So, what went wrong or didn't it?

It is embarrassing yet rewarding to find my previous Bash This Recording posts still playing my krud here. It is rare that I get the opportunity to hear where I came from in my sound engineering travels and I guess I still wish that that task had someone experienced at the helm steering from the get go but, much of my growth wouldn’t have been so, yeah, chalking it up to the overcoming of a hurdle despite the race not being quite yet over.

Born in the 70’s, I grew on into a musician that took to heart the infamous cliche “sex, drugs & rock n roll”. I got much of that on some very memorable and sometimes disturbing moments touring Western Canada on the bar circuit during the late 80’s & early 90’s. Back then, if I recall correctly, being discovered, signed and given a mansion was still a relatively common thing.

I maybe had the musical abilities in my prime but I didn’t have the original catalog and the cliche was like a moth to a flame, burning me with every stroke of a wing. I had to grow up and experience some stupid crap late in my days to come to the artist I am today and with some looking back, think, I would’ve been a horrible celebrity.

I still dream and in the breaking of a half century old/young a couple years ago, the aspiration to be recognized for my musical efforts persists although today, I think it cruel of us to make celebrities out of anyone for any reason. So, to go back to, “so, what went wrong”? Why aren’t I splattered across the tabloids in scandal and eventually a highly suspicious death? lol.

Nothing went wrong… it didn’t really go right or, as anticipated either.

When I was still a teen I wished to have my own studio and a way to share my results with the world… besides the becoming of the rockstar stuff. Technology put it financially within my grasp and clutches in 2015 and so, the wish came true.

I am not thrilled beyond measure where I currently am musically at but I’m not stretching the noose over any steam pipes just yet. I am happy my music is! Will it be enough to languish in Nowhereville? That is yet to be seen and I ain’t no teller of fortunes although I am pretty good at picking out other artists’ gems.

Where are you? Did you ring the brass bell on the rollercoaster or come close? Do you aspire towards the red carpet and the Charts that Bill, in maybe some Board-uhm, perspires over creating?

Anyways… it’s an early morning and I might be jibber jabbering on and have lost my point somewhere in the tangled mess of words I just typed. Did I have a point? Uhm…

Hockey! As a Canucker, hockey comes almost 2nd to music… 3-2 series lead for Colorado as of last night!

x devyn


Hi Devyn,
Nice lyrical thoughts!
I am glad to read your tale, and happy too see that nothing went wrong!
Music is an inspiration, and our love for music keeps us in the path towards something. I will have to say, that life is very short, and that our love for music is something we need to express and share.
Being happy, is a state of mind, we can try to achieve much level of joy in the midst of this sea of madness around us.
And maybe sometimes, we get there with music!!!
I am also simply typing, and might be out of topic, as we get pulled away by waves of “life”, but just wanted to add to your commentary.
I am thankful for your post, and the thoughts you share with us.


Thank you Rene.

I was hoping there were some here able to tolerate my ramblings because it is my understanding that I can be quite intolerable, lol.

Ramble away! We are happy to hear from you! :beerbanger:


Hi Anthony, a fellow Canadian saying hello. I saw that you toured Western Canada in the late 80’s early 90’s - I spent the best part of 1979 - 1982 playing crappy bars in Northern Ontario (places like Nipigon, Smooth Rock Falls, Geraldton etc.) - we called it the “moose tour”. We were not good, but we had fun. I am sure you had some interesting times in the West.


Did you ever play Timmins, Sudbury, North Bay, Cochrane, New Liskeard or Thunder Bay?

I’m from that part of the Canadian hinterlands, originally, but long ago moved to the Toronto area.

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The strippers were doing a duo one afternoon and wanted us to perform while they danced a mere foot or two directly in front of us. The belt on my pants unbuckled, unbeknownst to me, while we played our songs and my pants fell off.

In Grande Prairie, the few in the crowd were snorting coke right off the tables they sat at.

