Why and for What Purpose?

"What are your songs about? What do you make music for? What's your message?"

"Well I...uh...see the...hmmmmm...yeah, see, when a man loves a woman..."

I have been asked these questions a lot over the years. And, unfailingly, I stammer and trip all over myself trying not to look like a fucking moron...which I then fail at on account of all the stammering. I'm not good on the spot. I'm more of an "off the spot" guy, lurking in the shadows of my own omnipresence.

I make music to express my unyielding desire for acceptance, for peace, for an understanding that has, thus far, eluded me.

I have lived most of my life feeling like an outcast of some type. No matter how many people are around me, no matter how many friends I have, I am inhabited by a profound and unwavering solitude. It's a long, dark kind of alone...heavier than my bones, thicker than my blood. It's like a universe occupied by just me. There are many times I'm grateful for it and many times where I wonder if I am just crazy and no one has figured out how to tell me? Either way, I am endlessly preoccupied with my own anxieties and racing thoughts and that creates a barrier (or protective shield, depending on how you look at it) between me and the rest of the world.

Breaking through this cavern of echoes to the rest of the world is a formidable task. Writing music helps me wade beyond the waters of my distorted thinking. It's medicinal, it works just like an anti-depressant. When I go too long without creating, I get clogged up with nervous tension and self loathing. A new melody or a great lyric is like a Xanax for my heart. When I'm on a roll and am writing a lot, I feel like I am successfully fulfilling my purpose in life. 

If I have ever felt the presence of God it has been through song. 

Photo by Tim Basaraba

Photo by Tim Basaraba

Performing is the truest form of connection I know. It's a bridge from the deepest, darkest part of me to you. It's where I'm most honest, no need to hide or pretend. There are no falsities, no stutter steps. I don't care how I look or how it makes you feel when I am singing my heart...we are inexplicably connected. If you want to know me, the stage will unravel every layer of pretense. It's a discovery for us both.

And THAT is why I make music.

Do you make music or some other art? Why? Leave a comment, let's jib-jab.