If You’re Here, You Must Be Doing Something Right

quiet entertainer mutemath basement east nashville

photo credit: Jay Kim

I wanted to tell you a story.

I’ve been through a lot over the past long while. Some of you have been following along and know a few of the details. But I’d say that most don’t know the behind the scenes of what’s happened with me since I got off the road with Mutemath 3 years ago.

Most of you know that Mutemath is my favorite band out there. MM is my favorite band and DJ Shadow is my favorite artist & DJ. So doing anything with them is a big deal. It was a dream come true to tour with MM in 2012 and then tour AGAIN with them in 2015.

You have to understand: I’m not a trained musician. I’m not classically trained. I have no certification. I’ve been a DJ for a long time but “they don’t got no award for that.”

I got to where I am now by just trying stuff. Just messing around with making some beats. Just putting up some tracks online. Just booking some shows. Just posting some flyers. Just doing what I could.

And it worked! All of a sudden I’m opening for (in my opinion) the best band in the world! Touring North America! Crazy!

Towards the end of that tour, I decided to get brave and I asked Paul Meany (of Mutemath) to produce my next record. Paul has been a longtime hero of mine. Paul and DJ Shadow are kinda like my musical fathers.

Two Dads. Musically. But whatever.

So he agreed! And I finally felt like I was on the verge. He verge to finally having the building blocks for a foundation to doing this music thing for real!

I’ll always remember what happened next.

It was the last day of the tour. Had a show in Portland that night. But we were still in Seattle. We went to Starbucks. I remember it well.

I wasn’t a coffee drinker yet. (I am now! Shout out to Sip Cafe in Nashville!) I got a chocolate chip cookie. Paul sat me down and told me the news. He couldn’t produce my next record. Why? Because I wasn’t ready.

I’m not going to share the intimate details of the conversation. Just know that in the moment, I believed that he was right.

How on earth did I make it this far? How did I trick everyone into thinking I deserved to be here? I was just a broke temp worker pizza delivery guy with DJ dreams. When the tour was over, they would continue to be famous touring musicians. And I would go back to struggling late 30s dude trying to make it.

The conversation really wrecked me. I was inconsolable. I thought, “of course, I haven’t blown up. I was never good enough. And everyone was too nice to tell me.”

You ever feel like people are just too nice to tell you the truth?

So I was pretty depressed. I’m getting older. It seemed like everyone else my age had great jobs. Had fulfilling romantic relationships. And everything was great. I mean just LOOK AT THEM ON INSTAGRAM!

So, I was gonna quit. I was going to just quietly bow out of music. I was gonna focus on another passion of mine, acting.

(By the way, now that the film is done with festivals and there are no more public screenings. I can finally post the film “The New Mister Princess.” Here it is.
https://vimeo.com/226755182

Password is: princessbusiness

It’s about 8 minutes long. Okay back to the story.)

Acting! Something I could do a little more behind the scenes while I focused on all the “adult” things. You know. Paying bills. Getting a good credit score. Having a place of your own. So you don’t have roommates who let their alarm go off all morning and somehow sleep through it when it’s right by their head but it somehow wakes you up even though you need to sleep because you worked all night and and you’re trying to do something special in the world when all they want is…

WHOA where did that come from?! I digress.

Something funny happened while I was trying not to focus on music. I got inspired to book a 10 year anniversary show. I also went on tour with my friend’s Spoken Nerd & Isaac Stinson.

And right smack in the middle of all that, I opened for DJ Shadow when he came to Nashville! What?!

 

I’ve written about this show before. But I didn’t tell you what happened after the show.

I got to meet him!

I was backstage and I was listening to him talk. He was asking me some questions, trying to ease me into the conversation. It was pretty awkward because what do you say to a DJ-GOD-GENIUS?!

I finally blurted out “I’ve waited my whole life to meet you! But now that you’re here, I have no idea what to say. I guess I didn’t think I’d ever really get to meet you. Not until I’d gone through a few things first.”

