[ Band: Fish in a Birdcage ]

www.linktr.ee/fishinabirdcage <- music videos, spotify, other links

Update: Rpan is Reddits Streaming service

I was living in Spain as a street performing cellist when my 4 month old puppy Poco got parvo-virus (Despite being vaccinated). During that time, she was fighting for her life at the vets for a week and I was unable to sleep for several days in a row. That's when I saw a kalimba player (the singularity) playing on the front page of reddit. Over that hour long performance it calmed my nerves enough to sleep.

Poco survived but was still contagious with the virus for the next 2 weeks. I couldn't be out busking on the street. So I thought "maybe I can do what that kalimba player did for me for someone else"

I started Rpan, hooked up an interface and played for an hour. I didn't know how to see chat or how many people were watching.. played for an hour, and clicked end. That's when I saw that 280 thousand people just saw that stream.

I was so excited. I saw the opportunity and started streaming on Reddit for 6+ hours a day. The largest stream had just over 1 million views.

After a year of doing that, a community grew and it inspired me to write much more music. Life is so much different these days then it was back then, and I'm more motivated than ever to record the next 5 planned albums.

Thanks for listening! Please ask me anything.

Here's my proof: https://i.postimg.cc/HsL7Pns6/20220921-113425.jpg

**Finishing questions** Hey everyone! so this was an absolute blast. thank you so much for all of your questions. To anyone new to the project reading this there are 4 albums on spotify or youtube [ Fish in a Birdcage ] to listen to and enjoy for free! So much love went into those albums with the most talented musicians I've met along my musical journey with 60 artists being involved in the 4th album Man-o-War.

Also a big shoutout to Kaytelin Gallant (a member of our Discord family) for making the art you see in the Proof photo. I love it so much.

Thank you Reddit, Mods and people of Reddit for changing my life!!

Feel free to continue to post comments, questions, concerns or whatever else on this post. I will read them and reply to them tomorrow :) If you wanna get notifications for when i'm going live on other platforms, feel free to join our discord fam which is found on -> linktr.ee/fishinabirdcage

Comments: 162 • Responses: 76  • Date: 

ProFromFlogressive31 karma

What's the song you're most proud of and why?

Guitarwire47 karma

Oooo that's a good question. So many of them for so many reasons. I'd probably say Rule #4.. And its just because of that last line of the last verse. Indistinguishability. I had such a hard time finding EXACTLY what i wanted to say while it would still rhyme and fit within the amount of syllables. When i found that I danced around the house. It took me a week of being obsessed with that line to finally get it.

hablandochilango14 karma

Have you considered a rule #34?

Guitarwire12 karma

lol yeah I'm a bit unsure of what to do when I get there. But we will get there lol. It might have to be "the crazy song" in that slot.

which is the song where I laugh maniacally during the song. it's perdy weird but super fun.

riggycat9 karma

Sorry to hijack a reply, but spotify randomly suggested Rule #4 and I wanted to say it's just amazing. Both the lyrics and instrumentals are choice, always giving me the shivers...

Guitarwire4 karma

Thanks so much RiggyCat! stoked you vibe with it!

kindnessbubble22 karma

If you were really a fish inside of a birdcage, and your brother told you true tales with his little beak, and he made you feel like you belong, carrying you and showing you the plethora of mysteries this great big world holds.. what is your favorite day of the week?

Guitarwire15 karma


Dry_Dog_69819 karma

Dusty - are you happy? have things worked out well for you?

I've been following you and your music for years - just before and after your second album release. I hadn't listened to you in about a year or two when I randomly saw you on a reddit feed about a year ago (I had just started on reddit). Listening to you and seeing you again made me profoundly happy. I like to think to your music.

Guitarwire24 karma

I'm very happy! I mean my work / life balance is pretty off these days because I see the success and I'm obsessed with forward momentum. But I've always been like that. I dive in 100% into things with everything I have and just work until I can't.

Which is such a good reason to have Poco my dog. her needs are my priority. So it gets me out walking several times a day, taking breaks.

And I did burn out quite hard at some point. I did a 9 month tour across the states and then decided to stream in the same way I was doing back in spain/Ireland like 6 hours a day... and I crashed SO HARD. like mental health just plummeted and I had a hard time holding myself together. But these days although I constantly am working hard, I finally found a bit more balance. Scheduling my streams on twitch made such a huge difference to my mental health.

Thanks so much for following the journey since then! There was not a lot of listeners back then. How did you find the music? did we run into eachother?

Dry_Dog_69812 karma

we did know each other! and I love your music.

one of the most memorable and random evenings of my life was a time we went back to my store after an improv session and we drank beer while i tried reconciling bank accounts and you played the cello. We only crossed paths for a short time. But I think there's one bit of magic you were working on that night that made it into your second album. Or rather, I tell myself that.

I'm glad you're happy. I'm glad you're successful, but I think the happiness is even more important.

Guitarwire7 karma

Wait a sec, improv. Do you mean improv with Dave Morris at Paper Street?

_Brave_Blade_14 karma

How’s your pup doing now?

Guitarwire31 karma

She's so good! living an amazing life. We go to the dog park almost every day for probably 2 hours. I sit there and play accordion, and she runs around with the other puppies or sits at my feet. We have a great life together and I'm so so so happy that she's around to be my buddy.

wallstreetsbastard13 karma

Absolutely love your work! I discovered your music during the pandemic, and rule # 4 was my ‘top played song’ of 2021 on Spotify. I know that Spotify rips off artists, so how can we best financially support you?

