OUR DARK WORLD – THOUGHTS

CBD/One Without or "A brief history of Kennys mind"

8th of January 2021 (Post by Kenny)

Wow. I just realized and saw that I haven´t written here since September 2019. And that coincides very well with the time that I found out about and started taking CBD. And since then my outlook on life has changed dramatically.

I very rarely have the dark moods and thoughts that I had basically every day a few years back, and itis incredibly humbling to realize how "deep down" I were, and how I am not at all in that same place today.

For anyone interested in CBD I urge you to google around and check out some articles about it. It has been a life-changer for me and ALMOST totally erased my, at times, VERY severe depression and anxiety. Here´s some info from a site that seems to not just hail it as a miracle drug, but actually looks at some facts etc. https://www.health.com/condition/pain/what-is-cbd - I´ll just say it works very well for me, and have been doing so for the past 2 or so years, and I hope other people in similar situations will benefit from it as well.

This of course doesn´t mean I don´t occasionally have "dips", but it´s not comparable to how bad I was doing earlier in my life. It basically started in 2008, just a few months after me and Cat became a couple, and that is a bit sad in itself, as I remember how much I enjoyed just being with her and that we were having so much fun until I got burned out.

Why did I get burned out? Well. Back then we were in a band called One Without, and we were getting VERY serious about our music, for the first time really, and what we wanted to do and accomplish (and had been for a few months). So I just put myself in full gear, and to keep a long story short I couldn´t manage balancing my regular job and the music which I was really going for 100% and put more time and effort in than I actually could, and it ended with me just one day not being able to go to work at all. I remember it growing slowly over a few months of course, and getting worse after that initial "break". The frustration of not being able to focus on the music, wanting to spend more time on finishing up our debut album, make it better, etc, etc. And of course work-related stuff with the organization and being forced to work over time and such.

So one day I just crashed. I couldn´t go outside my door. I just panicked and cried and felt like if I went to work I would "die" or something. It´s not rational. And that was the start of a depression and anxiety that I have been struggling with in different degrees for more than 12 years.

I was a pain to be with in the early years. And maybe most of all for myself, I just could never relax. I was definitely a pain for Cat, even though she might not express it that way.  (we are married and have kids, if you didn´t know) I must have been amazing those first few months before I "Broke" for her to stick with me through all this shit! 🙂 I hope I can become that person again someday.

I was incredibly moody and "dark" and frustrated about so many things. I´m sure many other people that know me would tell you I am exaggerating, that it wasn´t always like that, and sure maybe not, but in my head I was always buzzing and planning and worrying and trying to solve shit. I didn´t want to go out, meet people, talk, or really do anything besides band-related stuff. I basically lost all my friends and I didn´t even care at the time.

I spent hours, and sometimes days on end contacting labels, bookers, media, other bands etc. in an effort to get One Without opportunites or exposure. When the mailbox kept being empty I only got even more frustrated, and tried harder. That´s a problem you see, I am a very driven person in general, and in cases like these, when my "reality" or whatever has been skewed, it becomes a curse. I was like a gambling addict, just thinking that the next roll of the dice would end up in winnings. Just one more.

I knew I was depressed or "something", but I was sure that when I managed to get One Without to be a well-respected fairly big band, I would be happy. And happiness could wait.

It was my goal. The air I breathed. It was inevitable that we would be a known band, touring the world.

I think I need to explain a little about WHY I got so sure we would succeed with One Without, because at first I wasn´t that sure about it, and didn´t drive myself so hard about it, doing it for the fun of playing music, and that was enough.

You see, when we finished our debut album "Thoughts of a Secluded Mind" we uploaded a few tracks from it on Myspace (a social media platform that could stream music basically from band profiles) and almost INSTANTLY we gained thousand of listeners (within a few weeks I believe), and I honestly believed that it was because people thought we were great! I know... a bit naive. But not impossible, right? Weeeell....

It even got so "good" that we were getting more streams per day than In Flames for a while. (They were probably even bigger back then than they are today)

Absolutely amazing in my mind, and it had to mean something!

