The Sobering Reality of a Life as a Musician

At this point in time, it’s pretty obvious I’ve become a Devin Townsend fan. Obviously, music has got something to do with it, but more than the music I get to learn a lot of things from the guy. I’m not a touring musician at this point but I sure understand how difficult it could be.

In this recent Devin Townsend interview, other than talking about Casualties of Cool (his new album and project), Mr. Townsend presents a picture of a touring musician who has the challenges of keeping a musical career while keeping things afloat back home (kids, aging parents, etc.). Perhaps, this is the sort of thing that Frank Zappa was confronted with before, being an independent musician and all.

One thing that I think about is would it be possible for me to go the same kind of route that Devin Townsend and Frank Zappa have done before. I got a bunch of compositions now that I will start recording some time this year. Maybe I can organize a band and then go on tour, but there will always be the questions regarding finance and logistics. How much money will it take? More importantly, how will I be able to establish a following that will allow me to do such things? How do you make it sustainable? Such are things that I’m learning little by little from people like Devin Townsend, Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, etc. From what I hear, it’s so far off from the glamorous life that you get to see from mainstream artists who are on the radio stations. If Devin Townsend, an individual coming from a developed nation that supports the arts, is confounded with challenges that could get in the way of his music and livelihood, how much more will it be for me, an unknown musician from a third-world country, who is barely at Mr. Townsend’s level?

I ask myself now, what should I try doing next if I am to move forward and achieve some form of progress? After completing my studies, what’ s the next step? It’s something I have to plan carefully and, more importantly, pray about to the Lord.

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