) can help you narrow things down considerably. It only gets easier from here.

Here are a few more questions worth asking:

Does it Meet Your Needs?

When I was on the hunt, I was looking specifically for a guitar that had humbucking pickups, a whammy bar and kept proper tune.

That’s quite broad when you think about it. But it gave me a good sense of what I did not want.

I played a few Ibanez guitars that met these criteria, but they didn’t feel right (see next section) and didn’t keep tune the way I needed them to.

One day, I went down to a guitar store with my bandmate and he went around grabbing different guitars going, “try this”.

I don’t remember how many guitars I tried but I played quite a few, including Fenders, Parkers and GIbsons.

Finally, he came back with an Ernie Ball Music Man Axis and said it felt natural to him, even though he only knew how to play a few chords.

It felt perfect to me too. I tried the whammy bar a few times and the guitar seemed to keep tune. And, it sounded great.

So, that guitar more than met my needs. Finding the right amp to suit the guitar took a lot longer, but that’s another story for another time.

Does it Feel Right To You?

It may be too obvious to say, but how a guitar feels has a lot to do with the materials it’s made of as well as how it’s shaped.

The Axis felt right to me because the neck wasn’t too bulky, and it wasn’t too thin. By comparison, Ibanez tended to have thin or “fast” necks. Some people prefer that.

The neck also plays a significant role in the instrument’s playability. Guitar necks basically come in three different profiles – C, V and U. Knowing this can help you find a neck that feels great to you.

As for the body, the question is how does it feel against your body? Does it sit nicely against your abdomen? And, if you’re sitting down, does it feel comfortable on your lap? Also, what does it feel like when you touch the body with your hands?

The Axis is kind of a small guitar. Technically, it’s about the same size as a Strat, but the body is rounder, making it quite comfortable.

You may not be able to find 100% comfort. That’s generally only possible if you get your own signature series guitar made to your specifications.

But you can easily get 80 to 90% there.

Feel is especially important. And, the only way to determine if something is right for you is by experimentation and trial and error.

Does it Sound Awesome?

Different guitars tend to be good for different genres and playing styles.

The Axis is awesome for rock and metal. But if I’m wanting to play funk, country or blues I tend to lean on my Strat.

I experimented a bunch with acoustic guitars too. One of my first purchases was an Ibanez acoustic and it served me well for a long time.

Because it was an intermediate guitar, it didn’t last me forever, and though I still own it, I use it less and less.

My current acoustic guitar is a Gibson, which has a full, warm tone, but it also cuts and just generally sounds great, even plugged in.

I once rented an Epiphone acoustic once too, and kind of wanted to hold onto it. But since I have a Gibson it would be redundant now.

Keep in mind what sounds awesome to you won’t necessarily be the same for anyone else. It’s your own journey, so be prepared to try a lot of guitars.

And, listen to others play too. Go to concerts and open mics. Watch YouTube videos – live shows, reviews, demos and the like.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for the perfect guitar for you, then be prepared to shell out a good amount of money (i.e. $1,500 – $3,000 or more). Screw budget. You’re not going to find an instrument you’ll be happy with a decade from now if you skimp on it.

If you’re looking for an instrument that’s right for you right now, then go to the guitar store and try out a bunch of axes. The front counter staff are generally quite helpful and knowledgeable, so ask plenty of questions.

There’s plenty more that could be said on this subject, but I think this is a good starting point.

If I missed anything, please leave a comment below.