Brian Frasier-Moore was Philly raised and has been waving a flag of positivity for many, many years now. Next week’s guest, Rashid Williams (also from Philly) was at our dinner table at the Victoria Drum Festival and it is clear that Rashid has clear admiration and respect for Brian. BFMWorld.com is Brian’s business, where he offers consultation services and will also soon be accepting students to teach via Skype or privately in his studio.
My brief time spent with him over the two days in Victoria was a true blessing for the podcast. So huge thanks to Brian for accepting the invitation to be interviewed and graciously giving me his time, especially considering how tired he must have been. Also, keep an eye out for Brian’s new documentary that is due to release in Q1 next year. I am sure it’ll be real, uplifting, motivating, and inspiring for people.
So here is a quick rundown on what to expect with this one and then I am gonna unpack it a bit.
This episode is based on Brian’s Instagram where he shares these #BFMThoughts. Just small quotes that he has written that all have this flavor of a “cautionary prescription”. I have been seeing these for some time now and I have noticed that some of them contained subtext, or different angles to observe the message. Also, with Brian’s appearances at Drumeo, you get this strong sense of a thankful and humble man behind the kit and I always love how this comes across with my interviews. I connect strongly with those personalities and spirits. It goes without saying that given the subject matter and Brian’s personality, the BFMThoughts route really brought out some great stuff. So here is a breakdown…
There is a difference between true modesty and fake modesty. You can feel it. I know plenty of people who are just really quiet when it comes to their ego and are always focused on the craft. And while compliments are nice and all, sometimes we don’t feel like we deserve to hear it the compliment as we heard it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, however, I will say that if anyone does ever feel slightly embarrassed or not deserving of a compliment, just accept the compliment and respect the work you have put in to earn that compliment.
The following is guaranteed.
To someone, you are mind-blowing. To someone else, you may be on par with them. And to some others still, you may be the one getting the top of your skull blown off. You have to respect it all and figure out how to just accept it for what it is. And make it that simple. No emotions attached to that, if possible. Hope that helps.
Now, if you think you are all that and a ham sandwich and you blow off the compliment with fake modesty, you now just disrespected the intent of another. That’s a totally different animal! Brian claims this to be worse than being arrogant about it. That’s some good wisdom.
When I originally heard this quote, I thought of Clint Eastwood. When you have a duty to perform, you just do it. Think Nike. Think Clint.
This whole idea of needing praise is a sensitive topic though. I wonder sometimes why people need validation. When we were kids, we wanted our parents to see us make a big splash when we dove into the pool, or hear about our good grades in school. You see how it follows you into adulthood? I think when we do a particularly good job at something, we really wanna hear about it. I won’t lie. If no one ever wrote me or downloaded my podcast – ever – I don’t know if I could actually make it for this long. It is about growing in confidence and knowledge, and being heard. It is scary in the beginning but over time, as you get some validation, you become a bit stronger and want to forge ahead some more.
So, is being told that your show is something people enjoy a reward? It kinda feels like one.
Even in the sense of performing music – and this is hugely dependent on loads of factors – it could be a totally isolating thing, or the most intimate musical experience possible. I can’t speak at all, and won’t, to Brian’s 26 years on the road with major pop acts like Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson, Babyface, Ginuwine, Madonna…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But I can only imagine that what he knows about the “business” is as close as it gets. And personally, I don’t think I could ever do what Brian does. That man must have some serious armor built up around him. And ya know what? It isn’t aggressive armor. I sense that he has never lost his sense of gratitude for what his life has provided.
When gratitude becomes the reward, we can all sit down for a minute and calm down. When you have had the opportunities as Brian has, you’ve gotta do your job and be thankful that the responsibility is yours. You can feel very purposeful when you give yourself that lens to look through. Sometimes life will lay a little beat down here and there on you, but you know the lumps will pass over time.
In the beginning, when things are scary and new to you, it is definitely helpful to have some encouraging words from your peers toward your efforts. However, if you have worked yourself into a professional role, you shouldn’t need to be complimented for the work that you are hired to do.