And what he said back to me, I’ll never forget. He said, “well, you got this opening gig. You must be doing something right.”

DJ Shadow said I was doing something right! Y’all couldn’t tell me nothing after that!

I didn’t bring up my previous conversation with Paul up to a lot of people. I didn’t want it to seem like he had purposely tried to hurt me. Paul is still my guy.

He actually did me a favor. And he told me what he did out of love and because he deeply cared about me and my art. And he spoke from his experience. That’s all I could ask.

I didn’t want to tell this story because it was so personal.

So I felt invigorated. I did the tour. I did my anniversary show. I started thinking about how I could do both music AND acting.

I started working out. Losing weight.

kinobody transformation quiet entertainer

don’t click this pic unless you want to see
a shirtless selfie of my transformation!
(still a work in progress!)

 

I started really hustling again. Doing some inner work on my mindset and beliefs. Sometimes you gotta let things sit in the oven for a while.

Ok so after some time had passed. I got a chance to see MM again. And I spoke to Paul. And you know what, it wasn’t about me impressing him. I had done some inner work, and I realized: I am enough.

What you’ve done up to now and where you are now is enough to move forward! I finally believed that.

And it’s so weird that with all the tours and shows and things that I didn’t believe it before.

So I spoke with Paul as a new man and I mentioned all the stuff that he’d said before. About not being ready.

He doesn’t even remember saying all that stuff. Can you believe it?! I was beating myself up for nothing.

He was just very proud of me for not giving up and still going and he was excited for me.

For me, that was just as big as what Shadow said. I realized the truth. Nobody cares about your passion more than you do. And you just have to keep going.

And if you’re still here, you’re probably doing something right.

Real talk: I turn 40 next month.
I’m throwing my own birthday party because I’m a self indulgent Leo prick 😂

Quiet Entertainer Festival Cobra Nashville

Click to buy tickets! $5 in advance, $10 at the door

If you’re in Nashville or want to come to Nashville get your tickets here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/quiet-entertainer-festival-2018-tickets-47734511208

If you aren’t in Nashville (or if you are!) and you want to be a part of what I’m doing I want you to check out THIS.

New Music. New Shows. New everything is coming.

I love you all.

I’ll never give up.

Thanks for reading all this.

Much love & respect,
Greg / QE

MUTEMATH – Monument (Quiet Entertainer Remix)

mutemath monument quiet entertainer remix

MUTEMATH recently had a remix contest for their song, ‘Monument’. Pretty great song.

They had released it with a couple of pretty decent remixes. They dropped the LaLa remix which appears in the video above. Also, the Tim Gunter remix that came with the contest announcement. I heard a lot of pretty great remixes, including the eventual winning Disero Remix and more recently the new Kasbo Remix. I wanted to let you all hear my remix in case you missed it. No I didn’t win but I still like it and I hope you like it too.

I did use a sample from a certain song but then also did some vibey stuff and added some scratches and I was channeling some chillstep. You can download the remix from my bandcamp. Let me know what you think.

On Tour With MUTEMATH Again!

instagram_qe_mutemath

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind and I haven’t had a chance to really update you on all the happenings. Something that just kind of happened out of nowhere was that I was asked to come out on tour with MUTEMATH this fall!

This is my second tour with these guys. They are the hardest working musicians I know; plus they are in my opinion the best band around plus my personal favorite.

We play in Chicago tonight. I am writing this from a hotel in Milwaukee as we played here last night. So far, the response has been magnificent! I’ve been playing a nice blend of my own original music mixed with other songs that I have either remixed or just some songs I like. Each set has been a little different as I’m trying to add or tweak things as I go!

instagram_qe_mutemath_2

The shows are all already sold out! So I haven’t really even had to promote the shows or anything as all tickets are gone but I just wanted to let you know how awesome this is and how very cool things are going right now!

