MANTRAP THE SURVEYORS
Last night i was reminded that i used to be in a band. It had almost escaped me that a point in my life that was completely taken up with writing music and playing shows even existed. It made me think back to 2002/2003 and even made me listen my old recordings on the way in to work this morning. Part biting my lip and part pretty chuffed with what i achieved as a 21 year old. The whole nostalgia trip wasn’t necessarily to remember how good i thought we were but it mainly made me think how that period of my life got me to where i am today and where it’s yet to lead me.
With all the A-Level results hysteria surrounding us it made me think back to 1999 when i was in the same boat as these college/6th form students and how i completely and utterly fucked it. I was on the path for some pretty high grades but for various reasons or another those results didn’t materialise at all. I took a gap year, started writing music and then went to uni a year later. I did three years at uni, got a good degree and offered a sweet job at the Foreign Office as soon as i graduated. I didn’t take the job and it’s probably one of the most defining moments of my life.
Uni serves a purpose, there’s no denying that, but the purpose does not necessarily have to reflect the degree you’ve chosen to undertake. Obviously it’ll be great to follow the path you’ve spent years trying to perfect and probably gone into some serious degree of debt with but the opportunities that come at you during this period of your life don’t have to take the form of everything you’ve been institutionally taught. Everything i do now as a career came at me whilst doing what i considered as extra-curricular during studying my degree. I started writing music, was in a band, involved myself in the city’s music scene, promoted shows and thus learnt a few things about the industry i now work in as a by-result.
I didn’t have to go to uni to learn what i do now but if i hadn’t of i maybe never would have involved myself in the things that i discovered i love. In all honesty i went to uni because i thought i had to. I studied a degree in politics because it was a school subject i thought i was ok in. Turns out it was the people i met and the influences they had upon me that would carve out my career. Before i went to uni there wasn’t a great deal of people in my life i could consider as a mate and maybe i found them quite late in life compared to millions of other people. I guess what i’m trying to say is that if you think you’ve found what inspires you and makes you tick and you haven’t achieved those A-Level results in the past 24 hours then maybe think twice whether university is actually for you. I needed it but i didn’t need it to progress in an educational way.
The band i started almost a decade ago turns out to be the thing that has got me where i am today. Not many people heard of us but it got me excited. It’s a small treasure i tucked away and almost forgot about but when you’re reminded about it you realise the actual value it’s had on your life. In 2002 i had long, dumb hair and i loved screaming into a microphone. In 2011 i have short hair and i like talking (not screaming) to journalists and producers and generally bugging the hell out of people to listen to the bands i consider as important. Hopefully these bands will one day be successful, those that aren’t i’m sure will have learnt a hell of a lot on the way with or without degrees. Just remember once you start walking you can eventually run.
HERE is one of those tracks, straight out of 2003!
Ivano | @trailofivano