Guitarwire10 karma

There's the gofundme for the fifth album, thats on my linktree


Paypal is good too, or just telling your friends and spreading the word. I wish Venmo or Cashapp were an option but as a Canadian those options are just closed for us.

I'm just happy people are hearing the albums we put so much love into.

Thanks so much for listening!

AffectionateScar72222 karma

Don't forget about Patreon. 🙂

Guitarwire1 karma

Ah yes that is totally a thing! Thanks for the reminder Dave 🙂

Guitarwire10 karma

HEY! i'm so so sorry I'm late you guys. Really thought I had set this up correctly but i missed a step.

SeyChAos6 karma

Is it technology if it works right the first time? Nahhh

Guitarwire6 karma

hahaha noooo doubt. The tech side of streaming always had and has fun little hiccups you deal with too. always an adventure.

meowchickawowwow5 karma

Might want to throw your name/project name in the first line of your post too so we can find you easily :)

Guitarwire6 karma

Did that! thanks Meow!

KazooKid021410 karma

Hello! You may have answered this question elsewhere already, but why do you begin each song title with "rule #[number]"? I personally think it's a really nice touch, and pretty unique, but I also couldn't help wondering why. Secondly, do you ever plan on releasing CDs or Vinyls of your albums? Thanks for your time!

Guitarwire24 karma

Heya Kazoo!

So. Here's the story.

Whenever I left my house as a kid my mom would always go:

"Dusty. what is Rule #1"

And I would have to reply "Safety"

Well fast forward to when I'm a young adult and my mom calls when I'm around my friend and they would all hear my sheepishly reply to my mother "Rule #1 is Safety"

And then that rule started picking up steam. My friends would ask me before I would leave "DUSTY. Whats Rule 1" and I'd go "safety."

It became a thing. Then a friend burped. very loudly and grotesquely in the studio. And i think it was cody that said "DUDE. not in front of the ladies thats just not classy." (his girlfriend was there at the time)

and so rule #2 was born. "No burping in front of the ladies in the studio. It's just not classy"

Now.. this started to get more and more ridiculous as time moved along. More and more rules. Rule #6 - Either way, F#ck it, Rule # 9 - you are the master of your own destiny, Rule #10 - There are no rules, Rule #37 - Where's the horse.. ect.

So when I started recording songs I was like.. Maybe I should use the rules as the names of the songs. then I thought about how many swear words and inappropriate ridiculousness was in there. also that some of the rules were not written down and just lost to time. So I didn't do that. but I kept the Rules. cause why not.

Also there is a Rule #6. Originally Either way, f#ck it.. Sung becomes F#ck it either way. And so.. because of my mom that song was not recorded for the second album and we skipped it. It'll be recorded eventually! it is a song. just not one on spotify :)

SeyChAos4 karma

How many of the original rules can you list??

Guitarwire10 karma

lol that is such a mind melting question. so many of them got lost to time. In no particular order of the ones i can remember.. Also remember some of these are very crass. ear muffs recommended.

Whatever floats your boat, but don't sink the raft.

The key to life is to not give a F#ck cause when you don't give a F#ck life's your B&tch.

Rule #1 subsection 20-a: Don't get stoked (its dangerous)

Where's an instrument [You're sitting on one] (in reference to the cajon)

F#ck Ashawashawa (this one is an inside joke.)

lol SOO yeah there are a lot of them but so many happened when we were being silly and never got written down so they got lost to time.

SeyChAos7 karma

Rule #1 subsection 20-a is a valuable addition to my own life rules.. Thank you for delving into your brain to share what you could!

Guitarwire4 karma

you're most welcome thanks for listening :)

HappyHobbit129 karma

Knowing you have been writing music for a plethora of years, how did you decide which songs to put on your first official FIAB album?

Guitarwire7 karma

Well. Fish in a Birdcage HAD to be on it. because that was the band name. I thought paperwork was the song I had written with the most lyrical substance at the time. so that one. Moonlight.. well. I had just gone through the situation that caused that song to exist and I wanted to run with that one while I still held those feelings close to me. Magic had been written that week as well and I was super excited about it and thought the message was something I wanted to say to a listener that was being introduced to my work. :)

"I believe in myself. I believe that we can make it. I believe in all of you. I believe that we can make this into Love"

Thomas28079 karma

What's the story behind rule 6?

Bonus question: what's your thoughts on Pastafarianism? I noticed you have (had?) a thing for pirates

Guitarwire14 karma

Rule #6 is F#ck it either way.

It's a great song! I love that song. But my mom is a nice Christian lady. And I don't like swearing in front of her. and knew she would be listening to my second album. And so i decided that I would avoid recording that one and just do it live.. and possibly record it eventually. ^_^

I plan to do a music video sometime this year for that one. It's gonna be such a fun one to release!

So many people look at the song list and must go.. Wth. Why did they make that mistake. It's actually not a mistake but an intentional confusion tactic :)

Guitarwire7 karma

oh shoot I forgot the bonus question. my bad.

Thoughts on Pastafarianism: Hilarious. There was that fella that ran in a political sense awhile back that was a huge advocate that wore a strainer on his head and I just loved that so much.

SeyChAos8 karma

What was the best part of recording an album on tour? What was the hardest part of recording an album on tour?

Did Poco travel with you and were there any learning curves to traveling and recording with her on board?