What else? I’m taking some of the vibe and response from this tour and hoping to channel it into new music very soon! So just hold me accountable. lol

I’m so exhausted but I’m really happy about all this. It’s time to roll to Chicago and put in another full day/night! I’ll talk to you soon.

Quiet Entertainer on tour with Mutemath? Fall 2012?

The unthinkable has happened.

Let me break it down for you.

Mutemath.

They’ve been my favorite band for years. For almost a decade. I’ve been a superfan since their very first show. I was a superfan of the band members’ previous bands. Let’s just say I’ve been on board the band wagon for a long time. In fact, I did a remix of on their most recent songs. (If you haven’t heard that, here it is!)

MUTEMATH – Odd Soul (Quiet Entertainer Remix) by Quiet Entertainer

Ok so a few years ago, because of my unique relationship with them, they allowed me to open for them in the city I grew up. Memphis. That was very cool and the experience really changed me as an artist. Fast forward to today, with all the recent things and momentum I’d been having lately, I reached out to them to see about opening for them again in either Memphis or Knoxville for their upcoming tour. I heard no response, so I went ahead and have been doing my thing. Well, their management reached out to me just recently and offered me a conditional spot to open for them on their entire fall headlining tour! WHAT?! What’s the condition? I won’t get paid. I’d just be straight up doing it for the love of what I do and for the experience of doing it.

Well, I have had a few days to think about it and pray about it. I’ve asked people to pray for me. It’s become increasingly clear, that I HAVE to do this. I absolutely have to do this, and if I don’t do this, not only might I regret it for the rest of my life, but I might as well quit the entire Quiet Entertainer thing and hang it up to pursue some job in corporate America. (I am typing this to you on my lunch break at my day job).

 

Well, so if I do this my job here isn’t guaranteed to be here when I get back. So while, I’m VERY excited about this opportunity; I’m very scared. Those of you who’ve been with me a while know that I’ve left a job once before to pursue QE goals (that story) but that didn’t work out so well. This opportunity is unlike any other that I’ve been presented. So I’m gonna give one more shot.

 

To be clear: THIS IS A DREAM COME TRUE.

I can’t say that more emphatically. I have longed to stand with this band of artists and musicians and be considered a peer. It seems so weird to be typing and telling you all this. But I suppose I’m putting all this out there because I truly need your help to pull this off.

I don’t have a huge fanbase; I have YOU.

Thank you for sticking with me all this time. Your support and encouragement has literally been what I believe God has used as the true catalyst for keeping me going through tough times. In addition to that I want to give you a chance to support me financially to make this happen.

 

I don’t have time to set up a kickstarter or even an indiegogo account to make this happen. But I am trying to raise $3,500 in two weeks I will use this money to:

  • pay rent & utilities at my apartment while I’m gone and while I’m job hunting for when I return
  • print up a bulk amount of all my CDs & some QE t-shirts at a discounted rate for when I head on tour. (Merch will be my only money-maker on the tour).

I wanted to give you a chance to do this. Here’s a paypal link.

Normally with something like this, there are different tiers with if you donate so much, I will give you this and that.

 

Donate Anything

Be added to a special list where I will send special updates from the tour. They’d be more in-depth than what I’d put on twitter, facebook, youtube, etc.

Donates $50+

Receive a physical copy of all my CDs (I have 3 regular ones, plus an old demo and 2 live ones.) Plus a t-shirt.

Donate $100+

Receive a physical copy of all my CDs & a choice of t-shirt or hoodie, plus I’ll give you access to The Definitive DJ Mindset course.

Donate $200+

Everything in the $100+ level and I will write a personalized beat / song for you.

Depending on how many I get, I will do a special supporters CD with all your songs on it.

 

Please write me back and let me know what you think of all this. And also, please support how you can!

Much love,

Greg / QE

P.S. I’m going on tour with Mutemath! Here are the tour dates!

