"one is never so empty as he who is full of himself"~Candy S
These words speak volumes, as it seems there are SO many folks who have this issue. Humility and kindness, these are tthe simplest tools to use for helping you grow and shine!
When you don't ask, when you don't include and engage in any capacity what you are loosing is such a vital resourse. This EGO gone wild i've seen cripple the best bands, the coolest people. Having confidence is definately a good thing, but when you let it become such a degree that you are no longer on the level of your peers, man, it ultimatly ruins you all the way around.
You dont know everything, and there is NO shame in admitting that. You aren't "the best" in everything you do, there is ALWAYS someone better. KNow who YOU are, what YOUR capible of, and let your walk speak for you.
I'm no rockstar, not the best musician in the world, hell i can't even read music. I never had any formal training or training at all. It was just constant trying, reaching, and most importantly- ASKING questions, comments, critiques, etc.. Some were BRUTAL and hurt a great deal, but they came from people who i know only were trying to help me improve. The respect i have for these guys is tremendous. They took the time to be real, to tell me how it was/is. I more confident as a result, and have reached a level that i''m damn proud of.
But, you see, it took a lot for me to reach out, i'm not a confident person by nature. Life is a work in progress, and there's always a way to improve. The faster you come to terms with this the more positive results you'll see. This i can promise!
Let your walk speak FOR you my friends, in whatever you are doing. Take that critique, that suggestion, comment and learn/grow from it. If it's a good review, don't waste to much time patting yourself on the back, just be grateful and proud that you did a good job, and GROW!
Nobody likes a "flag waver" and you'll find that it's the ones who speak MOST have the least to say...
As much as i really dig when people add lines, or sing the wrong words to songs, thats what it's all about to me! U know, make the song...yours! That way it becomes more intimate and memorable.
I've been pretty reclusive person all my life, music however, is my way to break out.
That said: Recently had a lot of questions surrounding what "Another Way" is all about. While a line-by-line explaination would be arduous(and somewhat unnecessary!) i enjoy the questions, and will certainly offer what it means, to me!
I'm kind of a cynic, not very confident, and also have this opportunity ahead of me. This song was the last to be picked for "Buttons & Threads" as is also the newest in relation to the others. It's kind of a real-time look into the journey i have been so honored to take.
Make no mistake, a lot of people have this delusion that when you sign with a label( by "label" i mean a legit "we invest in you" label) that it's all rainbows and "here ya go's" lol- WRONG!!
The questions: are YOU willing to go that far, do YOU believe in what your doing, how serious are you, how far are you willing to take it?
"Another Way" was kinda my answer to those questions. It's a study on dedication, sacrifice, and support. Along the way, i meet some AMAZING musicians & people, "open doors calling me..." and just because someone is accomplished, or "successful" doesn't mean they are credible or on your side! I have been VERY blessed to have landed in a circle of people who are not only accomplished, they are THE kindest, most welcoming and truly wonderful people that i've had a great time getting to know.
Like anything else, music is a relationship built on trust. From the people you play with, to the people you deal with, to the people you entertain(or hope to) It all comes down to trust.
From my wife, to my Mom, family, and the friends i've had/made, we've suffered, and celebrated together. My family, my wife, not only watched me suffer and sacrifice everything i have/own, but supported me ALL the way! And, again, make NO mistake, i have definately put everything i had into this dream, we have no way of truly knowing where the road will go. But, "time to take whats mine.." I believe in my music, i am determined and wake everyday to learn a new way to break. We can break up, out, wide open, etc.. Life is "just another show, just another way to break".
But, don't be a spectator in your life, be the STAR of your own show. And when you do, make sure you have brought humility & kindness with you. This won't make you No.1, but it WILL earn you the respect of your peers, and fans. IT will also grow in spite of itself i have learned, because people enjoy being appreciated, and treated as an equal. No matter how low, or high, in life(your career, business, etc..) you get, you started as a "wet behind the ears" amateur. Remember that and hold that fear, the scariness. So when that person who's trying to get a little insight- or advice comes along, speak to them with this in mind.
"Time to see whats grown, time to go wherever it goes..."
