Those of you who have been reading this blog, or know me at all, will expect an explanation that involves Josh being abducted by robot unicorns and having his memory erased before being trampled by a pack of wild puppies somewhere in Cleveland or Narnia. But I’m going to shock you all, by actually writing a serious blog for a change. For those of you still reading, I appreciate your bravery.
All you independent musicians and artists out there, I’m sure, can relate to the fact that this life is difficult. As David Helfgott say, “I think it’s a lifelong struggle. Is it a lifelong struggle? I mean, whatever you do, I think it’s a struggle. A struggle. A struggle to keep your head above water and not get it chopped off.” (If you haven’t seen Shine, stop reading this and go watch it immediately) There’s so much work to be done, and the rewards are few and far between. Good luck trying not to compare your successes and failures with your peers and people you wish were your peers. Give it your best shot, telling yourself that a lame show was the audiences’ fault and not your lack of… pick your favorite shortcoming and insert it here. Just look around at your friend with “real jobs” buying cars and homes and living with all kinds of luxuries like health insurance, and console yourself with the knowledge that you are an ARTIST! Good luck.
Josh and I had a good run. We gained momentum so fast in the beginning that our eyes were full of stars. We went from nothing to having packed shows, write-ups in the paper, winning contests, and a big shot manager in literally a few months. We just knew we were the next thing. And it’s not that it crashed all around us. In a way, that would have been easier to take. Honestly, it wasn’t even a slow decline. In fact, we went out with our best show ever, after a series of sold out shows in Atlanta and new fans around the country. But the very slow climb, fighting for every inch of ground, took its toll. More on Josh probably than me, but definitely on both of us.
We never did “give up” though. Josh just started to find another outlet for his creativity that didn’t require the travel and time commitments, and allowed him to have a “real-ish job.” We told people that Josh was “taking time away from music,” but that’s not completely accurate either. I think Josh would have kept on with The Brilliant Inventions, he just didn’t want to do it with the same intensity as before. He wanted to make room for these new things in his life, and probably find a little more balance. But he also knew that I am completely happy to keep right on going, unbalanced as ever, chipping away at a seemingly impossible goal. That’s just how I am, and we know each other well. He’s too good a friend to ask me to give that up.
So it was: become a part-time TBI or give Eliot the ball and let him run until he collapses. It was really both our decision in way. I couldn’t be happier with the record I’ve made. And the challenge of going alone is part of the reason I think It turned out so good. I definitely needed a little kick in the ass myself. It was getting really easy to just do the Eliot and Josh thing. And staying with what is comfortable is death to an artist. You have get scared. You have to face your fears. You have to step into the unknown and find yourself there.
So anyway that’s what happened to The Brilliant Inventions. Josh got good at taking pictures. So good in fact, that he was commissioned by NASA to bring back the first ever pictures of space robot unicorns. He agreed to the mission and was launched into the cosmos armed with nothing more than his camera and the dream of a better world.
I think you know the rest.