I’ve had a few posts on here about work being a bit rough lately. I posted some of my ways of dealing with it (which kind of fizzled out entering week three). I eventually had to step down from my derby team’s roster because I couldn’t attend practice enough. I was going to either hurt myself or someone else. Luckily, I’ve been able to keep posting regularly because no matter how late I get home, I can open my laptop and write. Plus, its cathartic for me. Helps get all the random thoughts out of my head so I can concentrate better at work and sleep a bit better.
That’s the thing with us geeks, we’re creative types. Just because we’re exhausted, doesn’t mean we relax. Most of us have our own little side projects we pour ourselves into. And work may try to get in the way, but we power through. I wanted to talk to someone who’s been through that, and come out victorious. So I emailed Int Eighty of Dual Core if he’d be willing to answer a few questions and he graciously agreed. Here’s what he had to say, all links in the responses are his:
1) You have several songs about working long hours on projects (Dull Boy, Unplug), and yet you were motivated to start Dual Core. Where did that motivation come from?
Most of the motivation came from my love of hip hop and the awesomeness of c64’s beats. Combining those two, along with my permanent passion for technology, resulted in the formation of Dual Core. I really enjoy having fun and this is a great way for me to have fun in several domains of my life. Additionally, I’ve always had an avid dislike of sleep.
2) Most of us only have to deal with the work/life balance. But you have to deal with David’s work/life balance, as well as Int Eighty’s work/life balance. How do you do so without getting burned out?
It’s probably my fascination with learning that keeps me going. Things that interest me keep me moving the opposite direction from burn-out. Technology is always changing and there is always new stuff to play with or learn about. c64 is always sending me new beats and I’m always learning something new about music from attending shows or talking with my contemporaries. So yeah, my seemingly perpetual drive is primarily fueled by a desire for knowledge and fun, also vodka and RedBull.
3) Have there ever been moments where you just wanted to give up? What keeps you going?
Not particularly. The past year+ was one of the most difficult periods in my life but has also seen some of the most fun experiences. I’ve never been at a point of giving up, but have definitely had some down times. In those instances, I just remember how fortunate I am to have this life and all the fun that comes with it, so I get up off the floor and get back at it. Literally. I often sleep on the floor for an hour at night — it’s just comfortable enough to get some sleep, but uncomfortable enough to not do it for more than an hour. Bio hax.
4) What has been your most “worth it” moment so far?
There hasn’t been one specific experience that stands out above the rest. In fact, when someone asks me about a particular show, I generally have a series of fun anecdotes that all occurred surrounding just that particular event. So I guess I’d have to say: pretty much everything since starting Dual Core has been worth it. It’s been a very happy journey that seems to improve with time — feels like being on the uptick of an infinitely tall Ballmer Peak. Also, feelsgoodman.jpg
5) Between work, writing, recording, and touring; do you ever sleep?
As little as possible. At our shows in Vegas last year, I managed an hour of sleep each night Wed-Fri, then didn’t sleep Saturday or Sunday and went into work directly from the airport on Monday morning. Probably not the best practice for my health, but I anticipate these Dual Core years will be way more fun than the post-Dual Core years, so better to be awake and living up as much of this ride as possible. Seriously though, I want a full body robot transplant so that I never have to go to sleep again. The winning Mad Scientist who can accomplish this will win a Nobel Prize and a share of all future Dual Core album sales.
6) Anything else you’d like to say to anyone putting in long hours at work, only to go home to work on their pet projects?
First off, you’re already awesome for having pet projects! That exhibits a fantastic quality in a person, and I award you over 9000 bonus points.
If you’re feeling discouraged or disheartened, just keep at it. Persistence pays off. One of the toughest challenges I encounter is to keep going in the face of uncertainty; i.e. what if people don’t like this verse? or what if I’m not smart enough to fix this bug? In the past, I would just blindly keep pushing until eventual success came. Where I work now, we have a poster on the wall that says “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”. I like that phrasing much better. It gives me a boost of encouragement that I can solve the problem at hand. So keep at it, drink all the booze, and hack all the things 😀
You can buy T Shirts, CDs and DRM free MP3s from Dual Core on their bandcamp page. Check out their site for album and tour updates.