1992-1993 Started in high school on an old 4 track reel to reel doing comedy material with Scott (longtime friend). Released some tapes locally.
1994-1996 College was all about drug use and jamming. Lots of small bands, still some recordings with Scott and some live gigs. Mix of comedy and serious material, minimal covers. Met a ton of very talented and cool musicians in drug circles, most of which I've not heard of/from again. Learned a lot about music in a VERY short amount of time though. No regrets. Had a tascam 4 track cassette recorder and used the hell out of it.
1997-1998 Mostly a hiatus, too busy using/trying to not use drugs to get anything organized/meaningful. Still secretly obsessed with music. 2 month stint as a bassist for a gospel band. Don't ask. lol
1999-2000 While getting clean joined a fledgling 'sober' band Great Day For Up as their bassist. I was the least experienced of the group on stage. We had nominal success. Even got to play CBGB's on one of those open mic/talent nights. Great sound system, great memory. Still have the live recording of that and a few other shows. I eventually lost interest and believed a different bassist would be better suited for their heavier direction. Shortly after they really took off, getting signed by an indie 'stoner' rock label, some serious touring, even got one of their songs into a popular video game. Internal conflict tore that band apart, the prime mover has moved on to another very successful band and presses vinyl under his own label (which I think is pretty cool stuff). This was a great experience, albeit short, because I got to see how a real band worked and realized I wanted no part of it! lol I loved all the guys for different reasons, but together it was messy and dynamics too strained.
2001-2008 Worked primarily with a local friend Lew (Guitarist) and Scott long distance (he lives in California), learning the home recording craft. Some comedy, some serious. This was the foundation for things to come later. [Grep - I suspect you're about right here - enjoy the journey! ]
2008-2011 Worked with Mike Vieira and others (The Systemic) online, learning about my intolerance and how to mix. Tremendous amount of ear-time as an engineer, I feel this is where I started to make a turn into becoming an aspiring engineer. I also feel, as a musician, contributing musically to these songs (mostly written by others) helped me to flex my wings and start thinking outside of the box.
2010 Brief local originals band (Foxhole Prayer) that fell apart when the guitarist suddenly had to move from the area. This is the turning point as I see it, because we had true chemistry and really enjoyed making music with each other. I also feel having to drill through the same songs over and over got my playing up to snuff, as well as playing with a very creative guitarist whose style rubbed off on me a bit. Ironically this guitarist recently moved back, and talk of 'bringing the band back' was circulating until the drummer's wife discovered they were having twins.
2011-Today Working occasionally with others (several new songs with Scott), sometimes solo, releasing numerous EPs and full length albums, really pushing my mixing skills and learning new software/tricks. Even trying my hand at "singing" although I will always default to another singer if one's available. Already have a lot of new music completed, with two albums being worked on simultaneously. I feel like I'm making the best music of my life right now.
Good for you sticking with it and dropping the habit.