All this led to us signing a record deal with a fairly big indie label and things were looking really great. The album released a few months later and .... not really much happened. We got some good press coverage, but that was about it. How come, since we had such great numbers on our myspace? I was just getting more frustrated as I couldn´t understand it.

After that we figured we needed to tour. So we contacted a bunch of bands and landed a few tours that was pretty cool looking back, but most of them was fairly small. And it cost us a lot of personal money and I myself took out several bank loans to cover my parts of it (And I was basically unemployed at that time - btw, noone really talked about being burned out back then, I didn´t even know that was what had happened to me until after a few years). Anyway, I also realized that something was off when comparing the numbers on myspace and the not-at-all-present fans in the real world on tours.

I/we of course blamed the label and broke with them after about a year or so. (The deal was not a good one anyway, so might not have been the worst decision we made) But they were more than happy to get rid of us it seemed.

And on and on it went. I kept on trying to land us opportunites and it just kept getting harder as time progressed.

It wasn´t until after we quit the band that I even realized that what must have happened was that the numbers were manipulated. I was too blinded and "in too deep" to realize it. Why would anyone in the band do anything like that? We had all talked about it so much, that having inflated numbers would just bite you in the ass. I believe that is what happened with our first label. They signed us because we had great numbers, and when they realized that didn´t AT ALL translate into record sales, they figured it was all fake. Which I too believe nowadays. This all happened with several partnerships we got into. Like when we started working with the worlds biggest booker at the time, The Agency Group, and we were discussing doing no less than 100 shows a year. They just turned around one day and said they didn´t want to work with us anymore. No explanation. I think it was after just a few weeks, and it was after the first meeting they had with our label back then.

I just couldn´t see it all back then as I trusted my bandmates. I don´t WANT to think this was what happened, but it´s the only explanation that makes sense. Anyway, it´s all in the past now.

In the end I can´t proove any of this. I can´t know who in the band did it. But I am absolutely sure it happened. And had the numbers not been inflated so much I wouldn´t have been getting so insanely driven and serious about our music. I seriously believed people loved us and that we were the next big thing! So I spent years trying to capitalize on it. Only it wasn´t real. There was no foundation to build on.

I know we did get fans with One Without, and alot of people did appreciate our music, but not nearly as many as I believed.

Today I am so much calmer and can enjoy more of "the little things", being with my family, having fun and not "worry about it" so much.

If someone had told be back when I was at my darkest (which was actually back in 2011 or so - I gradually got better over time until I got worse again in 2018 when I got burned out again) that I could actually be feeling like this in the future, I would´nt have believed them. The pit I was in was so damn dark. And I really believed the only way for me to actually gain some happiness in life was to "succeed" with my music. It became my goal.

I still want to succeed of course, but not at any cost. And I have become so much better at enjoying the ride while we try to do that. 🙂 And in many ways I am also fine with the thought of not succeeding in music at all. My life is not about that anymore, and I think that I could never have admitted that a few years back, as that would have been like saying "I have failed" or "I´m a failure" or something. I put sooo much pride and purpose in it for whatever reason.

So, I didn´t intend on writing about all that, and not at all the One Without story, when I started this post, but sometimes I just can´t stop writing, and it becomes a cleansing in a way. I think this is the first time I really write about what happened/I believe happened, and it´s good to have it out.

I think, in conclusion, basically what I am trying to say is that while I did slowly get better over the years, what really changed everything for me was the discovery of CBD. It has changed my life so much, and on the odd day that I forget to take it, I notice fairly quickly that my mood gets darker. So I definitely still have the depression and anxiety in me, but it´s being controlled in a way, I guess, by the CBD. So if you are a dark person like me, you should definitely look it up.

I´m not sure how much I´m going to be writing here now, since "my world" just isn´t as dark anymore, but hopefully I can get in here and do the occasional rant about something that bothers me or so. 😉

Pointlessness

23rd of May 2019 (Post by Kenny)

Some days are just full of no meaning. No point. Why strive for anything really? Why do anything at all? What´s the point in the end? To do it all again tomorrow? Why?

Why try to get famous? Why write music? Why work on songs for months and months? Why mix, master and keep polishing? Why perform? For money? For food? For someone else? For me? For the fans?

