The Rockula Update 3/21/14- Why injuring myself was the best thing that coud have happened to me

Who would have thought that sustaining a deep muscle bruise and tearing several tendons would be the best thing that could have happened to me?
As many of you know, I was taking care of Tino (a parrot) during the December ice strorm
I injured myself when he flew down the hall and I chased after him
I tripped and knocked myself out for a few moments as well as falling on my shoulder and pinning my arm behind my back
This caused a great deal of stress and anxiety in my life because I consider myself to be primarily a drummer
It would take months for me to heal and I had to really limit the amount of time I played the drums
Many people advised me that it is easy to damage what takes weeks to repair so I had to completely change my drumming style
Luckily, GIRL is not a band that requires me to go into berserker mode and my right hand is my snare hand, so I was able to limit the motion of my right arm down to just wrist motions (thanks to my ultra responsive Tama maple snare with Zinc Die Cast Hoops!)
The limitations of this injury would have a deep psychological effect on me because drumming represented several things
It is both exercise and therapy and I wasn’t getting any of either which was causing me to feel very despondent
When I am stuck in a situation, weather it be sick, hurt or broke, I tend to dwell in the lower recesses of my psyche
I was pondering what would happen to me if my arm never really healed correctly
What if it hurts every time I try to play the drums?
Especially the physical way I play?
I’m not talking about the normal issues that someone has as their body gets older
I’m talking about long term issues as the result of an injury
Kinda like my ankle fracture from 2004 that still generates stabbing pains when the temperature gets really cold
The last Minnesota winter convinced me that I do not belong there long term

But the ankle injury doesn’t affect my playing because I have been actively stretching my limbs and joints from the moment I started to have a sore back the next day after a gig
I am also convinced that my stretching habits drew the line between having to have surgery or a couple of months of inactivity and favoring my right arm
So what happened differently during this low point?
This was the first time I have never had to seriously consider not being able to play the drums anymore and it really woke me up

I can’t say that I didn’t spend a lot of time just shutting down and going through the motions but, luckily it was around the holidays so I had the family to hang out with and that helped
I played a gig very soon after the injury and was pretty sure that I hadn’t done anything too serious  to my arm but my right hand stopped working at the very end of the gig

I can’t tell you exactly what made the light switch go on in my head but I knew that I had to start creating something new instead of just waiting 3 or 4 months to be a drummer again
The other thing that bugged me is that I was just starting to become enthusiastic about recording video drum covers and now that was off the table
One of the things that made me go in the upward direction was Laura loaning me her HD video camera
It made me start projects that I was waffling on
I started a new channel called “Rockula Retrospective” and plan to post “legit” videos
This means that I am trying to play (somewhat) by the rules and have been observing the successful people and what their videos look like
Not necessarily the subject matter or the personality type, more that I am observing their production and presentation
After all, everything is on the table now, people have more resources of information and the way that you “conform” is not by dumbing down or limiting the subject matter, but by how you present it for everyday people to consume
My first forays into mainstream subjects has been reviewing The Walking Dead and I also plan on reviewing Game of Thrones
However, my new mantra is CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT and I want to start cranking out anything and everything that I can think of
Pop culture reviews, drum covers with reviews, and even a live film commentary segment called “Spring it ONYA” where I sit some unsuspecting person down on my couch and show them a film or video that they have never seen and are completely unprepared to witness
I am under no illusions that I will be the next Angry Video Game Nerd or Nostalgia Chick and I don’t see myself making a living based on YouTube hit points
But what I do see is everything touching everything
People who like what I do in one area might be receptive to what I am dong in others
For instance,  a guy that watches my review of The Game Chasers might enjoy the music that I make or the experimental videos and might show up the next time I tour through his city
It’s gotta be better than my old approach, which was “Invest all of your time and energy into one thing and then get incredibly depressed, discouraged and bitter when no one pays attention to it”

It has now been 3 months since I injured myself and the arm has gone through several different stages
I was starting to get “tennis elbow” because my other muscles were having to compensate for the injured ones
I still have dull pains in all parts of my right arm at different times and I have to pay attention to what I do with it but I can play the drums fairly heavy now and can go for quite a while
You can start adding drum covers to the CONTENT mantra very soon

In other news, I have acquired  a legal copy of Ableton Live 9 Suite and have learned how to import videos
All I need now is a MIDI interface and I can finally start triggering videos in real time with my electronic drum pads

LOTS of positive things on the horizon
Check out my new Youtube channel as well as the new Rockulaproductions Facebook page
Rockulaproductions Facebook Page

Rockula Retrospective on YouTube


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