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The Unification of Bands (Day 94)


Last night I played with my band and many unexpected things happened. I mean, the show was great, we had a great time doing it, but I am going to refer to some situations that got me thinking, backchatting and reacting within myself.

Since the first moment we got to the place I realized it wasn’t well organized. The guy in charge suddenly disappeared. All the equipments were on stage. The show was supposed to start at 8pm but it actually started like 2 hours later (that's not unsual within gigs, though).

When we were invited to play, the guy in charge said something like “the idea of this show is to unify the bands”. – It sounded cool to me, because in my country being an artist is not something that makes you rich. You can’t have a descent income through it. You actually have to have another job in order to have money to buy your equipment. – That’s why I thought “Cool, bands have many things in common…let’s do it! Let’s work together and let’s unify our ideas” lol.

We finished playing and as we use many things on stage, we usually take longer than other bands when it comes to setting up and then taking out all our pedals, cables, amps, etc. 

Suddenly the band that had to play after us started installing their stuff, so I said “Guys, I suggest you to wait 5 minutes, because If you start installing while we are uninstalling we will take longer”.

The singer of that band said “You have wasted too much time already”. – This made me react because it’s not that we take longer on purpose. It’s just that our dynamic is different, because of all the extra equipment we require to sound the way we like. – So I reacted like “whaaat?”

Then the drummer of my band asked him “are you in a rush, dude?” and the guy said “yeah, because we live in a different city and we depend on buses to get home after the show”. My drummer said “If you know you will be in a rush because you don’t want to miss the bus, you could have asked the guy in charge to be the first band to play”.

At this moment I noticed a behavioral change within myself. I was upset and my facial expression changed. I realized that even my facial temperature changed and that my face was about to explode. – Even though I realized I didn’t have to react and just breathe, I started with backchats/internal conversations within my mind towards that guy.

After I was done with disassembling my pedals, cables, microphone, in-ear system, wireless system plus being careful because you don’t want to get electrocuted (it has happened to me in the past due to being in a rush and under pressure), I started disassembling my amp. That’s when the same dude that was apparently in a rush that was complaining at us because to his perspective and according to his context we were wasting too much time kind of messing around, he says “Hmm, dude? Is that your amp?” – I said “Yes”. – He went “Could you borrow us your amp?”- This for some reason made me think “Oh, the arrogant singer now is asking me a favor and his behavior changed. He is actually being nicer”. – Even though I wanted to say “Fuck you!” I said “I brought another amp. Let me take this one out and I will bring you the other one that I agreed to bring to the gig. But, you know what? Have you noticed that we first have to observe instead of just complaining? You said we were wasting too much time, but you have to understand that not all the bands work within the same parameters. If we take longer than the other bands it’s because we want to make sure we sound good. It’s not because I want you to lose your bus. It’s nothing personal. What would happen if now I decide not to lend you my amp? I will lend it to you, because I don’t want to be an asshole, but if I wanted, you couldn’t play”. He said “The bass amp your band used is mine”. Lol. I realized that neither he nor I were working in order to be more efficient within the process of having the stage ready for the next band to play so I said “Let’s talk about this later and we’d better hurry up”. It was fascinating to realize how we both became possessed within the argument and that each of us thought was right.

Well, the story is not finished here. We played second. The first band was the band of the guy in charge of the show. What do I mean by “the guy in charge”? The guy in charge is the person who has the idea. The one who contacts other bands. The guy who goes to pubs/bars and makes a deal with the owners so bands can play. The one who is responsible for the gig to function the best possible.

By the end of the first band’s show, the guy in charge sent a message through his microphone related to education/teachers. Basically supporting them within their strike against the new conditions/upgrade/reform the government is proposing within the teaching career that does not support equality at all.

Anyways - After the argument I had with the “arrogant singer” lol, I went upstairs, because we had all our backpacks and equipment there and from there you could see/hear the show perfectly. Suddenly, "the guy in charge" who played in the first band approaches me with some money in his hand. In that moment I remembered that we had an agreement; I committed myself to support his gig through bringing our guitar amps, but I was going to be in charge of transporting one of the two guitar amps and he was going to be in charge of transporting the other one, plus he was going to support me with 10 dollars for gas. - So, he approaches me and says “Dude, our drummer left me alone. He just left and the car we were using to transport your amp is his, so I won’t be able to help you transporting it. Here you have your 10 dollars. I am leaving now”. – At that moment the third band was playing (the arrogant singers’ band lol) and there were 4 bands in total. So, the guy in charge was leaving before the gig ended, plus he was going to do something completely different to what we had agreed. Wow, you can imagine how I felt lol. I had previously had an argument with a guy and now this?

I told him”Okay. I can transport everything. There’s no problem….but…you know what? You are a teacher right? You gave us a speech about education and blah blah. You know what are lesson plans? What you had to do – this is only a suggestion – was to plan everything. But, how is it possible that your drummer left and that you are leaving now? You said that the main aim of this gig was to unify bands, but these situations create the opposite, don’t you think so? I had a great time playing, you guys play really well and stuff but, come on! Wouldn’t it be cool to add it a bit of love to music? I mean, to do everything we agreed”. He said “Dude, I live in another city, I have to go now. I wish I lived here”. I said “You could have said that before this happened. We could have managed this and you could have stayed in our house. Music is only a small part of that unifying process you mentioned. But let’s don’t forget we are humans and through communication we have to build that which we want in common. We have to be empathetic and place ourselves in the other one’s shoes” – He remained in silence for about 2 minutes and then, he left. Suddenly, I realized I kind of became "the guy in charge", because he left and my amps were on stage being used while the official guy in charge was going home.