In Dawson Creek, a total bar brawl erupted and pretty much everyone in the band and crew just stood around the mixing board to protect it while we tried not to get pulled into the fray and murdered.

Although I am from Edmonton, Calgary was our number one place for our rock n roll debauchery and I guess I probably shouldn’t mention the mountains of groupies who liked to pamper and feed us mostly fairly regularly… I mean, sometimes we had to schmooze 7-Eleven girls to let us have the day old sandwiches they were going to throw out, but, yeah, we survived.

The worst and best thing about touring… being able to sign for everything the hotel had to offer. I usually picked the cheapest menu item, Grilled Cheese Sandwich and French Fries and I still typically walked out of the week with less than $20 in wages, lol. It was a fantastic week if ya could hook up with a stripper… this was how I learned to roll joints… the stripper made me do it… if I was wanting to remain a welcomed and honored guest I had to, uhm, please her, lol.

Okay, if I delve any deeper into this, we might have to move this to another forum altogether. The whole experience is something I miss and have fond memories of.

In '79 through '82 I was just beginning my formal instruction on bass and guitar and joining as many bands as I could. The brewing of the rock n roll fantasy years, which, remarkably, I’m still dreaming in or on or of or whathaveyou.

I visited Ontario once. I was going to try and spark up a childhood romance with a girl who moved away too soon from what maybe should have been. She lived in Barrie and I took a Greyhound from Flin Flon Manitoba to get there. It was a 3 day ride into Toronto and I slept an entire mere 1 hour of it. I got into TO and later learned I should’ve gotten off earlier and picked up elsewhere. It was late and as I strolled the streets a bit and took the subway, not getting stabbed or kidnapped, I took a cab to Barrie and almost died along the way when the driver fell asleep at the wheel. I was 18 and we weren’t able to get our fire for one another back again so I came home and was on tour full time at 19.

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wow, thank you for your insight and sharing your experiences.

It is my 2nd decade in the music industry. The first one was riddled with ups and downs…working 3 jobs, performing at weddings, working as a computer scientist, and part time photographer.
Music was always my #1 passion. I had quit jobs for it, traveled overseas for it, lost friends, made friends, the journey was meandrous.

The 2nd decade is looking better. As I mentioned in a previous thread somewhere, you have to keep digging deeper niches to find your ‘zone’. Though I did give up my dream of being a singer songwriter, so I am not sure how much my advice here would matter, as I have jumped the ship most are in right now…
I found my Niche in music production (score writing) and that is turning out pretty good thankfully. I am consistently writing for Video game trailers, movie scores and keeping busy with projects.

The journey is to work alongside my favorite role models Hans Zimmer and Deborah Lurie…the first few steps have been taken. Many more to go.


We here in this Canuckville circle of one call it gibberish, but, if it is usable, well, all the better and sure, call it what you wish! *note… please forgive the blatant ill use of the cool squiggly break, the comma, in this, the last and each future sentence here and forevermore elsewhere also.

As long as a boat doesn’t flip and sink when a fellow sailor jumps towards another in passing, all is good, just remember your nautical roots eh!

I have tried Licensing through Songtradr and in 2017 got 2 of my tracks signed to a Distribution Deal. I made $2.50… LOL. I still throw some tracks up for consideration for a variety of deals but haven’t scored since. I hope you are making enough money to make a dent or completely take care of the financial living stuff.

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I have certainly had my fair share of those kind of payouts in my first few years lol.

Though I have definitely changed my strategy a bit. In the first few years, I got a chance to work with a bigger production, but my negotiation skills were very poor. I ended up in a bad contract. All I saw was upfront cash. That production ended up going very big (over 50 million+) and I never got in on the publishing royalties or credits. I had to make with the meager compensation that was provided then.

I wised up. The productions I am working with right now have moderate budgets, so the compensation is a lot better. This time around I negotiated for flat upfront remuneration plus publishing royalties. Gaming Industry is still booming, and games like these normally sell in the upwards of seven figures in the market today. So taking a thin slice of that would still end up being extremely rewarding.
bottom-line, always go for the publishing royalties and keep reaching out. But, in the end, deliver an extremely good product so the word spreads better.

