Blog 7: Complaining


Hey folks

 

Yesterday I started writing the blog below but got more and more depressed as I wrote it. I went for a walk at dusk last night up into the hills above the little valley where my house hides. I used to go for these walks daily but haven’t found the time over the last couple years to do it more than once or twice a month. These walks have always been one of the most powerful ways I have of connecting with myself and grounding myself. Of exploring all my thoughts and feelings that life stimulates and reconciling them and making sense of them as well as integrating them into my plans for the following hour, evening, day, week, month, year lifetime.

 

These walks inevitably return me to my optimistic, grateful, passionate (yet peaceful) self and as I walked last night I thought about the content of the following blog and wondered how the information and ideas were just as true on my walk as when I wrote it and yet how I feel about those ideas and that information is radically different. I haven’t re-read the following blog yet so ill just do that now and then see if I want to write any more preface…

 

Ok I’m back, it doesn’t sound as depressing as it felt when I wrote it so maybe its like a psychiatrist pulling out a picture of a girl and asking you what you think she feels, and your answer is always a reflection of you and where your at.

 

I’m not sure that the content of these blogs is the most captivating stuff I imagine most blogs from bands would like quirky anecdotes and tour stories etc. maybe I’ll be able to get Finn to write some of them for you guys… below is yesterdays blog

 

This website has turned out to be harder to maintain than I thought! I’ve had lots of podcasts and demos and things and would have been putting them up on a fortnightly basis but we’ve had constant technical difficulties. I hope that from now on the site can have more regular updates to keep you interested and engaged with what I’m/we’re up to.

 

It’s been an interesting process this album tour as it’s the first tour dropping the old name TOMMY and promoting the new name, the new band and the new album. While the friends and fans who’ve turned up have given us the most beautiful humbling (and at times overwhelming) support, the crowds have for the most part been quite small. Smaller infact than any of the previous TOMMY tours in the last 7 years. Part of this maybe due to the recession (managers tell us even some of the biggest NZ bands have had half full venues and half the venues I tried to book had closed down in the last 18 months saying that people were drinking in bars as much as ever but not paying cover charges to do it). Part of it may be the new name and branding lost a few fans and part of it may be the new music has lost a few fans. But whatever the reason the album tour lost a shitload of money and if it weren’t for the upcoming festivals we’d be bankrupt!

 

Part of an album tour is about pushing the record and for a longtime in the early days our friends in phoenix and the seeds etc would be losing money on tours but making money on album sales, being that we were pretty earthy folks and happy to sleep in parks and tents we always made money touring so this tour has been a bit of a shock, even if we can write it off as a promotional exercise. Also despite the rave reviews the albums enjoyed the sales have been empathetic and our publicist really struggled to have any media give us feature stories or interviews, lots of media telling her that nowadays there’s so many unknowns they’re only giving time to big acts or acts that are paying for ads in there paper, radio, TV station etc

I guess this might sound like a whole lot of complaining and certainly I was always told that as a performer no matter how bad things are going you always tell the public “its great, were huge, there were 1000’s of people there etc” but I don’t have the stomach for that and towards the end of the tour when we did get the odd interview I became increasingly honest and candid about the reality that while the band is excelling creatively it’s struggling financially and on the brink of collapse! I’ve always believed my only real chance of finding a life-sustaining audience is going overseas and despite the beautiful enthusiasm of our local fan-base it’s become more and more obvious that if I have any chance of making it I better leave the country and leave real soon.

 

To be honest the thought terrifies me. I may never do it, not because I’m scared but because I don’t see any path how to make that work and as of yet I haven’t manifested any people into my world who are able to give me the contacts, guidance or support to help make that happen.

 

I always said that if I hadn’t made it by 30 I’d stop putting in all the effort that it requires (between 20 and 60 hours every week just on management. Touring, recording and anything creative like actually writing are all in addition to these hours) and focus on some career that can actually enable me to buy some land and support a family. Whenever I feel like its gotten to that time (I turned 30 three weeks ago) and I’m ready to quit, I think about the few stories of other artists who also thought it was too late and just before they gave up an opportunity arrived that led to them achieving their goals and realizing their dreams.

 

I guess I’m feeling pretty jaded but still holding on to the chance that if I keep working this hard and trying everything I can think of that sometime somehow some one in a million twist of fate is gonna rescue me from the banality of working for the man and give me an opportunity to realize my dreams. I guess we all hope for that in our respective fields and dream-worlds and I don’t see how I deserve it anymore than any one else. I hope we all achieve what it is we work for and I hope those that don’t can find comfort that unfulfilled hopes and dreams are part of the journey and that the grief they incur is part of what makes us who we are and that who we are is worth whatever it took to be that.

5 Responses to “Blog 7: Complaining”

  1.  Sue Massey Says:

    I found your site on Google and read a few of your other entires. Nice Stuff. I’m looking forward to reading more from you.

  2.  Jane Says:

    Gutted to hear you say you lost money on your album tour.. for what its worth your ChCh gig kept me on a high for days afterwards :) had listened to your music for ages before I actually got to see you live and found you guys fantastic (I always loved your music, but that just completely blew me away!!)! stay strong, things always have a way of working themselves out when you least expect them to.. your music has and always will be a huge inspiration to me, and to many others :)

  3.  John Bailey Says:

    Tommy
    Glad to see you are playing in Nelson again soon, Renae and I look foward to seeing you there we will try to bring some friends along as well.
    A lot of big name bands struggled for years before making a name for themselves. Remember to be strong and work hard, good things come to good people. In the meantime I will keep playing your music and telling people about it.
    Wishing you love,light and laughter.
    John and Renae

  4.  Rhys Says:

    Wow
    Bought “Isolation is the new party” at Everymans, Nelson and it is so good it has transcended every NZ artist CD ever and for that matter is among the best CDs I ever done bought…and I am a audiophile!
    Dorje Yeti (the dodgy one)

  5.  Stella Says:

    Chin up! You are an amazing musician, with passion and soul that is rare. Things will improve, as you say, the recession has really affected things. There will always be challenges, but don’t forget to look at just how far you have come!
    The Dancing Girl in Palmy

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