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Hi, Doctor Nick! - Finding True Love and Making Music Without Going Broke

It's time again for another dose of street knowledge, courtesy of XLR8R's good doctor, Mr. Nick Hook. Nevermind that's he's not actually a doctor—the man has a seemingly endless well of knowledge about life, music, romance, travel, production, and more. Even better, he's willing to share it with the world, so feel free to drop him a line if there's a question itching at your soul. Otherwise, read on and see what Doctor Nick has to say this week, when he takes on the search for true love and how best to balance the desire to make music and the need to make money.

Hi Doctor Nick,

Are many independent musicians you come across able to sustain themselves exclusively through their musical exploits, or is it common to work another job to support themselves?
Ben

This is actually a great question and something that was part of my life.

I was signed to this band on Warner Bros. We toured LOTS. I essentially went into debt being on tour, but I did "live" off it. We ended up not being a band anymore, and I was DJing a bunch to make rent, but most of the gigs were fucking terrible: hotels, DJing at the Diesel store, etc. Half the time I was DJing, I was becoming numb to something I loved.

I ended up getting a job at this little sake bar. I was the bartender. I got to invite my friends and build this little crazy world on Mondays. We did a lot of insane things and had a lot of fun. But looking back on it, I think the most important thing was that making money outside of music allowed me to be WAY more picky about the gigs I took.

In our field, perception is reality. I think if people see you doing normal things, they are gonna offer you normal things. If people see you on the rise, they are going to help you rise. It's easy to make 200-300 bucks a night and get wasted four or five nights a week DJing in New York, and it's really addictive, but I feel like at the end of the day, it's a major dead end.

I could go on about this for hours, but speaking for myself, I always try and look back and think about when I was 13 years old. I didn't start making music for money, I just liked it. If we keep those ethics as we get older, I think we stay pure with it. Once you try and make it your job, you start doing things you don't love, and people can sense that.

Hi Doctor Nick,

Where can I meet a nice girl? One that likes long walks on the beach, romantic candlelit dinners, and doesn't care about DJs. Are clubs a good place to find such a girl?
Reilly

I think the general rule of thumb here is less than 11 mutual friends on Facebook and they can't be a fan on Diplo. That's if you are trying to go on that candlelit steeze.

Clubs are tight to find some good energy, fun, trouble, and, you know, the things that are on that microwave, but I think if you are looking for the four-letter L-word, stay away from the club.

Here are some places I recommend you start:

the library
7-11
local coffee shop
laundrymat
the bus
the botanical garden
the comic book shop
the sake bar I work at

I can't say I've tried it myself, but on the real, some of my people have had some good experiences with OkCupid. At least you get to go outside of your normal circle and see what's there. One of the most important things I've learned is that finding out what you don't want is almost more important than what you do. Also, if a relationship is all about sharing, how are you going to keep things fresh when you are both at the same shows and reading the same advice columns on XLR8R? You need chicks to be showing you country songs and stuff.

Good luck son. Remember, let it happen naturally. Don't force it. We always got music to make and things to learn if these chicks aren't feeling us.

Hi, Doctor Nick appears every Thursday on XLR8R. Do you have a question for Doctor Nick? Please submit your inquires to doctornick@xlr8r.com. Nick Hook can help you.

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