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Mike Stern: About The Music

By Published: September 23, 2004

MS: Well, just to keep playing. That's basically it, and try to take some risks. First I was really shy about playing with other people and I got past that, you know, just trying. Some gigs worked out, some gigs didn't work out and you just keep trying. Like Steve Smith, this drummer I played with for awhile, he's a great drummer. We played from time to time and I had a gig at some place and I thought, well, it's in the middle of Vegas, it was at the Blue Note, and I said, "I don't know, it'll be alright but it's not going to be a great draw there and I heard they are really having trouble." And he said, "It's a gig, you've got to play it." And I played it. And you know, that's the way I always feel generally. It was a gig and we played it and it went great. So it was fun. And some of them don't go as good but you just keep the music happening, that's the priority, and the other stuff seems to go into place. It's a wonderful thing.

Sometimes there are no gigs, but the main thing is the music. You can't take that away. The only person who can take that away from you is you. If it's really into your heart you've got to practice. It's like an act of faith first developing the potential, the more you do that the deeper the feeling for the music becomes. And that's wonderful in and of itself, independent of the whole career thing, you know. It sounds almost corny to say but it's really true, you know what I mean? That by itself is a lot. As I get older I certainly appreciate to have that in my life. It's like, deep, you know.

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Photo Credit
Jack Gold

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