Why do anything? Why play any video games? Why read a book? Why study? Why watch any movies, series, entertainment in general? What is the point? It´s all so meaningless in the end. What does it lead to? What value does it have?

Why get up in the morning? Why go to bed at night? Why work? Why eat? What is the point?

Are humans the only animal capable of feelings of pointlessness? Does the bee question it´s existence and don´t bother getting any more honey? Does the lion stop hunting since.. well, what´s the point? Does the tree stop growing because what´s the point of growing a little bit more?

Why do we do whatever it is we do?

I don´t believe in any meaning to life except for life itself, but sometimes it´s a bleak fucking thought.

"Female Fronted" a genre?

4th of April 2019 (Post by Kenny)

Lately people have been talking about bands in the “Female Fronted Metal” scene being all about Opera. Symphonic. Gothic. - Or that all Rock and Metal bands with a female vocalist sounds the same.
 
With our band we have seriously had several LABELS, FESTIVALS and RADIO STATIONS telling us they ABSOLUTELY LOVE what we do and WANT to work with us etc, but that they have “filled their quota” of female fronted bands for the time being. - Like it´s a genre!
 
A big profile US radio station recently told us they loved us, but already had Amaranthe and Lacuna Coil in rotation so there was no more room for female fronted bands! Really!?
 
Do the listeners agree?
 
One of the biggest Rock/Metal labels passed on us even though they loved our new album (Ephemeral) because quote; "we already have several female fronted bands right now". - Bands that sounds NOTHING like us, only thing we have in common is the genitals of the lead vocalist.
 
We know this is not something that is affecting only us. We have been talking to many bands with female leads saying the same things over the years.
 
Some people really need to open their eyes and ears.
 
Some of the best and diverse Rock and Metal bands today are fronted by women. For example Within Temptation, Amaranthe, Lacuna Coil, Paramore, Delain, New Years Day, Evanescence, Pvris, Nightwish, Vukovi, Follow The Cipher, In This Moment, Stitched up Heart, and many, many more.
Do they all sound the same?
 
And there´s of course a huge amount of people that listen to and appreciate these bands.
Many of them FILL big venues all over the world, every day.
We ourselves have had the fortune of having our second album “Elevation” streamed more than 4 million times in the past two years, WITHOUT label support, only by our own efforts and by our awesome fans spreading the word. So there is obviously a lot of people out there that beg to differ that it´s “all the same”- But still there is some kind of resistance in the music industry side of things since “the quota is filled”.
 
We want to show the music industry, and the nay-sayers that they are wrong.
 
What do you think? Are all female fronted bands basically the same? Or do you agree that this is a very narrow-minded way of judging bands? Personally I am sick of it.
 
If you want to help us change the music industry, share this post!
 
/Kenny

Disconnected.

21st of November 2018 (Post by Kenny)

This morning I read a quora post by an Indian woman living in Sweden for 15 years, about Swedes being very secluded, disconnected and closed off from other people and it really resonated with me. read it here: https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-bad-things-about-Sweden

Thing is it is absolutely correct. And I might be the perfect example and living proof. There are definitely people in Sweden that are very outgoing and that makes friends and keep up those connections etc. but I am definitely not that person. Why? I´m not sure.

In the end I believe it might have to do with fear. The fear of being left, the fear of being ridiculed, misunderstood, joked about etc. But at the same time I find comfort in my alone time. Even though I am my own worst enemy at times, I am also a good friend of myself, and generally like who I am.

I really do like my solitude, and being by myself is something I appreciate very much. I joke alot about me being the perfect candidate for a lone mission on a space station or something at times.

In the story on Quora they talk about Swedes generally getting close friends in childhood and then stick with them. I don´t really see any of my childhood friends these days, and my closest friends are 6 out of 7 in my bands. (And am even married to one of them).

I know I´m an introvert, and on top of that of course an HSP, and social stuff mostly tires me out. Even though I might enjoy a "party" or something I get extremely tired and have no energy left after a while. I am very often one of those people that want to leave early, even if it´s fun. When I was younger and went to lots of parties I usually dissapeared after a couple of hours, (and after a couple of drinks) snuck away without saying goodbye as I didn´t want the attention and couldn´t handle the "energy". At first my friends didn´t understand at all, and even got worried sometimes.- (Sorry) - But after I did it a few times they just got used to it and figured I wandered off when I dissapeared.

