Finding the Spark that Ignites Passion and Purpose

Most everyone has a goal of some sort, I can't think of ever meeting anyone who didn't have something they were passionate about in some way or another. Even the people I've met who seem to want little more out of life than to get high and play video games are at least passionate about those things.

I remember being asked at around 5 years old, what I wanted to be when I grew up. My response was “baseball player” simply because I didn't know what else to say and I heard another kid mention it. I didn't play the game, nor did I watch it, but the question needed an answer so I gave one I thought was acceptable.

It seems that for at least a brief period, I successfully placed a suggestion in my own head like some sort of Jedi Inception thing or whatever other movie reference fits here. I started practicing my swing, fielding pretend fly-balls, and pitching to a wall, I even started collecting baseball cards even though I had no idea what those statistics on the back meant. After a few months, I moved on to the next thing because my heart just wasn't in it and to this day, baseball bores me to tears.

Years later, I was introduced to what would later become such an immense part of my life, music. After I answered the call (the same one Manowar sings about) I became obsessed with all things Heavy Metal. Around the same time, I heard people shouting clever rhymes over hard, often gritty and cinematic beats and fell in love with Hip-Hop.

It didn't take too long before I was making my own music, most of which is completely god-awful, but still locked away for safe-keeping and an as-yet unplanned future trip into cringe-worthy nostalgia purgatory. Pursuing music as a chance to achieve fame and fortune was more of an afterthought than anything. I wanted to create the world's greatest album and there's a part of me that still does, but this passion for music has mutated quite a bit over the years.

I can't say that it won't change again, but as of now, the pursuit of sonic perfection isn't at the top of my list anymore. Along the way, there have been countless trials and troubles; victories, failures and lessons learned the hard way. The only thing that has remained constant is the fact that I just can't leave music alone, or perhaps it won't leave me alone.

I've played in several bands, some purely as emotional outlets, some just to make a buck and everything in between. At the dawn of social media, before anyone with a mp3 player was a DJ and everyone in a comments thread thought they were professional sound engineers, I was on a lot of forums talking about music and slipping in a mention of my own projects whenever I could.

I became known by some as an overly-opinionated elitist and by others as a hilarious cynic, but as it turns out, they were all correct. When I was first approached (along with another member of the forum) to start a podcast for our brutally honest opinions and sarcastic quips, I figured I'd give it a try and that if we did ten episodes it wouldn't be a complete waste of time. Forty or so episodes later, our show was getting thousands of hits and we were fairly confident in our ability to put together a decent podcast.

Right when we were at our peak, life started getting a bit more hectic for both of us and the show fell apart. It took about two years before I realized that I actually missed putting a show together. Couple that with the immense amount of talent in my area and the fact that no one was covering it, I decided to start No One Likes Your Band.

Many people struggle for years to find their purpose. There are countless blogs all over the Internet that give you advice on how to find “the real you” and give meaning to your life. The funny thing about all those blogs is that they usually all say something like, “whatever gets you out of bed everyday is your purpose”, but it's easy to take that at face value and trudge along to your job, thinking that it doesn't get any better.

I've searched for my “true self” all across the Internet and at the bottom of countless bottles, but I always came up empty. Perhaps it was my disdain of narcissism that kept the truth hidden from me, in plain sight, right there in the mirror. I had already found my purpose and “true self” years ago, I only needed to be myself and continue speaking my mind. To be a voice for those who don't feel theirs is loud enough to cut through the din of the daily grind. To entertain, not by just playing in a band, but by bringing bands to the people and helping build the next great music scene. The same kind of music scene that I read about as a child dreaming of Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Austin, London, Bergen and Gothenburg to name but a few.

I've always loved art and storytelling, but the top of the list has always been reserved for music. To me, there's not much better than standing there as feedback from giant amplifiers washes over the entire room, taunting my inner-ear and filling the fiber of my being with pure joy. Yes, the power of the riff compels me, but it's the love of the people and the weird, chaotic, roller-coaster of a lifestyle that keeps me sticking around through the hard times.

Sometimes it's a massive headache to organize house shows and music festivals, but when I look around the room and see it filled with people genuinely having a great time, it makes it all worthwhile. On those nights, I go home floating on a cloud of bliss, full of contentment and peace. I've found my purpose in the madness that is being an independent musician and working alongside them.

Dealing with the arrogant attitudes, shady business practices and general lack of professionalism are what fuel my drive to attain the goal that has currently replaced making the world's greatest album. In a nutshell, that goal is making sure that South Carolina gets it's place in the annals of music history. I don't want the unique, diverse beauty of my home to be haphazardly documented with a few pages about beach music, pop-country and a couple bluesmen.

I want a whole book filled with leather and spikes; circle pits and Punk Rock pyramids; booming bass, slick rhymes and crowds erupting in sonic ecstasy. I want the world to see us as I envision us; a group of passionate artists who support each other and nurture the gifts that surround us so that we may one day show the world what they've been sleeping on all these years.

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