Article By: Xavier Muriel
Originally Published In The January 2019 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
I often wondered what it was like to be the main songwriter in my band or any solo act for that matter. I mean, yes as a part of that unit I was responsible for coming up with the best drum parts possible for every song; writing for a record is usually 25-30 songs then whittled down to the best 10. That still doesn’t take away the fact that the initial part of the song has to be created long before the drum parts or anything. If you’re a solo act and you don’t write or collaborate (which is rare these days) with anyone else, then you are solely responsible for the outcome of that song or record. Don Henley said it best “When you’re in a band and the record flops, you can kinda look around at the other members and go, well it might have been this or that. When you’re a solo artist, it all falls on your shoulders.” My point to all of this; I was feeling uninspired when I sat to write this month’s article. When I told my writing guru about it, he said simply, like he always does, “Write about what you know, like maybe the similarities between the music and motorcycle industry that you’ve learned so far” Like a hammer to the head I was like “DUH.”
Many of you who know me, know exactly the schedule I kept while I was a member of my former band. For those of you who don’t, I’ll give you the cliff notes. I was blessed to be a drummer for a band that had been writing, recording and touring from August of 05 to Jan of 17. When I say that, I literally mean we wrote and recorded a record and immediately went out on tour for at least 9-10 months out of that year. I can remember many of my friends and fans of the band, at meet new greets asking “Don’t you guys ever stop and rest?” My answer was always “The music world will forget about you if you do.” I’ve been around the world, played all my favorite venues that I dreamt of as a kid and met all my idols (some of which were amazing and some not so much). Some of you reading this will simply say “sounds like a bitchin life, stop whining.” To that, I say never judge a man till you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. Yes, it was an amazing experience but much like I found out, there’s a lot of work that goes along with the 1.5 hours onstage, that’s the fun part. It’s all the rest that makes it questionable at times…There’s a HUGE machine behind every band, managers, booking agents, business managers, day to day managers, tour managers, lighting designers, stage managers, production assistants, techs for each instrument, and so on and so on. We all traveled together on buses that held up to 12 people. Over the next ten months each one rolled along to a city near you, come hell or high water: and all through colds, bronchitis, the flu, births, surgeries, deaths, and everything in between. Because as the saying goes “The Show Must Go On!”
By now I’m sure you are asking “What does that have to do with motorcycles?” Well, when I decided to take a welldeserved break from “that life” and pursue my other love which is motorcycles I found out it’s not like I thought it would be, and yet at the same time its very much like the music business. You see, as liberating as it is not to have to deal with all that, now like Henley said, it’s all on me… After being “in the mix” full time for a little over a year and having been writing for Cycle Source for four years now, I’ve learned one thing about this biz… it’s exactly like the music biz. The only difference is the commodity at hand, motorcycles vs. CD’s. There’s a liberating feeling that goes along with being a solo act. However, in the same breath, there is a sense of excitement and fear about the future, there is no longer a machine making those decisions for me. I’m eternally grateful for all those people I’ve met so far that have given their time and talents so freely and without motive. I’ve learned from those certain individuals what not to do in this business. There are still long road trips, late late hours, budgets to be kept and decisions to be made but I feel strongly that if I stay true to myself, listen closely to those who have walked the path before me and try not to hurt anyone on my journey, things will be just fine. After all, all I had was a Rock -n- Roll dream once and look what happened… Now I Dream a new Dream… As Always Take Care of yourself and Each Other.