Danger Third Rail

Created: Nov 25, 2022 | Updated: Mar 6, 2024 | GA quality | Top importance

Danger Third Rail is the name of my "band". But as I always explain, "band" is in quotes because it's mostly just a recording project of myself, recording music in my home recording studio/kitchen. All of the tracks I've produced and published to Spotify feature Emily Dolan Davies, and they've all been professionally mixed and mastered by other people. But I've written all the songs 100% myself, sang them all, played guitar and keyboards on all of them, and bass on all but one.

I've also published my Danger Third Rail projects on Bandcamp, which I have to say has accounted for about 30% of the lifetime money I've made from them. This is of course due to friends and family offering generous additional financial support above and beyond the sticker price. Speaking in terms of percents again, though, my lifetime revenue from making music sits at about 3% of my immediate costs of production (not even including costs for equipment, software, plugins, etc).

Currently, Danger Third Rail is on something of a hiatus. I've written about a dozen songs for my first full length album, and I've recorded demos of all the songs. But I'm not sure about how to fund the final productions or motivate myself to DIY them 100%. You can read more about the highs and lows of this process.

Danger Third Rail is my primary recording project under which I release my most polished and finished songs. I've also got another secret band name that I've used to release the demos of the songs I want to put on the next Danger Third Rail project/album. Of course, I didn't tell anyone about it so it's gotten no listens. The act of putting the songs together and uploading them and everything was supposed to get me excited about re-recording and mixing them and doing it all "for real". It did, somewhat, but it didn't last.

Some of what I deal with is the motivation for making music. This has espcially come into relief recently with the release of Ableton Live 12. I'm considering to what degree I should fake it until I make it. And also considering that bands are like sports teams.

I've also, at various times, considered forming Danger Third Rail into an actual band and playing gigs and all that. I think the number one reason why this idea never got off the ground is that I would probably need to play at least one instrument in such a band, and I'm terrified and insecure about my playing abilities. I'm also just not that social with other musicians. When I lived in Boston, I would go to open mic nights and local concerts at least 2-4 times a week. I met a lot of musicians that way, and maybe I could do that in San Francisco too. But it seems unlikely.


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