It’s My Birthday: Look At This 25-Year Old Photograph

Today I turn 41 years old.

One of two things just happened.

If you’re 21, you’re going to think I’m an old man. If you’re 61 you’re going to think I’m just getting started. And if you’re me, you’re the oldest you’ve ever been, but also the youngest you will ever be again.

At any rate I think we can all agree that birthdays are

weird.

A few days ago my friend Greg posted an old photo of a band we had when I was 15 or 16 years old. Seeing it really messed with my head.

So I figured that for my birthday, I would share this photo of my glorious bleach blonde hair with you. And I’d talk about what I thought about when I saw this photograph from 25 years ago.

Baron ZamediPhoto: My first real band. Baron Zamedi

Glam Rock

The instant I saw the thumbnail version of it I knew what it was. Black and white, group of guys huddled together, bleach blonde hair guy in the middle. This was a glam rock band photo and we

nailed it.

If you’re under the age of 30’ish you probably won’t get it. But in the 1980s glam rock was huge. For reference: Motley Crue was as big then as Kanye West or Drake are now.

The glam look was big too and most popular bands were full of guys that pretty much dressed in drag. It was huge in Los Angeles. In Hollywood the streets were filled with kids that looked like this… but in Ada, Oklahoma… not so much.

I was almost killed on several occasions by homophobic rednecks who thought I was gay. Most men hated me. I was just too girly-looking for them to handle.

It also didn’t help that I lived like a wild animal and had no respect for other people. If you turned your back on me for a second your wallet, all of the food in your refrigerator and your girlfriend where coming with me. But these are stories for another day.

Let me tell you about our band.

Baron Zamedi

The band was called ‘Baron Zamedi’ and being in the middle of those guys in the photo, for me, was a dream come true.

My older brother Jeremy (black hair, standing on my right with his hand on my shoulder) was playing with them in another band, and they had a different singer. He brought home their demo tape and played it for me and I freaked out.

To me it sounded like a real band that would be on MTV. My brother and I had a garage band a year before. We sang through stereos and recorded ourselves on a boom box. But his new band’s music was recorded in an actual recording studio. It sounded real. I wanted to sing for them so bad it hurt.

I begged Jeremy to get me in and finally one day I got my chance. Their singer was out for some reason and I got to audition.

I sang with them once, got the gig and we started learning songs. I was so pumped to finally be in a real band with some older guys that had shows and could actually play their instruments.

We played together for a few years. Small gigs in bars around Ada. Our friends would come see us play. We’d put on our ripped up jeans and bandanas and rock out. It was a blast.

I think things fell apart when I heard Faith No More, Mr Bungle, Jane’s AddictionSoundgarden and Nirvana and decided to launch full force into weirdo music. I chopped my hair off and joined a punk band called ‘The Bathroom’ and then formed my own group called ‘Flowermound’ that was pretty much a mix of hard rock, death metal and circus music.

But again, another story for another time.

Back to the photo

The old glam rock band photo freaked me out for several reasons.

1. I forgot how blonde my hair was. Sometimes I forget that I ever walked around like that. But instead of being embarrassed, I noticed that I had nailed the look that I was going for perfectly. I looked exactly like the band posters I had on my wall at the time. I caught a lot of flack for walking around like this. Even my good friends made fun of me. But looking back – f#ck them all… I think I nailed it.

2. My brother was touching me. My older brother Jeremy is standing on to the right of me with his shirt open. He was my idol, he got me in the band. Eight or nine years after this photo was taken he blew his brains out. Seeing this old photo of us together, so young, it brought back a thousand memories that I had forgotten. And for some reason seeing him touching my shoulder sent shivers all down my body. Not in a bad way. I was just appreciative to see us together like that. Rock n Roll brothers in full force. We were all we had.

3. My face. Look at my face in that photo. It pretty much describes the way I felt back then. I was 15’ish so my Dad’s suicide probably happened right around this time. I hated life and the world and everyone in it. All I cared about was music. I wanted to get famous, get rich and go to Hollywood, CA. Everything else was a joke. I quit school, started drinking a lot and went nuts. I may have looked like a blonde-haired sissy, but deep down, my heart was filled with hate, darkness and rage.

4. I remembered how determined and focused I was. All I thought about back then was making it as a singer. I saw no other option for myself in life. It was either Fame or Death. I lived in the middle of nowhere, my family was poor as shit, my dad was dead and this was my only way out. It was actually nice having that kind of singular focus. I kind of miss it. I got into computers and design in my early 20s. It provided financial stability, but it also completely derailed my desperate yet focused journey towards rock stardom.

