For the last 12 months or so I've been thinking about what I did and what I didn't miss about creating music.
It's been quite a while away from it for me. My last gig was in Sept. 1999... just a couple days before Chloe was born in October of that year. At the time, I was extremely excited to be "taking a break", an indefinite break. I was tired, getting sour, extremely opinionated (even more so than usually), much more interested in my about-to-begin family, wife and nesting at home than going out and humping drums & hardware through the streets of NYC. The peripheral shit was wearing me down.
Stuff like having to start breaking down my drums at 5pm, going and getting the car, bringing in around in front of where we live, double parking it, making 4 trips in & out of the building to load the car and getting underway by 6pm. Sitting in rush hour traffic anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, getting to the gig and circling block after block looking for an on-street space. Slogging my shit from the car to the club-could be 60 feet/could be 2 blocks... through the club-making sure not to whack some poor bastard in the back of his head with my cymbal bag while he's eating his soup course, sitting the gear up... and hopefully getting all that done by 9pm... when it's time to hit. Playing to a few handfuls to a lot of interested people but always with the obligatory people who are there for food, drinks, talking about work and other shit... never music. The ones who actually try and compete volume-wise are the best... like it's some great feat to talk over 3 or 4 guys playing acoustic/unamplified instruments. Playing 3 or 4 sets and then hanging for drinks, some shit that owner allows "the musicians" to eat (if you've never played music professionally... the "food" for the band is ALWAYS off the menu... way off the menu) and then repeat all the first steps in reverse... break down, load out, drive, double park, load in at home, park the car and then get inside, collapse, drink some more, wind down... go to sleep when the birds start chirping.
That's pretty much all the stuff I do not miss.
What I do miss... the music. Creating it, communicating through a given instrument... The Moment. The act of throwing ideas back and forth with other humans... not verbally mind you, through an instrument. Conversing.
So, I've been thinking about slowly creeping back into this... very slowly and very carefully. Baby steps.
I think I lost a part of myself when I stopped playing music... now that I'm getting other things back under control, in line and with clear goals... the time has come to examine the things surrounding music for me-why I left (beyond what I actually know), why I burned out so badly, why I started feeling bitter and resentful, why it was easier to not challenge myself than the alternative.
In all truthfulness: why, as the music became more elevated & challenging, I didn't want to follow it.
That's a hard one for me. Hard to answer, to understand... to comprehend. It's a scary place and not all that pleasant to visit.