January 13, 2016
1. Advice for young musicians
Alan Bishop is an American musician, known for being bassist and vocalist of the band Sun City Girls, along with his brother Richard Bishop and Charles Gocher (who passed away in 2007).
Alan also released solo material under the aliases Alvarius B. and Uncle Jim and is now a member of the Cairo-based band, The Invisible Hands. Along with Hisham Mayet, Alan Bishop is the co-founder of Sublime Frequencies, a record label focused on collating esoteric music and imagery from all over the world, most notably Southeast Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Here's Alan Bishop's advice for young musicians.
- Lose the fear, get the confidence. Be a leader, not a follower.
- Forget about "thinking outside the box", crush and completely destroy the box.
- Get interested in everything and do it now.
- Find another way other than music to make money and never depend on music to make you a living. Don't become dependent upon others. Pull your own fucking weight. Don't go into debt.
- Question everyone and everything and never allow anyone to push you away from your direction.
- You know little of the way the world works so get fucking busy and find out what you don't know instead of thinking you already know it. There's nothing more pathetic than a 20-something "know it all." You've been fundamentally lied to since birth, so wake up.
- To attain any form of greatness, you must be able to risk all relationships you may encounter and place them immediately behind your work as a priority. So tell that pretty little girl or boy that you are busy 24/7 and when you have time for her, you'll call her. Repeat the last sentence twenty times every morning when you wake up for a year. On second thought, do it for the rest of your life.
- Speaking of risks, take them as much as possible until it becomes extremely comfortable to take them. That way, you'll never have to take a risk again.
- Don't give in to your peers. Most of your peers don't know jack fuck about anything. Create your peers instead of settling for the peers you've been dealt. There are rarely more than a dozen people in any city who have a clue, therefore there are 12 people you need to know, so go find them. Most of the rest around you have been socially engineered to be fucking morons who will compete for your attention and energy, and how you handle these cretins will be key in determining your future.
- Never trust anyone in the music business, EVER.
- Forget about becoming "famous." If you actually do something interesting and do it well and for long enough, then someday you'll wake up and be infamous which is superior to becoming "famous."
- Compose/write your own material, record everything you do and become organized.
- Be aggressive but not overtly aggressive.
- Don't be an asshole, a thief or a junkie.
- Buy your own fucking cigarettes and don't be a fucking leech.
- Become a master of drugs and alcohol; do not let them master you.
- Don't be a flake. Show up on time, every time.
- Start traveling as soon as possible.
- When you think your plate is full, move to a bigger fucking kitchen and learn how to manage 100 plates simultaneously. The more you push yourself, the more you'll be able to deal with, and when those around you begin more and more to resemble infants, you'll have unlimited options.
And then the world will become your kitchen.
Now get to work.
*main photo: Sun City Girls, Let's Just Lounge 7 inch, image from back of sleeve
read also: Interview with Sir Richard Bishop