Wanna hear something cool?
When I first talked to The Airborne Toxic Event some 18 months ago, before they signed with a record label, before they played across multiple continents, before their record played in a Starbucks some 3,000 miles from their Los Angeles home, lead singer/guitarist Mikel Jolet told me this is how he defined success:
It's weird, you start getting ahead of yourself in your head and thinking like "Wow here's how much money I'm gonna make," and "I'm gonna be rich in 2years and do this and that," whatever...And then other times you think nobody gives a fuck, like nobody cares about my music or my band or anything. And I guess success is if you're a guy who needs 100 dollars and someone gives you 101, where as failure is a guy who needs 101, and someone only gives him 100. So we're always trying to be the band that only has 20 bucks to their name because we're all really broke. (laughs) And we love that fact that people even know who we are because, you know, we're just an unsigned band from Los Feliz.Last week, I was absorbed in something but had the television on as background noise. Suddenly, I heard the opening chords of the Airborne song, "Wishing Well" on a Buick commercial. This morning, I'm in a Starbucks and it's a really loud mob scene (tourists). But somehow, I can hear the strains of a viola start to play over the soundsystem and I think to myself, "Weird, that kind of sounds like the beginning of Airborne's "Sometime Around Midnight." I wait for the vocals to kick in and, lo and behold, Jolet's voice begins to waft over the din.
I couldn't help but smile. Five people came together and made a collective dream happen in an incredibly unstable business, against a multitude of odds. Don't ya just love it when good things happen for good people?