Six Albums You Should Have Listened To In 2011

One of my email subscribers, Sandy, asked me recently, “What are your biggest influences? What are you currently listening to?” I hate to just give short answers to music related questions as personal as this one! Furthermore as I was looking at what I was listening to and matching it up with some of my favorite artists, I realized that a lot of music came out this year that I’ve enjoyed all year long. Let’s take a look in no particular order.


Wick-it the Instigator – The Brothers of Chico Dusty

Ok, there is a particular order. I mention this one first because it was actually released in December of 2010. But it’s so good. I listened to it a lot in 2011. Wick-it the Instigator‘s mashup album of Big Boi’s Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Sons of Chico Dusty & The Black Keys’ Brothers. Deservedly, it went viral on the internet. I hope you grab this one right away.


Emancipator – Remixes

This was the sleeper hit of the year. I was addicted to this album for several months. I already liked Emancipator. This remix album added a lot of punch to his more vibed out tracks. As I type this, I’m inspired to start listening to this AGAIN. haha. Emancipator has been one of my favorite discoveries from Pandora. I even tried to remix/mashup one of his songs by the way.


DJ Shadow – The Less You Know, The Better

This was Shadow’s first studio release in years! When I talk about DJ Shadow today, people are very quick to point out that he’ll never release another record like Endtroducing. Ok, fine. Then, they tell me that he’s lost it. But come on. He was way ahead of everyone when he released The Outsider in 2006. Admittedly, I didn’t get it at first when that album came out. But now I look around, there’s all this bass music. I keep thinking, oh I’ve heard this before! I digress. So, Shadow tried to go back to his “roots” with The Less You Know, The Better. Here’s a great interview about it. I liked this record a lot. It reminded me of the UNKLE – Psyence Fiction album because it was super diverse. I listened to this over and over. You should have, too.


Mutemath – Odd Soul

Some of you know that I’m a longtime die-hard Mutemath fan. (I even got to open for Mutemath back in the day.) This is Mutemath’s best record. Great songwriting in the lyrics, melodies, & rhythm. This actually came out on the same day as DJ Shadow record. Yet, I was more excited about this one! It’s the perfect record for them. I don’t know how they top it. it’s a great pure rock album without a lot of the electronic and sample elements that I’m used to hearing. Actually, you’d think I would like it less because of that. But I love what they did. They were all over the place with the styles. I hope that since now they’ve proven themselves musically (as if they needed to), they can bring back all the samples and electronic stuff and make something ridiculous. But enough speculation, Listen to Odd Soul. If you haven’t already, you should have. Oh by the way, I entered their Odd Soul remix contest. I didn’t win; but I liked what I did. Download Odd Soul (Quiet Entertainer Remix)


BSBD – Noir

This album deserves its own blog entry. The reason I don’t: I’m not a music reviewer and don’t want to be known as a music reviewer. I don’t want thousands of rappers and bands sending me their music. But let me tell you. In my opinion, this is the best record that came out in 2011. It’s definitely my favorite. I don’t know what kind of genre you’d tag for Blue Sky Black Death. I know they are hip hop producers. However, the Noir album is kind of a shoegaze electronica triphop soundtrack-esque record. I’ve listened to this record the most. Every time I listen to it, I have a new favorite track. Every time I re-listen to a track, I discover a new element that I hadn’t noticed. It’s like reading the Bible. Yes, it’s a religious experience when I listen to this record. Is it kind of silly to talk this way about music? It’s just a record, right? If you feel that way, you probably need to leave my site right now. And then you need to go listen to Noir. You should have been listening all year long.


Quiet Entertainer – Q-Gaze

Shameless plug! I did my first ever mixtape EP this year! It’s called Q-Gaze. I mixed together some of the artists I listed here and a few others. You definitely need to grab that. It’s a free download. Get it here.

Like I said, I’m not a music reviewer. I’m more of a sharer. I’m just sharing music that I like. Through that mixtape and through this blog. I hope you took some time to listen. What records would you have put on this list for 2011? Let me know in the comments.