Article by Xavier Muriel, originally published June 2019 Cycle Source Magazine
Greetings from sunny Los Angeles, yes, I’m in my old stomping grounds but this time not for motorcycle related work but music purposes. You see after I left my band in March 2017, I had was sick of the business, not the music. Ever since I can remember music in some form has always been there for me. It was the people that were associated with it that I had grown tired of. For those of you who don’t know what being in a band is like, I’ll paint a real quick picture… No need to get all dramatic, ready here it goes… Being in a band that makes a record after record and tours ten months out of the year for 16 years is like being married to four other people and never getting laid after the big fights! There, now that’s not to say that all bands are like that, but in my experience and knowing all the people that I do, I’d say it’s pretty common.
After throwing myself into motorcycles and anything that had to do with them after I left the band, I wasn’t too sure I’d ever get the feeling to play drums again. You’ve heard over and over again from anyone in any lifelong career say; “I’m just burnt out”, well that’s where I was…until I got a call from my old bandmate (who produced the last five records we did) saying he was producing a solo artist and wanted me to do the drum tracks for it. Now right off the bat, I started down the road of “Man, it’s been two years…’’ Finding every excuse to tell myself that I wasn’t the right guy for the job. Well, he wouldn’t have it, he pressed me to reach deep down and find that spark that made me pick up sticks in the first place. Now you ask what this has to do with motorcycles…. well everything!
If I hadn’t walked away from what others would consider the dream life, I would never have been placed in a situation that made me realize how much I LOVE to create music, which in turn made me realize how much I LOVE to create motorcycles. I just had to listen to someone who had a different perspective on what I was seeing. You see, I feel that if your passionate about something at any time in your life and for some awful reason that fire fades, there’s always the chance to rekindle it. I now understand that letting someone tarnish something that makes you so happy is a f#@king shame. Giving that kind of power away instead of using it to its fullest potential is something I’ll NEVER do again. Getting back on the horse, or in my case getting back on the throne was one of the most satisfying experiences as of late. Getting into a room with a bunch of guys that were all smiles and having a blast, while making a killer record, was exactly what I needed at this stage in my life. Because I realized how fortunate I am to be able to play music when I want and build bikes as well, I fail to see the problem with that. It doesn’t have to be a one or the other proposition.
So, with that, I’m returning to my motorbike project with a renewed vigor. I got back from Bike Week, and it was like Christmas in April at my place, with new tools waiting to be unpacked. I’m so excited to learn how to use the equipment that Mike over at Woodward Fab has sent me. I want to expand my knowledge and creativity when it comes to creating my own parts for my builds. Now, I know from speaking to my mentors in the industry, that this is no easy chore; there will be many a mistake and frustrations to go along with learning new skills. But like one the most inspiring fellas in my life said to me once “You didn’t start out as a great drummer, but you are one now. That’s how you have to look at all of this.” With that in mind, I move forward and am willing to try new things. I’ll do my best to show you the progress as my skills develop.
I guess the main reason for this month’s commentary was to say “Don’t ever, sell yourself short.” There are too many people out there who never do what their hearts desire simply because they believe that they can’t. All that is “INCORRECT INFORMATION” and a lie. Don’t listen to people who aren’t a part of the solution to your problems, because chances are; they are part of the problem. “Life is too short to eat shitty food and drink bad coffee” I heard a fella say today and I thought to myself … That’s so simple, it’s stupid, but ain’t it the truth!
Until next time my brothers and sisters of the road, be kind to one another and especially yourself.