Guitarwire7 karma

So the best part of recording an album on tour was collaborating with the musicians we met up with. Being like "Hey! we are jamming with you anyways and you are here, can we record something for our new song" and now to forever have those amazingly talented humans within our project forever is just the coolest thing and I hope the project grows in a way where I can help them reach very successful musical careers. Because everyone I have worked with has put in the time. they are masters of what they are doing and I'm unbelievably blessed that they took the time to be apart of these albums.

Hardest part was the lacking of consistency. Noise outside of the trailer. planes flying overhead. people talking outside the RV. cars going by.. it was a major challenge and we had to get very good at doing surgery on sound to remove background noises.

Poco did indeed travel with us, she had a throne set up between the driver and the passenger seat and it was challenging. but worth it. She kept us sane, but made things a lot more challenging to make sure all of her needs were met while trying to cope with touring for 9 months.

While recording sometimes I'd have to hold her in the vocal booth cause she didn't wanna leave my side but for the most part she's not a very loud dog so she did good :)

SeyChAos8 karma

Just how many songs are you hiding from your mom?

Guitarwire13 karma

Ha! two. There are 2 that I will never play if my moms in the same room or I know she's watching.

SaashiAnshu6 karma

Hahahaha I bet I know which two

meowchickawowwow5 karma

and especially that verse

Guitarwire7 karma

The one I was shouting over and over in the trailer to stack the vocals and then the next day the cops showed up to kick us out of being parked infront of my grandmas place? yeah. that verse.

meowchickawowwow2 karma

OH I was thinking of the naughty song not the shouty song. I guess there are at least 3 songs to not play to your mom.

Guitarwire1 karma

oh lol yeah i haven't/will not play that one for her either lol

Bitterrootmoon8 karma

Do you plan on touring again in the foreseeable future?

Guitarwire7 karma

Currently no, I have 5 albums yet to record, and as I spent the last several years traveling I want to stay in one spot for awhile and focus on being productive. But! I definitely want to tour. If I were to guess I'd give it 2 more albums before we plan a proper tour. :) But it'll happen and I know I'm gonna enjoy the heck outa that when it does.

bee_vomit7 karma

So probably the most important question of the day: leather or latex? answer wisely! lol

Guitarwire7 karma

Leather on the bottom, Latex on the top.

SaashiAnshu7 karma

How many instruments do you play? What is an instrument you don't currently play but would like to learn?

Guitarwire6 karma

(in order) Piano, Guitar, Harmonica, Banjo (but i lost all my banjo chops), Accordion, Cello, Mandocello and then random ones like:

Hand percussion, Drum machines (but not very well), put some time into penny whistle, and hand pan, I'm sure theres more that I cant think of atm.

Nose flute.

SaashiAnshu5 karma

concert grade slide whistle

Anything new you want to learn?

Guitarwire5 karma

for now, totally content with tackling this accordion lol that is challenging enough

7lovelysins77 karma

Who is the man behind Poco the dog? (Aka, who are you, what's your name?)

Guitarwire11 karma

Dustan Everett Townsend. Or Dusty. Cause I got super tired of correcting people calling me "Dustin"

My Grandfathers name was Stan and so I was named after him. In a way. du-Stan. And I learned a lot about how to be a proper human from the storied I learned about how he approached situations as a Kid. Easy to understand lessons like:

"You are who you hang around, you're the combination of every person you've ever sat in a room with, had a conversation with" (including the books you read, the media you consume)

So that part of my name means a lot to me. He died when I was 5 years old, but his lessons live on through his kids and grand kids.

Aimless_Wonderer5 karma

You sound like a very interesting person. Excites to check out your music! 😀

Guitarwire2 karma

Thanks for checkin it our Aimless! Cheers! let me know if you find a favorite track :)

The_True_Hannatude7 karma

What part of writing songs do you find easier - the music, or the lyrics?

Guitarwire7 karma

The lyrics is definitely harder. I've done the math in the past and it takes me about 8 hours for every minute worth of lyrical content. I'm not good at improving lyrics on the spot unless they are silly and all the props in the world to the people who can do that.

Loops on the other hand, sometimes when I loop I can get lost in it and magic happens, and sometimes its just aiight. Really wish I had recorded a couple moments that I can clearly think back to that are just lost forever to that moment that will never be played in the way that it was played right then and there.


captaindaddy5147 karma

Some people aspire to play the largest music venues in the world. Which is your ideal concert venue and how soon can I buy tickets?

Guitarwire9 karma

I actually don't have an Ideal concert venue! Id love to play the hockey arena in my home town of Red deer, just cause this is where I'm from. But I think I'd just love playing any venues.. and playing big concerts would be SO MUCH FUN. I'm so looking forward to when things line up for that to work out.

captaindaddy5144 karma

I think it’s gonna happen sooner than later at this pace! Looking forward to the day I can see a proper FIAB show!

Guitarwire3 karma

Thanks friend! looking forward to it

Marshmallow_cawt6 karma

are you good at swimming like a fish?

Guitarwire8 karma

I'm actually not too bad yeah! I got my lifeguard certification when I was really young. Loved being in the water. Never actually became a life guard but spent a lot of my youth in the pool.. Even getting asked this question makes me think "why havent I been swimming" and then I remember.. "oh yeah cause I'm literally always practicing"

One of these days I'll find a balance and get back into it :)

usedatomictoaster6 karma

Does your hair ever get caught in your cello‘s cords?

Guitarwire7 karma

100%. its incredibly annoying lol.

