I’m sitting in a recording studio in Germany with one of my heavy metal idols, The Queen of Metal, Doro Pesch, and she is singing one of my songs.
The Queen of Metal… singing my song.
It was pretty amazing.
Have you ever met someone you’ve admired your whole life? Sometimes it can be a double edged sword. Fortunately, Doro is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met – she told me loads of stories from her career and how things did and didn’t work out. It was really cool.
In fact, every time I read about someone meeting her, I read exactly the same thing – how awesome she is.
And of course, hanging out in the studio with her, working on the song, hearing her take the lyrics and turn them into a song… it was breath taking. It was like being in a dream.
But… it took me a while to get there.
Many auditions. Several bands. Years of practice. I even got fired from a couple of bands – once for being too ambitious (how is that even a thing? lol) and the second time for not being good enough (fixed that with a few years of practice). I must have spent a year or so trying to find a band to join. Why did none of these bands work out? I was looking for other people to build the dream that I wanted, trying to find a short cut.
I used to have this attitude that “I was the lead guitarist. I’ll play the solos”. I wasn’t good enough to justify this attitude. In retrospect… it was really arrogant. The folly of youth? The truth was… I didn’t know how to write a song. I was too scared to write a song and have the whole world tell me I sucked as a songwriting. I was scared.
I mean… really scared. I nearly deleted my album after making it because I was worried that everyone would hate it!
I digress. I had this dream… of making records. But it wasn’t happening. Eventually, I realised that the only way this dream I had was going to come true, was if I busted my ass and built everything that needed to be built, myself.
I had to work, to practice, to learn the skills I needed to learn.
I couldn’t rely on others to fill in the gaps in my ability.
Have you ever found that? The world gives you what looks like an ass kicking… but really it’s a call to arms, to go take the action you need to take.
You only have two options when that happens. Roll over and die in the gutter, or take a stand – for yourself.
The thought of being in yet another band, where we rehearsed but barely did anything, no decisions ever got made, where entire practice sessions got wasted arguing about what cover song we should play, where everyone was too scared to take a real chance on themselves… I couldn’t face that.
It was awful.
I wanted to make records and play awesome shows. I didn’t want to mess around any more.
One band I got fired from, we got an opportunity to play a sold out show in London. About 1500-2000 people show, as a support for a semi-big power metal band. One of the support bands had cancelled last minute and the promoter was desperate for someone to fill the slot. I had a friend that knew the promoter… I talked to them… and they said they would make the phone call if I wanted.
So I call the guys in the band, tell them to take a day off work the next day, we’ll rehearse all day then play the show in the evening. I was ready to go. These opportunities on’t happen every day.
Except… they weren’t. They didn’t want to do it. They didn’t want to take a day off work.
The band wasn’t ready. Maybe it was because rather than rehearse the set… the band spent the previous rehearsal arguing over a cover song. Or the other guitar player turned up to rehearsals with a hangover from an all night cocaine binge…
In retrospect it’s easy to see this band wasn’t going anywhere.
Anyway… the day after presenting this gig to the band and pushing to do it… they fired me.
What the hell.
I knew I had to be able to write my own songs rather than rely on other people. That I had to bring my own band together rather than join someone elses.
So I started writing my own songs. I learned how to write lyrics. I found people to collaborate with.
I reached out to people and asked questions. Asked for help. Asked to work together. Some ignored me… some said yes.
But I kept pushing, kept trying.
And eventually it lead to me being in a recording studio, in Germany, with one of my favourite musicians (and one of the most amazing people I’ve met).
So I’m confident that I did the right thing.
I hope you enjoyed the story. Leave me a comment below.
If you like Doro’s music, you might also consider checking out my album, Impetuous Desire. It’s my latest album and full of great heavy metal tunes, including Doro singing on one of the songs.
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