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My only dancer story - this would have been January or February 1980. We arrived at the Kirkland Lake Hotel (in Kirkland Lake, ON - called the “KL” by locals) late on a Sunday afternoon after driving from Hornepayne (north of White River). We’d be playing at the KL that week. But on Sunday, in Kirkland Lake, there is not much to do so we ended up playing a game of Monopoly - two of us from the band, two of the dancers, and the caretaker of the Hotel. I had Boardwalk, the Caretaker had Park Place. I was about to make a offer to buy Park Place from him when he says (in a French Canadian accent) “I give you two joints for Boardwalk”. I guess you had to be there, but at the time it was pretty funny. If you don’t know Kirkland Lake, in the 1930’s it was a prosperous gold mining town, but the mines had all gone dry and the main street was mostly boarded up. There is a joke: One guys says “I’ve heard that only whores and hockey players come from Kirkland Lake” and other replys “Watch your mouth, my wife is from Kirkland Lake” “Oh yeah, which team does she play for.”

I lived in Toronto for many years - Jane and Finch is where I grew up, but I’ve lived all over the City. My wife and I moved to the US several years ago.


This is where I have maybe faltered or felt like I did.

2015 hit and music started pouring out of me like nothing ever before. The tidal wave was busting to be shared but at that time I had almost zero clue on being an engineer to deliver “an extremely good product”, which is why it is baffling how I scored 2 deals in 2017, both tracks sounds a heck of a lot better today than back then.

This is kinda how the I.R.D. came to be for me… desperate for peer feedback I found DROOBLE. Desperate for the peers on DROOBLE to give helpful feedback I came and found you lot here and got the upfront news I needed to hear.

I still don’t truly understand what I am doing to reach the level of sound I have and don’t understand yet how with my cruddy gear I can improve even further and compete at a higher level, but, the one thing I am pretty certain of… I never should have been in charge of my own social media promotions… I can make enemies seemingly without even breaking a sweat… hence the caveat, “it’s just gibberish”.

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I traded my shirt I was wearing on stage one night for an eighth of weed. It was the worst trade I have ever done in my life. The weed was good but the shirt was great and I haven’t found a replacement in all these 20 some odd years apart. A white button up baseball shirt with the Zig Zag dude and logo on front and back of it.

I will trade you a half baker’s dozen of racy exotic dancer stories for a couple of unsearched Lincoln rolls… yes, ima nerd coin collector too and just about every chance I can take to get some JFK’s or Lincoln’s, yeah, I pounce, lol.

As for board games on the road, I only brought one, Chess but we had some sort of video gaming console which sometimes got put on pause during the sets of the performance night. We’d get off stage and scatter and scuttle quickly through the crowd, when there was one, lol, and get back to golf or hockey.

Hockey. Probably the first likeliest thing that had the best shot at taking me away from the musical calling pre formal instructive years. I was in Kindergarten when the parents got me geared up for a life of skating. If I had all the gear today, even with the pain from the flattening of my spine over the back breaking years of hard labor, I think I would be on some old-timer’s hockey club.

Great to read about everyone’s adventures.
I like conversing with people who love the art of music and are familiar with how unforgiving the business side of it is.
I toured, if you want to call bars and motels touring, for a few years after college. Came close to a record deal, but no dice. Played 5 or 6 nights a week, which is great for your playing, but not your health.
I read an article about King’s X a couple of days ago. They’ve been around forever and still record. According to Doug Pinnick, (bass) they still owe the record company 3 million from their original deal, and now owe a bunch of money to a new label. Pretty disheartening.
They still make money touring, and on merch, but have to find other income to keep going.
Success in music beyond surviving is difficult.


That is kind of how my journey began as well. I was a flautist in an orchestra, but I wanted to do more. I wrote scores but realized they weren’t going anywhere till I learn the full art of delivering them. Gone are the days when you could walk up to conductors with a score, and they would tear up just looking at them.