I made the mistake of shaving the right side of my head at some point and having just the left side long and although that looked cool, playing the cello and that was an awful combo I was constantly tugging out my hair by accident.

at least I can tie it back when I play these days :)

Summer-Breeze-Reddit6 karma

If you could make an actual music video for one of your songs, which one would you pick and why and what would it be like?

(Personally I think rule #13 or rule #29, waterfall and throne room, would be really really cool but im just curious to know what you think)

Guitarwire7 karma

So throne room is definitely one I'm looking forward to recording, in the cave the song was actually written about! I know thats possible but they only allow filming one day a month so I'd have to be really careful about planning it.

And four aces. because I can see it so clearly in my head. with the western saloon, and the gambling, the shootout, the chain gang.. looking forward to that one.

Thanks for listening!

Summer-Breeze-Reddit7 karma

I love how Four Aces just started playing as I read the reply, it must be a sign. I can totally see how it would make an awesome music video!

Thank you so much for your music, they helped me through writing my thesis last year and I'm still loving all your tracks! Can't wait for what comes next! (and music videos for all tracks to come out of course)

Guitarwire6 karma

yeah! super exciting to see what comes next on this end too. we just set up a sound booth to do recording through the winter and the 5th album is gonna be the next challenge.

meowchickawowwow6 karma

Was "Live it Your Way" written in response to specific advice given to you in your personal life?

Guitarwire6 karma

The new accordion song? um no I don't think so. I think its an extension of Child of the stars (Rule #9 - Child of the stars is a letter written to a child not yet born)

Where its like If I had someone leaving that I cared about so much that I would give my life for that person what would I want to say.

Here's the lyrics for that new song. It's not released yet.

[When I looked in your eyes, I said I know you'll be fine, it's not for me to decide.. what you do with your life. See that rests on you. You'll feel what to do. Trust yourself and live it your way.

Lord knows I've tried to be who you look to, and when all the light burns out my pyre, Through every inch of these bones.. I need you to know.. I've felt the warmth of your passion, your fire. The movements you choose has kept me inspired.]

This will be the next release as a single on Accordion. hopefully in the next month :)

The_True_Hannatude6 karma

Every time I hear it, I picture a parent sitting on a bench, watching their child as they ride on a carousel. As the figures go up and down and around, the parent thinks of all the ups and downs in their child’s future, and how much they will always love them.

Guitarwire5 karma

Awee thats awesome :)

The_True_Hannatude5 karma

What are your thoughts on… Christmas Music?

Guitarwire3 karma

Reminds me of working at best buy and how much I grew to hate working retail with christmas music playing. same playlist. everyday. thats the definition of insanity. knowing when 4:10pm hits because a christmas song you reaaaaally don't like comes on.

Its cool lol I can enjoy christmas music in the right setting as long as I'm not working in a retail store.

The_True_Hannatude7 karma

So my hopes for a “Fishmas in a Birdcage” album are pretty slim, huh.

Guitarwire4 karma

hahahahaha oh man that actually made me laugh out loud. OK MAYBE lol

The_True_Hannatude5 karma

So how did you meet James Picard?

Guitarwire7 karma

I went to a friends show, she plays cello. Clara the sidewalk cellist. It was a small show. we had connected over facebook and she knew I played music. So she invited me to come play a song at the end of her set. So that was super fun. Played the song, and afterwards was talking with people and thats when I met James..

James struck me right away as someone that I knew was different. He walked up to me, shook my hand, and although he is not a tall man, I immediately felt like I was standing next to a mountain. And i had to know why. We swapped Facebooks, and over the next couple of months I would fall in love with his art. He would post masterpieces on a daily basis that blew me away.. and when I made my first album I reached out to tell him that it had to be him and I wouldn't settle for anyone else.

He told me "I'm too busy"

I said "I'll wait"

he said "It'll be very expensive. possibly thousands"

I said "ok I'll start saving"

James said "It will most likely take me 2 years"

I said "go for it"

6 months later he made the Fish in a Birdcage art, and when i asked him "ok how much" I had managed to save 2 grand at that point. He said "300$ and you can keep the art." (Which was worth FAR MORE then 300$) cause he said "I like the music man. keep it up"

Since then we have done 4 albums together and I look forward to working with him for life.

churlishblackcats5 karma

I have so many burning questions! I used to play the Cello when I was younger (about 12) and have longed to start up again. Any suggestions where to start?

How long can you jam out for before you have to rest?

If you could sleep under any night sky, where would you stay?

Do you have a muse?

Guitarwire6 karma

For sure I do! look up "the improvisors guide to the cello" thats a wonderful place to start

And start studying Natalie haas. She was my cello teacher for years and she is an absolute BOSS of the cello. She has an instructional video on Homespun Id recommend checking out.

I can jam for maybe 4 hours.. then I'll need a break. Then I can go for another 4 hours before I start to be in serious pain. Sometimes I get lost in the music and go that long without thinking about it. But that happens more with busking then with streaming. I find it takes more energy out of me to stream then to busk.

ANY night sky hey? Somewhere warm in a tent that you can take the top off with just netting. possibly salt spring Island. I LOVE that Island. Highly recommend visiting it some time during life.

Muse is Natalie haas. If i can be half the cellist she is by the time I can no longer play music I will be a very happy camper. But we will see!

Marshmallow_cawt5 karma

Just how soft is Poco?

Guitarwire6 karma

SO SOFT YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW. she's great to cuddle with.

JonMacelroy4 karma

When writing a new song, how do you find inspiration?

Guitarwire7 karma

Also a great question, these days I try to find interesting stories to pull ideas from. I like the idea of finding stories outside of myself to sing about because if I change as a person that won't affect how I feel about a story outside of myself.