Maybe I just don´t need that social thing as much as some other people do, or maybe I´m just odd. Well, I know I´m odd, but maybe I´m odder than most.

I think many Swedes just have a learned behaviour as they mention, that we somehow got taught to be strong on our own and don´t rely too much on others, as that might end in bad things. Or something. Maybe its the cold. Every man for himself in a harsh unforgiving landscape where you might not grow enough to feed your own family etc.? (Thinking a few hundred years back)

It´s true that alot of people die alone in Sweden. Not discovered for weeks or months sometimes. It´s a very sad thought.

Thankful.

12th of November 2018 (Post by Kenny)

I just realized something I am very thankful for. 

The fact that lots of people get happiness, comfort, joy, hope or anything else for that matter from the music we create. Without realizing it, it has long been one of my goals. And to really understand that our music makes a BIG difference for a lot of people is pretty huge. I´m very thankful to all you guys who keep telling us, and please keep on doing so!

And I am back on my medication in a steady way, along with the CBD, so the past two weeks have been pretty damn good. Haven´t actually felt this stable in a long time. It´s an amazing feeling when you are used to having your emotions riding a roller coaster. And I bet Cat and our kids are feeling it too, which of course makes me very happy. Being able to focus more on everyday things, playing with my kids, just talking etc,  and not get stuck in my head as I´ve been alot in the past years is a big relief, and is giving my life a big quality boost!

Hope you all are great, and if not, hang in there and keep up the fighting, don´t let your demons get you. 

As a closure, here´s  a nice picture of me and Decibelle, our oldest daughter, in the studio a month ago or so. 🙂 I really have so much to be thankful of in my life, my family being a big part of course, and I´m working on reminding myself every day!

db o jag i studio

Show me how to live.

29th of October 2018 (Post by Kenny)

I am 33 years old now, and I am still trying to figure out how to live. And I have been since my early teens at least.

I have never really been able to understand how other people do it, and how they don´t get overwhelmed by their thoughts and feelings the way I seem to be at times. How do you manage to keep a working day-to-day? Just getting normal everyday stuff to work? Getting up, going to work, doing your job without fault, going home, taking care of normal stuff, maybe kids, sleep, repeat. I don´t understand and I am coming to the realization that I might never understand since I haven´t so far.

I always thought it was going to be easier as an adult and the older I got, but the truth is it´s the opposite. I am deteriorating every year, and when I do hit my speedbumps they get harder and harder to get over. Don´t get me wrong. Things are GOOD too, it´s just scary that the lows are getting lower generally. When I think about normal everyday things that needs doing, or just going to work (even though right now I only work in the studio - which helps) I almost get overwhelmed by the sense of pointlessness. And I can´t explain why. Other days I don´t feel it that strong, but it´s always there.

I just can´t seem to get my brain to work, even though my days now aren´t generally bad I do have VERY bad days still. The feeling of hopelessness and how meaningless everything seems at those points are pretty fucking scary. And the thought of just trying again tomorrow really makes me want to just dissappear at times.

Life IS a rollercoaster. I wonder if this is what Ronan Keating had in mind when he sang those words. One day can be pretty damn good, and the next like being in a hole. Circumstances rarely change, so that´s not really the reason, as many will want to tell me. It´s more like my brain has some weird chemical imbalance and just can´t work right. I am tired of being told (I appreciate the effort from people though, I know they want what´s best for me) that I just need to "think different" etc. Yes, I know about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and I support it, it´s just not working for me. I´ve had therapy. I have been working on changing my thoughts for the past 18 years at least. But after all this I just don´t think that is the MAIN issue. It is probably a issue, but not the big one.

