I simply can't believe it's the last full week of 2018. This year has gone by so very fast and at this time next week, it'll be New Year's Eve.
It's time for my yearly wrap up where I talk about the good, the bad, the sexy, and the ugly things of 2018 in my life. I'm not sure how long this will be, but I do want to summarize my 2018 both personally and professionally, and what lies ahead for 2019 (at least tentatively).
Let's break from tradition and start off with the good that has happened this year!
First off, at this time last year, I was really scared I wouldn't have a place to live. My old apartment raised up another 50 bucks a month that I simply couldn't afford. It started at a very reasonable $760 when I moved in June 2015 and by January 2018 it was going to be nearly $1200. So I scrambled to look for a new place and I hit the jackpot. A new place just one town over and maybe an additional 5 minutes away from Minneapolis. It's bigger, less neighbors, way nicer and homier, and even now, it's only 90 bucks more than that original $760 a month price at my old pace. So it's a win in every way!
I've been getting even more into gaming this year, PS4 all the way (ThatDrummerGuy1 if you wanna add me). It's a fantastic escape for me and depending on the album I'm promoting, I can both study an album and game at the same time, which is killing two birds with one stone in the best way possible.
With that, just a few days ago, I bought my first 4K TV, a 55" TCL 5 Series Roku Smart TV. Considering it's 400 bucks right now at Best Buy, it's not the greatest top of the line tv available, but for 400 bucks, it is one of the best deals you could get at the moment. It covers all my needs. Everything looks better and gaming has never felt better to me.
Professionally, a lot of great things has happened, I'm over 1700 likes on FB, neatly 550 Subscribers on YouTube, and my Best Of 2018 lists have been the biggest hits they have every been with over 25,000 views! With that I have also done 147 interviews this year (maybe I'll get 3 more this week to make it an even 150?) It is less than last year's 162, but I'll get into why later on that. I got to cross more names off my bucket list, got more promos from labels and bands I never dreamed I'd get, made some absolutely amazing connections and as a whole, this has been the most successful year for That Drummer Guy so far.
Now onto the bad...
My depression has hit it's worst peak since 2013, when I was nearly at death's door and not at my own hand. It was hitting me all over this year and for a good 4 month span, it got me really bad. So bad that I actually tried committing suicide twice in one night last month. I'm not proud of it, but it's reality. I will say that overall I am better than that night, but this is the hardest week of the year for me as on New Years Eve 2013, it was the closest I ever came to committing suicide as it was the only time that I wasn't stopped by someone. I'll also get more into that later.
That same night, possibly related, but it was on my mind well before it happened, my band, Systemic Collapse...collapsed. I'll take my share of the blame, thought not all of it. I hate that it happened as it finally felt right musically, but some things are just not meant to be. Will I be in a band again? Will I ever be in a position to even be able to set up my real kit again and play for my own enjoyment? I have no clue. There's a huge part of me that wants to play and I feel so very empty every day I don't even have the opportunity to play. I do have an electronic kit to use if I even dare set that up. My previous band break up ruined me in a bad way, this one just broke my heart. With 15 different bands since I was 13 and not a single one ever panning out, I just don't think being in a band is really in the cards for me. If an opportunity ever came up that I couldn't turn down, sure. But to start something from the ground up again and have it fall apart right before we start recording AGAIN? I simply can't, at least now now.
Along with suicide attempts and bands collapsing, my family life is all but destroyed as well. Twice this year my brother tried to get me to attempt suicide. He feels I am absolutely worthless and I should have finished the job years ago and many more details I won't get into now. With other family issues, no one else is really a part of my life except for my grandma. Though, for the first time in years, I heard from my oldest sister and we have exchanged a few words that were actually good. I also heard from my nephew for the first time in almost a decade (can't believe he's 18 now) and that was just a great feeling. I hope I will again. But that's about it. Every day I feel like a massive part of my life is gone that I can't get back. It's a bad part of my life as particular family members just bring upon misery I never want back. I guess I just miss the idea of having a loving family, longing for something I never had.
Other bummer news on my end is that I only went to one concert this year, Protest The Hero. Was really hoping for more but it didn't work out. Either for the reason that the shows were at venues that I will not support till new promoters take over, or my depression prevented me from leaving the house. PtH put on one hell of a show and it was a great feeling seeing them, but I really hope I'll remedy the situation soon with my ability to see shows again.
