No matter your discipline, there are often moments when you wonder what the heck you are working toward. The light at the end of the tunnel is dim. You question if you have what it takes to get to that ever elusive goal. We are all to often slayed by our own fears.
Being a veteran “artist”, I am in constant flux, searching for that Utopian dream. I adore shooting talented artists and new bands. It reminds me to keep pushing, question my talent and guts to keep reaching... Don’t we all??
I decided to get another opinion, from a rockstar reinventing himself. Jarek Hardy, formerly from "The Johnstones", playing killer, rowdy Ska and now working on his own projects.
I asked him the most basic question on my mind, “is talent enough?” his blunt retort was “honestly, no”. I gasp!!!! did he really just say that? But its true... Jarek continued, “I think talent is a very small part of it. Hard work makes up the large majority. It’s so easy to be lazy - to not practice, to not hustle as hard as you should be.”
A bit repetitive in my line of questioning I asked “what makes one musician make it vs another?” to wit he replied “Perseverance and hard work. It’s easy to get a girlfriend and watch the Bachelor with her every Sunday instead of rehearsing or contacting promoters. It’s the talented individuals who don’t take that easy path that generally ‘make it through’.”
Reflecting on a recent Open Mic I shot at Buchanan’s, I had to ask Jarek about that paralyzing fear before going on stage - My question was if he has a Mantra or Motto to get psyched before a gig. Again, with the “NO”, I must be off base! But his response is pure gold “I don’t have a mantra or motto, or any words to psych myself really. As far as performing goes, at least, I don’t. I feel like everyone thinks musician’s have this kind of ‘Eminem 8-mile’ moment, staring at themselves in the mirror and psyching themselves up before stage. Maybe they do, not me. I just go on and play. I more or less perform for myself, so if anyone else is enjoying it, that’s just an added benefit I guess.”
This rang familiar in my mind... Was it just a few weeks ago that Elison Cruz from “The Good and The Damned" said “...but also incredibly gratifying when you see people express their satisfaction with something you've created.” And believe it or not, I heard it at the Open Mic also... “I don’t know why people get nervous, I just play to play” -Chris Nettleton
Soooo... we do because it is IN us. Young or old we have to come back to Center, listen to “those voices tearing through your soul”. Invent, reinvent so you can sleep. Jarek says he sleeps pretty well....
When that light is dim keep moving without fear to get Beyond the Barrier.
Jarek Hardy is finally doing solo work after 10+ years with the Johnstones. Getting to his roots writing and playing “the music I’ve been wanting to play for a while”. Absolutely evident in his most recent release “Blues in Black” and looking to drop his EP this summer.
Check out his links :
You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuWfnV-kPAW9Uawz1mfB7OQ