My next blog entry for my Q+A series features legendary Claude Hay – I found this entry really resonated with me as he talks about the depleting nature of touring life, he too has also passed out on stage and he also gives an insight on how these days he stays physically and mentally healthy.
Claude, thank you again for sharing this personal message about the industry, I feel ya mate.
Claude Hay – Blues & Roots Musician – Q+A
In an industry where expression collides with business, how do you keep the passion to play/write music alive?
Business and myself are defiantly not friends, I think if I did the business side of things this project would never have gotten off the ground. As soon as I get involved in the business side of things I have zero inspiration to write….
Have you ever come close to leaving music? If so, what prompted it and what inspired you to stay?
I think every second day I think of leaving it but it has this way of pulling you back in. When there’s an awesome gig in another country in front of a lot of people, the buzz is huge, or if in the studio and a song comes to life, same thing, but what go’s up must come down and music business is full of roller coasters. Its that same thing that many muso’s talk about. You’re away from family and friends, generally by yourself in some random hotel room.
How do you stay true to your creative vision, when “success” depends so heavily on how it’s received by the industry and public?
I’m a strong believer in writing only what I like and hopefully somebody out there likes it too. We are all human and we know when someone’s not being true to themselves…including myself.
From the moment you wake till the moment you sleep, what does the day of a gig look like for you?
If I’m not touring I’m constantly looking for inspiration, always looking for something different, weather its a new sound, or a different way to create. It doesn’t always come easy, there are a lot of failures and I mean a lot.
Life on the road can challenge us both mentally and physically. How do you stay anchored during times when you’re feeling emotionally or physically sub-par, or when your fundamental needs aren’t being met? E.g. sleep, food, schedule.
Sleep and food are extremely important, I have done shows just getting off a 30 hour transit flight, played on stage and nearly passing out, eaten terrible fast food for days and smashed the immune system and gotten sick, its so easy to fall into that but hopefully we learn. I try to carry fruit and veg with me every I go now. Staying anchored wise I call my wife everyday. Communication is the only way.
How much of an influence does money have over the means in which you create and release? Do you choose to invest as if it’s your last creation? Or do you invest in a way that is sustainable long term?
Money sucks, I have always never had it, even when I had a day job I only ever worked the bare minimum to survive so I could do music, that’s always been my philosophy. But in terms of last creation or long term I’m kind of a last creation approach but people around me are long term.
Have you ever experienced anxiety, depression or nervousness around a tour? If so, what were the triggers and how did you manage it?
May be a little of depression at the end of a long solo tour, but my wife keeps me grounded. I always question myself why do I do this and sometimes I can’t answer and some days it’s clear as day.
What is your philosophy on fear? How do you deal with it?
I’m generally not a fearful person, I guess I fear that I won’t be able to write music I like and that would be the sign to stop gigging.
Can you trace your current successes back to any big risks or leaps? If so, what were they?
In terms of business its generally other people taking risks in me, I’m defiantly not a risk taker yet I do totally understand you need to take risk’s in this business. An American record label invested a lot on publicity on me a while back and it got me on a radio station that has 20 million listeners and got me touring OS a lot. If that was my decision back then I would of never taken that risk. I guess my next album will be a risk which is my decision as I want to do something completely different, so in terms of music I guess I take risks….not often enough though…
From a business point of view, today, what is the one thing that every independent artist needs in order to give their music the best chance of being heard?
Assuming the artist and songs translate. Be the opposite of me and embrace social media 😀
If you were to wave a magic wand, how would you like to spend your time in the future?
I never think about the future, I’m definitely not a planner. What is superannuation?
Are there any other wisdoms you’d like to share?
I always tell my friends kids to stay away from music, just listen to it….:)
On a light note… Can you name one guilty pleasure?
Jack Daniels in one hand while listening to some 80’s hair metal guitar shredding music…paradise.
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