The last several days I’ve been asking myself one question. Why? Why do I want to do THIS? When I’ve seen all my musical heroes suffer through addiction, and rip through wives like a beagle on a loaf of bread, why would I subjugate myself to a career that on its best day is a kick right in the nuts. We artists often answer the one word question with a one word answer: because. Because we have to, because it is the only thing that gives us the slightest semblance of joy, because our art defines us. But at this point in my life, when the stakes are so great, that ain’t gonna cut it. I consider my parents. How is it that they were able to build off the successes of their parents, as their parents had before them; each generation learning and growing from the triumphs and mistakes of their predecessors? It would appear that generation after generation had handed down the key to the door of upward mobility. Why then, are so many of my friends (myself included) so seemingly lost in a never-ending quest for just a little bit of peace? Or, more to the point, a little piece of what we really want? Have we completely rejected the key from our parents because we feel that their way, for lack of a better term, is bullshit? Those of a dismissive nature might say that our generation has seen the holes in the line we’ve been sold, and that the entire system is a lie. While I am willing to accept that this may in fact be partially true, it doesn’t answer the question in its entirety, and for my money it is a bit of a cop-out. In a recent conversation with my father, a man who plays the dual role of hero and mentor (conflicting archetypes in many ways) he refused to state in words, but said clearly with his eyes “what is wrong with this kid?” His eyes said it so emphatically that I began to wonder myself. What IS wrong with me? My mother offered her support in a fixed glance with those expressive eyes, it functioned as both a hug and a warm blanket, but one filled with a painful kind of doubt. But that’s their gig, to try and steer their children away from danger, and we’d all be fooling ourselves if we thought the music business was a place to raise your kids. So in this moment of self-doubt, I decided to stroke my bruised ego, and drove home listening to “Hangman’s Noose” (off the solo debut “The Ballad of Carlsbad County by Hang Jones, y’all should buy it…seriously). I listened over and over, and somehow found reassurance through a set of lyrics written about a man set to murder another. Do what you must with that little fact. And while “because” didn’t escape my lips, I didn’t find a much better answer. Maybe I had it too good, and I never knew what it truly meant to suffer. Perhaps I’ll find out right around this next turn. But this wagon is pointed in one direction, and if “because” is all I got, it’s good enough for me.