Article by Jake: How to Break Into the LA Music Scene
“Want it bad enough that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get it done.” – Jake Courlang
Jake Courlang is an LA based bass player and session musician. Send Jake a message.
Jake, thank you for joining us today at VQS. Take us back in time to how you first fell in love with music.
First of all, thank you so much for having me! So music was always a huge part of the house growing up. My father grew up in Los Angeles in the 70’s and would always be playing classic rock music in the car or in the house and tell me stories about insane shows he saw back in the day, which I thought was just the absolute coolest. It also became kind of a bonding topic for us, so I got a lot of joy talking about and listening to music with him at an early age. I was also apart of what I like to call “the Guitar Hero wave” of musicians.
A lot of my fellow colleagues, who are around the same age as me, said they started playing music because of that Playstation game, and I totally did too. I would play countless of hours a day. To the point where I would envision myself performing on stage for real, while playing the game. So eventually it just dawned on me that “hey, maybe I should do this for real?” Then eventually I got a bass guitar, loved it right away, and here I am today!
“I currently play with the ska-punk band Save Ferris and I love everything about it. Great people, great music, the shows are an absolute blast, definitely a dream job.” -Jake
What 3 core values do you believe are necessary for success?
As much as we want things to happen over night, unfortunately they don’t. Things take time to brew and develop. I’ve been in LA pushing three years now and I’m still growing and developing my craft and my profession. I feel like it’s important to be okay with and open to failure as well. Naturally, we want to nail it every time. But shit happens sometimes, and it’s important to know how to bounce back, learn and grow from it.
It might sound obvious, but you got to want it. Want it bad enough that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get it done. Whether playing some gigs you might necessarily not want to do, working some jobs you may not love to support yourself while developing, buying the right people coffee/drinks. You gotta be able to grind it out, even when you feel like you can’t anymore.
You also have to believe that you can do it. As previously mentioned in my last two core values; things don’t really go to plan all the time and sometimes it’s really hard and discouraging. But you have to trust and have faith in yourself in what you’re doing and know that you’re going to get there.
If I had a nickel for the amount of times I’ve wanted to throw in the towel and thought of alternatives from my goal, I probably wouldn’t be able to qualify for stimulus checks haha. But regardless what happens, you just have faith in yourself and your abilities/potential.
Who have been some of your favorite people/projects to work with?
I’ve been very fortunate to have worked on some great projects the past couple of years. I currently play with the ska-punk band Save Ferris and I love everything about that band. Great people, great music, the shows are an absolute blast, definitely a dream job.
Furthermore, I’ve been playing with three up and coming artists, Julian De Vizio, Lee Brown, and Emily Coupe and they’ve all been fantastic. All musically diverse, but all share great songs, great work ethics and great people to play for. As a band member, I want them to succeed so badly, and I try to bring out everything I got inside me to help them achieve their best.
What future opportunities would you like to be involved with?
Down the line, a dream of mine has been to start my own corporate band to go play weddings, corporate events, casinos, cruise lines, etc. around the Southwest. Might sound a little out of left field from people that know me, but I find those events very fun and satisfying to play and one day I would love to start my own little business doing so. But for right now, I wish to continue touring and playing with as many great artist/bands as I can. I want to continue traveling the world and playing great music with great people. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. I’m also looking forward to continuing working closely with Sparam Entertainment and seeing the company and their artists grow.
photo credits: Martin Shook Photography, Kevin Wells, Greys Multimedia
Article by Jake: How to Get Into the LA Music Scene