I often get asked about the success that I have had with Walk of Shame over the past six years. Certainly, there are a lot of speedbumps that go along with some hard work, but I wake up every day loving my job, loving what I do, and loving what I can do in the future.

It’s hard for me to keep perspective at times. Think of it like this: You are 17 years old with terrible hair and acne, and no clue how to talk to the smoking hot, barely legal 18 year old cheerleader that you have a crush on. Sure, she “loves you like a brother” and calls you a “great friend”, but she’s busy with her sophisticated “college” boyfriend, and doesn’t look at you like you even have a functional penis. We’ve all been there. Hell, some of us are still there. WHY WON’T YOU ACCEPT MY FRIEND REQUEST STEPHANIE!!?!?

The point is: You can’t live in the past. Now at 30, you might have your shit together. You can afford nicer clothes. You googled “manscaping” and figured out how to groom yourself. You got a job, your face cleared up. Your high school crush? She got knocked up when she was 19 and now has 3 children to three different fathers, is divorced, and looks like she ate that smoking hot 18 year old that you obsessed over years ago. Sure, your ego is going to STILL want to bang her now, just so you can say that you did… But you know it’s not the same as getting her in her prime.

I’ve gotten the opportunity to play at a lot of different places, but I don’t worry about the past like I used to. I have a few places that I have the utmost loyalty and respect for – Nostalgic venues and great people who were kind to me when I was starting out, or where my band found success years ago. I don’t forget that stuff, but I can’t live there anymore.

“Why don’t you guys play ____ anymore?” Well, we’d love to – But ____ is the same bar that it was 5 years ago. They haven’t grown, they haven’t adapted, they haven’t changed. We aren’t the same band that we were five years ago, so we can’t play for $400 and a few Jagerbombs anymore. That bar ain’t the smoking hot 18 year old that everyone wants to bang anymore. Hell, I’m not the same performer I was a few years ago, largely because now I can actually REMEMBER most of the shows that I play. Turns out I only THOUGHT I was a better singer after 20 drinks! Who knew?

Oh hey – If you are a hater, and you haven’t done so much as attempt to have a conversation with me in the past few years – Keep on hatin! To those of you who I’ve gotten a chance to have some “off the clock” time with, I appreciate you letting me get a bit more comfortable being myself in public. Haters are doing their job when I often hear, “Man, for all the stuff I heard about you, I’m really happy that we talked.” That being said – Sorry for being an idiot in 2011.

I know a lot of talented bands who just aren’t getting out there and playing, and it sucks. Frankly, I know a lot of bands that are a lot more talented than my band who don’t get the gigs or the money that we do. I say that not as a knock to myself, but as a compliment: I know that right now with my business, I am doing absolutely everything that I can do to maximize my growth and success. You can’t do that if your focus is elsewhere. You can’t do that if you don’t have guys who share your vision. You can’t do that if you are only playing the same few rooms. You can’t do that if you are only playing as a band once or twice a month. You can’t do that if you are 50 years old still thinking that you are going to get the chance to play new, hip, well-paying rooms. Thankfully I’ve got my boyish good looks still, but that window is closing. I’m a realist – But that’s also why I’m evolving, and why I’ll keep being successful.

This has been an absolutely amazing (and exhausting) Summer. So many new friends, new gigs, new opportunities. I like where this is going.

Gotta keep it pushin, baby. Let the haters keep hatin’.