How stressful is your work week? How many hours do you put in? When that proverbial clock is punched, isn’t there a part of you that feels at ease, as if you just tossed aside a 300-pound weight off your back? Of course, it’s a feeling everyone races towards week after week. But, here’s something to chew on: What if you couldn’t take that weight off?
That’s essentially the struggle one deals with as a musician, especially in this day and age. With the industry in such a flux, now more than ever, musicians have to keep trending 24/7/365. They’re always writing new material, they rarely step off the road, and they’re endlessly looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve.
Here’s a good example: Starting today, The Flaming Lips will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for Most Concerts in One Day when they play eight shows across Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It’s gimmicky, sure, but it’s a feat that’s turning heads and it’s also a bold indication of how far musicians are willing to go. Granted, Wayne Coyne is a madman of epic proportions, but he’s hardly alone.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a Rolodex of certifiably restless figures in the music industry today.
Stress Level: 1.0 out of 10.0
Estimated Blood Pressure: 145/99
Being the human embodiment of the Platonic ideal of “Party” means never, ever stopping. Recently, Andrew W.K.’s seamlessly bounced between instrumental solo piano recordings (as on 2009’s 55 Cadillac), anime covers (2009’s Gundam Rock), and his signature hard-rocking anthems (as on the now 10+ year old I Get Wet). When not sitting down long enough to write, his jobs include performing frenetic live shows, hosting a children’s TV show, and even delivering a talk at the My Little Pony convention (a speech reportedly titled “How to Party Like Pinkie”). The dude is a ball of energy, never taking a breather, yet there’s never a sign of any stress breaking through his party shield. And W.K.’s ready to bring that high impact enthusiasm directly to your brain with his motivational speeches. -Adam Kivel