I asked Ian to write us a blog post on trust this week because we feel the topic is critical to our process/progress with Cohere Bandwidth and the larger Fort Collins music community. Nothing frustrates me more than a newb bursting on to the scene and then wondering why no one wants to hang out in their “awesome new thing.” Trust has been abused so often by theft in all its forms that we’re finding it takes awhile to gain a musician’s trust and when we do we’ll guard it closely—much like we will your equipment when we finally get our space!
By Ian Haygood
Song: Truth by Alexander Ebert
“You Can’t Shake Hands With A Clenched Fist”
So said the late Indira Gandhi, third Prime Minister of India. Her words resonate for me specifically because of my experiences as a musician. Typically, trust is not at the forefront of a musician’s mind during the preliminary stages of creative collaboration. Instead, the quest to concoct a unique, compelling mix of creativity and talent acts as a catalyst for progress. Subsequently, many of us get burned. More often than not, young musicians are very trusting, even naïve at times; especially when it comes to things like contracts or parking the van on the wrong street. This mindset can act as a “blinder” from a variety of threats: both internal and external. On the other hand, more experienced, touring musicians have had enough negative experiences to fuel a sense of distrust. Many of us have been ripped off by a club owner, some of us have been robbed by even our closest friends or bandmates, and don’t get me started on what I like to call interband copulation.
So why do we keep putting ourselves in these potentially vulnerable situations? I am sure it is partially due to our innate love of “the ride”, but mostly we are searching for truth. That is why I have chosen Truth by Alexander to accompany this post. It is very difficult to shake our past experiences, for they have become an integral part of our personalities. Although this is somewhat inevitable, we continue to search for truth in each other, in words, in the past, present and future. Music, to some of us, is the only truth. Which is why we feel we’ve found it while we are creating it. At this point everything else becomes secondary or tertiary. However, trust is the foundation of relationships and therefore the foundation of a band’s success (not everyone can get by with a Pete Doherty in the band). Moreover, a band’s success is dependent on the support of said band’s local community. If you don’t think so, I am afraid you may be mistaken. Even the Beatles needed it. As the great Cesar Chavez once said, “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community…Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.”
Unfortunately, we cannot predict if someone is untrustworthy, we can only surmise a group or individual’s intentions based on shared experience, hearsay or “gut feel”. This process is done on an individual level. So you tell us. How do you know you can trust someone? How can you know someone is trustworthy until you trust him or her first? How do we progress as individuals and as a community without trust?