If you've followed my site for any length of time, you know my fondness for Austin Kleon and his wonderful books, Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work. Kleon writes a lot about music and all things arts-related, and his Tumblr and Twitter feed are great resources to add to your daily social media feed. He posted this quote by Brian Eno this year, and it really hits home when I relate it to my own feelings while being on US Marine Band tours, and shorter tours with Valor Brass... Great insight from the life of a rock star!
I noticed that touring — which is wonderful in some ways — is absolutely confining in other ways. It’s so difficult… you just can’t think about anything else. You try your hardest: You take books with you and word processors, and you’re definitely going to do something with the time. And you never do. It’s so easy for it to become your exclusive life, this one and a half hours every evening that you play. And I just thought, “I’m losing touch with what I really like doing.” What I really like doing is what I call Import and Export. I like taking ideas from one place and putting them into another place and seeing what happens when you do that. I think you could probably sum up nearly everything I’ve done under that umbrella. Understanding something that’s happening in painting, say, and then seeing how that applies to music. Or understanding something that’s happening in experimental music and seeing what that could be like if you used it as a base for popular music. It’s a research job, a lot of it. You spend a lot of time sitting around, fiddling around with things, quite undramatically, and finally something clicks into place and you think, ”Oh, thats really worth doing.” The time spent researching is a big part of it. I never imagined a pop star life that would’ve permitted that.