Glamour? Stardom? Fame? Money? Is this it? That what you’re in for? Then you’re missing out on the real thing. On the hardship to inspire you. On the failure that’ll make you stronger. On the losses that’ll teach you there is more to it than things. On all of what’ll make you put your soul into your songs. Believe me, they will understand. They will know by the way you sing them. And they’ll laugh and cry and weep and smile. Once you’ve seen this, you’re on the right track.
Listen to the album while reading the text.
Two awful long rides. 72 h mostly behind the wheel. Turku. The ferry. Tallinn. Liepaja. Biala Podlaska. A minimum of sleep, roughly 1500 kilometers including a fair bit of gravel road in Latvia, a little nap on the driver seat, dozing away with a view of the Baltic sea in the greyish dim morning light somewhere north of Riga. All muscles aching from both the endless drive and the straining last gig in Tallinn, dizzy from staring onto the never-ending dotted yellow line in front of me. Was it yellow? Blurred images of service stations on the nightly Via Baltica.
Rush in, grab a coffee, a chocolate bar, still believing that little extra sugar would keep me awake long enough for another 20 or 30 kilometers. Just to make it in time for yet another poorly paid gig? For the vague possibility of being rewarded by a small audience that appreciates the songs, the playing, the putting in everything you’ve got way beyond emotional exhaustion? It’s mad. It’s total, utterly insane. What makes people do things like that?
I suppose because it’s worthwhile. Because nobody else would do it. Because there is nothing comparable to having given them the story of your life, all that you are, every bit of your soul. To people who have been strangers to you half an hour earlier, taking the risk of being turned down. Being ignored, being hurt in the worst case.
But then there is nothing comparable to that wave of bliss following a short period of complete emptiness if it worked that particular night. Absolutely nothing. Might be the idea of catching a fracture of a second’s glimpse onto the other side. To have a stroll on that faraway boulevard, that high street of an in-between world.
Grabbing this shorter than short moment of eternal luck, being part of it, of a different world most people will never have the chance to see.
Sure I know. It’s playing with matches, but it’s irresistible once you’ve been there and made it back. It’s one of those few remaining moments of magic in a world that has become too factual in its functionality to allow such. A world trying to stop us from dreaming and thus putting its sheer existence at risk.
Mäkkelä, Category: Artist, Albums: Homeland, Last of a Dying Breed, Means Nothing in Hitchin, Singles: Fire.