A great side effect of cleaner living is the massive boost to productivity, and no more wasted days on the sofa in front of the tv trying to recover from the weekend’s excesses. If your only excess on the weekend is where you went musically, your mind is left clear to focus on whatever the next job in hand might be. I love the feeling I have on waking up in a hotel room the morning or lunchtime after a show and having amazing clarity of thought, and not having the self-loathing and dreaded thoughts of “what did I do last night?”. Not to mention the fact that navigating airports is a much more pleasant experience when you don’t have a stinking hangover.
It’s a sad reality though that often such clean living can appear to not be respected or rewarded by the dance music scene. The general public can sometimes seem to want their artists to be glorious fuck-ups, party animals, and above all else a general spectacle, and if you make the choice to live clean, work clean, and party clean, you can often start to feel like you are being left behind.
Stream: Marquis Hawkes – The Burning Light
Additionally, if you are old enough to remember a time before social media infected society like a virus, and didn’t grow up frantically posting about every small detail that happens to you, posting about your activities on Facebook can often seem like a real chore, particularly if like myself, your whole reason for doing this thing isn’t motivated by wanting to become rich or famous.
No doubt, we all want to be able to earn enough money to live comfortably, playing the fame game to at least some degree is part and parcel of making that happen when you are trying to build a profile as an artist, but having an out and out focus on purely the music rarely delivers in the modern world, at least on a short-term basis. When you find yourself in the position where your income is often dictated to by how recognizable and relevant you appear to be both in the online sphere, and the music scene at large, it can be very difficult to avoid getting caught up in an obsession with Facebook stats, record reviews, Beatport top tens and comparing yourself to other artists who you feel you should be getting at least as many props as.
And this can be really compounded when you are in your forties, surrounded by twenty or thirty-somethings who you think appear to be doing better than you are with apparently only half the effort you have made yourself, and you know that you have very few options outside of music with which to make a living. If this doesn’t work for me, then it’s back to DHL, driving vans, or worse. I, like many other artists I know, don’t have a graphic design or software engineering university degree to fall back on. It’s hardly a surprise that there is so much psychological dysfunction amongst artists in modern times, when you consider these sorts of pressures alone, outside of any kind of substance abuse on top.