The Symbols: Working Hard For The Money
Do you remember the Dire Straits song, “Money for Nothing,” written from the perspective of an appliance store worker commenting that the life of successful musicians is all play and no work? Reality is, in order for full-time musicians to make ends meet, they must rely on multiple revenue streams. They face uphill battles just trying to book gigs, get publicity and manage band members. Then, they have to have enough spark to catch fire and give audiences a memorable performance.
Colin Powell once said, “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work”. My guests Jasco and Mer Sal of The Symbols are working hard to live their dream. They provide valuable insight into what it takes to be a full-time, working band.
We spoke in the control room at The Recordium, which is the headquarters and recording studio for The Symbols. They are a blues/funk/rock band based in Fort Collins, Colorado. Formed in 2011 by veteran guitarist Jasco and vocalist/songwriter/bassist Mer Sal, The Symbols represent a melting pot of Blues-Rock, Urban Funk, Motown Roots, and Soul Revival, performing 150 dates a year, across Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, California, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
The Symbols are the recipients of the 2019 FoCoMA Peer Award for “Hardest Working Band” and represented the Mile High Blues Society in Memphis, TN in January of 2018 for the International Blues Challenge, making it to the semi-finals.
They’ve also received the 2017 Holley Award for “Best Arranger” from the Colorado Blues Society.
The Symbols have shared the stage with many national acts, such as The Danielle Bad Kind, Vixen, Tommy Castro, and many more.
The Symbols also have a new album out titled, “Catching Fire” (I got to do background vocals on a couple of songs). Check out “Let’s Be Love,” one of the songs from the album (yes, I’m one of the background vocalists). To obtain a digital download of “Catching Fire,” click here. For a CD copy of the album, click here.
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Until next time, may you find your superpower, fuel your passion — light it up!