Also in regards to depression keeping me from being able to do things this year. I easily could have done way more interviews this year, which is funny because I've done an interview for way more than 1/3rd of the year; but my depression kept me from doing about 90% of my interviews this year. The other 10% was getting the flu and having absolutely no voice. The best part of being my own boss is that I can take days off if I need to, but the worst part of being my own boss is canceling things that I want to do because my mind is messed up. I feel like I let the bands down, the PR down, those who would want to hear the interviews down, and most importantly, myself, down.
Also, in 2019, one of my major forms of income, YouTube, dropped my monetization. Another direct hit I didn't need. I can reapply for it when I hit 1K subscribers and hit 4,000 Hours of views in a year. In Other words, I need to become viral before I can make money on YouTube again. I'm still pushing it as hard as I can with interviews. Maybe I need to add other videos up there as well. I thought about list videos in the past, but it's just too clickbaity for me and I coudln't do it with authenticity. My Year End Best Of Lists are the only authenticity with lists I can ever truly do year after year. I guess we'll see. I've already come to terms with the fact that I won't make it any farther than I am on my own, but that's all I got unless something miraculous happens. Time Will Tell.
To add onto ALL of that, the last two stations that aired my show shut it's doors this year, leaving me without a radio station. When the news hit, I thought about calling it quits right then and there. (also right in the midst of my 4 month dark depression phase, perfect timing) Other people tried convincing me to keep going with it, even offered me names and addresses to get my name out there. I actually wrote back to all of them, plus additional stations I found...not a single bite. Either I heard nothing back, or I was told that I don't fit what the stations needed. Either I was too heavy or not heavy enough or too diverse or didn't play enough mainstream music or many other things. 15 stations total and not one of them was interested. Hard not to feel like a failure when that happens. So I told myself I would finish out the year with my show in podcast form and reassess the situation from there in 2019.
So 2019 is pretty much a week away, what's going on in the world of That Drummer Guy?
Well after much deliberating online, social media, and feeDback from trusted people; I am keeping my two hour show as is, but just in podcast form. It'll still be available on iTunes, Google Music, Stitcher, Spreaker, and TuneIn. If you want the show on a station near you or if you have a station you run that you want me on, drop me a line, I'll be happy to talk business.
I am also adding a 2nd show. It's a show I've wanted to do for YEARS but never thought there would be an audience. Then, someone I trust told me I should do it, make it bigger than my original plan and show off something else I truly care about. So coming up sometime in January, I am going to be adding my 2nd show that's currently untitled. It's going to be me talking to anyone who wants to talk about mental health and music with me. The idea is to have fellow fans of music and musicians talk mental health and how they survive. It's an ambitious thing, but I wanna knock down those walls of mental health and make it something that should be talked about, rather than hiding it away. I'm putting my money where my mouth is with the first episode and talking about my struggles in detail, from the day that changed my life the day before I turned 12 years old to the day I hit record for the first episode. After that episode, my plan is to have guests on it and just have real, open discussions about each others' struggles, how to improve out lives, what we do to make it through each day, etc. Once I get a name and a format down, I'll be making a press release, but till then, be on the lookout.
I am also going to do my damnest to start doing album reviews year round. I will still do my Best Of Lists the same way I do every year. But rather than just waiting for December to roll around, I wanna cover those albums as soon as I get them. Obviously I won't be covering every album I get but I wanna make good on promoting the albums I truly care about. Not just ok albums or albums that I don't enjoy...the ones I actually dig and hopefully you will too. For how that goes down, go check out my review for the latest Soilwork album and get an idea of how I wanna do things.
It's also been on my mind to start covering gaming and/or wrestling as well. Not entirely sold on the idea as gaming and wrestling are my escapes from work and I do like having them as hobbys rather than more work, but neither of those are off the table.
But that's what I got to wrap up 2019. Some great things I'm proud of. Some things that led me to trying to end my life, and some things that I wanna make an effort to try and make something out of in the next year.
No matter if this is the first you're hearing of me, been a fan for years, or been a friend in my life. Thanks for reading this, thanks for sticking around, and thanks in advance for any and all support you can give in 2019. Let's see what this 30 year old Drummer Guy can do in 2019!
Till 2019, This is That Drummer Guy saying "See You Next Year!"
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)