Thanks for asking, reading, and staying with it, i have a tendency to get off topic.. (::)
Last few months have been filled with amazing things, a well as unimaginable frustrations, but curiously I was prepared. I ask advice from some friends of mine that I'm honored to have and they have given me such insight. I knew that this was going to be rough, but it's SOOO worth all the agony and pressure. I am always trying to improve, learn, and grow. Along the way you find that there are people so willing to help you, so kind and welcoming that it boggles the mind. One thing that I've learned to be VITAL- BE CONSISTANT! In a world where often we are consumed by doubt, conflict, pressure- you try to level the field by being kind. Open to the fact that there is someone better, more accomplished, more everything you are not. But, if you pick apart those people, a common ingredient emerges. Kindness.
Building a business, putting a band together, whatever you are doing- its almost impossible to do alone. While I may have done quite a bit myself (album recording, promos, networking, etc..) there have been myriad people who reached back to me along the way from places I'd have never expected. Forging friendships with these people has been a joy all it's own. Be it captains of industry or starving artists- they all have that same quality. Kindness. Humility, compassion- the ability to recognize on each other that we are all struggling with something, we can be of service to one another in various ways. A mutual respect, and genuine desire to help. At times, the brutality of their honestly was shocking, but I know that if they weren't trying to help they'd have just given some prefab default commentary on what I needed to do, or just walked away. There is no malice here: it made me understand my place, recognize it- and then know where to hammer the nails.
So, from inside the dream you must realize that life is a work in progress. I use music because that is my trade, but u can sub anything here. Don't use social media as a soapbox. If u push yourself on people they WILL shy away. As Dave Carpenter says "Allow your voice to be heard". This means many things- but essentially you have to have an ethic, grace and most of all: patience! Connect with people, engage them. The only difference between a band and the fans is the direction you face. Each feed off the other. Dont be afriad to ask for help, reach out. But when you do, do it with humility and respect. Faith(talent) can move mountains, but people move each other. Don't push your way through- you may get there faster, but you'll suffer in the end. Build your team, your dream- and most of all- respect the dreams of those building with you. You just never know who may come along and help you. When you are CONSISTANT, the quality of your tools becomes better, more efficient- refined. All you have is what you start with: your integrity, heart&soul. When you nurture these things graciously an with kindness, you will attract the same.
Thanks dear reader for taking the time to step inside the dream. (::)Buttons & Threads(:;)
As i sit here, i'm thinking that in 4 days i'll be celebrating 7yrs clean and sober. SOO many things have happened in those 7yrs. Lost my Dad, lost some good friends, lost my dog Rocky. But, I also met some GREAT people, learned to play music again- and love it too! Wrote a lot of music during these past 7yrs, 1 of those tunes got me a record deal. I could never have maintained the life i have now with the one i was living then. back then, it was SO many hours in the day...Now, there aren't enough. I certainly don't love every moment of my life- but i appreciate those moments. I had to learn to live all over again. Deal with things head on. It's still a struggle, it's overwhelming in fact. Sometimes it's just downright depressing and i'm terrified. But, at the end of it all, i have life! I have the ability to TRY, to change a few things, tweek a few knobs, and a truly wonderful circle of friends both in and outside of music. I've been very blessed to work with some amazing talents, shake some hands of people that i've had posters of, and hear what sound of the music of what happens in life- as it happens. It's not always a sweet melody. But, the 2 things that i can celebrate most, the sound of my son. I have a son..a beautiful little boy that is my song, my heart, my reason. The other- my wife Heather. This woman cries with me, deals with my often misguided way of going about things.( I seem to have no edit button in certain situations) We are a great team. She is the best girl a guy could ask for. I don't deserve her, but she loves me anyway. We made a child, and we share each others dreams, hurt, joy and sadness.
7yrs ago i decided it was time, and 7yrs later- i wouldn't change a thing.
Thank you dear reader for taking the time to read this. I hope if ever you need a friend, you think of me as yours.
That is how i choose to live today, helping someone who i used to be, or someone who just... needs. IF you don't have a smile, take one of mine, i'd be happy to share. (::)buttons and threads(::)
I'm excited to announce "The New Fabric Of Sound" forum is NOW open!
This is something i've been wanting to do for awhile now! I'm always curious of what other people are thinking/doing. This is a way of self expression that is open to anyone! Sometimes the best way to heal, soothe, or celebrate is to write it down. With this new forum, i'd like to take those celebrations, that hurt, that need to get it all out, and put it to song.
