Maximilian Eubank

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So, since I’ve been playing music I have known how to play a cover song or two. Actually these days I think I could play by heart – without looking at a cheat sheet – about fifty cover songs. I believe the first song that I knew how to play was I Want to Rock n’ Roll All Night by Kiss. Wow. That was a different time. I think I probably followed that up with some Metallica, and Black Sabbath. I eventually got into the Eagles and began to play the acoustic guitar. Soon enough I tried writing my first song. My first song was called Hole in the Sky – it was terrible, but then again I was only 13. I could probably still play the chords and the first couple lines but that is about it. I bet I still have the original copy somewhere… I’ll have to check that out later. All of my musical influences led me to where I am now, but in a sense, they dropped me off at the bus stop and I got on the bus alone. They taught me song structure, chords, and how to write a hook, but they can’t write songs for me. I had to do that on my own. They call once and a while (I play their songs) to give me some insight, inspiration or just to chat, but my songs came from my ideas and my experiences, not my favorite musicians’ ideas or experiences. Further, if you are playing only cover songs, you need to get on the bus. I am not talking about writing lyrics – there are plenty of instrumental groups that write their own music and are phenomenal. I’m talking about hearing something in your head, not from a speaker, and playing it. I do not want to take from anyone’s craft because there are some very technically talented cover artists out there that do things that I could never do. But there are also some very talented painting re-creators. There are some great storytellers or actors. But the painting re-creator, the storyteller and the actor never created anything. They simply re-created or acted as a medium for someone else. Once you have written a song you feel like you have created a new life. It is like a baby. It grows and progresses. It learns you and you learn it. You want to show it to your friends. You want people to like it, and when they don’t it is hard. You begin thinking they are wrong and, ‘this is my beautiful baby and it is perfect.’ You have to remind yourself that it is only a song that is as subjective as a movie or book. Half the time that is the hardest part about being a musician – understanding that your babies are not going to turn everyone on. However, sometimes you have people telling you how to change your style or your sound or that if you added a few things to a song it would be better. That is like someone who has never had a baby telling a parent how to raise a child. Although if it is a fellow musician or perhaps a music connoisseur, that knows what the hell they are talking about, then you don’t take it so hard and try their suggestions. Just as a parent would heed to another parent’s advice. That is just constructive criticism – constructive being the operative word. To finish and clarify the analogy, musical influences can be seen as fellow parents and their songs are their kids, not yours. No matter how much you want their song to be yours it is not, and you are babysitting when you play it. If you buy the rights to a song that is not yours, you just adopted a song. Conversely, when you create your own music those are your kids and you raise them; you are responsible for their development or lack thereof. I do not look down upon any artist. Ever. I think anyone who is out there experiencing a creative endeavor is an enlightened human being and my heart goes out to him or her, but here is my constructive criticism: Write music. Write stories. Draw pictures. Paint pictures. Bake a cake. Think. Create. Even if others don’t like it, it is still yours to call your own. I have so many songs that nobody likes but me – and that will never stop me from writing new ones. Also, there is no population problem with intellectual creation; you don’t have to worry about just another creation to feed☺