I used to write songs that were very personal, and then I would grow and change and find I couldn't relate to them in the same way.

Lately I wrote a song about "Jenny Diver" who is an Irish master Picketpocket on the accordion. really excited about that one. It takes some research, and finding interesting topics.. then trying to see if I can maybe weave a metaphor or lesson into that story. But it's kinda all over the place.

I also like imagining a situation or story, then "freezing the frame" of that story. being in one moment, and describing what I see in that one frozen frame. trying to incorporate as many senses in as possible to draw in the listener to that moment. Thanks for asking Jon :)

Marshmallow_cawt4 karma

What got you to live in Spain? And why did you leave?

Guitarwire10 karma

So I got my working holiday Visa for 2 years to go to Ireland, the original plan was to go get my masters in Irish music for the cello, but because of Covid that fell through and all of the pubs weren't open. But fortunately busking was still going on, and I just started jamming with all the musicians I possibly could on the street..

But I gotta admit busking through the winter in Ireland was BRUTAL. Your hands get so cold because its raining all the time and the humidity with the slight coolness really hurts after awhile of playing. So I decided to go to spain the second year through busking through the winter. Avoid the cold.

Why I left is because I had to. 3 month visa was expiring and I needed to be back in Ireland. But I loved every minute I lived there. I can see why people love and want to live in Spain. Highly recommend it. I lived in Granada.

MochaMaker4 karma

Do you draw or paint? arts and crafts? Or is music your main thing?

Guitarwire6 karma

So at one point I was like.. Man I should get into something else other then music. So i got a sketch book and thought "so how do i start" so I looked for tutorials on how to draw and the first tutorial I found was "how to draw a goomba" (Mushroom creature from mario)

After I drew my first goomba I looked at my masterpiece and thought "omg this is it" and I started drawing tons of goombas. I would go to thrift stores and find canvases that people painted scenes on, Buy that, draw a goomba or two in it and give that away as gifts to friends.

A couple years after that I got into spray paint art. Which is so fun. getting a giant posterboard, and some buckets or leaves or whatever and spraypaint and just going to town making abstract stuff. which was super fun.

These days though, I'm so focused on the accordion and cello that I don't do much visual stuff outside of that. unless you count the video editing and Ai music video creation. Got into that, and learned how to use that for the last 3 music videos, and hope i can branch into it and refine that more then I have. Looking at using the Ai/green screen technique more for some upcoming videos. Donno if you saw Momento Moris new video but I'm really proud of how that turned out. Floating hands playing instruments is something I've wanted to do for a long time. It fit really well with the song.

Thanks for asking Mocha!

unreal_insan1ty3 karma

What’s the glove you play in at times for? Never seen anything like it as a semipro classical musician.

Guitarwire12 karma

This goes back to when I was busking through the winter in Ireland. It was cold! my hands would kill after an hour of playing. and an hour wasn't long enough to make a living. So i'd play through the pain for weeks and weeks.. until I had this vague memory of one gig. where the bass player wore a glove. And I was like "If he can wear gloves and play music so can I " looked for Musicians gloves on Amazon and hurray! found it no problem.

ordered them, and after I got them I realized just how much easier it was to play! when Rosen would get on my finger tips it would make it so it effected my hands movement less. I could play a full 8 hour day and my hands would be totally fine with the gloves. Huge improvement! so I started using them all the time and haven't looked back.

Thanks for askin!

Marshmallow_cawt3 karma

How did you come up with the project name? Is it related to the themes in rule 4?

Also, thank you for your time, you've been at this for a while

Guitarwire4 karma

I'm havin fun with this :)

SO here's the story.

I'm 23. living in a redneck town for those 23 years and I'm finally leaving Dead rear (aka Red Deer) for the first time in my life. Hopefully greener pastures. I leave to move to Victoria and the first house I settle in (tedious but important details) was 700$ plus the lady says "200$ and ill fill the kitchen with food, eat as much as you want". I figure I can eat 200$ worth of food so I give her 900$. I probably have 1200$ to my name at the time.

3 days later im COVERED in bed bug bites. head to toe. I say "Lady. I need my money back. I can't live here. there is bed bugs" and she replies "I'm not giving you your money back because of the stress that you're causing me by telling me my house has bed buds"

I cut my losses. say "this isnt worth my energy" and use what little money I have left to buy a pop out tent. I reach out to a friend with a backyard and say "you have room for a tent?" she says yeah cause she wants to get in the tasty jams.

we play music together, and its a pretty alright spot. my tent is beside a very broken van without wheels that another hippy lives in. My tent was parked under a plum tree. which was fun, cause 3am I'd get woken up thinking a bear was shaking my tent. No. just a Plum. falling from the tree. becoming free breakfast.

I was writing the fish in a birdcage riff at the time. loving the chord progression. singing along with my recording I made on my voice memos, hoping to find something that would stick. Eventually while spewing Gibberish I said "I'm a fish in a Birdcage" ... And I was like "wait. what did I say? what a stupid idea."

it wouldn't leave. the thought had entered my head like a seed and wouldn't stop growing. I felt so out of place living in this tent in a new city. I started imagining myself as a fish in my birdcage (tent). I imagined what it was like for this fish. I imagined he lived with a bird that told him stories of the place the fish is supposed to be. and that slowly over the next 2 weeks morphed into the song of rule #4 and spawned the name for my project.

Yahoo----------3 karma

How much money do you make?

