But really, all that's been taking up my time and energy is studying, crapping blood regardless of how hard the teachers are on me. It's only when I get to sit down in really weird and noisy places with little to do that I start thinking about the few things that make my life a little less bland.
To think, I've been a regular bar patron since I was fifteen years old. Sometime in my junior year of high school I joined a band that was once entirely made up of boys at least four years older than me, and while gender still doesn't make much of a difference, age has in a good few ways. I've had to move on from the regular high school band scene activities of auditioning for fairs and recording rough copies of demos to playing a gig at least once every two weeks in a variety of establishments and recording album-quality music in a studio that's been producing for a number of bands, some of which are becoming more known in the mainstream as we speak.
It's in the bars, however, that I unconsciously find myself reflecting on the idea of how much being in this industry, even in the shallowest level, has already become an essential and inseparable part of my life. Ever since I was still underage, I haven't been doing much but thinking--sometimes I drink, but not often, because I never feel like it when I'm alone. The boys usually hang out with their friends and their girlfriends; recently I've found an invaluable gig companion in retrosnap, whenever Angulo is also part of the lineup.
Things like these are so hard for me to share. My peers relate more easily to the bands that were born from their own circle--bands that jam for fun and make appearances in school events. I'm not the kind of kid who repeatedly shoves an iPod at my friends on a regular day and says, "Hey, you should listen to this now, we'll be releasing an album as soon as mixing and mastering are done!", and sometimes even the people who find the export mixes on my playlist don't believe what they're hearing--studio quality, hindi ba?
Some of them actually know that I play a little music, and that I know how to sing in tune for the most part, and they say, "Uy Peep, invite us naman to your gigs!", and all I do is smile and nod and wonder how many of them would give up a Saturday night more appropriately spent in Rockwell or High Street to go to an almost unknown bar in Paranaque or deep in the Q.C. area to be surrounded by the stifling smell of smoke in an environment they'd assume they'd get mugged in, just to watch me play a fifteen-minute-set of songs they don't know.
Don't get me wrong--I've never been ungrateful for all the opportunities we've received, and living this sort of lifestyle enforces the fact that you can't be picky with the places you go and the money that you're paid, if you ever really are. Things this year, in particular, have been going really well for reasons I'll talk more about later. I'm not so naive anymore--I've grown up in a lot of ways I'd have wanted to grow into eventually.
But some things are really hard to get into at first, for one reason or another. Just take it, I guess. It's all part of the experience, and it's what comes with the choice.
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