It all started when...

 

The Substage in full swing. Photo credit: "All Schools Network" blog

Famous musicians are just normal people. That's something I found out in my early twenties. Back in the 2000s I worked in a dingy, smelly and simply fabulous live music venue in Karlsruhe, Germany - The Substage. It was a converted pedestrian subway. Wide, low, no windows, no neighbours, perfect for a fun party or concert.

I saw so many fabulous gigs in there! If I wasn't working, I went to see a show. I was supposed to be studying at university, but I spent all my time at rock 'n' roll school. At that stage synthesizers hadn't yet made an appearance in my music, although I started to get hooked on trip-hop and electronic acts around that time. There is fabulous music in every genre. Karmacoma by Massive Attack, for example, was a song that entranced me back then. It still does. 

Anyway, I was thoroughly in a rock music phase when I worked at the Substage, and one of the first bands to play there after I joined the team was thrash metal heavyweight, Anthrax. Holy shit!! I was going to meet Scott Ian, a guitarist who kicked my butt on a daily basis when I practiced my guitar chops, goading me to become as good as him. Not that he knew about that, but you know what I mean. There's only one way to become as good as those guys on the records. Practice, imitate, and play until your hands bleed.

So off I went to introduce myself to Scott Ian... And there he was, descending the loading ramp into the dirty pit that was my club. But just before I extended my hand to introduce myself and tell him that he was a big inspiration for me, he turned to the woman accompanying him and moaned something along the lines of “Oh hell no! What a piece of shit club is this?”

Stairway to Heaven

Wait! What??? My hand stayed firmly by my side, and I had a few thoughts pretty much all at the same time: “Hey! Who do you think you are, dissing my club like that?” “So you wanna play big arenas all the time, eh?” “I don't think you're so cool anymore.” “Oh! So you're just a normal dude too...” And that last thought stuck. He's just a normal dude, getting disappointed at having to play dingy clubs. I have to admit, The Substage was an acquired taste, not really something for good first impressions. Just have a look at that picture at the top... 
"Well," I thought, "if he can be successful in music, then so can I! I'm a good musician, I believe in myself! I'm going to do it!"

Thanks Scott! We never spoke, but you gave me the confidence to pursue a career in music. For sure, it didn't only come down to that incident, but it really gave me a good shove. It made me apply for a Master's degree in Sound Design for which I travelled around the world to New Zealand to attain, and that led to a career in music. Although it turned out to be more of a career behind the scenes as a composer and music producer, rather than a touring artist. I've made music for theatre and film, and composed classical music pieces which were performed by some of Australia and New Zealands top musicians.

Music is a wonderful art form. Everyone loves music. It's just musical tastes that differ. It is so much fun to create something that resonates with someone else, that moves the other person. You just have to connect and get that music heard. Nowadays it's actually quite easy to do that. I connected with you already and really appreciate you coming on board my musical journey. Giving YOU music that you enjoy makes all the hard work worthwhile.

There's lots of interesting music coming soon. But in the meantime, if you'd like to hear my previous releases, click here.

Oh! And as a side note, Anthrax kicked ass at that gig! It was such a fun show.