Guitarwire4 karma

Currently just over the wage of a full time minimum wage job according to the stats of the untied states. What is great though is that is residual income. Which means if things stay the way that they are I can still be comfortable and focus entirely on my art. I'm not living in luxury thats for damn sure. But I am living my dream which is to be financially stable while sinking my time into recording, writing and practicing.

Ive done a lot of getting by jobs in the past. selling computers and Tvs at best buy, I was a limo driver for years. Cab driver. worked at a golf course cutting lawns. M&M meats. save-on-food facing groceries. I sold jewelry for awhile. I was a box measurer in a shipping company (totally pointless job). worked at Mcdicks for like 3 years. future shop. also made gourmet waffles, and Brazilian sushi at another job.

But busking was always what I loved most. during the summer always busked, and through the winter worked at whatever job I could find that would develop the skills that I wanted to develop.

Just really glad this streaming path opened up, so I could find the people that vibe and enjoy what I've been working on, So i can get to work in a serious way without having to diverge from the path to make ends meet.

Thanks for the question Yahoo!

Guitarwire2 karma

Here's more information on that question that comes directly from spotify (also keep in mind I am signed to a label that takes a large percentage of this number, but the YouTube numbers just barely make up for that loss in revenue):

The US federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which works out at around $1,260 per month based on a 40 hour week. For artists to hit this amount, they need roughly 256k monthly listeners on Spotify.

Spotify says around 22,000 received at least 256,000 monthly listeners in 2020. For reference, there are around 8 million artists on Spotify, putting those that hit this magic number in the top 0.2-0.3% of artists.

ProFromFlogressive3 karma

If you could open for any other artist, who would it be? And, once you make it big, who would be your dream opener?

Guitarwire8 karma

Oooo man. Ok so many. I'd love to open for Death Cab for Cutie. That would be an absolute dream.

Others that would be so crazy cool would be Jack Johnson, Damien Rice, Mother Mother, Imogen Heap, Fleet foxes, The decemberists.. I think if I sat here for another hour this list could just keep getting bigger and bigger =D

Thanks for asking!

The_True_Hannatude6 karma

I pray for Dusty to get the chance to collab with Lindsay Sterling

Guitarwire7 karma

OHHH that would be great too. I'd love that. such a great violinist! I played in several Irish bands backing up Fiddle players in Irish pubs. so this is right up my alley, I love that combination of instruments

SeyChAos4 karma


Guitarwire5 karma

I'd love that! I once snuck back stage to meet them cause of my cello. Walked right up to the security, pointed to the cello and said "yeah I'm with the band" they let me in and I got to meet em. They were confused but it was fun. =D

SeyChAos5 karma

Confidence will get you far but a cello will get you backstage!

Guitarwire3 karma

Hahaha so true!

The_True_Hannatude3 karma

What 5 words would you use to describe your music?

Guitarwire11 karma

Cello Fusion In Modern Indie

running_toilet_bowl3 karma

Have you heard of a medical condition called cello scrotum?

Guitarwire4 karma

cello scrotum

Lol I have not but after looking at the wiki for it I also learned "Guitar nipple" is a thing so thanks for the wiki worm hole. Fortunately my scrotum is a "normal scrotum" and not a "cello scrotum". Thank you Toilet bowl.

EveryFairyDies3 karma

How did you manage to attract so many watchers/listeners to your first stream? Was Poco onscreen with you for that first performance? How have you managed to retain such high numbers? How often has Poco appeared on your stream?

Also, have you heard of the heavy metal cello group, Apocalyptica, from Finland? They’re 3 cellists and a drummer, with guest vocalists from the metal world and songs that are split between vocals and instrumentals. They started out doing Metallica covers and are now a beloved member of the metal community with amazing original material. Highly recommend to any cellist, they’re amazing! They’re my 74 year old mother’s favourite metal band.

Guitarwire6 karma

So with my first stream, I didn't interact with people at all. I didnt know you had to scroll to the left to see the viewers and the chat. I didn't have a microphone set up. Just the cello and a looper, and I just played some of my busking set for an hour and then called it. The number shocked me at the end.

I used to do "Poco be4 go go" at the end of every stream so everyone could say hi to her. did that for a long time. and lots of the time shes sleeping next to my feet during my streams.. or peeing on my music signs to show me how much she hates my music. lol or attacking me while I'm playing. (in the cutest way possible of course)

OH HECK YA Apocalyptica is such a badass band! Used to listen to them years before I got into the cello. Such an inspiring group. What I do and what they do are very different.. I feel like I'm not even a great cellist, I think my strength is in songwriting as I've spent so much of my life doing that. I'm trying my best to get as good as I can on the cello and accordion although. I'd love to keep growing with those instruments for life.

EveryFairyDies4 karma

Always nice to meet a fellow Apocalyptica fan!! Love their stuff so much. Best version of “In The Hall Of The Mountain King” I’ve ever heard!

I’ll definitely check out your stuff; keep up the good work, and may all your future endeavours being you success and happiness!

Guitarwire3 karma

Thank you so much EveryFairyDies and oh man I heard so many good versions of in the hall of the mountain king in ireland. such a good one. Cheers!

Snapta2 karma

Any links to buy physical albums? (cds)

Great music.

Guitarwire1 karma

Heya Snapta! I wish. Working on trying to get merch all sorted out currently but its been a major struggle to get put together. So the answer is.. eventually. But not as of yet. Thanks for asking although. And thanks for listening!

robotguy42 karma

Is RPAN still a thing?

