But just listening to you describe this process is hearing a guy talk about having his own studio for the songwriting, of having the luxury of hiring a top producer. That’s exactly what causes some bands to lose their sense of urgency, to become an imitation of themselves. How did you avoid that?
We probably have more of that sense of urgency now than we ever have. One of the other things we’ve done this past year is to reclaim our business. I think most artists, when they get into music, don’t consider themselves small business owners, but they really are. Young artists come to me and ask me for advice on what they should do to further their music or their creative process. I say, “Get a business degree.” … Music has changed a lot. It’s not the 90s anymore. Just like every other band, we have to feed our fan base and give them what they want, while doing the best we can to feed our own families while we’re doing it.
This pretty much sums up everything that music has become in the last 15 years since Jars of Clay formed- we've all become the masters of our own destinies in the music industry, for better or worse. We're all companies, to echo Steve Grossman's great book, we:
All sell products
Have a market share (even if it's tiny)
Have a leadership team
Have to market
You can choose to pretend that we still live in 70's when bands waited around for a label to do everything for their career- to rally the fans, set up the shows, and record that great first record.
Or you can choose to take control of your career yourself.