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The Daily Grind: What the 9-5 life taught Vermont about being in a band

It is a truth universally known that pursuing the arts does not create lucrative opportunities for your future. While some are able to scramble together a living from music, others find creative ways to fund their passions, including the members of Melbourne emo outfit Vermont. Having dropped their debut EP last week, the band have been quietly making waves in our scene for a while now. They shared with us the life lessons they’ve learned from moonlighting, affording them valuable skills they’ve used to hone their craft.

Josh (Vocalist) – Glazier

I know what you’re thinking. “This guy puts the icing on Krispy Kreme doughnuts for a living, what a dream.” Unfortunately you would be mistaken. Although I don’t work in a doughnut factory, being a glazier has its perks and pays the bills so I don’t have all that much to complain about. You might think that glazing and singing in a band have nothing in common but once again you would be mistaken. Glazing and singing can be a real ‘pane’. When your body lets you down through health and injury, it’s often out of your control and has a real effect on your ability to perform at your best. Both writing lyrics and installing glass forces you to ‘reflect’ on yourself and the choices you have made leading to this point in your life. Everything in life has its lessons for us to learn from and glazing is no exception.

Curt (Drummer) – Pharmacy Assistant

Now most of you would know that making money off music is incredibly difficult and you’re going to need a side hustle to be able to bring in the dough. For me, I work as a pharmacy assistant. You’re probably thinking “what does pharmacy have to do with music?” Well other than your backyard style pharmacist and the array of hangover treatments, it has taught me a few lessons that I have taken into my music career. One of those lessons is building rapport with your customers.
An example of this would be if a bloke came in and approached you for a hand. He says times are troubling and the old plumbing is a little backed up. You assure him that everything is okay and start to lay out a few options for the man; making sure he is comfortable and his privacy is respected. You, like some kind of wizard, show him some magical items that will solve his problems; a packet of strong laxatives and some fibre (given he isn’t allergic; we do have alternatives). Now, this customer is a regular; seeking out your assistance anytime he has an issue. Now like this scenario, we need to be able to build rapport with our audience through respect, empathy and genuine interaction; forming a strong connection between ourselves and the people supporting us.

Nathan (Bassist) – Currency Management Professional

Most of us will know how difficult it can be to manage your weekly schedule around your girlfriend, boyfriend or significant other; but imagine trying to arrange a weekly rehearsal schedule, shows, studio time & meetings between 4 blokes, each who commit time to their jobs, partners and other external commitments….. Well that’s where I come in. Having a sound background in logistics, security, planning and scheduling enables Jono, Josh, Curt and I to seamlessly fly through rigorous band-life without any hassles (some of the time). Now I know what you’re thinking – he’s just a regular everyday truck driver… well that’s where you’re wrong. I work behind the scenes for a large cash-in-transit organisation which provides millions of dollars daily to thousands of retail stores, pubs, clubs, supermarkets, banks etc. and it is my mission to ensure that this all runs as smoothly as possible, sitting behind a computer screen, 8 hours per day, in a suit, talking to irritated customers… I love my job. We also take security very seriously in our band, this is why it was carefully planned that at least one member in our band was to have a black belt in martial arts…. That’s right, the guy that looks like Slim Shady (Josh). Yes, he might put peroxide in his hair, but he will deliver you a swift roundhouse before you’ve had the chance to say ‘mom’s spaghetti’. Well that’s enough from me, listen to our new self-titled EP (that rhymed unintentionally)

Jono (Guitarist) – Fruit Ninja (Fresh Produce)

I’ve often been described as the backbone of the Fresh Produce department at Coles, and in all honesty this description is completely accurate. As a veteran in the game of cutting melons and stacking apples, I have grown to learn and master a plethora of skills and traits that have become useful in my everyday life and in band-life in particular. With being such a role model and a ‘guru’ of sorts in the Coles world I have learnt that ‘with great power comes great responsibility’, this often translates into band life as it is easy to get carried away with your mates when they become unproductive at times, so as the band role model I take it upon myself to ensure that the ship is headed in the right direction at all times and to set us back on course whenever we start to get carried away. It is also my role to act as the parent of the band, being the most mature of the quartet I am the one ensuring the other boys are on top of what they need to be doing and guaranteeing that releases and shows are all running to plan. Although I don’t like to think of myself as more important than anyone else in this band, I think it’s fair to say that I am indeed the backbone of this band in a way.