I was taught that to be a true musician, one has to make a choice between a social life and success. This is a concept that I have struggled with for the past two years before writing Sunset Club. I first became introduced to the idea of being a performer with classical music, mainly opera. To be a successful classical musician, one must spend all their free time practicing, learning, thinking, and breathing music. That isn’t the life for everyone.
Almost anything can be a metaphor for songwriting. Prying open a jar of pickles? Yes. Playing Russian Roulette? Sure. Tending to a plant. Why not? If writing songs is inseparable from life itself, then it must fall somewhere between meditating and giving birth, at the equator of zen and utter pain; the middle path between the sacred and mundane.
by Max Colbert
“The moon looked pale and wan, as if it shouldn’t be up on a night like this. It rose unwillingly and hung like an ill specter.”
This is a quote from early in the third chapter of a book called Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams. This is a book that I don’t like very much but loved in 8th grade. Before I was in a band, before I played an instrument, before I even listened to music, I loved the stories of Dirk Gently. So, when my friends and I started a band in middle school, I suggested this line as a name, and, being in middle school, misspelled specter as “spector”. This was, more or less, how the band started; as middle schoolers who couldn’t play our instruments, misspelling words, and deciding we liked it better that way. And this is, more or less, how the band has stayed since then.
by Gloria Guns
When my maternal grandmother was eighteen years old, she left her home in what is now North Korea to head south so she could study nursing. It was while studying there that the country split into North and South Korea, leaving her family trapped on the other side of the border. To this day, she has never been back to her birthplace and has not heard from her family ever since.
by D. Wild
When I was sixteen years old, I wrote and recorded a song called Infection. Eleven years later, it’s become completely cringe-worthy for me to listen to, but that song lead me to some of the most profound realizations I’ve had in my music career so far. The lyrics of Infection were about unrequited love, the negative feelings that come along with it, and the ability of those feelings to spread into other aspects of life.
At that time, I was extremely self-conscious about my voice, and my good friend Ravi Adams would sing on the actual recordings of my songs. Ravi was able to capture the things that my voice was not yet capable of, and for the first time in my life, I experienced the joy of having a completed musical project that I was proud to share with the world.
I continued striving to write better and better music, but one day Ravi stopped me in the middle of recording and told me “Dillon, you write awesome songs, but everything is sad and slow. Imagine what you could do if you changed things up and wrote a happy, more upbeat, song.”
by Jolie Flink
In the aftermath of being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and the end of a long-term relationship, I was on a manic tear and writing songs at lightning speed. At the time, my late-night escapades included a lot of flings and raging substance use — this was the only way I knew how to manage my symptoms at the time. I wasn’t exactly treating my bipolar disorder with traditional medicine or therapy.