So, a little background. I’m the rhythm guitarist, singer and principal songwriter in a four piece London rock band called Dead At Eleven. We have been together since 2011, when I met the drummer and bassist in a dark corner of a pub in north London. We decided early on that we all had enough drive, determination and love for the music to mean that this project wasn’t going to be a hobby band.
So many good musicians that I have met and shared a stage with fall at the first hurdle. Which is to say that, they can’t overcome the mind numbing tedium that is required from being in a band. As with every professional medium, if you want to be any good (good enough to make any money from it anyway) you have to spend hours and hours practising. This inevitably means saying no to socially recognised pursuits such as fun. Ask any successful band in the universe how they made it big and I will bet my legs that they never say “well, we used to meet up once a month and have a beer in a practice room and then suddenly we got signed to Sony”. What we’ve learned is that if you want to be recognised as a good band then you have to do an extraordinary amount of other shit before you even pick up a guitar.
At this moment in time we are in the recording studio of our management company. We have spent the last 3 days (a bank holiday weekend may I add) recording 3 new songs for a promo EP and we have another 2 days in front of us for mixing and editing.
Now this sounds like a very cool way of spending 5 days and if I went back in time to tell a 15 year old version of myself then he would probably be so excited then he’d stop masturbating for at least twenty seconds. But the reality is that instead of seeing friends or spending time with family in a country pub (in the sunshine??) the four of us are in a dark recording studio in an old warehouse in south London and we’re eating biscuits. All of us have taken several naps on questionable leather sofas, drank over 700 cups of coffee and passed the time by having mini jousting tournaments on office chairs.
But we wouldn’t be anywhere else. Family has been told we’re not available, friends have been ignored and girlfriends have been guiltily apologised to. When you love what you do, then everything else becomes secondary. Especially now, as the band has come to a crucial point in its life. For five years we have been practising, honing our stage craft, writing progressively better songs, becoming bigger and playing bigger and better venues. We have self funded and self recorded three EPs and an album. Which all sounds great. However, unless you’re very lucky or your dad owns a recording company, you can’t get very far without outside help. This means a good group of talented, well connected people that believe you can make them money. It doesn’t really matter if they like what you do or not (obviously it’s easier if they do) it just matters if they think you’re a horse worth betting on.
Happily, we have attracted the attention of a management & recording company. Fingers crossed that this is the beginning of the next chapter.