Growing pains

By MATT ASHARE  |  May 17, 2006

I’m also really grateful that we didn’t start the band until I was 25. Because I look around at bands who go straight from high school to the road, and in one way that’s really wonderful — it’s a fantasy. But, on the other hand, you can never go back to that period of life where you’re on your own, experiencing turning into an adult without all this fucked-up shit going on around you. I mean, there’s going to be fucked-up shit anyway, but I think there’s something important about living a normal life first so that you then appreciate how abnormal touring life really is.

MA: From what I gather, you've got a lot of touring ahead of you. Are you feeling the strain?
AP: We’re hitting that wall of abnormality right now. For a while you can sort of laugh at it. But then the joke stops being funny. All of the wonderful things that are happening with the band on the outside, they’re all really hard to experience from the inside while you’re touring. I know bands go through this all the time. I talk with other artists and it’s the ultimate mystery: how do you balance the ability to enjoy yourself while all this crazy stuff is happening around you? The realities of touring life have been harder to deal with than I expected. It’s posed some interesting challenges. There’s a real blessing and a curse to it. You have to negotiate the process of being an artistic human being while living a life of total routine and lack of privacy. Everything that I’ve come to rely on to feel like a complete human being and an artist has just been stripped away.

I also think that in any career, when you finally reach goals you’ve been working towards, life throws you all these different questions like “Am I happy now? Is this making me happy?” I mean, I thought this would make me happy, but then you look at friends who are getting married, having kids, buying houses, joining cults . . . [laughs] whatever it is they think they need to make themselves happy. And everyone is finding wildly different paths. On paper, superficially, I’m doing what I set out to do. But in reality, I’m not spending any of my time making art. That’s really hard. I thought it would be that way for a while and then it would balance out. But, now we’re at the top of our game, and I’m looking around and realizing that this is it. We’re on tour. We’re successful. But I don’t have space and time to write music or create.

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