I´ve gotten burnt out twice now. I always say it´s because of the music, how I push myself to "succeed" or whatever, and  end up in totally unhealthy stress-related situations working too much. But I´m not sure anymore if that is the main reason, maybe. First time was in 2008. Took me YEARS to get my mind back in working order, slowly. Last time was this spring. It was VERY bad. Couldn´t go to my day-job and just had to basically sleep all day long for weeks. I started self-harming. Something I´ve NEVER done, and not even considered before. It just felt right and it DID help, unfortunately. I got drunk on my own several times at home. Something I´ve never done, and never seen the point in before. Awake all night going through the alcohol bottles. Lost my job since me and my boss agreed I couldn´t come back and work as much as they needed even if I got well again. When I finally started feeling a bit better I decided that I was now going to focus 100 % on the music for a while. Even though it won´t pay any bills in the beginning. As long as me and Cat can afford it basically, see if I can get enough clients to my studio recording music etc so I can sustain myself on that. Work in progress for the cooming months.

It´s all so damn frustrating. I have so many things in my life to be thankful for, and I very very well know it. My life has not been that BAD at all compared to so many others. It´s not been a  walk in the park either, absolutely not, but it just doesn´t add up that it would make me feel the way I do. I am seriously coming to the conclusion that my brain is simply not wired right. I´m missing some piece or chemical or whatever.

Anti-depressants help, as well as CBD oil. Those two together have been lifting my mood incredibly the past few months. But for the past few weeks I have not been taking my anti-depressants, since I ran out, and as an experiment I decided to not get a new prescription. It was NOT a good idea. I am 90 % sure that once I start taking them again (and I will, hell, I MUST if I want to be a functional person) my mood will stabilize once again.

In the end I am incredibly glad there are things that help. I sincerely hope that other people suffering from similar "conditions" have their fixers too. Maybe I can at least make other people feel less alone with this post.

I honestly don´t know what I wanted to say with this. Just venting I guess.

Being an idiot.

8th of May 2018 (Post by Kenny)

Anxiety and depression have a strange way of making you stupid. 
Even though one KNOWS one hundred percent things will/can improve, hell, even being extremely happy the next day sometimes, it feels like you are in a bottomless hole with no chance of escape at the time. It's weird scary and fascinating all at the same time.

Today is an extremely good day for me. Why? No idea really, just very easy to see things in a good light and be thankful for everything I have. But on the bad days, that is not an option, I'm closed up, angry and feel like everything is pointless, meaningless and some days I would probably end it all if I could just not hurt anyone in the process. Mostly my daughters of course. Sometimes i really can't tell why that day in particular is bad.

It's fascinating isn't it? Maybe i'm bipolar or something. Time will tell.

But I won't let it break me. I'm not done yet. There's things to do, places to see and people to meet! Hopefully while performing music! 🙂

I'm gradually improving. The "bad" days are less frequent now, maybe 2-3 days a week, and I'm incredibly thankful to my family, friends/work for respecting what I'm going through and giving me time and space to heal!
Stay strong people, or at least keep fighting!

/Kenny

In Shadows.

22nd of November 2017 (Post by Cat)

Have you, like me, also felt that there is so much that is wrong with the society we live in?

It's like there is a disease spreading with an ugly purpose - to make us feel like we are not good enough, to make us feel like the people around us are not good enough, to make us wanna consume and consume just a little more to fill the void in our souls. It's a disease that keeps us from letting our minds and hearts live freely. A disease that won't present true and inspiring rolemodels, but instead leads us to worship decadent superstars with enormus egos, that care nothing about others themselves.

It really is a sad picture, but in all this sadness, it is so good to know that others feel it too, that you are not alone in wanting something else. And when I stumble upon things like this video (link below), I feel hope. And I somehow feel that the first steps to change are very simple, we just don't have to swallow the shit they're feeding us anymore.

/Cat

Fake it til you make it.

6th of September 2017 (Post by Kenny)

Almost every day we get an email like this below, offering "plays" or "likes" or "views" on some service or other Like youtube, facebook, soundcloud etc.) For a looow price of course. And if you are an artist just starting out you might think "wow that sounds great". But it´s not. it fucking sucks. They aren´t real. Just ask yourself why it´s so cheap to being with. it´s just faaaaaake. Otherwise every damn new artist would be world famous, no problem at all! DO NOT give these companies your hard earned money! Unfortunately it is incredibly easy to trick someone like a musician, since most of us want so BADLY to succeded.
 
These kind of companies are fucking vultures. Profiting on passions and dreams.
 
