Hi, Doctor Nick! - Finding the Creative Spark and Guestlist Etiquette

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There's no stopping Doctor Nick. The man is in the midst of a European tour, but Nick Hook has still set aside the time to some drop knowledge for his weekly advice column here on XLR8R. The good doctor's knowledge runs the gamut, as he can wax poetic about music, travel, production, DJing, and a whole lot more, so keep those questions coming to doctornick@xlr8r.com. We'll let Nick take it from here.

Hello from Paris. Plzzzz send in more questions. Tell everyone! Anyways, I had to slap this dude in the face in Vienna while I was DJing because he came at my face while I was playing "Fall in Love" by Slum Village. I warned him not to talk shit, but he kept going. So I would like to start off this week's column by advising you to have respect when going to voice your opinion to a DJ. We wouldn't come to your job and tell you how to do it. Just leave, or go chill with the other 99% that seems to be having the time of their life.

Also, shout out to all the good friends that have made this European trip very fun and productive: Doc Daneeka, Teki Latex, RBMA Term 2 squad, Canblaster, Brodinski, Holger Haddad, Cid Rim, LuckyMe, Novation, Goshia (even though she didn't come see me), Boston B, Social Club, and Andrea Balency. It's been tite.

Let's all finish the rest of the year off like beasts so 2013 can be even better.

Hi Doctor Nick,
I started making music less than two years ago. I worked hard and pretty quickly got signed to some labels, a couple of which are quite well known, and put out a few well-received vinyls. From that, I got to tour around and had a lot of fun playing music in some pretty interesting places in the world.

I was really excited and now I've just sorta lost my enthusiasm for both the scene I'm associated with and the business side of music that I've been exposed to in this brief period. I've been much less productive than I was in my first year of production. Any advice on how to catch that spark again?

We've touched on this in weeks past, and I don't wanna sound like a broken record, but maybe don't force it. Let it happen. I would try and make music without any premise. Don't think in any one genre, just make whatever comes. Don't write it for a label or a group of people. Maybe that will shed some clarity on where you really wanna be. I hear you on the business thing. Every week, I feel like I want to quit, especially when I see how many vultures got into our game. You'd think with way less money in it right now, it would have weeded people out, but I guess not. Also, buying new gear has always helped me think of things in new ways and be inspired.

Or maybe just take a break for a minute. Sometimes I've learned so much by not making music that when I come back with some clarity, the whole thing has such a pure feeling that great things happen.

Speaking of great things, this column only functions when we get questions—and lots of them, so hit me up! In the meantime, I've decided to write in a question myself.

Hi Doctor Nick,
I wanna be on the guestlist for your show, but I wanna make sure I'm being respectful, and I feel like I don't really know the rules.
Nick Hook.

Every time we all play shows, you guys all drive us nuts and make us feel like assholes cuz you ask all the wrong questions at the wrong times regarding the list.

1. If the show is eight dollars or less, don't even think about it. It's fucking eight dollars, especially if we put on the show ourselves. Odds are we paid for your favorite DJ to come into town cuz we love him too. We aren't making a penny and are probably trying not to lose them. Everytime I feel like someone tells me they NEED to be on the list at a five-dollar show because they're broke, I see them buying 500,000 drinks at the bar for everyone else and I get really sad.

2. Don't ask to be on the list at 8 p.m. when the doors are already open, and really don't ask day of show for that matter. We have 500,000 things to do, and when you start calling at 5 p.m. after we already had to deliver the list, it's just making us feel bad to say no. Don't put us in that position.

3. If we haven't talked in three months, don't pop up and ask to be on the list when I'm opening for someone awesome and the ticket costs 35 bucks. The only exception to this rule is if you are a tight female, and you really want to re-enter our lives. We still hate you for that, but we are feeble men. What do you want from us?

4. Ask three to five days before the event, or even the second you see that you wanna go. We want you to come and chill with us.

5. Sometimes the list gets fucked up, or yes, there is a line. Just deal with it.

6. Don't take offense if we can't get you in, especially in the bigger cities like New York. I try to make sure everyone is happy, so at some shows, person X takes precedent over person Y and then vice-versa for the next show.

7. When you get in, make sure you are respectful. When you are our guests, you are speaking on our behalf. Don't go in other people's dressing rooms, be nice to the staff, and don't drink all of our stuff. Just be nice. The only exception to this rule was once when Dances with White Girls and I went into Egyptian Lover's dressing room while he was playing and drank all his Grey Goose. I'm sorry EL, I owe you a bottle. You are still my hero and got me into music that was higher than 120 bpm.

I think that's it. Maybe I'll add on when I remember a rule from a show.

Until next week. I'm listening to Lukid's new record right now, Lonely at the Top. Check it out.

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.