A letter from Neko:
Have you ever wanted to be in a band? It doesn’t end up looking like you think it will; it’s WAY more strange and interesting than you can imagine. If you are looking for glamour, however, you’ve come to the wrong job. Glamour is for dicks anyway.
As far back as I can remember I wanted to be an artist. I thought I would end up a painter; I even went to art school. I never did a single, solitary painting. I did a lot of printmaking, photography and played in bands. I had played drums in bands since I was 17, and I toured with bands on the road from the time I was 23. Strangely enough I had no idea that this was a “job.” Music was, and is, my obsession, but I guess I couldn’t see the forest through the trees. I also didn’t feel worthy of calling myself a “musician.” It was just too sacred.
Ten years later I had to quit both of my jobs in Chicago because I was always on the road. It finally dawned on me; maybe I WAS a musician? But where were the trappings of success? You know: money? Fringey scarves and car services? My own recording studio? Regular meals? Heat?
The “rewards" were not to come in any length of time I could speculate, or at all in some cases, but it didn’t matter, because I had the people I loved. People of all stripes who have contributed in invaluable ways over the years, with skills too numerous to mention here, for I fear it would fall short of the tribute they deserve. Luckily, I still have these good people and I am so very grateful they can still stand me. But most of all, I am grateful that they were willing to be a part.
Being in a band isn't a race to an awards platform; it is a life, a great and complicated, messy, anxious, hilarious and home-made life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, ever. I gave up a lot of what makes people “normal", but it was always my choice. That is a victory in itself. This is a LONG story, which I will continue later, but for now, here are some images and music to take in and wonder about. I made all this for you and me. Without you, however, the circuit does not complete. Thank you for being here with me and making music.
New years. 2015. From a crooked farmhouse on a snowy day