And remember: if it´s too good to be true, it most likely is.
 
In the bottom you can read todays mail from www.soundlcoudplayz.org
 
I will point this post to my fellow musicians, but I think it will be interesting to listeners as well to get an insight in inflated numbers.
 
So, anyway, buying the listens, how is this going to get you to be taken seriously? You just bought fake listens? WHY?
 
Some of you might say; "Yeah, who cares, I know it´s fake, but it will GET me real listeners when they see I´m looking famous!"
 
Well, first of all: Is the goal to get as many listeners as possible taht got "lured in" or to actually get listeners that CARE and invest in you because they love what you do? Which type of fan would you WANT?
 
Also this: If your goal is to get signed or get a booker or whatever, then how would any potential business partner (Like a label for instance) react when they look at you and (quite easily if you know where to look) see that all your stats are fake? You aren´t selling more than a couple of albums a month etc. That you can in fact not sell out a single 100 capacity show, even though you have millions and millions of "listeners"?
 
I get why it seems like a good idea to get a millions or a hundred thousand listeners, like they say, it´s "social proof" but consider what it means. What if it doesn´t work for you? Will you start everything over? You have most likely in that case burnt many bridges as the "industry" that you have talked with and that knows you´re a fake will not be interested in the future.
 
Build it for real instead. And realize that you don´t need even 10 000 REAL fans to get the ball rolling. If you can get even 50 people to buy your cd for real you´d have about 4-500 $ to invest in REAL marketing. Either yourself via digital marketing or by hiring a PR firm you trust. And then you can expand a little at a time.
 
Start small, start solid, have goals, don´t buy into the "quick fix", that is not the way to build a lasting career.
 
End of rant.
 
/Kenny
 
 
-------------------------------
 
Buy 100,000 Soundcloud Plays -$25.99
 
With greater than 175 million distinctive listeners every month, SoundCloud has emerged as a dominant power in the world of on-line music. Valued by main traders as a billion-dollar firm, SoundCloud can have an incredible influence on the visibility of an artist, particularly on the onset of 1’s profession. Through the use of the service successfully, you’ll have the ability to develop into wider audiences whereas growing the profitability of manufacturing music. On this respect, there’s been some discuss concerning the inefficiency of shopping for SoundCloud plays, however the actuality is that purchasing 100,000 plays is a strong technique that brings alongside quite a few distinctive advantages.
 
 
 
1. Increase your Track’s Reputation
 
Maybe the best option to rapidly improve your music’s reputation is by offering it with a surge of momentum within the type of SoundCloud plays. There’s no thriller surrounding the effectiveness of this system—by buying performs on your music, you’ll have a direct affect on its general reputation. That is particularly helpful if there’s one observe particularly that you just really feel deserves more consideration and would spark larger curiosity in your expertise as an artist.
 
 
 
2. Strengthen your Social Proof
 
In right this moment’s day and age, customers are drawn to on-line content material that already boasts a monitor document of success, and that is very true on this planet of music. Many listeners will solely give your music an opportunity in the event you’ve already demonstrated your worthiness to a earlier viewers. On this sense, buying plays on SoundCloud will offer you the credibility that it’s essential attract a wider viewers. This enhancement to your on-line status could have far-reaching reverberations to your picture, far past SoundCloud’s platform.
 
 
 
3. Entice Extra Listeners
 
It’s not a secret that customers are drawn to content material which is perceived as standard, and buying performs could have a direct influence on the enchantment of your music. When you’re an rising artist that doesn’t have a core viewers of listeners but, buying plays may also help set up you as a musician and enhance your capacity to lure in additional listeners.
 
 
 
4. Get Taken Critically
 
As an up-and-coming artist, it’s crucial that you just’re taken significantly as a creator of music. Having the ability to present conclusive proof that your music is price listening to—within the type of six figures value of plays—you’ll be capable of display to influencers within the trade that your music issues. You could possibly produce unbelievable music, however it should all quantity to little or no with out the intense issue. These bought plays will go a great distance in the direction of cementing your picture as a pressure price realizing higher.

Being Number One.

