In this video, I talk about the importance of Work Ethic and give you personal stories about how having a good work ethic has helped me make some really cool friends and get some great opportunities over the years 🙂
Hope you enjoy it.
The American author and philosopher Aldo Leopold once said “Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching—even when doing the wrong thing is legal.”
For our purposes, let’s take out the legality and wrong vrs right perceptions. For the purpose of WORK ethics, the belief is that “If I work hard, and do the right thing, I’ll get what’s coming to me”.
I want to share a few stories with you which will show you this was absolutely correct in my case.
Now, if you’ve heard any podcasts or seen any videos where I talk about networking, you probably couldn’t avoid but hear me say that you should network organically and do things for OTHER people rather than ask them to do things for you.
Well, I feel the same way about Work Ethics.
You should work hard or do the RIGHT thing while working, because it’s the right thing to do…not because you expect others to give you stuff if you do the it right.
Here’s a perfect example of how hard work and doing the right thing paid off amazing for me.
I met my friend and amazing drummer Randy Cooke around 2005 if I’m not mistaken. I first saw him while he was playing a gig with none other than today’s guitarist for Bon Jovi, Mr. Phil X.
If you’ve ever seen or heard Randy play, you’d be as blown away as I was. And even though we didn’t really connect that night, I found myself a few months later rehearsing with him in some other band.
When I saw first hand, up close just how good he was at his job and how nice he was, I clicked with him right away and we’ve been friends ever since.
As the years went by, Randy called me to play in a few gigs that he was doing that needed a guitarist. He’d been impressed by my work ethic and always called me for the gig. I’m not saying I was the only guy he called, far from it…but the point is, I left an impression of a guy that does the job right.
I remember one specific time when Randy had me come play in a band that had songs in multiple different guitar tunings. When I showed up to rehearsal with 4-5 guitars, he asked me, “What’s all this about?” I told him I brought everything I had to do the job perfectly!
All my guitars were tuned for each song and ready to go, all my presets for the correct tones from the album we’re all ready to go at the push of a button. I was ready. I remember, he told me “Keep doing that and you’ll go far”. What he meant was, keep that work ethic and doing the right thing FOR THE GIG and for the other musicians, and you’ll go far.
Sure enough, years later Randy recommended me for an audition I got with Anna Nalick as well as bringing me in on the Smash Mouth gig in 2011. A gig I’m still doing to this day.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I’m so thankful for Randy for making my career what it is today.
Speaking of Candians…here’s a story with one other one I already mentioned.
Again…if you don’t know the story behind this guy…you gotta look him up. I talk about him and my first time seeing him play in my video “you’re never gonna make it”.
We had been friendly and met on a few different occasions over the years at his gigs and at parties especially since he was and still is super tight with…Randy Cooke 😉
Anyway, I wanna say it was 2009. There was a company called GrooveWorx in town that did ID Tags and Branding for companies, amongst other things. All in the music format I believe.
At that time they were working for an Austrian Radio station called “Hit Radio Oe3”. Once they got hired, they reached out to their in house composers to work on VERY specific and targeted music tracks for the client, the radio station. And guess what, for whatever reason (probably Randy) Phil X put my name in to be one of the in house composers. So they called me up and I started working with them…here’s a tiny taste of something I did for them so you get an idea of what it was (play music Oe3 2009-1.5.01 SH Image Ramp E-H from 00:23)
My JOB as far as I was concerned was not ONLY to do AMAZING with this new company so I got more work from them, but also to do whatever I do when someone refers me to a gig… Work TRIPLE hard to make THEM look like rock stars for referring me.
And it WORKED!!!
I remember listening to a conference call where the client (in Austria) was listening to all the tracks and commenting on what changes they wanted etc. and they said “So, this Hurwitz composer, who is he? This is the first time we’re hearing his stuff. We love it! We’ll take it as is, no changes needed. And please, have him do more cuts”. Grooveworx had mentioned to them that a composer they knew for quite some time, Phil X, had recommended me.
So, I made Phil look great, I made this new company look great and I got the client asking me to write & produce more tracks for them.
Since then I worked with Grooveworx on a handful of other projects for radio stations and TV stations in Europe over the years and it was always fun and challenging.