Before I knew sound engineering, my scores got no attention. I realized I had to do something to stand out. Once I figured it out to some degree, my scores started winning contests at national and international levels. No one wants to hear audition tapes with poor quality. So, either you spend to have it done, or learn the art yourself.

Composing Contests, or any kind of music contests are usually my angle…that is how I landed at IRD anyway. That is often an underused strategy in the music industry. Join as many as you can, wherever you can, it increases the chance of exposure. You dont know, who you can end up impressing. Target judges in your field. Plus it can validate that your music truly has merit. Not that losing a contest can invalidate that, but winning for sure can pump you up.

How do you make enemies in social media? lol

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If success is primarily judged upon the size of one’s bank account… yes, success is difficult to come by and not merely just in this kookie industry many of us are trying to break into here, and, surprisingly realizing some of you want to break out from!

GACK! I think I remember now the initial gist of writing this silly post… I don’t have a perpetual spotlight nor not one at all and yet through my music I am a success story! Every Artist who is free to be the Artist that the Heart of the Artist wants to be then, despite the state of the carpet they walk on, are successful.

Music is the cake. Getting paid for making the cake is more like a dollop of boring old vanilla ice cream on the side, nice but not essential for the music to thrive or the cake to be eaten.

Dog Eat Dog. Survival Of The Fittest. Mantras that turn loving humans into multiple crazed masses of clearly lunatic people.

The heart of the artist says what?

Warehousing for the 15 plus or so years of my working life was unforgiving! It paid pretty darn good because I proved I was pretty darn good but it did zero favors for my physical health. If I got on stage nowadays, I would need some sort of pain numbing shot to put on the show I know I have yet still in me. So what if the audience sees multiple oxygen tanks just barely stage left and right and the one poking out behind the drummer.

Yes… the sanity can be stretched playing 3 sets of pretty much the same thing the same way day in day out month to month, that’s why as a cover act ya gotta pick songs that you can stomach! I would have gone insane the first week on the road if Johnny B. Goode had been in the setlist!

I haven’t gone out as an original act although most of the bands I have been in have performed some and some of which began in me. I did do an open mic with one of my songs once a couple of years ago and got a polite clap… they wanted hear Stuck In the Middle again to sing along.

I am da gibberish pedlar… uhm, yeah.

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I agree that if you like making music and get satisfaction from it you are highly rewarded.
Money or recognition was never my motivation. I really love playing, so I tried to find a way to support myself doing it.
In the long run, sleeping on the box springs so somebody else got the mattress (or on the floor) got very old. Throw in a diet of 2 am 7-11 microwave burritos and you realize there’s a high price for chasing that dream.
The pole dangling the carrot gets so long you have to go backwards to see forward.


When I realized I was never going to be a rock star and decided to go back to school I got a three piece band going - guitar bass drums, no sound man no light man. We were able to make some money, but we were never going to get discovered in the dives we played.

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Yup. Today everything is up to you. Write produce record promote tour pick t shirt colors keep building fan base, rinse, repeat. Artists are usually not the best salespeople.
Get a few million online hits and split the money, and in five years you can upsize your happy meal.


there is a sad reality in that. Youtube for musicians has been dead since 2019
for those who wish to know just how bad it is, I have about 4.3 milllion views and total money made from it over the years was $4,850…that amounts to roughly 0.1% of the views to the dollar

I dropped out of my Youtube partner program in 2021 because I got busy and the partner program requires you to be very active on the channel before you can make any dime.

Now those just starting off a youtube channel have to fight an uphill battle as you need 4000 hours of watch time on your channel and 1000 subscribers. Which means new youtubers either have to advertise with a minimum of $1000, or slave around for years before they can reach that number of hours to make 5 cents per hour. It is effectively dead, dont bother with youtube unless it is to simply bloat their cloud with music storage or to send samples and demos to producers.

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