Creativity Spotlight: Interview with Musician, Dustin Barclay

Today, on the blog we have an interview with musician, Dustin Barclay. Dustin is one of those Marietta musicians that I’ve known forever, and he’s crazy talented. So glad he stopped by the blog!

So here you go, an interview with Dustin Barclay.

What is your main form of creative expression

Songwriting has always been my main source of creativity but July of 2017 I formed a tribute band with some friends (Runnin’ Down A Dream – A Tom Petty Revue)  and that’s taken up most of my attention and energy for a while now.  And it’s an interesting thing.  It’s a lot like method acting and music mashed up together.  You try and get the tone and the inflections and really mimic someone else’s voice as much as you can, and you dress the part, etc.  Takes a lot of time and attention to detail to do it well.  And I’ve become a much better musician because of it.

The first great tribute act I saw was Rumours Atl and when I saw Mekenzie Thrift go up there and sound EXACTLY like a young Stevie Nicks…I HAD to try.  I was hooked!  So, I went straight to Mekenzie and Alex Thrift and asked if they would be interested in starting a band with me where I could try the same thing but tributing Tom Petty.  And they bit!  So, here we are…

And I’ve loved doing it so much.  It’s kinda pulled me away from writing until recently but it’s been such an adventure and blessing that I haven’t even noticed the suspension from  my own music. 

Do you work as an artist/creative full-time or do you have a different day job

I do work a full-time day job as well; I’m a licensed loan officer and I’ve worked in various aspects of mortgage since I was around 19 years old. 

How long have you been creating music/books/plays/films/etc.? 

You ever experience delirium or a similar state of mind, where you have a little snip of a song (self-written or not) that just loops and loops and loops and loops…and you’re just walking around for what feels like hours with that loop going on in your head?  My earliest memories were that very thing… but they weren’t songs other artists had done…just melodies and sometimes words that I heard clear as day and that I couldn’t turn off.  So, I’m not sure how long but I can’t remember a time when new music ideas weren’t coming to me.  And I don’t remember ever not wanting to be a musician.

However, my family was broke so I didn’t get my first guitar until I was about 12, maybe 13…and I only got that because I didn’t stop begging my mother for it (took about three years but eventually she gave in!).

Hoow do you find time to be creative if you have a separate day job?

Frankly, I have a much easier time finding the spark to be creative with when I’m busy with work and I only have a little time here and there to put towards creativity.  Ironically, I always feel like if I had more time, I could write so much more …but it seems like whenever I have a ton of free time, I don’t get the spark for new ideas.  Can’t have your cake and eat it too, I suppose…

Do you engage in any additional creative hobbies? Are there any you’d like to try? 

I don’t.  I used to draw as a kid but my hands get shaky sometimes, so that put the kibosh in that pursuit. 

I’d love to write things other than songs and lyrics but honestly even if my diction were better, I still wouldn’t have the attention span to write something like a novel or even a novella. 

Who are some other artists and creatives that inspire you to create?

Oh, wow.  Too many to list!  Picasso said that to copy others is necessary in art but to copy oneself is pathetic.  I think there’s a world of truth in that.  In art, we take everything we experience – even the experience of seeing other great artists – and then spit it back out through our own filter.   How can you see or hear great art and NOT want to try and make something wonderful in kind?  Other artists are paramount!  Obviously, the world has an abundance of great art.  But I’ve also been lucky enough to know so many wonderfully talented creatives. 

Why do you create? 

Because it’s in me to do and it’s part of who I am.  What kind of man would I be if I didn’t have the courage to be myself?

What advice do you have for other creatives?

I don’t know that I’m anyone to give advice, honestly.  But I can share what I believe and that’s that you should treat your art like a religion.  Whether you choose to try and make money off of it or not, you should do it because it’s what you believe in and what you put your heart and soul into.  Be the artist you want to be FIRST and make the monetary choices second. 

What are you working on right now?

I am starting to write again though and frankly I feel like it’s the best stuff I’ve ever come up with!  So, I’ve started meeting with some other guys and I hope to get at least a few new tunes recorded soon.  I suppose we’ll have to come up with a name for that project…

Where can people find you and your work?

You can find my band’s page on youtube if you search for, “Runnin’ Down A Dream: A Tom Petty Revue

My new original music will not be in my name so I’ll have to get new pages for that project.  But my Dustin Barclay youtube page has lots of random stuff from previous bands, solo music, and such from the past.  And it has “Louder” which was the last solo song I recorded (produced and recorded by Rick Beato).

Thanks for letting me pick your brain, Dustin! I LOVED your advice to other creatives!

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