Guitarwire2 karma

Its there.. but the front page feature thing is gone so the outreach is not very good. Unfortunately when that switch happened, other platforms seems to have more value for streaming now.

If you're seeing this comment reddit. I talk to a lot of the Rpan streamers and we miss that. We had such a great streaming community here and its a damn shame that it got removed. Really is. So many incredible musicians, artists and even therapy geckos got their start here.

AffectionateScar72222 karma

Have you heard Cody play banjo? When do we get to hear / see an accordion banjo stream?

Guitarwire1 karma

Haha yeah I have! Hopefully very soon I'm meeting up with him today to work on the new single 😁

aearr2 karma

What is your favorite thing to do in the world?

Guitarwire1 karma

Currently play accordion because I love the challenge 🙂

DeadByHugs2 karma

Hi Dusty,

I just discovered you! You are extremely talented and I truly enjoy listening to your music! You can bet I'll stay for the ride!

I read your Spotify bio and I'm 100% adopting your "a fish in a birdcage" ideology and the meaning behind it! I have just one question (and a follow-up), for the time being: How did you come up with this ideology? Can you explain it a bit more?

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Guitarwire2 karma

Hello DB hugs! Thanks so much for digging our work. I answered this question in a previous post so ill copy and paste it here 🙂 thanks for your question!

"SO here's the story.

I'm 23. living in a redneck town for those 23 years and I'm finally leaving Dead rear (aka Red Deer) for the first time in my life. Hopefully greener pastures. I leave to move to Victoria and the first house I settle in (tedious but important details) was 700$ plus the lady says "200$ and ill fill the kitchen with food, eat as much as you want". I figure I can eat 200$ worth of food so I give her 900$. I probably have 1200$ to my name at the time.

3 days later im COVERED in bed bug bites. head to toe. I say "Lady. I need my money back. I can't live here. there is bed bugs" and she replies "I'm not giving you your money back because of the stress that you're causing me by telling me my house has bed buds"

I cut my losses. say "this isnt worth my energy" and use what little money I have left to buy a pop out tent. I reach out to a friend with a backyard and say "you have room for a tent?" she says yeah cause she wants to get in the tasty jams.

we play music together, and its a pretty alright spot. my tent is beside a very broken van without wheels that another hippy lives in. My tent was parked under a plum tree. which was fun, cause 3am I'd get woken up thinking a bear was shaking my tent. No. just a Plum. falling from the tree. becoming free breakfast.

I was writing the fish in a birdcage riff at the time. loving the chord progression. singing along with my recording I made on my voice memos, hoping to find something that would stick. Eventually while spewing Gibberish I said "I'm a fish in a Birdcage" ... And I was like "wait. what did I say? what a stupid idea."

it wouldn't leave. the thought had entered my head like a seed and wouldn't stop growing. I felt so out of place living in this tent in a new city. I started imagining myself as a fish in my birdcage (tent). I imagined what it was like for this fish. I imagined he lived with a bird that told him stories of the place the fish is supposed to be. and that slowly over the next 2 weeks morphed into the song of rule #4 and spawned the name for my project."

DeadByHugs2 karma

Thank you so much for your answer! That's amazing! You got out of your comfort zone and found inspiration! I truly look forward to seeing what you have planned, and I'm grateful to have found you. Wishing you the best.

Guitarwire2 karma

Cheers my friend! Hope we can share space in the same room one of these days 🙂✌

fatal_emancipation2 karma

What’s your favorite thing about the internet?

Guitarwire1 karma

The ability to connect people with the thing I've been obsessed with since I was 14. Songwriting has always been something I've been obsessed with, and I also love telling stories, and challanging myself with learning and improving my skills on instruments.

Its just amazing that I was playing music, and being obsessed with it since the times before being online, which is such a strange thing to look back on these days. I'm very fortunate the project has been able to grow the wings I was hoping it would find, and find an audience that connects with the messages. That was only possible because of this wild technology.

Thanks for your question Fatal 🙂

RhymesWithRick2 karma

What is your favorite thing about being a musician?

Guitarwire1 karma

That its a never ending journey that will never be boring. There's constantly things to improve, to challenge myself with, and to grow into. I recently decided that although there is still so much room to grow on the cello, I would also like to take on the accordion. And that has been so challanging but in such a fun way. I love it, and if you're either playing music or thinking about picking up an instrument for the first time.. its worth it. Its not easy but its worth it. Greatest therapy there is in my opinion

AoesDDR2 karma

What is your favorite song to play live?

Guitarwire1 karma

Currently I think I really like "rolodex" its a song that I use looping with on the cello. There's about 4 stacking layers each time the song loops around. Its very intricate and also well practiced! So it sounds really good most of the time, and is always a great challenge to get it right. Its currently unrecorded. But I'm excited that I think it will be on the 5th upcoming album!

Thanks for your question!

rkdiglr2 karma

What’s your favorite thing about being a musician?

Guitarwire1 karma

The doors that playing an instrument can open. And you don't need to be a professional full time musician to open those doors. At music festivals i would throw a guitar on my back and go camp site to camp site walking up to strangers and being like "hey can I come and meet you guys and play you a song" and it was very rarely people would say no. It's a non intrusive way to meet new people, and connect through something that everyone can enjoy. Even if you have one song that youve practiced like crazy this is something everyone can do! Give it a try. Get out of your comfort zone and you'll find amazing rewards from being courageous in your actions.

Thanks for your question Rk!

oceojoe2 karma

What’s your favorite song to play live?

