@JaySosnicki is a rock ‘n roll singer. Check out his new band, The Cocks, at a punk rock dungeon near you in 2017.
What is most difficult about being in a rock ‘n roll band?
If you’d asked me this 20 years ago, my answer would have been “getting 5 guys in a room to rehearse regularly.” Now that I’m a battle-scarred veteran, I’d say the most difficult thing is navigating the idea that any band is a democracy. Unfortunately, in any band, there are always one or two people who hustle just a little bit more. This places that person or persons in the awkward position of pretending the band is a democracy, while everyone silently understands it is anything but. Beneath that calm sea of mutually-agreed-upon pretend, resentments tend to seethe and occasionally boil over. It’s the one thing – aside from marriage and the impending arrival of spawn – that has threatened every band I’ve ever been in. Anyone considering a life in politics should spend 5 years in a rock ‘n roll band navigating these issues – the soft skills, silver tongue and preternatural calm required are an infinitely better proving ground than a law degree or being an Alderman.
Also … getting 5 guys in a room to rehearse regularly.
What is your philosophy of failure?
There’s two kinds of failure. The first is the one that an artist of any stripe must learn to live with – that it’s almost certain you’ll never be recognized or make a dime. This type of failure doesn’t matter, because you’re in good company with 99% of all other artists who have ever lived. The other type of failure is the *real* kind – where you never give yourself a chance to follow through on your art or your dream or whatever you want to call it. This is a kind of waking hell from which the soul can never recover.
I don’t believe that anyone who willingly tilts at windmills can ever be a failure. Seeing any vision through from concept to manifestation is a Promethean act worthy of respect.
What is the biggest mistake you have made as a rock ‘n roll singer?
Not listening enough.
What is the biggest mistake you have made as a person?
Not listening enough.
What is your best failure story?
In the early 90s, a dear friend of mine was part of a very intense improv acting tribe. It wasn’t improv comedy, it was more free-form-poetry-cum-head-