"People set themselves up for failure by setting expectations that may be very difficult to achieve and maintain". - Jaron Gulino

Posted: April 19, 2024
Extensive research has found that the creative person is happy in both their work and everyday lives when they felt a strong sense of well being and positive emotions. “Euphoric or happiness”. You don’t have to be a musician to be unhappy or invoke feelings of dread or despair. However, the musician would seem to be the one individual that would experience Euphoria more often than anyone.
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Euphoria is the experience (or affect) of pleasure or excitement and intense feelings of well-being and happiness. Certain natural rewards and social activities, such as aerobic exercise, laughter, listening to or making music and dancing, can induce a state of euphoria.

A term you don’t hear often. However, everyone knows the results. Usually, it takes something that we enjoy, that will cause us to be “Euphoria”, or a state of being happy. If someone is a band, or is experiencing a level of success they must be happy, right?

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Some artists turn too drugs, and even attempt suicide because they are unhappy. Often, I wondered how this can be, you have the life that many people could only dream about.

Music history has had large amounts of musicians pass away too early because they were unhappy. Some instances were a direct result of mental disorders. Others could be traced back to substance abuse. Such as Curt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Chester Bennington, Jimi Hendrix and many more. One of my favorite artists was Chris Cornell. Accordingly, the Associate Press “The Cornell family alleged in the lawsuit filed in 2018 in Los Angeles Superior Court that medication, especially the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam, prescribed by Dr. Robert Koblin led to erratic behavior”. In fairness, this wasn’t the cause of his death. Allegedly, there was a history of substance abuse that led to his last action as an unforgettable artist.

Why do they do it? Performing before a live audience, with a career that you love, should bring you nothing but joy and happiness. For years, the “tortured artist” was a definition for artists who felt tormented over their lack of creativity. Vincent Van Gogh was considered a tortured artist. However, it turns out that he had mental disorder. It had nothing to do with his lack of creativity.

Extensive research has found that the creative person is happy in both their work and everyday lives when they felt a strong sense of well being and positive emotions. “Euphoric or happiness”. You don’t have to be a musician to be unhappy or invoke feelings of dread or despair. However, the musician would seem to be the one individual that would experience Euphoria more often than anyone.

Our guest today is Jaron Gulino. You know Jaron from his work with Tantric, Heaven’s Edge and Lynch Mob. Before we start this interview, we are not privy to any information of his state of being. Only that is career choice has caused him great happiness in life. However, we want to get his insight into this topic.


Guitar Thrills: Hi Jaron. Thank you for joining us today. I know, it’s a topic that everyone wants to speak about. However, it is important. Especially, as fans we need to understand the true realities of the life of an artist. We don’t have any reason to believe, that life as an accomplished musician has been any less than exciting for you. However, have you ever experienced melancholy or negative effects that can be traced back to your time in the music industry? 

Jaron: Absolutely. I think the big thing to consider with this topic is the way someone’s role in the music industry affects others around them. For me personally, negativity in my musical journey usually came from other band members that were unhappy for various reasons. Their energy was toxic to the rest of the band, and caused the overall mood or morale to dwindle. 

Another aspect that some people don’t think about it, is the time and dedication it takes to maintain a career in the music business. The amount of time and energy that is spent doing so, is also time and energy that one might have used for their personal lives. I’ve had relationships fail due to an unhappy significant other, based on my focus on music, rather than everyday activities or time that could have been spent together. Sometimes the attention that is required of you as a musician can cause jealousy, or a strain on a relationship as well. I’m a very social person and love to connect with my fans. As this in some ways seems like a great character trait, it can easily be looked at from the opposite side of the spectrum by someone as a distraction, or perhaps temptation to the wild side of being in a band. While situations like this are all subjective to each individual, they can cause stress in a relationship, causing negativity to bleed into the musical side. 

Guitar Thrills: You know the stories, and probably have more insight into the lives of many of these musicians. What is the vibe that you get from the artists you have worked with, are they happy individuals? If so, is it their accomplishments that brings them positive feelings or vibes?

Jaron: For me personally, I like to surround myself with positivity. I have worked with many bands, all of which have had completely different dynamics. The thing that I look for in the bands or groups of people that I associate with is a positive environment. Some people want to focus on having a top 40 radio hit, or some kind of financial or public status that impresses others. While there is nothing wrong with wanting that, I think many people set themselves up for failure by setting expectations that may be very difficult to achieve and maintain. I see that sort of thing as temporary satisfaction. I’ve experienced this with bands that I’ve worked with, but my own personal happiness does not revolve around that at all. My happiness comes from the camaraderie on stage on a daily basis. Even just the pure feeling of being in a rehearsal room or at soundcheck, connecting musically with the band is enough for me. Performing and feeling the sound is what brings me to my sweet spot of euphoria. Hanging with my band mates and enjoying each others company off the stage is also a huge source of happiness for me as well. 

Guitar Thrills: On the other side of the spectrum. What would have a direct impact on the inability for an artist to experience joy? 

Jaron: This question is a black hole of possibilities. I think it directly relates to an individual and their life on, and off the stage. You never know what someone is going through personally, and sometimes outside influences can contaminate the waters of the band dynamic. Things such as financial hardships, personal relationships, egos, etc. can all be a hinderance of joy. 

