On playing live
Scott's rolling to a stop on his solo live playing. I think that's cool, I started to weigh in with a comment on my own struggle with playing live but it got too huge so here it is:
A couple of years ago I was fed up with playing live. Some people love to perform and I'm just not that guy. I wouldn't say I'm shy but I wouldn't deny that I'm an introvert. Then I had a pretty bad string of rough, demoralizing gigs and it was messing with me. I'd travel home afterwards all bummed out and thinking my time would have been much better spent recording or writing or doing stuff on the internet. Plus it's easier and more fun to me.
I got fed up, took a break and decided to play less shows but to make them more meaningful. Promote them better, book them better, work harder at them. In 2010 that approach was pretty successful so I'm planning to play some more in 2011.
A lesson I learned, and this may only apply to me and my city, is that there's very little point to playing thankless gigs. Maybe you're getting some practice in. Maybe you enjoy it. But you're not building a fan base. You're not generating buzz. If you have a small draw, which most bands do, you're spreading it too thin over many sad shows rather than saving it up for a few good ones.
Now that I'm taking this new approach I'm enjoying the shows way more. I'm still not much of a performer, but I've been enjoying the crowd interaction. I like getting yelled at. I enjoy feeling like my being there and doing my thang is facilitating a good time for others.
So when people come out now, tell me they like my stuff, tell me they're looking forward to new music, it's pretty great. It's very easy on the Internet to group fans into one single entity. But when I meet people face to face who seem to genuinely connect with what I've done or what I'm doing, well that's encouraging and awesome and nice.