Check out 27:56-30:56 in the podcast to hear what I’m talking about.
Human beings are notorious for not knowing when to pull the plug on stuff. When things aren’t growing, being talked about, being purchased, and basically just earning a return, it’s time to re-evaluate.
I know that when you are the one invested emotionally, it can cloud your vision. You think it is a great idea or a great thing, or greatly needed. But it doesn’t mean the market thinks so. Someone who knows what is gonna work just focuses on what numbers are saying about it. Either it is working or it isn’t.
So, this might be the best checklist to cover when you decide to make a drum related video. Do I stand alone when I say that I am kinda bored of drum videos? Or whether I am or not, is it eventually going to be boring for the majority? I just feel that a lot of what I see isn’t greatly needed. Sure it can be entertaining, have great fidelity, and maybe even send a good message. But have I heard it before? Have I seen it before? To me, it is looking like Groundhog Day.
Now before I get tossed overboard, allow me to explain something. People want to be seen, right? People want to advance professionally? People want opportunities? Many people have a greater chance of advancing further into the industry through social media these days, right? Perfect…that means a lot of people will use social media to work to their advantage.
Many will copy the earliest examples of innovation because it worked for the pioneers. Then that gets copied until someone else finds a way to evolve it, and then everyone starts copying that instead. And on and on it goes. See, what you wanna be is the person finding the things that will generate a lot of interest in your content. Maybe CPR isn’t the trick to resuscitate it. Maybe you’d better get them defibrillator paddles over there instead!
Know when something is a dead idea. And know when it may not be the thing you are doing that is wrong, but rather how it is being approached.
Them trolls, man. This is a relevant subject in the drumming community. When I first heard about trolls, I thought about forums and YouTube comments. The absolute cesspool of bigotry, bullying, nonsensical BS, and a complete lack of human respect. And I still stand by this being my personal understanding of what a “troll” is.
As Brian states in the interview, there was a time when he used to say to his wife, “Why are people trashing me!?” He was really hurt by cruel remarks. Or the time when I interviewed Joe Mintz on episode 100. He appeared on Drumeo, and during the live lesson, people were trashing him too. Dave had advised Joe not to read the comments, but against Dave’s advice, Joe read them. Some comments were kind, while others were very mean spirited. Joe had said to me that it saddened him for the rest of the day.
With whoever becomes the target, a series of events in that person’s life will unfold that you have no clue about. Maybe that person you hurt is now speeding carelessly down the road because of their level of anger due to your comment. Maybe they have been struggling with depression and feeling worthless, and your comment just resurrected those bad feelings. Maybe they just yelled at their kid or spouse about something completely unrelated because of how deeply they were affected by these types of comments. You never know how much that stuff can harm people, and just because it came from your keyboard to their screen doesn’t make it any less offensive.
The truth is that anyone who is projecting that negativity online is likely an unhappy person and wants other people to feel the same way. Maybe it is because they wish they were Brian touring the world with Justin Timberlake, or that they were Joe Mintz performing a lesson on Drumeo. And because they aren’t, they feel spiteful. Or maybe it is the only way they know how to assert themselves because they don’t know of any other way to do so. I have no idea where it comes from, because I have never felt the desire to troll anyone. I understand that even though I am not facing them in person, what I do and say will have an impact on someone’s day and I would much rather build you up than tear you down.
All in all, this trolling behavior is bad for our community! All of it is. Not just the trolling comments, but the comments coming from people who defend the victims too. It creates sides. It creates drama. It’s getting out of hand. What is drumming about? Playing the drums and making music!
To summarize, this is my opinion on the matter and where I stand.
If you don’t like me, that is fine. Just don’t bother me. If we do get along and we can be peaceful neighbors, come on over. Beers are on me! That’s how I live, man. I support whatever anyone wants to do with their drumming. Just don’t cause conflicts in the community. It is poison. It hurts the art. It hurts the amazing community we have.