Guitar Thrills: Mental disorders seem to affect everyone despite their career. The artist has a creative way of handling depression. Such as throwing themselves into their work. Why has this not worked for many of the artists that have passed away? There is no right or wrong answer. It’s all opinion based.

Jaron: Again, this is all subjective to the individual. I can only imagine what superstardom does to people. Some of the most popular artists can be the loneliest people in the world. Look at the history of some of the biggest musicians or actors over time. Constant attention and the overstimulation of success can drive people mad. Imagine trying to spend the day with your family, having lunch in public or going shopping, and having paparazzi following you everywhere. Imagine writing a song that becomes a mega-hit and then having everyone lean on you to try and recreate that magic and do it again. That is a high pressure lifestyle that can only take a toll on you if it isn’t handled appropriately. These are the types of things that can lead to substance abuse, and ultimately cause someone to spiral uncontrollably. 

Guitar Thrills: Excellent feedback. We have high expectations for you as an artist. I am sure many of your fans do as well. Does that put undue pressure upon you? If so, how do you handle it?

Jaron: While I do respect the idea that people may hold me to a higher standard and expect great things from me, I’m not worried about that. I’m a musician because I love it. I do it all entirely for myself and am happy regardless of what people may want or think of me. I truly believe that is the driving force to my success. It would be very hard to push forward and grow in this industry without being true to myself. If that translates to a larger form of success, then great. If it rubs people the wrong way because they aren’t getting what they expected, then that’s fine too. There are millions of musicians out there to enjoy. 

Guitar Thrills: It sounds that you are really focused, and the success you receive only adds to your creativity.

Guitar Thrills: Even the best artists feel a measure of failure at times. How do you overcome it? 

Jaron: Failure is inevitable. It’s how we as people learn to succeed. When something fails or doesn’t work, the idea is that we try again with different variables and look for a better outcome. I try to always learn from my mistakes and move on. I don’t like to dwell on the past. Living in the moment and pushing forward has always been the best technique for me. 

Guitar Thrills: It seems that you have a good head on your shoulders, and you are centered. This undoubtedly will lead to your longevity as an artist, which will contribute to your happiness. 

Guitar Thrills: I have received mixed feelings from artists regarding touring. Do you look forward to touring? What are some pros and cons about it? 

Jaron: I very much look forward to touring, and prefer to be on the road rather than being home. The pros and cons are definitely a matter of opinion per the individual, but choosing to focus on the good over the bad is important. For example, some of the cons could be things such as missing family and important life events, feeling fatigued or homesick, or being subjected to the crazy world that the road presents to you. On that same note, there is a big world out there and most people never get to see it. Touring musicians are some of the luckiest people on earth, getting to see things and places that most people dream of their whole lives. I love being on the road and the pros for me are spending time with my friends, going new places, meeting new people, and getting to do what I love day in, and day out. For someone that loves playing music as much as I do, getting to wake up and look forward to plugging in my instrument on a daily basis is true euphoria. 

Guitar Thrills: You are one of top performing bassists in our day. What has contributed to your playing ability?

Jaron: Lots of hours with the instrument in my hands. I may not be very musically educated or trained, but I love playing my instrument and have a hard time putting it down. I play more when I’m at home than I do when I’m on the road. Keeping yourself in shape and conditioned for the job is key. 

Guitar Thrills: What other artists have you performed with, or opened for that have been unforgettable? 

Jaron: Sharing the stage as a support act for legendary acts is always an honor. I’ve been fortunate to open for huge bands such as Guns N’ Roses and Bon Jovi. The stages at that level are truly unforgettable, and a privilege to stand on. I got to open for Bret Michaels once, who was someone I respected but didn’t know too much about. He was hands down, the nicest and most gracious headliner I have ever interacted with in the industry.

I’ve also played with tons of bands on smaller stages that have had just as strong of an impact on me as the larger ones. Getting to share the bill with some of my heroes like Glenn Hughes and Michael Schenker is something that I’ll cherish forever. My ultimate hero since I was younger has always been George Lynch. I was over the moon about getting to open for Lynch Mob with my band Mach22 back in 2015. It was something that I felt was a true musical highlight for me. Almost a decade later, here I am as a member of his band, performing all over the world. 

Guitar Thrills: What brand of bass guitar do you normally take with you on the road, and why? 

Jaron: I try and use a variety of brands, depending on which band I’m playing with. For Lynch Mob, I lean heavily on Fender Precision Basses, as they cater to the sound and style of the band, and are very reliable. I have also recently been gifted with a one-of-a-kind Mr Scary Guitars bass that George made for me. I look forward to making that one a staple in my arsenal. 

For other gigs and bands, I love to use my Hoxey Guitars models. The durability of their products is next level, and the uniqueness of their instruments always seems to be intriguing to the audience. Their aluminum necks provide incredible tones and smooth playing abilities. 

Guitar Thrills: It has been an excellent opportunity to interview you. We hope it doesn’t end here. We will be keeping tabs on your career and are open to do what we can to promote it. Thank you for your time. 

Jaron: Thank you, once again for having me. It’s always a treat to be able to share some insight and experiences with masses. I hope we can do it again soon. 

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