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The questions that keep me going 

 I have been reading three life-changing books. The 4- hour workweek by Tim FerrissThe One Thing by Garry Keller with Jay Papasan, and  The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch. These three books have given me three questions that I live by. 

   1. If it was easy, what would it look like? 

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the work I do because I wear a lot of hats when it comes to Junkyard Groove and making music. I produce, write, sing, play, program, mix and master music. On top of which I run the website and marketing for the band and my brand.  

 When this happens, I take a step back and look at everything I'm doing from a distance and ask the simple question If it was easy, what would it look like?  

  Let me give you a simple example when I try and write a song I get inspired by an artist or a song and I want to recreate that sound of the song or artist. Initially, I try and copy the artist or song and it never sounds good. I keep thinking to myself, how do they make it look so easy? Then I ask the question "If it was easy, what would it look like?" 

 So I reverse engineer the song and then add my way of writing music. I draw from all the different genres of music. I listen to hip hop, gospel music, alternative rock, hard rock, metal, pop, folk, and more. Then I infuse the signature sound that I have developed which is unique to me and something new is created. The sound is familiar but still different because it has my fingerprint on it. 

 This question applies to everything I do music, photography, creating habits, artwork, etc.  

        

      2. What is the 80% of outcomes (or outputs) result from 20% of all causes (or inputs) for any given event? 

Once I have reverse engineered a process like a marketing strategy, a song, or any other process, this is the next question I ask. "What is the 80% of outputs results from 20% inputs for any given event?" 

 With this question in mind, let me give you an example. After a song is written it has to be recorded, mixed, and mastered (the 80/20 rule also applies to the songwriting and the arranging process).   

 In the mixing stage, I use to try and "fix it in the mix". Spending hours mixing a song and the mix still use to sound dead.  

  Instead, now I spend more time and effort capturing a good performance from the source it simplifies my editing process. Then when I begin the mixing process, I do the basics that involve gain staging, setting a rough balance, and panning the tracks with the faders and pan knobs. In the next stage, use just an eq and compressor to get the mix to a level where it feels good where I am vibing to the song. If you concentrate all your effort into just these steps then, 80% of mixing work is more or less done.  

 “A minority of causes, inputs or effort usually leads to a majority of the results, outputs or rewards”. - Richard Koch

 80% of consequences flow from 20% of causes, or in other words, 80% of results come from 20% of the effort. This applies to anything you do in life. The idea is to work smarter.

   3. What is the one thing? 

This question ties into the 80/20 rule. Once I have identified the 20% that causes 80% of my results, I focus on the 20% in detail. In the previous example, we know that capturing a good performance is important to get a good rough balance, panning, eq, and compression of the tracks in the mix. This is where specialization comes into play. You need to practice each step and keep doing it till it becomes second nature to you. Always go back to the basics because if the foundation is not strong, no amount of mixing tricks are going to help you get a good mix. With that being said editing is a massive part of the mixing process that a lot of people overlook. This applies to everything you do. 

In conclusion, this is how I clear out the clutter and simplify things when I feel like giving up or feel overwhelmed. 

The Question Junkyard Groove Is Never Asked  

Hey, Ameeth Thomas here wanted to introduce myself if you have never heard of us, I am the lead singer-songwriter, producer, and mixing engineer for Junkyard Groove

The two most common questions I have been asked over and over by interviewers and fans alike are "How did the band start?" and "How did the name Junkyard Groove come into existence?" 

These are fair enough questions because not every fan has been on this crazy journey with the band from the beginning. Some have and some of our fans are much newer. The one question I rarely or seldom asked is why?. If you want a direct to point bio Here is a link if not read on. :)

Why did I start Junkyard Groove? 

As a kid, I was always creative and loved using my imagination to create. Artwork, stories, clay modeling, dancing, and even in sports I always trying to find new ways to do things. I was and am an extremely curious person always asking the question "why?". 

Music has always been around me all my life. As kids my brother and I were exposed to church music and there was always singing and dancing at my parent's parties. I was first introduced to rock music by my elder brother (who is a better singer than I am lol) he is a trained singer and joined a rock band, I was exposed to every form of classic rock. What got me hooked was listening to Pearl Jam and Dave Mathews Band. 

At age 16 I picked up the guitar, learned a few chords, and just started writing more than covering songs. I use to listen to how all my favorite artists and deconstruct their songs. The first song I learned on the guitar was a song I wrote and then the next one was "Leaving on a jet plane". I still remember performing the song I wrote at my school. I was hooked. 

At the time bands never did original music and here I was writing songs on my guitar and I could hear rearrangements in my head with a 4 piece band with me on vocals and guitar. Every time I played songs for people I never used to tell them it was one of mine and found out they were quite taken aback. Even with just one guitar playing to a crowd, the feeling was addictive not because I was playing on stage for the attention; rather, people enjoyed the music and singing along. That connection was something I have never gotten anywhere else. 

I wrote songs that were personal to me but once I sang them they were not mine anymore. People interpreted the songs and connected to them in their way. 

How we formed and came up with the name Junkyard Groove? 

 

By 2001 I was in an Accapella group and was in a band but the band was never allowed to complete so we did not get to play much. In 2003 I gave up music completely and was working a dead-end cooperate job. 

In 2005 the music bug was back I started writing again and wanted to form a band. That is when I met my first guitarist Siddharth. He was younger than me but an incredible guitar player, but the funny thing was at the time we were total opposites when it came to music. He loved the classics and I loved more grunge and modern rock. I showed him the songs I wrote and then the magic began. He started writing incredible parts to them and my producer mind kicked in. Soon after we got drummer Jerry and bass player Craig. We practiced day in and day out for two months before we played our first show but still did not have a name. 

One day after practice the band was taking a walk and I had a name that I pitched to the band the name I came up with "Junkyard Tribe" (they laughed) and then Craig came up with the name "Baby J Groove" (and we laughed again). I don't exactly remember who made the connection I think it was Sid, both names were mashed up and the name "Junkyard Groove" came into existence. 

The name was perfect because all of us came from different musical and life backgrounds. At the time bands were more fixated on what genre they belonged to but I was more bothered about how the songs sounded it did not matter where the sound or inspiration came from. What people threw away thinking it was dated was taken and given new life. 

In Conclusion 

The band's lineup has changed over the years featuring a load of brilliant musicians but the ethos remains the same "Anything Goes" which is what the name Junkyard Groove stands for. 

What do you think makes "JYG" different from other bands or artists?. Do leave a comment below.  

By the way, I am the only one left from the original lineup. :D