Starting a band is like building a monster. These days, it’s all about robots, but if you’re forming a band, what you build is a monster, Frankenstein style.

First, you think of all the hottest graves to rob—all the bands that you want to take parts and ideas from. Sound wrong? This is art. This is not about permission. We do this because we have to. All those great bands you love, that always sound new, that no one could have predicted, well, this is how they did it.

Don’t worry. Once the monster is all stitched together, nobody’s going to recognize the components, because if you did it right, it’s such a jarringly original and obvious monster that nobody would care where the parts came from. And anyway, even if they did, we’re talking monster parts built from monster parts built from monster parts, right? Because that’s how everybody has always done it.

At first, the thing really is a monster. It lumbers, drools, walks into walls. You can’t really introduce it to anybody and the dog doesn’t trust it. But it learns. Give it a couple of years and its motor skills have improved and it’s turning in better lap times with smoother form and less apparent effort and the scars from its assembly have almost gone away.

And when your monster is out in public and people hear and see it, the feeling you get is easily big enough to make you forget all the destruction, heartbreak, expense and debris that mark the monster’s path. What brings it all together is a particular look on just a few faces, of inspired disbelief. “Wait, you can build a monster like that?"

Because the most important thing has nothing to do with money or fame or notoriety. The most important thing is to make other people want to build a monster, too.

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