Many people dream of achieving success – thinking that once they achieve at a certain level that they will be happy. Tara Brach calls this “If Only Mind.”
If only I got that promotion…If only we hadn’t broken up…If only I made this much money…then I would be happy.
My friend Brian Blake plays drums for a band called Real Friends that has achieved a level of success that most bands only dream of. Headlining tours across the country, prime billing at the Vans Warped Tour (RIP), and millions of streams on their YouTube videos.
But, that success did come with a cost for Brian in terms of his constant self-judgment relative to his performances – and it created an almost crippling anxiety and self-awareness surrounding his playing.
We dig into Brian’s experiences with meditation to come out of these negative feedback loops, but don’t worry – it’s not all serious. We spend a decent amount of time talking about nu-metal and JNCO jeans as well.
Check out this conversation with Brian to hear:
What it feels like to be in a band that suddenly has a lot of people paying attention – especially after years of playing music that not many people cared about
The dangers of excessive self-judgment – especially when playing to thousands of people per night – and what Brian did to overcome these feelings
How Real Friends thinks about balancing their creative output with the expectations that fans have of them – and how they wrote a more “mature” pop record without giving up their roots
Well, hopefully we can add to the Boz canon with this interview.
Check out this conversation with Adrian to hear:
Boz’s background in music – including growing up in a small town punk scene, playing trombone, and studying classical composition in college – as well as Boz’s early experiences with Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard
How Boz thinks about fairness in competition – and how someone who values freedom and lack of structure in his own training became head judge of the CrossFit Games
How Boz prepares the judges to focus on the important things (rather than “what if” scenarios) and how he helps them get comfortable with making other people uncomfortable in order to uphold the standards of the competition
I immediately started getting texts since I had coached Megan for 2016 and 2017 season (so I can’t imagine how many messages she was getting).
Megan made an Instagram post explaining that she was taking both Vyvanse (a prescription ADD medication) as well as Anavar (a steroid) – and that the Anavar was likely contaminated with the other banned substances that she tested positive for.
Since Megan and I have kept in touch since she moved to Arizona last year, I figured it would be a good conversation to have her on the podcast to discuss the situation.
I also feel the need to offer some sort of disclaimer, since I’ve found that the capacity of humans to misunderstand and take information out of context to be boundless:
I certainly don’t support the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport – and neither does Megan. While we do spend some time talking about reasons and justifications for drug usage, this is not meant to be an attempt to make excuses. Rather, we are trying to dig into the compartmentalization and other psychological gymnastics that an athlete can get into as they go further down the path of performance-enhancing drug usage.
Check out this conversation with Megan to hear:
What it felt like being selected for a drug test (when she knew she would test positive) and what it felt like to compete the rest of the weekend at Regionals
Why she decided to own her actions rather than make excuses – and how the positive test “snapped her out of” a bunch of justifications
Using inspirational quotes to try to improve your mindset – but still feeling like an impostor and a fraud
What it was like being Wes Borland from Limp Bizkit’s first recording project
What it was like to get a cease and desist letter from one of your musical heroes
The trials and tribulations of organizing a multi-year music festival – and why he keeps deciding to do it again
NOTE: We recorded this podcast in the green room at The Empty Bottle, and part of the recording features Unsane sound-checking. I did some editing to make this less distracting, but apologies for the background noise.
And, check out WE ALL WANT OUR TIME IN HELL – the Samhain tribute comp Shawn put together. All the records are sold out, but bands do still have copies. If you want one, reach out to me directly since Like Rats has copies left.
My friend Ron has a long history of being in bands with ridiculous names that become popular.
We’ve got Weekend Nachos. We’ve got Bongripper.
There’s something to be said for the idea of making yourself laugh in your creative work – and sometimes that strikes a nerve with other people as well. In fact, when I was standing outside of the Metro for Bongripper’s recent show, there was a Jimmy Buffett concert at Wrigley Field just down the street.
A cadre of Hawaiian-shirt clad Parrotheads hurried past me – only to stop in front of the Metro and loudly exclaim in excitement upon seeing the name “Bongripper” in giant letters across the marquee. Hopefully they checked it out.
But Bongripper isn’t just a band with a clever name. They’ve pulled together an incredibly loyal following of people who like slow and heavy riffs and long songs.
Check out this conversation with Ron to hear:
How Bongripper creates songs – and how they think about the relationship between structure, riffs, and the overall texture of the song. And – the frustrations of practicing 20 minute songs while everyone is counting each part differently.
How Ron listens to music and records, and how he processes different styles of music as an analytical musician
Ron’s top pop music recommendations, including Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Tove Styrke
Lindsey Love Jenks used to coach over 100 individuals on their nutrition. But, she realized there was a much larger market for something in between the individualized nutrition coaching she was offering and impersonal, unadaptable templates.
Macrostax offers customized macronutrient prescriptions, as well as a meal generator feature. But, I was mostly interested in learning how Lindsey handles the psychological foibles of the individuals who are using the app – and how she’s built and grown her company.
Check out this conversation to hear:
The common and damaging psychological traps that CrossFit athletes fall into with their nutrition
How to lead and manage a technical team as a non-technical founder
How to take user feedback and figure out what people really want – rather than what they say they want
I went to a party at Debra’s dance studio to celebrate that it was full of toxic mold and that it was shutting down.
That could have been the end of Design Dance, but – after getting fired from a call center that “a dog could work at” – Debra decided to start calling schools to see if they needed an after school dance instructor.
10 years later, Design Dance isn’t the studio she originally envisioned. Instead, they run after school programs teaching dance all throughout the Chicagoland area. And Debra runs a non-profit called Prismatic focused on teaching students entrepreneurship in the arts – because not all companies have to be started to create some sort of app.
Check out this conversation to hear:
How a mold-infested dance studio morphed into a company focused on dance education
How to balance the needs of multiple stakeholders in a business: school administration, students, contracted teachers, and parents
How to handle being talked down to and minimized as a female business owner