5. It made me feel guilty. I stared at the photo for a long time. I stared right into my own eyes. I could almost hear the kid in the photo say “what the FUCK are you doing? You’ve done it. You live in Hollywood (my teenage dream), you made a bunch of money. You don’t have to have a job. BUT YOU DON’T PLAY MUSIC AT ALL!” I felt really stupid about everything I’ve been doing for the last few years. I completely derailed my music ambitions and spend all my time on the marketing stuff. And while lucrative, it doesn’t fill the gaping hole in my soul that aches every day and can only be filled by playing music (or black out drinking Jaegermeister).

6. It reminded me of a conversation with my dad. A few years before his death my dad came to me to talk about music. He was probably 40 or 41 (the age I am now) and said he wanted to give music “One More Shot”.

He was a really good drummer and toured the country with bands for most of his younger life. But his drinking and the fact that he had a wife and 5 kids got in the way of it and he ended up drinking himself to near death on a regular basis while working in fiberglass factories and oil fields to pay his bills.

When we had this conversation I was probably 14 or 15 years old. I remember thinking he was way too old to be talking about music and he needed to get his head on straight.

Now here I am. I am the exact age he was at the time and I am thinking the exact same thing. “I’m going to give it one more shot”.

Obviously my situation is different from his. I don’t have kids and I don’t have to work a 9–5 job. But I’m the same age he was. And if I thought he was too old to play music back then, what makes me think I’m not too old to do it now?

// As I type this I realize it’s stupid. No one is ever “too old” to play music. (I originally decided I was “too old for music” when I was 26) It’s just a conversation that’s been going on in my head for years that I’m sharing with you now to try to work it out. 

So Here I Sit

It’s April 29th, 2015. I just turned 41 (jesus that’s weird to say) and I’m looking at this 25-year old photograph.

For my birthday this year I am giving myself four things

  1. I will do more of what makes me happy.
  2. I will do things that I can look back on in 20 years and say “I’m glad I did that” instead of “why the hell didn’t I do that?”
  3. I will fill the black hole in my stomach that aches for writing, recording and performing music.
  4. I will make my Dad and Jeremy proud.

The only gift I ask from you this year is your support. If you like what I do here on this website let me know. Drop a comment, tell a friend. Give me a virtual high five when you can.

As an artist, I am so overly critical of myself that it’s almost impossible to get anything done. I talk a lot about overcoming fear, but that is only because I struggle with it so desperately. It’s silly and I’m a little ashamed to admit it.

I’m being very honest here. I hope you appreciate it.

  • http://wikimediamarketing.com Luis Barrios

    I like a lot what you do, Happy Birthday Pal and here is my high five

    i misunderstood or you’re not going to do more online marketing?

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      High five Luis! I’m not quitting anything, i’ll be bringing it all together.

  • Prakash Madavan

    No One is really Old to Chase their Dreams!! Another awesome post.

    This is why I love your blog more than any other affiliate blog. Other affiliate bloggers just write about AM tips & tricks, but your blog strikes a chord in both life and AM.

    Happy Birthday. I wish you write & record more music this year!

    Cheers Mate. Have a good one.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Prakash. My hope is that people will feel the way you do. If I had to only write about affiliate marketing tips and tricks I’d jump off a building.

  • Lucia

    Happy birthday, M/L/N! I love your openness and how you dig deeper for meaning, it’s so inspiring! I love how you said, “We were all we had”… Sometimes all we need is a starting point and to feel the air coming in and out of our nose. I enjoy each one of your posts and I get so much from your life experiences and I’d love to hear more songs from you, because they’re beautiful and condensed with real emotions. Happy birthday once again!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thank you Lucia. i have many more songs like that and i’m just going to start putting them out regularly. stay tuned.

  • Ken L

    Incredible life story Malan! Really interesting to read this stuff, especially with all the photos you add to the posts.

    Anyway, Happy Birthday and hope you have a great day taking it easy! (or doing whatever makes you happy) All the best. TC.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Ken – the life story is even crazier. This was just a snapshot of one time period. Some day I’ll write it all down.

  • Jared DiCarmine

    Dude, you’re the man. Keep going. Do what you love. Don’t stop. Who cares about your age and what society says you should be like. I’m 28, live at home still, work as a trainer to pay the bills and so I can keep building my online business before I move out and quit. You’re someone I’ve learned a lot from. Not just about affiliate marketing, but life. Keep doing you. You’re an inspiration – hope you realize that. Enjoy the bday.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      that’s perfect Jared. you just made my day

  • http://www.reidmoto.com Reid Yamamoto

    Happy birthday Malan and yes, get back to your music so you can share it with the world. I’m a songwriter too but have put it on hold until I get my business going strong.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Reid, i’m on it.