What have I learned through all of this? You may say many beautiful things, but doing them is a complete different story. Unifying bands? You do not unify bands through only speaking it. You have to live it through making sure your contribution is stable and unconditional. If you want to unify bands, you first have to unify your own band first. If you are in a hurry, avoid playing live, otherwise you will project your shit to others. Instead, let the “guy in charge” know that you want to play first. How do you do it? Through communication. The only way of unifying bands/people is through communication and having clear what the other participants understand of the concepts that are being expressed. For instance “I want to unify bands”, okay, what do you understand by unifying? To help you bringing some guitar amps? To meet in order to talk about the gig? To support each other? There might be many interpretations, so the idea is to make sure all get to a common understanding of the words/concepts we are expressing.

Self-Forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think and believe that everyone has the same understanding of the concept of “unifying” as me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to create an idea of what is being presented to me through the use of the word “unifying” and then project it to the future as a minimum expectation.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to negatively react when realizing that the agreement within the gig was taking a different direction.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that all the bands I play with have the same understanding/comprehension of a show.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become upset when I realized that a guy was pushing me to take out my equipment faster from the stage after playing when he said “you have wasted too much time”.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to take it personally when this guy said “you have wasted too much time”, instead of just doing what I always do, because no matter how many things you may say in order to accelerate a process, what it really matters is doing it instead of wasting time within arguments.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to change my facial expression while being possessed when I reacted feeling upset.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to physically react to feeling upset through having my face red/hot because of the anger that was triggered by the guy who was pushing me to move faster.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to desire to let the “arrogant singer” know that I had the power to even stop the gig right there if I wanted, because those were our amps, but as I was not an asshole, I was not going to do it.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to participate in an argument when I actually realized I was suppressing energy within myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to think “This guy needs to learn and understand our position. This can’t end here. He has to listen to me” and then react through explaining my position to him, but feeling angry within myself and at the same time trying to suppress the energy within myself when actually my human physical reactions couldn’t lie and started manifesting.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realize that even my body language when participating in anger may create more and more reasons to continue arguing instead of breathing, releasing and find solutions that are the best for all, because the other person may perceive my gestures and body language as violent and that may trigger more reactions within themselves and within the argument.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not communicate effectively with the guy in charge of the gig through telling him that we require a specific amount of time to have all ready to play and then disassembling our equipment.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself accumulate suppressed energy after an argument and then releasing it into a second argument with a different person.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to just react without breathing first in order to make sure I am stable.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to judge the guy in charge of the gig as a "bad teacher" within my mind because I judged his participation/contribution within the gig as well as the way he managed the bands/time/equipment and then I thought “if he is not organized within the music field, I don’t think he is organized as a teacher neither”.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed to judge the guy in charge of the gig as a poser, because he said some words related to the educational field, but in reality he was not apparently making an organized/committed contribution within his current reality.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see within myself where I have the same behaviors as the guy in charge of the gig, whether in the music field or the educational field in order to deconstruct them and and then re-define them through and as the physical, as an example which is more effective than angry and disappointed words.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to react feeling positive after I talked to the guy in charge of the gig, because I interpreted his silence as though he was thinking “I fucked it up. I lost” and I felt superior to him because of his “passive” behavior.

Self-Corrective/Commitment Statements

When and as I see myself creating agreements with other bands, I stop and breathe. I realize that I have to make sure that communication is being clear in order evaluate whether I commit myself to support or not, because misunderstandings create the antonym of “unification”.

I commit myself to use this experience as a learning process in order to continue making music where all musicians are comfortable instead of having arguments due to unexpected situations.

When and as I see myself creating agreements with a person in charge of a gig, I stop and breathe. I realize that I have to make sure whether my band will have the necessary time to perform or not and ask the person in charge for a schedule so we all previously know what we are going to face instead of finding it out while being already there.

I commit myself to be more specific when expressing the requirements my band needs in order to play, such as how much time we need for a sound check, how much time we need to play our songs and how much time we need to disassembling our equipment and thus, we may avoid having people complaining at us after performing.

When and as I see myself reacting angrily after someone is pushing me to do my stuff faster when it comes to playing live, I stop and breathe. I see, realize and understand that not all the bands function within the same dynamics, therefore those people might be reacting to what they believe we are instead of getting to understand the real reason why our band takes longer than them.

I commit myself to stop and breathe when I am being pushed to move faster within the music field when it comes to playing live, because reacting angrily and being involved in arguments won’t make the process more efficient and it will create problems among bands instead of the so called unification.

When and as I see myself feeling superior and/or more than another human being because they remain in silence after I expressed my displeasure, I stop and breathe. I see, realize and understand that it’s cool to express myself and to give my point of view, but what’s more important than feeling good about it is to make sure to be clear in order to support the other person’s learning process within the realization that they can do it better for the next time.

I commit myself to stop and breathe when I start feeling good after an argument, because what’s important it’s our mutual comprehension instead of reducing everything to feeling good/bad about it.


I commit myself to place myself in other people’s shoes when they are not well organized or when they make mistakes, in order to be able to see myself in them and treat them as I would like to be treated if I made a mistake.  

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