The life of a working, touring rock musician is not always what you see. It is not always as lavish as Motley Crue, or as wild as the heyday of AC/DC. I was honored when front man Cody Perryman, of Texas Metal band, Stoned Naked decided to give us a glimpse into the day and life of a hard working, Rock musician. This is the first of a monthly segment Perryman will feature exclusively for Outlaw Review.
Aww, a luxurious day in the life as leader of Stoned Naked! From my many jeweled, throne of amethyst, jade, diamond, and lapis lazuli, I can see to the depths of the Hades. I can even hear the beautiful music of the children of the night. All joking aside, when Kristin first asked if I would be interested in writing a “Day in the Life” blog, about being a working musician, I thought I would probably be the worst choice in her world of musicians. I work 7 days a week, between my day job, a side industrial electrical scrap business, and the family farm. None of which are very rock star. Then you have 7 nights a week of struggle to make any head way in this crazy modern music industry. So, I told her that. To my surprise, she said it sounded “pretty fitting”. Then it dawned on me, as a musician I never really think about what other musicians’ days are like. We get together and play the same bills, but that’s where our paths meet and where we go separate ways. So, why not. Could be comforting, reassuring, and even motivating to share the side of life that only our loved ones see. Not just the “Rock Star” that we are supposed to give the audience. Truth is, most of our life is not on the stage. The stage would be nothing without all the hard work that goes into, not just the music, but life itself. In fact, the trials and tribulations are where we draw most of our inspiration. I know that’s certainly the case with my favorite musicians and myself. But, in order to truly show the life of a working musician, it will take all 7 days!
I get up before anybody else in my house, in order to get in a work out and much needed meditation. Good days start here. In order to have the stamina and energy needed to give all that life and music deserve, you should keep yourself strong. Body and mind. No one wants to see you sucking wind, giving a half ass performance, or complaining like a little bitch. This life isn’t easy and some time to reflect helps immensely. My morning workouts are a mixture of strength training and yoga. Followed by meditation. After that it’s time to get ready and head to work.
We’ll keep this short. I’m sure you all know what goes on here. Time to work. I’ll get my crew lined out and take care of all the paperwork I have going on while eating breakfast. Our breaks are at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and this is when I take care of instrument repairs and maintenance on my equipment or do the occasional repair job that may come through. Or, like now, it’s when I write a blog, update social media and websites and even send out emails for gigs, and all that comes along with it.
Time to go home! This is where the joy of the day comes in. I head home and pick up a 6 pack of one of my favorite import beers. Once I get home I kick back with my wife and enjoy a few beers while listening to kids tell me all that happened in their exciting day. Afterwards my wife fixes dinner while the boys and I head out back to hit the half pipe and get in some skateboarding. We like to leave the meals to her, she is a chef by trade.
It’s finally time to play music! This part of the day, and of course my schedule throughout the day, all depends on if there is a show, rehearsal, or recording session lined up. It could be with Stoned Naked, Jerrod Flusche, or my blues project. Sometimes it may even be a recording session with another band. As you can guess, the schedule gets tight. That’s why years ago I set up a small studio and rehearsal space here in my house. With the lack of spare time and money, I prefer to not waste time travelling or money paying for a rehearsal space. Although, sometimes that can’t be avoided. If I don’t have anything lined up with other musicians, then I spend this time writing, working up new songs, or learning something new on guitar. I spend a few hours each day practicing in one form or another. Even though you’re tired I guarantee you the first sweet guitar lick will make it all worth the while. Always has for me!
While I don’t set an alarm on the weekends, I usually am up by 7 a.m. at the latest. I like to take a little time over coffee to work on music. This is when I get most of my acoustic playing in. That allows everyone else to sleep in if they desire.
Let’s head to the farm. The farm always has plenty of work. Could be anything from equipment repair, fence building or fixing, vaccinating cows, to any surprise of the day. Any body that has ever worked on a farm knows what I’m talking about. My wife and youngest take care of the cows during the week.
This time is just an average. We really get back according to what we are working on and what I have lined up for music. I would like to say that the norm is a show but being from a rural area there aren’t a thousand clubs around. Most gigs require travelling for hours, at least for heavy metal. So, I find it ideal to book several shows per trip whenever possible. Which leaves most weekends open to rehearsal, studio time, or playing and setting in with other local bands. For more local gigs, at least around here, it’s best to brush up on your country and blues chops. This allows you to do more pic-up gigs, and there’s good money in them.
While this may not paint the picture of the rock star life we envision, I do think it paints the true picture of a musician full of love for their craft. We don’t do this because it’s easy, carefree, and funds an endless party. Although that does sound nice. We do this for pure love! It really doesn’t matter what stands in front of us, we march on. With anarchistic hearts full, from the fight. Living a tumultuous life. Learning and growing from every bead of sweat and drop of blood we shed for the music, to get us from one gig to another, or to feed the family. Using the hard times in life, like fuel for the flame. While at times the fight seems pointless, believe me it’s not! When I look in to the eyes of my children, I realize they deserve a warrior that won’t back down from his dreams. When I crank up Motorhead I realize how many times Lemmy’s words have taught me valuable lessons, have taught me a new way to look at life and death. Reaching people is the true reason we push to get our music out in the world. Standing in front of a crowd, absorbing their energy and putting it all back out there for them. We feed off each other. We learn and grow from one another. So, here’s to all my fellow musicians. Don’t back down brothers and sisters! It ain’t easy living free. Don’t ever let the day to day grind bring your passion to a holt. Survival is necessary, but without soul we are nothing.