  • Gilberto Hernandez

    Feliz cumpleaños, Malan! Have a good one and here’s a virtual high five. Love your blog man, and your videos. Keep going, do what you want, and my best wishes for you!

    btw can’t believe you are 41, I thought you were younger, lol. Don’t worry, it will be ok 🙂

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      well, thanks for thinking I was younger Gilberto – that’s a good thing but it can also be a problem. I look 28 and my lifestyle is lived like I’m 28 (no kids, wife, etc.) so I forget that I’m getting older. It’s pretty easy to turn into Peter Pan.

  • Matt Shipley

    I remember seeing Baron Zamedi once. I think you guys did a Jackyl song. It’s funny watching Dave hunt Bigfoot on TV.
    Happy birthday. They don’t get any easier, do they?
    There’s a lot of folks waiting on more music from you. Less Jackyl.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Definitely less Jackyl, good lord.

  • http://www.andrewgrosman.com Andrew Grosman

    I did Army Basic Training 120m away from Ada, in Lawton / Ft. Sill in 1989; had just graduated high school and was at the apex of my hair metal listening years.

    Happy Birthday to you. I turned 44 04/11; still figuring out a lot of things in life, but appreciative to get help figuring out internet marketing, via your insight. Thanks for sharing a corner of your soul that isn’t necessarily easy (or happy) to revisit. This is your best post yet, no matter the subject matter, imho.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      yeah Andrew I know where Lawton is. So we were right there hard rocking out at the same time haha. Thanks for saying this is my best post. I’m never sure how things will go over.

  • Zach

    You’re 41 Malan!? Good for you man, you look GREAT! Happy birthday my man. I can’t express to you how thankful I am for all your guidance and support.

    It’s not something you’d be privy to day-to-day but I come back to your blog often just to know we are all in this together. The marketing lessons are really good but the support and community is powerful man. It can feel like a lost world out there in this business and you are a guiding light.

    Massive virtual high five brother — thanks again!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Zach. By the way, I do the same thing with other blogs/youtube channels, i get it.

  • Hernan Sebastian

    The material you put out is addictive, Malan. You are right, you are in the city of your dreams, and everything is out there to make it happen. Man, I love those moments when your “old self” talks to you and re-sets you on track again….I’m looking forward to see the explosive combination of your marketing genius promoting your music genius once you start putting your music content out. Unlike bands struggling with the “business side” you can dominate both ends. Happy birthday!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      yeah Hernan, I’m excited to combine the two art forms and see how big of a noise I can make.

  • John Cariaso

    Hey Malan. I feel you Bro. Below is a pic of me with my boys, that’s me in the middle. This was taken in the late 80’s, damn I miss those days. I went on to work in the music industry for over 20 years and worked with some of the biggest artists from Metallica to Eazy E to Agnostic Front. I lived my dream! Then technology took over, kids started illegally downloading music and the end was near. I eventually found internet marketing and have my own company now. Anyway I found your site a few months ago and I really appreciate you spilling your guts and putting yourself out there. You definitely inspired me to put myself out there more. Not to mention your great marketing tips. On the music side my suggestion is to jam with some other people so there is accountability to other people. Then book a gig which will really force you guys to practice with the deadline of the show. It looks like your doing a lot of your own stuff so there is no pressure to get stuff done. Anyway keep up the good work. I really look forward to all of your blog posts and videos. m/

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      yeah John we would have definitely hung out in the 80s bro. And your suggested is right on, I work totally alone right now and it’s so easy to not do anything. Same with the date booking. I’ve been thinking about that one myself.

  • Remy

    I commend you on being this honest to all of on here. It’s a personal challenge of mine as well. It’s scary to be open like that. A quote I always refer to is by Mark Twain.

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so.”

    I’m 35 and am having trouble giving music one last shot also. My problem is I shoot for perfection and never get there so I end up sitting on a pile of unfinished songs.

    One other quote I like is from Charles Ngo’s blog. “Done is better than perfect.”

    Your doing good. Keep it up. Whether you know it or know you are a great motivator for people that read your blog that you’ve never met.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      that Mark Twain quote is great Remy, thanks for that. And yes my pile of songs is huge. Then they become “old” and I don’t like them anymore so I just pile more songs on top. That’s why I’m going to start releasing MVP (minimum viable product) versions of the songs as soon as I write them. I’m going to release a mountain of demos.

