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As you may know I do some work with Un-Convention and occupy a place on their board. They are currently putting together a series of short videos made by people who work in the music business. I’m very flattered that they invited me to take part and say a few words about my experiences as an independent musician and general plate-spinner.

I must admit I find this kind of thing difficult though. I enjoy writing my thoughts down and I also enjoy talking to people. What I am not good at is sitting alone having a one-way conversation with a camera prompted only by a list of questions such as “what advice would you give young musicians” (every path is different and no two artists are alike – it is hard to give any useful tips when one is addressing oneself to a void). I guess that’s why they’re called “Un-Conversations” – they are about as far from a conversation as it is possible to get!

My friend Andrew Dubber recorded the one before mine and he is a hard act to follow, a very confident man who knows his own mind. I imagine he filmed his in the ten minutes between finishing his latest book and hopping on a plane to Guatemala. I, on the other hand, ended up talking for about half an hour at least, rambling on about juggling roles, definitions of success and staying motivated, spinning one questionable analogy after another and generally tying myself in knots. In the end I managed to cut it down to just under ten minutes of content that I hope is vague enough not to alienate anyone but also honest enough to be of some use to emerging artists. The stuff I edited out (mostly personal gripes about industry con-men and the occasional moment where I bang my head against the desk and cry “what the hell am I going on about?!”) is the usual ranting that happens in my Keyhole Observations series of articles so feel free to peruse those whenever you have a couple of idle months to spare).

The Un-Converations series can be found at the Un-Convention website (more to be uploaded soon I gather).