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  • Writer's pictureHayden Purcell

Join A Band

I've been in a few bands over the years, if you're a musician struggling creatively...Join one. Most notably, I had recently been the bassist and backing vocalist for Milton Keynes rock band False Idol, performing for about 5 years, I decided it best to part ways due to my own recent issues with priorities, drive, and creativity, but it gave me some of the best musical years of my life.

A good way to collaborate when it comes to making music is to start a band. That is to say, with yourself at the core, bring your ideas to some other musicians who you can form a bond with, and help liven up some of your creations. For me; I joined a band, because I didn't know what I was doing with my own ideas...Feeling insecure about them and not really knowing what I was doing at the time, joining a band was a good way to take away all of the pressure of needing to create. A bit of a contradiction there, in that when I talk about starting a band, you're looking for inspiration from other musicians, and here I am talking about avoiding that entirely. Well you'll find that you contribute in ways you don't really expect...I was playing bass, so that was my domain, the other guys would create the riffs/structures, so what I was meant to play was basically predetermined. But then I found that I would start to play around with the notes and riffs I was given and improve upon them, perhaps doing things differently for different verses, or try to harmonise with the rhythm guitar for example. Truthfully, I was a backseat passenger when it came to making the songs. I never really put things forward, unless an idea popped into my head that I thought might be helpful. It was nice to be part of something outside of myself, where my friends would write all the songs, and I pretty much just had to turn up and play. It got me out of my own headspace, and because I was enjoying the music I was playing, I felt like I was playing good music without all the worry and self doubt around my music being good enough for me.

If you're struggling with perfectionism over your own music, or perhaps even have a creative block, find a band to join where you can relax about contributing. Over time you might find that creativity start to come back, from seeing other people do it and from being a part of something that doesn't just involve yourself.

Personally, it only went south due to a culmination of ruminating over my lack of ability to rediscover my own creative spark, and the societal pressure of the need for money to survive.

I needed to make something of myself career wise, and in order to climb up the ladder of earning potential, I needed to start putting my job before my creative endeavours. As this is where opportunity was most apparent. Being part of False Idol was by far one of the best experiences of my life...Being on stage performing was the most alive I'd ever felt, but life got in the way. At a certain point, being part of a band comes with a lot of sacrifice...You almost have to make a choice between making enough money to be successfully self sufficient, or to follow you passions and desire to fill the void. Eventually, if you work hard enough you can have your cake and eat it (to a certain extent), but it doesn't work for everybody. Sometimes, it just doesn't work that way. Survival demands stable employment, and for me, that didn't come from being in a band...In order to increase my earnings and make my life sustainable, I had to start dropping gigs, skipping practices, because work shifts weren't always as malleable as I'd wished. There are always ways around it, my experiences are not the same as everybody else...Some people can make it work, individual experiences are conditionally unique, but if you have the opportunity, do not pass up the chance to discover for yourself being in a band, whether you start one, or join one.


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