30th of July 2017 (Post by Kenny)

I keep hearing from people and reading at places that "You have to be the best" at what you do. Mostly I´m of course reading this in music related articles. It´s even more disturbing when I hear artists say it. 

You don´t. Absolutely not. You just have to be "Good enough". 

At least if you mean it in a way that is like being "the best" at playing the guitar. What would that even mean? Fastest? Loudest? Perfect sounding? Who is the "best" singer? Ridicoulos is what it is. 

For example, the imperfections of a singer is many times what makes that person sound unique, right? Because he/she can´t hit those high notes others can, they have to become better at singing low, which might create a more unique tone in whatever music it is they sing to. Our flaws make us human.

I personally love the way Jared Leto (Thirty Seconds To Mars) sings, and in my opinon he is one of the "best" vocalists out there, and I would love to be able to sing like him, but it won´t happen. My voice is too different, and I just "don´t have it" to be able to reach that level. So should I stop singing? Absolutely not. I´m sure I can become better than I am today and count myself as "Good enough" in the future, but I will practise because I love singing. Not becuase I want to be the best. It´s a weird thing to strive for in my opinion.  

Please don´t misunderstand me, I absolutely think we should strive at becoming great, but it shouldn´t be at the cost of our sanity. And being "best" is just so pointless. Most people probably don´t aim for becoming the best anyway, but for some of us it´s an important reminder I think.

For along time I lived my life feeling that I had to be "the best" if I was going to do anything, and I just ended up pushing myself too hard and not taking the time to enjoy the progress I made.  I still do it at times. 

It also made me scared of doing many things. For example I wanted for a long time to learn how to mix music, because I felt like I understood it enough to do it since I had been doing it for years already at the time, but I had no formal education, and everybody knew you had to have education to be a sound-engineer. Bullshit. This is music we are talking about, there are no rules! 

That was a lesson Pontus Hjelm of Dead By April taught me. He agreed to let me intern with him in his studio for a few months back in 2012, and he taught me alot. Not necessarily about mixing to be honest, (he absolutely taught me alot though) but about daring to try. Most of the days we actually spent talking and having fun, and in a way that was much more valuable to me at that point than any lesson in mixing. I learned alot about trusting in my own abilities, and learning by doing. And now a few years later I can say that I know how to make an album sound good. I´m by no means an expert, and again, not "the best", but I can make music sound good. And I of course mean to become better, because I love doing it.  

You should always strive at becoming better at whatever it is you do, no matter if you´re a doctor, an engineer, a truck driver, a pilot or a musician. It doesn´t matter. But do it because you want to, or at the very least becuase it makes your life better/easier.

It´s an illusion that you have to be the best to succeed in life, and it does more damage than good in my opinion. Imagine how many young people have thrown in the towel because they "weren´t good enough" at a sport or playing an instrument or something. Who knows how good they could have become with some practice, or hey, why not just focus on the enjoyment of doing whatever it is you are doing, just becuase it´s fulfilling? Nooo, you have to be "best" to count.

Of course it isn´t odd that we think like this, our whole society is formed like this. We value those who outperform others more, in sports, in movies, in music etc. We shower them in money, hold them up as perfect, and they can get whatever they want. Who wouldn´t want that life? 

Anyway, what I´m saying is even if society won´t change there still is room for us mediocre people. I myself is far from the best guitar player. song-writer or vocalist, and I never will be, but I´m "Good enough" to pursue my dream. I´m definitely not the best sound engineer out there, but I´m "Good enough" to record and mix my own albums and a few others with good results. 

And there are tons of examples of artists and bands who have succeeded without being "the best". Whatever that even would mean, having the notion that you have to be the best is so stupid I don´t know where to begin. Who decides what is "best"? What I think is best, you would think is terrible. Which is perfect! 

I promise you that someone will always be better than you at some point even if you do become the best, so what´s the point of pursuing that? 

Being the best is not something to strive for. You will (probably) NEVER be the best. So why not relax a little and settle for being good enough? It´s a lesson I´m trying to learn myself, as relaxing isn´t my strongest side.  

And to end with a few words I find soothing that I have become prone to say for reminding me that we are all very small in the big whole, and that actually makes me feel lighter at heart weirdly enough; "What does the universe care?"

