Downtime is both the dreaded doldrums of the tireless and the necessary renewal of the plateaued. Though constantly overwhelming, the endless expectations and efforts of the creative soul (in this case the soul of an indie band) seem far less daunting than the haunting drone of downtime.
Refresh content, upload a YouTube video, Face Book your status, change your cover picture, tweet your thoughts and Instagram your moments. When you’re done with your social media chores, book gigs, advance venues and learn new songs. Edit video, return your agent and PR guy’s calls. Write thank you cards, rehearse and reach out to your fans, all the while loading in, performing well and loading out. This is just a day in the life of any serious band. It’s exhausting and exhilarating. It seems the musician’s lot is to never be done with anything. As gratifying as finished accomplishment feels, it is the desperate striving and working towards success that is the heartbeat. It’s the double-down of effort that protects against the dying of the dream. So, it’s scary to stop.
We are predisposed to shudder at even the hint of stagnation, so why would you ever purposely entertain or exercise, downtime? Why would you alter your standard daily regimen for an afternoon or worse, a week or month of inattention? Well, because you have no choice. Your white line-weary body beckons for a break. Your detail-riddled mind resets unprovoked. And the harmonic convergence of meant-to-be voices demands temporary silence.
We know that we live a “what have you done lately” life and the mere suggestion of a pause can be paralyzing. But, like a forest fire promotes new growth upon old ground, downtime can reinvigorate even the most established ethos of a band. As we scale back our concert schedule over the next couple of months to record the new CD, we wrestle with an unnatural interval. Playing live shows is the overwhelming purpose and pleasure of this band, but it will be nice to spend some time creating the music we so love to share.
We hope to inspire our fans with new music as much as they inspire us with their constant support of it. So, downtime will at moments seem like a waste, but we won’t waste the moments. Even in partial hiatus we will look forward to a new CD, an updated show and a soul-stirring renewal of our prime purpose. That prime purpose is simply, to sing to you. Keep watch on the calendar and keep following our weekly blog. We’ll see you soon on the other side.
Mark Elliott – Runaway Home
“It’s The Music That Makes Us Smile”