I won't be doing this alone, i may not even do it at all. The WHOLE POINT is to encourage YOU, to perhaps guide, or at the very least give you an outlet to express yourself.
With the coming of the official Reflections Foundation website in a few months, this is our jumping off point. There are many things that still need to come together, and it's not going to happen overnight, but i can say this: IT'S COMING!
I have seen firsthand the effects of like minded folks putting their minds together to create something beautiful. It is an amazing site to behold i assure you!
We come together in times of suffering, loss, or disasters. I simply want to bring people together to celebrate self expression, celebrate music and more importantly PEACE!
"we serve what we save" this isn't just words on paper-its a MANTRA!
I encourage you to bring your imagination, bring your possibilities, and bring your best! This isn't a contest of who's better at anything, this is a show of what WE can do as a community of artists who are interested in creating for the sake of creating. There is a deeper meaning to all of this, and that is: We are going to help! Help the voiceless have a voice, the needy, the lost souls suffering from addiction, and also the young aspiring artists have an outlet for their creations to do something WAY beyond the realm of our imaginations!
Yes, this does sound a bit...ambitious perhaps. But, when you TRULY BELIEVE in what you are doing, you step like you are CERTAIN there is a place for your feet to land. I've never been more sure of anything in my life, and i want to SHARE this with YOU!
Off we go my friends, lets SHINE like the beacons we ALL are!
(::)buttons and threads(::)
While preparing to record my 1st nationwide release, I found the 1 ingredient is essential, and it's so very hard to acquire. Silence.
Seems an oxymoron right?! Music, loud guitars, drums, bass, etc.. Here's my dumbass searching for total quiet!
Well, it's true. I don't necessarily mean outside noise. I seem to have quite a but of static inside that's blocking out the sounds I try to capture. All that static has the same frequency, and it's the sound of stress, anticipation, and pure fear! Yeah, fear. I'm nit afraid of failure, I know what that is. I'm afraid of what most people fear- the unknown. See, I've realized that until now, the words I'm singing have been kinda lost in the shuffle. Some people know them, most don't. When you think that potentially people all over the nation, and perhaps the world will be reading your words, it's a bit unsettling. Exposing such intimate thoughts, I hide them in metaphors. But, still, it's crazy to think that the circle is expanding and now it's not just close friends but nationwide. I'm very self-conscious and backward, to the point that I can't sing in front of my wife(when we're at home, or even a few people, it has to be a stage or I'm paralyzed!) when I thing of why, it's because of the words. Putting my heart on paper- good, bad, indifferent, it's still exposed soul. But, I suppose par for the course, and still, I'm apprehensive. Not much a fame seeker, not a fortune seeker, just wanted to play you know. This is such a huge blessing, I certainly don't take for granted! I've got a lot of respect for those whove come before me, and those to follow. Still, something about that quiet- sweet sound of nothing draws me to it. In a world made of sound... Solace lay in the places where thoughts are asleep...(::)
I was walking with my son the other day. Looked down on the ground and saw a needle. I starting thinking about my own life....
Man, i used to have no idea, used to think that was where my creativity came from. The "Liquid blanket" quickly turned into a Liquid Fence! I thought about the world my son is growing up in. The economy, the wars, all these negetive things. They simply MUST be, but at the same time, man, it's scary.
So, i throw myself into music, my studio is my needle, shooting music in the air my fix! I can say with almost 100% certainty that no one can contribute a success story to addiction. Unless of course, they are counting days, months, yrs, etc.. Thats a success! You will NEVER truly beat an addiction until you take your last breath. But, you can maintain a life outside that "Liquid Fence" far beyond what you could ever have imagined! i am proof! while i am just some guy, for sure, i can attest to the fact that there are few things more "Mind freeing" then getting clean and finding yourself again. When you forget how to laugh, or can't remember the last time you REALLY laughed, man, that hurts! Addiction steals your joy. Why would you want something to take that. Only you have control over your joy, therefore, only you can determine whether you have it or not. In the throws of addiction, it's hard to see that light, that joy. But, i PROMISE, it's there. Distance yourself from that fence, and when you laugh that laugh from the belly...Whew. That my friend is worth ALL the drugs, money, etc.. in the world! A good ol fashion belly laugh, who would've ever thought i could be that simple?! Find your joy, laugh that laugh. And if you need a friend, you got a friend, u got a friend in me even if nowhere else. Never forget that dear reader(::)~(::)~(::)
I stumbled upon a blog this morning that was about a woman who suffered a stroke and was/is an artist. therein this blog i found a quote from a book written in 1964 by Yoko Ono where it spoke of a "Peace Clock" and the reasons and insistance for having a time to "Reflect" on something Peace orientated. Often, i think we DO need to be reminded of peace. We need to remember that we are in this world together and that WE CAN effect change.