Guitarwire1 karma

I had answered this 2 questions before, but my current favorite is "rolodex" an unreleased, unrecorded song.

Also just really enjoying playing anything and everything on the electric accordion, because its new and challenging 🙂 thanks for the question Joe!

jenngrey2 karma

Single, committed, dating, looking?

Guitarwire2 karma

Ha heya, Single and focused on my work, not currently looking but also not closed off to the possibility of life going in a different direction if the right person comes along. Thanks for the question Jenn

slynelson2 karma

What’s your favorite thing to do in the world?

Guitarwire1 karma

Probably back up fiddlers playing celtic music on the cello. I played in a bunch of celtic bands over the years and I would say that is definitely my happy place. Here's a clip of when I was doing just that 🙂

Victorias buskers fest

This clip is from 7 years ago, so I've grown a lot as a cellist since then.. but these times were just so so much fun every single night with huge crowds. I wish I had gotten more of these busking sessions recorded.

salted_bagel2 karma

Big fan of Rule 21. What's your creative process like?

Guitarwire3 karma

it varies. I'm a big fan of trying to either impose limits on myself or try new things to go in different directions to find a new way of doing things to evolve.

For example. lets say I go "ok this song I'm going to write the lyrics to completion without instruments, then find the chords that fit with the lyrics and melody i've written" (sand and Birds of a feather was written this way)

or I go "ok I'm going to make a groovy bass line then using the loop pedal stack a melody over that then find words that fit that melody and rhythm structure after its written" (further from the truth was written this way which is not recorded yet)

this is just an example of how i like to try to use limitations to push myself to do something different then I have already done to force a new direction to the music. I also do this where If I find a new rhythmic technique or a bowing technique then I will use that technique to write a new song so that I'm practicing that new thing every time I play that song, so that after awhile after playing that song and really getting the muscle memory down, ill write something new and an old technique will just automatically happen because its so well ingrained.

there's a lot to this question.

the short answer without going into all the side tangents is that I want to be growing constantly in all directions. I can't begin to explain how much I've learned about how much music works since diving into playing the accordion seriously and I have full faith that the accordion playing that I've been working on, will absolutely translate into my cello playing someday. each instrument presents a new way of looking at sound from a different prospective. although I havent played the banjo in years, and lost all of my chops on that instrument, I'm so glad I put 2 years into it. It taught me different ways to do finger picking patterns which has resulted in new picking patterns that I've used to write songs on the cello.

Thanks for asking this question. It's a huge question. That's at least a partial answer for how I'm working towards where this journey is going. I think there is a lot of potential in limiting yourself in one way to expand yourself in another.

Father_of_trillions2 karma

Why did you name your dog poco?

Guitarwire2 karma

So her full name is Poco Allegro, which is a musical term that means "Little by little" :)

Picture of Poco

Father_of_trillions2 karma

Such a beautiful and appropriate name, fantastic choice!

Guitarwire1 karma

Thank youu. looking back it was quite funny. cause think if someone was just out in a park yelling "SMALL!! SMALL!" thats the equivalent of what I was doing in Spain. (Poco means small in Spanish)

DigMeTX2 karma

What is Rpan?

Guitarwire2 karma

Rpan Is Reddits streaming service.. I guess i should totally put that into the post 😄

dudemanbro442 karma

How do you feel about people obviously fake playing the violin to music similar to yours in parking lots for money?

Guitarwire2 karma

Fake playing? like.. lip syncing but with a violin?? lol well I certainly find that ridiculous. But if that's what they wanna do I wouldn't stop them. I mean. If you're gonna stand there and pretend to play the violin for hours.. why not take some time (and yeah there is dedication involved in this) to learn the violin and then do exactly what they are doing now, but actually play the thing and have way more fun and learn a new skill.

No judgement though. Here's the thing Dudemanbro.

I donno how old you are. so just say you're 24 years old.

Dudemanbro. 24 years and 9 months ago roughly... there was a race.

And YOU were part of that race.

Millions of you were competing and there you were. Flying past all of them. You tripped some of them. Threw sand in their face. (well ok that wasnt sand I dont know what that was) But you made it there first! and you wiggled your way into that egg. You won the race.

Now because you won that race, you received your prize. Which is your body. And you can do whatever you want with your winnings. Congratulations.

If you wanna lip sync violin in a parking garage for cash with your winnings. I certainly won't be the one to stop you.

MightBeAnUmbrella2 karma

After being really suprised seeing you over here, let's hope asking more than one question is allowed. :D Frist off: How was your day mate? Did anything of note happen? To the main question! This might've already been answered somewhere, but what was the thought process behind the AI generated music videos? Did you just stumble over it some day and thought "Huh that'd be a pretty cool thing to do"? (also how hard was it to wrestle the AI into submission, asking for a friend)

I wish ye a lovely evening mate!

Guitarwire1 karma

Day was good! I mean, was chatting with really nice people with great questions most of the day so all in all productive and fun!

with the Ai music videos, I saw one on reddit that hit the front page and I was like.. Whoa. that is so neat!! and I wanna see if I can do that. It took a bunch of research and the user interface was insanely hard to use, but following guides I eventually figured it out and through trial and error found out how to use it. I think the programs have become a lot more user friendly even since i started like 2 months ago, so I'm sure your friend will figure it out. I've been using Disco Diffusion but I think that might even be outdated by stable diffusion now, but I haven't figured that one out just yet.

Thanks for the Question Umbrella. and thanks for listenin.