A Story of Big Love & Uncool.
Recommended Listening Soundtrack: Send Me On My Way, Rusted Root (Of Course!)
Based on the title of this blog post, you might think you are in an episode of Ground Hog Day. And much like Bill Murray reaches a point of ultimate frustration and desperation, driving off a cliff with the groundhog in his lap, I am about to metaphorically do the same thing here, with you!
Recently, when I learned that the band Rusted Root was coming to the “big” ABQ, New Mexico, I felt immediate excitement at the prospect of getting an interview with them for my “Owning Your Uncool” Series. It was kismet, the universe aligning around passion, creativity and a common goal!
As I went through the process of putting the pieces together, I still felt myself mesmerized that “it was happening!” Just like that moment in Crowe’s Almost Famous when Kate Hudson’s character gives William Miller this simultaneous mischievous and magical look when they realize they’re going on tour with up and coming rock band Stillwater, I realized, “It was happening!”
It Really Happened, Alright.
When I went to publish my original post I found myself a little wary over the answers I’d received. But an old voice came back to haunt me from the deep recesses of my grungy heart. The answers weren’t matching exactly what I “thought” I had asked but the old voice knocking on my door was one of self doubt. And self doubt is like a personally imposed curse that leads us down a road of pain, regret and even more self doubt- the irony! It is with this post that I now have the opportunity to not only share with you Rusted Root’s amazing thoughts on life’s struggles and owning their uncool, I also have the lovely experience of owning my own uncool.
Yes, I mistakenly published incorrect answers to my interview with Rusted Root. And yes, I feel totally uncool. But what have I learned? All I can do is forgive myself and my ignorance, and remember in the future to always follow my gut and to not fear the appearance of stupid showing up on my doorstep again. Thank you, Rusted Root!
The Real Deal.
Rusted Root is a band that embodies the spirit of Big Love, and with that said, I am honored to present to you the “Real” Rusted Root. Here are some very personal and beautiful answers from band front man Michael Glabicki that come out of their “Movement,” a genuine conversation through their music about the devotion and intention of our actions as a collective community “to all that is love, healing and pragmatic.”
As musical artists working to express clear intentions around your “movement”, how have your struggles in life brought you to the place that you are now in your craft and in connecting with your community?
Struggles…..yes there have been many and rarely without. All you can say is thank you for the opportunity to grow and expand in our individual and communal expression. Reality is good and exists to teach us what we need to actually live the dream. The dream of being a musician and creating a communal type of expression was mine from the start. If we could play meaningful music in every neighborhood and on every street the world would be a drastically different place. There would be more compassion and acceptance of one another. There are many forces against this idea. That is the main struggle. When starting out there was an opening on the planet for unique and deep music. Somehow we were able to slip in to the consciousness fairly easy. Soon after that there was a closing of that doorway and a shutdown of expression. Things got a lot harder. Things continue to be a bit more superficial but I feel more excited and focused on what we can do to create a change. Those struggles have gotten me to a place where I can create a profound magic out of any situation now. So all I can say is thank you and let’s get going! There is now a fearless space easily achieved in the songwriting, arranging, and performance. This allows us to be open in the moment to what is the most healing. It seems the most selfish surface music nowadays is the most planned out. They put upon the audience their mental idea of what makes them look superior and it’s so lacking real magic. We open to the crowds energy and create with them in the moment bringing about a communal experience. I am constantly surprised on stage what comes out of us because of this- it is always different, alive, and connected.
If there was one big moment growing up that you could pinpoint as a major contributor to your life’s inner struggles and empowerment to continue doing what you love- what would that moment be?
I was 2&1/2 years old and I got ran over by a car. It was bad enough where I could have chosen to leave the world. I remember conversing with a spirit/ angel and afterwards deciding to come back. I remember understanding a lot more of my purpose after that and feeling love and support from spirit moving forward. It probably gave me my sense of humor and lightness about life. After that I would have dreams of fighting these evil human skull birds on the beach. They would surround me and the only way I could get out of it would be to get calm and find a humorous way to scare them off. Up to that point it was terrifying. It was very shamanistic. It really helped me define my role in a profound way. Actually I don’t feel that different now on stage.
Can you tell my readers about a time in your life, where you felt that same “uncool” and isolation inside as the teenage character in the film Almost Famous, and how you used that moment to propel yourself forward in your life?
I have always felt outside the norm. Literally as long as I can remember. My memories in the womb were probably plagued with feeling like an outsider.
I remember my parents thinking that there may be some mental issues with me. I think I was so in tune with energy and spirit that I wasn’t always seemingly here. They got some tests done in me. That made me feel inadequate. I think later in life playing music validated and communicated that spiritual world and made me feel that I had a purpose in this world.
How did you view yourself then, and how do you view yourself now?
Back then I was a bit more depressed and felt very hopeless. I felt like a freak. I felt afraid that everyone knew what I was feeling and was thinking the same thing. Honestly now I still have those feelings every once in a while. I don’t view myself in that way though. Now I feel different but extremely connected to everyone. I feel I have a very important role in the world. I feel that my differences are my power. I feel able to verbalize my experience. I feel that I have grown into an expert of my own experience and no one is more important. The best part is I feel I can really help others.
How do you view others and the world now, as a result of that moment in your life?
I view us all as children here to learn. Some people embrace this and some fight it. I think most people feel isolated so it’s all about creating oneness and respecting everyone’s individuality.
True Authenticity, a Band Called Rusted Root.
With all my heart, I honestly could not have asked for more authentic and inspiring answers for this piece. I do these posts in an effort to remind not only myself, but all of you out there reading this, that we all have struggles. There is not one person on this planet that does not feel insecure at times and lost within themselves.
But if we can just remember as Glabicki shared, “some people embrace thi and some fight it.” With this post, I could not fight my own feelings about my mistake. But I had to just own them and share them with you because if I can’t be real with myself and you, then all of this has no meaning. I am grateful for this opportunity to share with you Rusted Root, and I hope you will share this with the world just the same.
If you’re in ABQ tonight, don’t miss the Heights Summerfest, Rusted Root will be playing their hearts out, as they always do.
Let’s Rock Big Love!