Phil also put my name in for other projects as well as the Daughtry auditions back in the day. I’m very thankful to him for all those opportunities.
Here’s one last story for ya. Many people ask me how I got to Enrique Iglesias from Smash Mouth. And the answer is, work ethic! And…Eddie Caipo (pic of Eddie with a ding) who is NOT Canadian, so it kind of ruins the momentum here but….(shoulder shrug and DIG on Eddie’s names taking the whole screen)
When I started playing with Smash Mouth in 2011, I had 3 days to learn the material. On the 4th day I had a flight up to rehearse with the guys and then on the 5th day, we took off to Iraq and Kuwait for my first run with Smash Mouth in front of our troops in the middle east.
Eddie was the Sound Engineer , Production Manager and Tour manager for that tour. If you haven’t had a chance to check out our chat, here’s the link to it (point up). There’s lots to learn from this guy.
Anyway, when I came in for rehearsal, everyone was pretty happy with my work. In fact, we didn’t even get through the ONE rehearsal we had planned. I played 5-6 songs (out of 23 I had learned) and they were like “SOUNDS GREAT! Let’s got eat!” Hahaha
At a certain point during those first few days, I said to Eddie
“Hey man, you’ve been with the guys for a while. I’ve seen and heard your work, you’re pretty meticulous. PLEASE…let me know if there’s anything I can do on my end to do a better job for you guys. I’ve got zero ego, and I’m also an audio engineer. Just tell me if something needs to be louder/lower, played differently, maybe add some feedback to a delay and compress something more or less…anything…just let me know. I’m just doing my best to respect and accurately replicate the tones and playing styles of the OG (Original gangsta with the gangsta crossed out and under it written, guitarist), Greg Camp.
Eddie and I are very close and he’s since told me on a few occasions how that approach and work ethic really resonated with him.
Years later, when he had joined the Enrique Iglesias camp as the Monitor Engineer, I told him, I’d love the opportunity to play with Enrique if it ever came up.
Sure enough, in 2015 he told me the lead guitarist Emmett was leaving after a long time with the band and needed to be replaced. He asked if I’d like him to throw my name in the hat. I said HELL YEAH and the rest is history. Well, I guess some of you might not know me…so…history means I got the gig and toured the world with Enrique for many years J
I couldn’t have done it without Eddie and because he put his faith in me and my work ethic, I had a chance to play in front of millions and millions of people world wide with the Enrique Camp over many years. I can’t thank him enough.
As you see…hard work CAN pay off…but don’t do it to get the next gig…do it on the gig you have NOW, because you were lucky enough to get it and it deserves the best work you can do!
And if one things leads to another and you find yourself rockin those arenas…make sure to thank the people who got you there and keep doing amazing work.
A few days ago, one of my guitar idols passed away. Mr. Eddie Van Halen.
This video is a little homage to his legacy. In this video Smash Mouth is playing the Van Halen version of “You Really Got Me” (originally by The Kinks). This song is ALWAYS a blast to play on stage as you will see in the video.
It was also a special night because we were playing the Austin City Limits venue in Texas on the Under The Sun Tour AND as you’ll see, we had some special guests:
* Additional Guitars – Miles Zuniga (Singer & Guitarist for Fastball) * Chimp Cheerleader in tutu – Robin Wilson (Singer for Gin Blossoms) * Drag Super Woman – Gin Blossoms’ Tour manager who’s name I cannot remember right now 😛
What’s up y’all? Well, I’m on my way to a gig today. I barely ever get to say that any more. Fingers crossed things get sorted out soon.
In the mean time, this is a track I wrote ended up on “So You Think You Can Dance” (Fox). In this vid you’ll find a quick tutorial as well as some the inside info to the track and also a jam track right below this description (on YouTube) 🙂
This is a track I co-wrote with (Louis Yoelin, GLNNA & Stefan Litrownik) that ended up doing amazing in Europe. We had it on multiple formats and even a commercial (Orange Cel Phone Company – It’s the T Mobile of Europe 😉 )
In this video you’ll find a quick tutorial as well as some inside info about the track (a hidden solo) and also a jam track in the YouTube description.