This is how Kevin Eubanks sees his path in music. He was the band leader of Tonight Show with Jay Leno for 15 years! He is also an acclaimed jazz guitarist and composer. I checked him out recently because I like what he played on Dave Holland’s latest album “Prism” (2013) with Craig Taborn on keyboard/piano and, one of my favorite drummers, Eric Harland.
I totally agree with his “philosophy”. It suits me very well, because I ain’t that ambitious either and I also like to chill =)
“The real path, the real answer to that is just getting as good as you can at what you do. And all the other networking things that happened, I had no clue that was going on at all. I never thought about being on TV, I never tried to be on TV, I never.. anything. All I want to do is to be a better guitar player tomorrow than I am today. And one thing led to the next.
Some people can do that, some people will like: ‘Oh, if I make this move, then I make this move, then I’m gonna wind up over here.’ I always tried that, but it never worked. It always failed. Because my personality just isn’t like that. I’m not really that ambitious of a person. I just like to chill. Really. But I love music. So I just always play music. But I was never playing music to get from point A to point B.
And it gets confusing when you have to pay rent, then you have to pay the bill, and you get confused, like: ‘Aw, man, I got to sell my self, I got to do this,’ and you get away from your personality, and you can get lost, thinking that you can manipulate things. But, really, if that’s not in your personality, it just doesn’t work.
Just sit and do your music, somebody hires you to do the job, do the best you can, and hopefully if you’ve done the right things for the right reasons, somebody hears you: ‘Oh, I want you to do this,’ and then it just happens more naturally.”
You can see the whole interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFmPd5u_imo