Chicken Soup for the Bouncing Soul - 3/7/04
Advice by Bryan of the Bouncing Souls
In this new advice column, Bryan will be answering your life- and punk-related questions. Send your questions here, with "Bouncing Souls" in the subject line. (Keep in mind that due to a hectic road schedule, he won't be able to answer all of 'em.)
I wanted to know what your advice to be to a band that has been together for two years and as soon as we played our first show we got a killer response and even signed to an Indy label! but we have our problems like we're not really stage savvy anymore (we've all been in touring band before but we haven't seen a stage in 2 years). and so I want to know if theirs any advice you can give us and if not, if you could just hit our site surf it some and let us know what you think, you and the rest of the souls are our heros and It would mean the world to us if any of you could just give us a hey in our guestbook or a post on our forum, we really take all our motivation from the souls directly for our sounds and the lyrics come strait from my life so if you have any advice you could give us that'd be great!
Thanks for the Times,
Thanks for the kind words and congratulations on the success so far of your band. As far as "stage savvy" goes, the most important thing is not to worry. It's natural to be nervous of course, but there are two extremes on stage to avoid. On one end of the spectrum, there are people who are either so scared being "cool", or who put forth so little effort that it sucks to see them up here. They are the ones who either turn their back toward the drummer for minutes on end or just never look up or engage the crowd at all. On the other end, are the people who have actual "moves" and are so slick it sucks to watch them too. That's rockstar shit, it's just not natural. For us, we started by playing at our own parties and friends' parties. The atmosphere was always that there was no separation between the band and the crowd, we were all at the same party together, we are all involved in sharing the moment and making it the best time we can possibly have, together. So that's my advice on 'stage savvy'. Just chill and live in the moment. See no separation between yourself and the crowd. There never should be. This Zen approach carries over to every detail of the band. Writing, creating imagery to express what you want to convey, etc. Good luck and have fun!
Maybe you can offer some advice. My friend is getting out of control with alcohol - really out of control. He's been pissing off all our close friends and no one wants to hang out with him anymore. When I bring it up, he says I'm overreacting because I'm sXe. I'm thinking of saying fuck you to the friendship and walking away, but maybe I'd feel guilty about it? I mean, I'd still see him at shows... Don't know what to do.
In general, the best policy is to do everything you possibly can, never turn your back on a friend as long as there is something you can do. Do your very best to properly resolve every conflict as they arrive in your life, approach them as challenges, meet them with a calm and even mind, and grow as a person with every one. Unresolved conflicts travel with you forever, manifesting themselves in some form of negative energy, psychologically and even physically sometimes. So in the case of your friend, I believe that each of us is here to have our own experiences, insane as some of our paths they may be. Personally I've needed to make similar mistakes as your friend to experience and learn certain things about life, and myself. This may be just something he has to go through. In other words, this might be some kind of "stage" Another guess off the top of my head is that he's bummed about something. Life can really suck sometimes and different people have different way of dealing with it. Nothing beats a good crew of friends though for getting through it and making it deece. If he's really acting out, he may be reaching out. Perhaps he wants/needs attention. Try giving him good attention, as friends. (These are just random guesses as I am not there.) The one and only way I know to deal with a situation like this is by communication, the most open and honest you can be. It may sound cliché but you and your pal there need to have a serious heart to heart (when he's sober). It's important that you approach this with all the love and patience you can muster and maintain. As soon as the first voice raises or the first brow furrows, communication's tunnel squeezes shut little more. Careful not to end up taking opposing sides of a bullshit line. Calling ourselves "Straightedge" or "drunk punks", skins, etc, these are all ways of identifying ourselves, finding ourselves and our place in a fucked up society. Sometimes we forget the truth, that we are not separate, but one heart. Not to sound like a pussy or nothing, but love really is the answer. In love there is patience, there is no separation, nothing to react against or fight over. Handle this situation with patience and love, and if then it doesn't work out, you will be resolved in the knowledge that you did your best and did the right thing.
Thinking about getting a tattoo, maybe the crass sign on my leg. Or maybe an 8 ball. suggestions?
Cheers mate, Ian
A picture is worth a thousand words, and your tattoos will be with you for the rest of your mortal life. My favorite tattoos are the ones that mean something to me personally, a lesson learned or a great moment or era remembered. Maybe a Crass symbol embodies your personal politics perfectly, in which it'll serve as a reminder of this time of your life when you discovered this, when your heart is most awake and seeking the truth. That is something you never want to let die. A Crass tattoo will always remind you. I really can't say and maybe I'm getting too deep here. Shit, life's fuckin short, don't sweat it too much, do what you want, think it through, but there's also something to be said for spontaneous and maybe not-so-good tattoos. They are also reminders of a great moment. The circumstances surrounding you getting a tattoo also become part of what it symbolizes, or reminds you of. It's about you and for you, not about impressing anyone else. Make sure you find a decent artist, it's great having a really good tattoo here and there I have good tattoos and crappy tattoos and I gotta say I don't regret any of them. As they say, it's better to regret something you have done than to regret something you haven't!