There are people in the world who would rather inconvenience themselves to convenience someone else. Even if it is just a little. And not just once. Every single time! I am one of those people. So even if no one else is like this, I know I am, so I will speak on my own behalf here. Maybe you will connect with it, or maybe you already have it together in this area.
I have to admit that I don’t like to rustle feathers. Over time I have become someone who would rather help than ask for something. I am really unsure of my own self worth at times. Any time I feel I have a unique skill that I can use to be helpful, I will always try my best. It is all about confronting your doubts and proving yourself wrong. Over time, I began to own my position in certain areas of my life. Everything from being able to maintain a more positive attitude, to having enough confidence to host a podcast like this.
Before, it was common for me to take on stuff that I just couldn’t say no to. I always wanted to be easy to jive with for other people. But it was at a cost. I would get pissed off about what I had gotten myself into for the lack of return. Literally, if anything went wrong, it was a bad scenario. Late on the payment, you say? Big piss off! Do you think I made a big stink about it to the person I was having a conflict with? Nope…and the funny thing is that they wouldn’t know about any conflict. I just seemed like an easygoing guy. In this situation, I believe some people know they can get away with more, so they try to as well. This whole scenario will eventually lead you to be taken advantage of by someone, someday.
So that is how it all looked on the outside.
On the inside, though, I was seething with anger. Anyone I’m comfortable with would get the bad stuff from me. It is a vicious cycle too because you end up giving more of yourself away to people to feel like a “good guy”. It would also lead to nasty episodes with anyone who offended me in certain moments. It’s like when you stub your toe real good. You’ll probably yell some obscenities and jump around like the floor is made of lava. It is a human response to pain. Well, my human response to certain situations was a reflex, too. And it would usually involve me yelling a lot or just being mean.
There is good news, though. Slowly, I am purging that side out of me. I am beginning to understand why it is important to respect and love yourself. I assess the level of joy versus how much doing something will help me. That involves pay, the commitment of time, future growth, networking opportunities, exposure, etc. If it isn’t bringing me much joy, the other side of the coin has to be stacked, man. But these days I am in a position to take on a few things that don’t pay much (or anything) because it would bring a lot of joy. It is making a big difference with how I feel day to day. It is still a work in progress though, of course.
You shouldn’t forget or ignore your past. It is information. It contains answers to the things you connect with strongly. For example, many of us started playing drums at a young age, and by adulthood, it would have likely become a big part of who you are. I would also say that it is nice to reflect fondly on your youth and your “remember when” stories about you and your buddies at the sandlot. There is a darker side to your past, too. Where your demons live. They try to keep you in one position. Not moving.
But you shouldn’t ever live in your past, no matter how sweet it may feel. Create new memories instead, and just see what can happen when you let go a bit.
There is almost nothing that indicates someone’s insecurities more than achieving something right before their very eyes and then getting the cold shoulder from them. This has to be one of my biggest pet peeves. If you are someone who can’t muster up enough courage to say congratulations to someone who defeated you in a round of golf or congratulate your friend who got into school when you didn’t, I would suggest looking at why that is. Maybe a drummer that you know got the gig you wanted. There are tons of things that can challenge your ego at the moment. But regardless of that, you should congratulate them. Who knows, maybe next time it is your turn and you are hoping for some praise.
I believe that what goes around comes around. I can’t prove it, but I understand that it is a better way to conduct yourself in moments where it matters to someone else. They won’t forget a heartfelt and genuine exchange of positive words. I also believe that within a community like ours, each achievement is for the betterment of the community and drumming. I like to think of it this way.
I thought it would be great to end things with this BFMThought. This is a nice send off of motivation for people, I think. Anyone who is trying to cut someone down is not on your level if you are in your own lane trying your best. By engaging negatively as well, they are winning the battle. Don’t let them win.
I hope that you enjoyed this episode with Brian Frasier-Moore and that you got some great takeaways from this. Catch you on the next podcast with Rashid Williams!
Music featured in this episode:
Khirye Tyler – Electric Phantasy
Drum solos taken from Drumeo lessons
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