Why I’m Here? A blog on why I enrolled in a Bachelor of Audio at SAE
There are so many reasons I have chosen to do this, but like any good story lets start at the beginning.
Growing up my Great Grandparents lived on a property that over looked one of the main out-door stadiums in New Zealand and whenever big bands came and played there we would always go over and watch them from the roof top. My dad played in bands when I was a kid (Mostly punk/Rockabilly), Mum was an old Goth and Before I knew who Batman was Billy Idol was my hero. They took me to see Billy Idol when I was 4 and it was at that moment I decided music was what I really wanted to do. I wanted to be a Rock Star like Billy, but it was more than that or at least it became more than that.
Every one in my family was into music and I grew up on a diverse selection of tapes and records to listen too. Because I was so into it, I went through everyone’s albums not just my parents but My Grandma, Aunties, Uncles, and as I got older all my friends dads. It became the recorded medium that interested me the most. I’d listen to things like David Bowie or ALice Cooper and think “How did they make that sound” the whole art of it just fascinated me and it still does.
Once I got to kindergarten I realised not everyone else was as obsessed with music as I was and got into superheros and cartoons etc. but when it came time to ask “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I always had the same answer “I want to be a rock star like Billy Idol” I was generally laughed at by the whole class including the teacher. But for me it was no joke. That was what I wanted to do.
When I was about 9 Mum came home from a Violent Femmes show with a tape from the opening band, that tape was Nirvana – Nevermind and it literally changed my life. Not just because it sounded good or it was cool but because this hit me on an emotional level like nothing had before. and it started to spark Questions in me. “What is it that makes music good?, Is Music art?, is it more than that?” It awoke something primal in me and I realised that I could do this, that anyone could.
When My parents got divorced they went down very different paths, My Mother started studying natural medicine and embraced her Pagan roots while my father joined a pentecostal church. Dad burnt all our records because the church told him they were all evil (including moms). It was just devastating for us to think that all that music went on the fire. Dads new obsession formed my next one in the form of a Christian documentary called “Hells Bells.”As they were talking about how evil all these bands were, I was taking notes and that was when Metal really came into the picture for me. So, by the time I got to high school and everyone else was still riding the Grunge train, I formed the most over the top Glam Metal band you could imagine.
I did this for years until it was all I was known for and once I got a bit of notoriety and people knew who I was I realised I didn’t really like the fame and I went really inward. The Band ran its course and eventually we split up. I got a girl friend and for the first time in my life at 20 years old I could stay home and watch cartoons, I could go out to clubs or to see bands. I did not have rehearsal twice a week and a gig coming up. It was really a breath of fresh air, but this is really the time where I opened up and changed and became the person I am now. I guess I went very inward, became somewhat of a recluse, but the need to create was still there.
During this time I explored Art more than I ever had. Visual art, Surrealism, the strangest films I could find and from that point on I branched out of just Rock, Metal and Punk Music into everything I could get my hands on. I became a musical optimist, thinking “if someone had the passion to make this, there’s got to be something good in it.” I broke down all my preconceptions about music and have continued to do so ever since. I bought a little digital home studio and proceeded to record an album all by myself with no purpose other than to translate my dreams into sound. To treat the silence as a blank canvas and paint my subconscious onto it with sound. I didn’t really have much of an idea what I was doing aside from just using my intuition, aesthetics and my ears. Barely anyone understood what I was trying to do. There was no market for it and I still have boxes of pressed CD’s in my shed.
In Conclusion the reason I am here is because I learnt that being a rock star was not what I wanted at all, but being involved in the creation of music and art is what my passion has always been about. I believe music has the power to affect people, to share something with each other, a feeling, an idea, some sort of unity or solidarity. It can be any or all of those things and that’s very powerful. Music is an amplification of the human spirit, it’s not always beautiful and it’s not always supposed to be (like everything in nature). I want to do this because I want to understand how music is made. I want the opportunity to work with all sorts of different people and artists and help them to achieve their vision. I want to be versatile and not locked into one style or genre. I want to help anyone I work with bring impact to their music, understand peaks and valleys and make the best music for their style they can. To really put themselves into it and not hold back on what it is that drives them to do this.
And most of all I believe this is why I’m here.