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Hard Rock | Alternative Rock | Grunge | Lubbock, TX

Collaborative Art

Collaborative music is one of the most challenging things I've done. I can see why some of my favorite artists, like Chris Cornell, has gone back and forth between making his music as a solo act and with a band. When you have to work with other people, challenges arise that would often be mitigated by doing things yourself.

As it is with most things, when there's more effort given to working collaboratively on art, the product is almost always something you wouldn't have imagined and something you couldn't have done yourself. The art becomes the spirit of each collaborator and the negotiations that come from the starting point, the idea, the initial spark, has matured into something much stronger.

Feathergun works that way. We have three independent songwriters, but each of us contributes our own thing to the writing. And I use "songwriter" loosely because even though Richie isn't bringing melody ideas to the table, he's every bit a songwriter as the rest of us. His ideas can change the entire feel of the music, as does any contribution depending on how assertive a member of the band may be about change.

Chemistry, in my experience, has been among the most important factors in developing a good balance in negotiation, compromise, and eventually a completed piece of art. The greatest bands--the bands that have survived the test of time, which is a band's greatest test--are those that don't look at the challenge of working collaboratively as individual bodies, but instead a family; a single unit that can work together and eventually can understand one another in a way to reach their maximum potential as contributing songwriters.

The chemistry, when you find it, should be something worth fighting for. Forever. There will be challenges in creating art with others, but when you've seen the truth of the trial and have moved through those difficult moments scathed but stronger, you have found not just a band of fellow artists, but a family of brothers and sisters that have given a part of their spirit to you and the art is better for it.

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