When it comes to being a "rockstar," most people think about groupies, drugs, partying, etc. but the reality of it all is that it's a job. And a hard job at that. Especially if you're in a rock or metal band.
The harsh reality is that a lot dudes we look at as being a big deal aren't doing much better than your average joe financially. Smaller bands tour in vans, crash on floors or in the back of the van and barely make enough money to make it to the next show with some taco bell if they're lucky.
Even if you're a bigger band you will ALWAYS be on the road away from the comforts of home trying to sleep in a bunk next to 8 other guys who all smell like arm pits.
And while most of this has been standard issue for decades, now bands are under even more pressure to maintain a continual stream of social media content that typically leads to very little financial compensation. Bands still live on merch money, their show guarantees and a series of side gigs ranging from day jobs to teaching guitar lessons. Record sales and streaming mean even less these days.
The life of a road warrior will take a toll on anyone after so long and it seems like it has finally gotten to Mastodon axeman, Brent Hinds.
On a recent episode of the podcast Let There Be Talk, Hinds opens up about the grind and his need for some time off. You can read an excerpt below that was transcribed by Ultimate-Guitar. It has some NSFW language so proceed accordingly. At the bottom is the full episode of the podcast if you want to take a listen.
When are you guys going to work on a new album?
"What I really wanna do and what I hope people will let me do is take some fuckin' time off and let me breathe. That's how shitty the music industry is. Because you've got to work your dick into the dirt before you can see any worms.
"This is definitely the most brutal job I've ever had. I would definitely rather frame houses again. Like, no one's looking at me. It's like, 'Stop looking at me just because I fuckin' play a goddamn show on the stage.' I don't give a fuck. Honestly, I just don't care. Never have cared.
"But when the opportunity's there and you strike and it happens and then they milk you... I feel like I'm being milked like a dry hyena titty. I have nothing left for anyone. They've worked me to my fuckin' soul, it is almost gone.
"My next thing that's gonna happen for me is I'm not gonna play music for a year or two. I need to go regather myself."
After this tour?
"Never said that. I said that's what's next for me. As far as me, what's next for me, is that.
"Now, what's next for me in my job - I couldn't tell ya. They probably got tours booked up their fuckin'... Their bank accounts. I don't know. They got me booked as long as they need to eat. Or as long as they need to shop. Or whatever they do with their money.
"I don't care. All I care about is my peace of mind, which is leaving me. So I need to stop and recalculate myself. I need to decompress from all this and I need to press the restart button and just kind of reboot myself in a way.
"I just got married about a year or so ago. I gotta go down there and meet all her family. I've been on tour constantly. It's just not healthy. My next thing to me is to go get healthy and just to get away from the music business for hopefully over a year.
"It's okay. It'll be okay. I can still play music. If people want me to play good music they need to let me go for a year. If anyone that had a half of mind that was in charge of anything that I did would listen to what I say and not ignore what I say. Which happens a lot."
How do you write songs?
"I compile... I don't really write songs. I compile songs. It takes me a while to write a song. Or a song just comes at me and I write it overnight.
"If I really want to do something impressive, I work on it for about a year and really put the pieces where I need them. I have different methods, of course. I have several methods. You don't have enough time on this podcast.
"I do a lot of things that I don't even really want to talk about, honestly. I roll dice and I name dice different chords. I do all kinds of weird things that I've taught myself how to do just from being a music teacher also. I teach guitar classes every day at 1:30 to some unassuming whoever. And then I just try to plow through the mud with them."
You teach online?
"No. Only when I'm on tour. I don't do anything online. I wake up, I have to give a guitar lesson at 1, and then the soundcheck starts, and then the interviews start, and then meet-and-greet starts, and then the doors open.
"We even rarely have time to hang out with the people that you've become very fond of in those parts of the world. Because they work you like a broke-dick dog because of how fucked the music industry is for rock 'n' roll and heavy metal.
"Any kind of music that requires raw talent - good luck."