      • Remy

        MVP’s is an awesome idea. I want to do that. What do you use to record. I know you use your laptop. But what software, wires, etc do you use. I know nothing about any of that. Last recording equipment I had was a Tascam that recorded on cassette.

        • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

          Tascam cassettes, been there! I use Ableton Live and a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2 In/2 Out interface with an external drive. Then i have a nice mic and acoustic and a midi keyboard. Ableton is really simple and amazing, much easier than Pro Tools and is slowly becoming more of an industry standard.

  • Peter Szalay

    Hey Man,

    I was playing piano / jazz / for more than 12 years.But when I am realized how bad I am if I am just watching Michel Legrand or Oscar Peterson , Claude Bolling or they together I was just quit.Happy Birthday mate!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      haha thanks Peter

  • Bruno Moreira

    There’s no way you’re 41 years old, man. Happy birthday and thank you for the helpful content you’re putting around. You deserve all the best.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      it’s hard to believe myself. I had to count on my fingers today like “is it really 41? nah.. oh wait, yeah… no it can’t be”

  • Petri Jarvinen

    Congrats. Like Art says. Do it, Do it just do it ! Br PJ

  • http://www.yourfavoriteweapon.com/ Eddie3000

    Happy birthday, Malan. Your blog is a great inspiration and motivation for a lot of people. As long as you keep it up, I’ll keep reading.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Eddie

  • Rory Coyle

    Happy birthday Malan! And once again, thanks for being such an honest voice in the wild. And if I may be so bold, I’m pretty sure you’ve already completed #4 on your to do list more times than you can count.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      i don’t know Rory, I think my brother Jeremy would have laughed at my aff marketing posts and said I was being a nerd.

      • Rory Coyle

        Yeah, maybe he would have. But if he were in that audience at A4D last summer, no idea how he wouldn’t have told you that you f’ing rock! Either way man, happy birthday and wish you all the best this year.

        • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

          haha i was only (half) kidding. I’m sure he’d be like “DUDE SCREW MUSIC, YOU HAVE TO SHOW ME HOW YOU’RE DOING THIS SH#T!”

  • Jon Tam

    Happy birthday Malan!

    We’re all in this together.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Jon!

  • Tammy Brasier

    Beautifully written…and you have more support than you could know. Id love to hear new music from you!

    I also wanted you to know that Jeremy was always proud of you…he talked about you and your incredible voice so often when we were practicing with that crazy little bad we had that we finally had you come sing with us some… much to the delight of teen girls of Ada! That was at his insistence of how good you were…and once we heard you, we were blown away and actually knew you would musically surpass all of us pretty quickly. He admired you more than you probably realized, and I thought you should know. I hope your have a wonderful birthday…you’re only as old as you feel, my friend! 😉

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      that’s funny. I clearly remember walking in with you guys for the first time. I was scared to death. I didn’t know he insisted on me coming in, that’s really cool. Thank you for that insight, really really cool.

  • PHOENIX.RISE.AS.ONE

    Hey Malan Feliz Aniversario.”BRO” Words can not express the gratitude that I have for you.Your guidance specially on the spiritual side.

    your ins & outs about life has helped me tremendous:BIG TIME: thank you, thank you.

    Let me throw this in here Dude ,when you mention about your transition from music to IM , but look “Bro” how many lives you have touched.

    “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win

    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

    look at you,you are a winner!

    -About your Journey & desires on the music arena

    I RE-QUOTE THIS From Shawshank Redemption

    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

    As you said the other day it’s never too late.

    May God continue to bless you

    Tchau.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      this is a killer comment PHOENIX. Thank you… and yeah when I wrote “it’s never too late the other day” it really hit me like… wait a minute, this can apply to ME too.

  • DanielLock

    Malan, I love the authenticity of you posts. I should do more of this myself. I’m also a musician in a previous life now doing business, so this post spoke to me. Thanks.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Daniel

  • Ezequiel

    Wow! Happy Birthday Malan! Thanks for sharing your life.

    It’s pretty weird this constantly concern about age. Don’t you think? It’s something that i’ve been thinking a lot lately. Why don’t we just simply live?
    You met someone and the first thing is: “Hey how old are you?”.

    Anyway I’ve been reading your blog and I find it really meaningful. Inspiring. If it’s the correct word.

