I'm no kind of lifestyle prude, but there might be a lesson in a line from the Bob Dylan song about the bandit, John Wesley Hardin*:
"... to live outside the law
you must be honest..."
In other words, if you throw off the 'paternalistic/maternalistic' shackles of societal convention in this regard, you are, in effect, putting yourself in a position of responsibility with regard your life and actions. If you're going to use drugs, you either have to be smart about it -- or face the all too drearily familiar consequences.
Or, another way... if you've grazed out one pasture, perhaps it's time to try another.
Yet a different way: "One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." (Often attributed to Albert Einstein -- but more likely coined by mystery writer, Rita Mae Brown.)
Or to put it in vinyl kiddie terms, if your groove has become a rut, time to put on another side.
*Who didn't appear to be such a cool guy in real life.
Hm. Touchy. I went through the entire thing with alcohol and drugs. But lets look at what I was after:
1) Friends, and
2) To be a part of the counter-cultural experience.
I won't deny that some specific drugs opened me up to a different way of thinking, but I learned that drugs can only show you where you are already capable of going. They are not, however, a vehicle in which to arrive at your destination. That vehicle is you.
After years of 'research', I have ascertained that alcohol is worthless, and only serves to deaden the faculties and kill all ambition.
Now? I have no friends to speak of, and don't give a damn about counter-revolutionary factions, and, strangely enough, don't do drugs or drink anymore!
But the time spent in my studio more than makes up for all of it. And unlike so many others...I'm still alive.
Last edited by johnny nowhere; 29th November 2012 at 10:42 PM..
Reason: uh...editing, of course.
I won't comment on the chemical thing - been through a lot of it, and TBH still overly fond of a drink. How you want to live is up to you.
Seeing as you get your vibe on to do this sort of stuff, why not try taking that material and then do some serious production work on it when you're not kited off your tits? You know, sort of have your Mr Hyde moments, then walk in and remix yourself with a Dr Jekyll head on?
To do anything worth a damn creatively you need your wits about you. I've spent my whole working life doing creating things for a living and I don't bother even trying to work if I've had as much as a single beer. Your perceptions get way off. For example, alcohol makes everything sound faster to me (I guess because it slows me down). Consequently I record everything too slow if I've been drinking.
It's not a moral thing -- I could care less who ingests what substances -- just an observation that you need to be at the top of your game to create, or you'll never be able to match the output of people who are.
Some of the greatest music ever written was on drugs, but by no means is that an excuse to use them. Some of the greatest music ever was also wrote while sober. The key is being open minded, free, of processes and rules. Both things limit your mind to create.
You've got to be kidding. If anything it's probably the other way around. As Hemmingway said, "write drunk, edit sober."
These threads are always full of people saying stuff like "I don't judge anybody else, use what you want, but..." and then laying on all kinds of dumb stereotypes.
Everybody's brain is different. Everybody's creative process is different. Every creative act involves purely creative moments and also moments of hard work, focus, and organization, and everybody needs to learn for themselves how to best become productive within each of those states. You can't generalize anything about this.
One of the best arguments I know against learning a skill when you are "high" is something called state dependent memory or state dependent learning. If you learn to do something when your are high, you may only have access to that information when you are high, and my not be able to perform or remember it sober. This happens a lot to people who learn to play pool in pubs and taverns. I once had a friend with a very bad substance use problem who was a professional wrestler that had this happen to him. In order to work, he had to drink.
On a similar note, there's the anecdote attributed (I think) to sax player Ben Webster. He was astounded by the amount of booze the Ronnie Scott's rhythm section put away during a gig and asked the guys: "Hey, how come you British guys can play so well when you're so drunk?" Pianist (again, I think) Stan Tracey replied: "Easy. We practise drunk."
Golden Boy was my favorite. You have a good voice. I think that your biggest area in need of improvement is the music underneath. Go back and listen to your heroes, but ignore the vocals and pay attention to the instrumentation and percussion. Work on your grooves and arrangements to find your sound. The skeletons are fine, but now you have to put some meat on the bones. Keep at it!