Sex, Drugs, And Bubblegum Pop (Week 31)

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Sex, Drugs, And Bubblegum Pop is the most outlandish column on UTG. Written by Mr. Jayce, vocalist for Secret Secret Dino Club and all-round funny guy, this column isn’t as much about the music as it is the experiences people in the music industry have.

WARNING: This column does and will continue to contain content some readers may find offensive. If you don’t have a sense of humor, this column is probably not for you.

“It’s not about the money money money”-Jessie J and Robert

The most scared I’ve ever been was about 3 years ago on tour. We were driving through Texas, it was just myself and my drummer and a bunch of equipment in a 15 passenger. We were in the middle of no where and had been experiencing van problems for about a month now. We stopped at a motel and stole their wifi for about 10 minutes until we got yelled at and barely made it back on the road. Finally the van went dead and we were stranded in the Texan woods at about 1:30am.

We waited 3 hours in a completely dead van in the dark. It was like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the Blair Witch Project at once. I called my mom and gave her my will in case i died in the nothingness that night. By the time the AAA guy got there I was completely skeptical of any kind of noise or activity. He said he could drive us up to 125 miles to a service station so I had him take us as close as we could get to Dallas. Once we got there we slept in our van and woke up in a service area. At that point I called Allstar and they came and picked us up in the afternoon and I just up and left my van in the middle of Texas and continued tour in their van.

A couple weeks later, the van and trailer with both bands and sets of equipment got smashed from behind by a trucker reaching for his water bottle. Everything I owned was destroyed along with most of everybodies stuff. We were stranded on the side of the road at a go kart shop with some damaged equipment and no money. I borrowed money from my sister to get a uhaul to get me and the rest of my stuff to some family who lived a few hours out. I had lost thousands of dollars that summer on tour giving out CDs in front of Jonas Brothers concerts. My bank had run completely dry and all my credit cards were maxed out.

I remember driving in the uhaul and my drummer yelling at me because I wasn’t paying him enough money to feed him, pay his student loans and his phone bill. Having no regard for me just losing my van and everything I own on top of losing thousands of dollars to gas and tolls (I also have student loans and a phone bill). Having been in the band for only 2 months though, it was hard for me to sympathize with someone who didn’t even plan to support himself for a month when on tour as a relatively no name band.

To many people’s dismay, music is as much of a business if not more than it is an art. It’s the people who take both into consideration that end up successful. If you are just playing music for money, even if you have short term success it won’t last. Greed is incredibly transparent. But if you don’t care about money at all, you will never survive. If there is money to be made off of you, someone will find you and make that money from. It’s up to you to surround yourself with intelligent people who care about music as well as your future financially. Don’t be afraid to take a risk, but make it a planned risk.

I get shit all the time for being a songwriter and “writing songs for money” and it’s pretty unfair (I don’t even make THAT much money). I have the coolest job in the world. I get to play instruments, sing and smoke weed all day. I can take a break whenever I want. I am encouraged to act crazy and to be myself. There is no other job in the world as cool as that and there’s nothing wrong with making money for doing it. I’ve never cared about having any sort of cred or acclaim, I’ve always just wanted to do only what I wanted to do. Isn’t that what everyone should do for a job?

Mr. Jayce

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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