 

Loneliness & Individualism

25th of July 2017 (Post by Kenny)

Loneliness is an interesting thing.

A recent documentary I saw (https://www.svtplay.se/video/10458343/the-swedish-theory-of-love/dox-the-swedish-theory-of-love-avsnitt-1) took up the subject of loneliness and individualism, and that Sweden is the most individualistic country in the world.
We are also one of the countries with the highest suicide rate, and where someone can die in their apartment and lie undiscovered for months. No visitors, noone just wondering where somebody is. FOR MONTHS. That is so incredibly sad. And it happens from time to time. Mostly with elders as it seems, but that is actually even more sad. They didn´t even have a single friend who came around to talk once in a while.

Mostly they are discovered when it really starts to smell.

Then why are we so unhappy when Sweden is one of the most developed countries in the world along with many other countries with alot of suicides and depression, we have so much to be grateful for right? - Note, Most people ARE generally happy, just seems to me more of us should be.
We have taken being separate and not needing others to a whole new level, whereas it is considered a bad thing to need another person. I myself live my life to this principle too, mostly as I have become more and more secluded, focusing on "work" (music), not having the time to spend with a lot of friends etc, and feeling shame for not getting by on my own, not being "Strong" enough.
But in recent times (last few weeks) I have begun questioning it more, isn´t what makes us happy community? Doing things with others? Sharing moments etc. To need someone else shouldn´t be a bad thing. It just is. Alone is not stronger than together. It can´t be right? 

I read an interesting book called "Outliers" a few weeks ago, and in the beginning of the book the author talks about "The Rosetans" A bunch of Italian immigrants who came to America around 1890, and, that after many years in America, how they were healthier and happier than the populations of the surrounding towns where they lived. They seemed to die more less of heart conditions etc. Why then? It wasn´t diet or excercise, not genetics etc.
And when a Physcisian named Wolf began researching them he came to the conclusion after many different theories, that they were simply living a more connected life to eachother, living with their three generations of family in the same house, always taking the time to stop and talk to eachother on the street. helping and caring for everyone, and simply taking the time to BE it seems.
You can read the beginning of the book here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/books/chapters/chapter-outliers.html

Chester Bennington R.I.P

20th of July 2017 (Post by Kenny)

Just read that Chester Bennington of Linkin Park has died. They say he hanged himself. It´s a very, very sad day. Our thoughts go to his friends and family.

He and Linkin Park has been with me for so long, and has been perhaps THE biggest influence in my songwriting. Their music helped me through many dark days in the past, and I still consider "Meteora" one of the best albums ever made. Of course it was obvious from interviews and lyrics that Chester had issues. And this just shows how dangerous depression and other mental health issues are, and need to be talked about more.

Shocking, terrible news. 

I´m so sad that I never got to meet him.

It might not have been the reason, but surely the latest shit Chester got from fans affected him, and hopefully people will think twice now before hating on artists doing what they love.

I personally didn't LOVE every single song LP released, but I absolutely respected and even admired their wish and courage to do different things. And they released so many awesome songs. Wouldn't it just have been easier to do the same album every time? Easier, but not very artistic.

And reading that some people (and some famous artists) actually already call him a coward for taking his life? Well fuck them, they probably have no clue what real depression is about, and noone knows exactly what he went through and why he did it. If you have ever been depressed enough to consider taking your life you know it isn´t about being a coward. There just doesn´t seem to be any other way to get out of whatever situation you are in, to end your thoughts, to stop being a burden to people, etc, etc. I´m not saying it´s right, I´m just saying that is how it might feel at the time. 
Show some damn respect and keep that opinion to yourself, at least for the time being. Let people grieve.

It's hard having a personal hero pass away. Someone you looked up to that had went through hard shit but somehow managed to get successful and live his life. It gave me lots of hope when I was younger and gave me courage to pursue my dreams in life. You didn't feel so alone when you knew others had gone through though shit and kept on going.

And now he chose to end it. 
I believe we are many who feel a bit empty today. So many of us that got through so much because of him and LP. We need people like Chester being a light in the dark.

And now the world is a bit darker. And we need to keep going.

/Kenny