You mentioned your daughter, and you mentioned touring. I know you just posted an Instagram post about Hardwell taking a break. . .you’ve been in the game for quite a while. How do you find that balance between work, and time for yourself, so that you’re not stressed to the point where you’re like “oh, I want to quit?” Any advice you have to new artists who are breaking into the scene?
MP: I’m always thinking about it. . .you have to be in the love with the process of making music. So, I think, when you start falling out of love with the process, you’ve got to re-cultivate that passion. That’s the very core thing.
I’ve stopped drinking at shows. I’ve tried to eat healthier. It’s a lot of small check boxes. It’s not so much like “I’m not going to do drugs” or “I’m just going to say positive things to myself.” I think it’s a lot of these small things adding up, and I think those can eat away at you, sort of erode your career, and mental stability, if you’re not careful.
For me. It’s little small things: cutting out alcohol, traveling more minimally—I never check luggage; I never worry about that. Keeping it simple. Being grounded, being married—that’s been helpful. Not chasing girls late at night—that just simplifies things. And then, just making sure the music is the passion; the focal point. That’s the lifeblood that drives everything.
It’s hard to stay balanced because you’re running your own business. You can always improve, and get better everyday—which can wear on you. You want to have the edge, and push yourself. But you don’t want to wear yourself thin.
Guys like Hardwell—he was doing everything! He was mastering his own releases for artists on his label, writing stuff, touring everywhere. So part of that is saying no to certain gigs. If you feel it in your gut, you don’t want to do something—just say no; don’t do it. But it’s hard. There’s parts of the job you’re not going to love, so it’s a tough balance.
The biggest thing, like I was saying with Hardwell—taking small breaks is important. You don’t have to retire. Nobody really retires from music.
It was weird with Avicii. I thought he was doing great, from what I knew. I don’t know all the details of what happened. I didn’t know him that well. I played with him a couple of times. He had me play on his tour once. But I think if you can take small breaks, that’s better than letting it build up.
Look at Skrillex. He took two years off. I thought he should have taken time off earlier, because he was, like, doing 300 shows a year. He was doing more than what Avicii was doing. So, you can just take some time off. I think that’s better than taking years off. So take off 3, or 4, months here. . .
There’s always pressure from people around you. The money is pushing everything. That’s the hard part because there’s this narrow window. So you got to go for it, in that window. But, yeah, nobody has more than a five-year block of this golden period. Even with like The Beetles, it’s all relevant, every band has their pinnacle 5-to-6 year moment. And that’s kind of it.
So how do you decompress? You mentioned taking those small breaks. Do you go on nice vacations, play video games—you have a family now, surely that changes things.
MP: I run—a lot of trail running. I’ll run when I get home, 3-or-4 days a week. That helps a lot. That’s, like, my mediation.
Sometimes I’ll do float tanks—like isolation chambers. You’re in an epsom salt bath. Those are fun! I think little things like that are good. It can wear on you. Especially when you’re doing international travel, you can really age yourself.
Have you had a chance to hike around the Northwest?
MP: I’ve always wanted to do more of that! I’ve done wine country trips out here, and in Portland. But I want to go see Mount Rainier. I’m big on that. I’m from Vermont, originally, so that’s my blood—to be out in the country.
So you’re familiar with Seattle. You were just here for Lucky earlier this year. What are some things you like about the city?
MP: I’ve done the touristy things. Sometimes I’ll do Pike’s Place. I don’t do the Pike Place Starbucks—that’s just a shitshow.
I want to see more of the islands, and things like that. I haven’t seen much of the bay. Usually there’s no time to see much of Seattle. Coffee is a big one on my list. I try to go to the smaller roasteries, and check things out.
What’s your favorite drink?
MP: I like coffee really strong. At home, I do a pour over. Starbucks, I do a white chocolate mocha. A triple. I probably had too much caffeine where it’s not affecting me anymore. I can drink a triple and fall asleep on a flight. It’s a little scary!
We had a blast chatting with Morgan Page and learning more about about his growth as an artist. Make sure to check out his latest hit, and let us know what you think in the comments below!
Get all the latest Pacific Northwest nightlife news, directly to your inbox.