by Jowell Tan

I suppose this is the sad reality of what we try to do:

We pick up instruments and develop a love for the craft. We find like-minded fellows and form bands. We have goofy names, we have serious songs. We congregate once a week (maybe even more) to play, write material, rehearse for shows.

We gig, we perform, we laugh, we cry, we play our guitars, bass, drums, voice.

Then somewhere along the way, things happen. We realise (or decide) that the instruments we dedicate our hours to, the music we pour ourselves into, they aren't the things that bring us what we need to survive here. And so, we move on. Gears gather dust in cases, records languish in closets.

Some of us, we come around, try to brush off the dust and start again. The rest of us cheer them on, but ourselves never getting back into the game.

I don't know - Are we, despite our artistic rages, ultimately destined to fall into a world where having a salary is more important than our expression? I only know that I fell into that world. And now I am a salaryman, still abreast of the local scene but never going back inside.

I love my job - it lets me be artistic in a different way - but some days I wonder.