While my music is not all peace driven, not all "rainbows and sunshine" i find myself being consumed by the notion that we as a country are TOGETHER right now. We FEEL this sense of unity and dedication. Despite the conflicting reports of the "details" on how this mission was carried out. While i don't feel we should ever celebrate a death, even Bin Laden's, it IS important to celebrate what his demise represents. This is NOT at ALL the end of hate, violance, and war. But, we CAN focus on the PRIDE, the TOGETHERNESS and UNITY that we feel and HOLD ON TIGHT! It's a place to start. It's a jumping IN point from which we all fall onto each other and immerse ourselves in this wonderful BLISS of who we as a country have accomplished, and can accomplish! We CAN, and all i ask is to HELP! Buttons and threads, together we connect, 1 stitch at a time. After awhile it becomes a routine, an instinct. Without even realising it, just smallest littel gesture can create a ripple, that creates a wave, that creates a tsunami of BEAUTY, kindness and grace! And, here's that catch: IT'S ALL POSSIBLE! I only wish to help it along, to act as a representitive, and serve as a voice to those who may not have one, or know how to use it. Or they're in a place where they are creatively blocked, stumped, or somehow edited, stymied! Will you join me? Together, there is NOTHING we CAN'T DO! Go to http://mikevavrek.com/ tell me your thoughts, start a forum, ask a question, find a friend!!
Buttons and threads my friends, (::)~~(::)~~(::)
When I see our nation come together to help people, it makes me think. Y? Not why do we help each other, but, why does it have to take a catastrophe to do it? If only we could make people see that this willingness to help is ALWAYS there, just dormant in most, man, the things we could do!! Nobody prompts these folks, it's like they are in a trance. They just mechanically HELP! they come from miles around to serve people in need, grieve with them,pray for/with them, feed them, etc. That's beautiful. Imagine being the person in these stricken areas whom everyone thinks is "bad", ignorant or rude. Still, there is a hand reaching for them, there is love, care, and sympathy for them. Most times, those ignorant people become humble, or prideful. But, my gamble is that they know have a different view. They SEE! And it takes a wrath of God to bring it out, but, it comes out!! So, I guess what I'm saying is, Y?!? Why is there a need to potentiate a negative attitude? I personally embrace the negativity because it only serves to enhance my own views. Without those embittered people we would have no basis for what peace, kindness and generousity is. We wouldn't need to. But, either way, there exists inside us all a want. A want to be accepted, helped, validated. But, regardless of that, here we are destroying, hating, killing, and God knows what else to achieve that validation. It's only when disaster strikes that we see unity, REAL, unassuming humility and grace. Some are even the ones who are the "bad" aspects of life. The haters. You'll find them in desperate times helping someone. It's precious, it's base, it is in our very nature to connect. Perhaps somewhere along the way someone hurt these people, that's why they lash out. But, if only we could harness those times when they expel kindness, and place a mirror in front of them to capture that moment and make them see it themselves, and the feelings they had while in the throws of grace.... What a sight to behold. So, I dream, and I watch, I wait, and I pray... Hope is my compass, my reason my gift. When I can, I try to capture this hope and give it to someone. It's for a "rainy day my friend..." (::)~~(::)~~(::)buttons and threads(::)
I can hear it in the wind, I can taste it in the rain
Close your eyes and drift away, tomorrow is where I'll be
Dreams the smile of sleep when calm is holding in
Then it all makes sense to me, tomorrow is where I'll be
I can see the back of your mind, I can smell the tears u hide
That spinning u feel it come, tomorrow is where u belong
When nothing rakes it away, I'll be there to listen
When it seems that it's all wrong, tomorrow is where u belong
Roll your mind turning, blow the dust off those years
Stand where you've been, what has changed since then
As long as hours pass, you'll have memories of that
And if u still can't find your way, I'll wake u when dawn breaks...
(::)buttons and threads(::)
You are visitor number: 61530