    Happy Birthday Malan! Enjoy it. And see you in the future.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      yeah, it’s weird Ezequiel. Age is totally a myth but it’s drilled into our head when we’re kids that 27 is too old for music, 30 is too old for this, 40 is too old for that. It just the echo chamber of B.S.

  • Ricky Juarez

    Malan –

    – Happy Birthday Bro!
    – You make us proud, so I am positive your Bro and Dad would be as well.

    Much Love!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Ricky!

  • Shannon Stradford

    Happy Birthday Malan! I love this story. The picture made me smile ear to ear! You & Jeremy looking so much like, well, you and Jeremy back then. I cried too because I remember all of this, all the bands and all the phases, all the things people said. I always believed you had so much confidence in yourself. I must have been so self involved because I never realized what you were going through. Of course, we all had angst, we were teenagers in the 90’s. Anyway, you have tons of talent & I doubt you will ever really be old! I also love the reference to your band Flowermound …. I wish the best for you.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      No I was always just a really good actor. Everyone thought I was a confident cocky self-absorbed asshole, but inside I was scared to death. I put on a good face though and try to make things happen. Better than curling up in a ball and hiding I guess…

  • Khoren

    Happy Birthday my friend.I read your post with full of emotion about your dad, brother.I wish you all the best in life may God bless you and make you a blessing.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Khoren

  • ericsangerma

    Happy Birthday Malan. I think everything has been said in the comments below. You are an inspiration for many of us and reading your post is always one of the highlights of my day. You’ve been sharing a lot with your readers, not only in IM but about your personal life. Mad respect for what you’re doing here man.
    On the music subject, I’d say to you: fuck it, let’s just do it. Make it happen: you have the time, the will and the money. If it means taking a break from AM, just do it. I always say I’d rather have remorse than regrets.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      I like your attitude eric. Fuck it, let’s do it. And thanks for supporting my personal posts, i’m never sure how they’ll go over

  • Chris

    Wow Malan great blog post! The crazy thing is that I can totally relate to it. I’m 29 years old, trying to make a living through internet marketing so that I can be free to pursue my passion which is music. I also have this fear of being too old (or at least getting too old soon). Ageing is a motivating factor to get my butt in gear. The great news is that no one cares what your age is. If you create great music that makes people feel good then that’s all people care about. It’s not like you’re trying to join One Direction. There are COUNTLESS professional musicians and rock stars that are older than you. Anyways, I am going to pursue my passion for music and SO ARE YOU. You owe it to yourself, to the world, to your dad, your brother, your mother who gave birth to you, to God, to me and to your audience to give your gift of music to the world. Just imagine yourself on your deathbed. If you pursue you’re music you will die knowing you gave it your all. If you don’t you will die knowing you didn’t do what you could have done in life. You’re stuff about depression has also been really helpful for me. Thank you for that. Now go and help the world with your music damnit! I’m gonna do it so I look forward to seeing you in the limelight. Let’s go! Life is short! Make a deadline. Do it this year. It’s terrifying, it’s hard and IT’S WORTH IT!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      hey chris, yeah it’s a mind#ck for sure. When I was 29 I was being shopped to all the major labels by a big entertainment attorney in New York. I was terrified that they would find out I was 29 and not want to sign me. I got so freaked out I quit the band. True story.

      But yeah – I’m definitely not trying to join One Direction haha. The kind of music I’m doing now is timeless/ageless.

      • CreationNation

        Come back to your metal roots Malan, it’s waiting for you… 🙂 . I run Ultimate Metal and am in the middle of redesigning/moving to new forum software. There is so much new stuff out these days it is unreal man – but you would never know if you aren’t looking in the right places (and I grew up during the 80s hey-day (44 now) – so when I say more now than ever I mean it from past experience!).

        • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

          nice! forum looks huge. i’ll check it out.

  • Camden Forrey

    Hey Malan, love the article man.

    Blog is extremely inspirational, instructive, and interesting. Will be following along for the journey. Rock on man!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Camden. i’ll see you along the way

  • Pat

    Happy birthday Malan! Thanks for sharing your story with us, it’s not easy to share your fears with others and I commend you for being so honest. High five and best wishes to your 41st birthday…we know you’re going to make those 4 things happen in 2015! Just keep in mind that you’re an inspiration for some of us older guys (I’m 37) – that it’s never too late to start in life.

    Love this quote “you’re the oldest you’ve ever been, but also the youngest you will ever be again.”

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      hey Pat – yeah I can’t remember where I got that quote. Part of me believes I made it up, but I’m never 100% sure. and yes, it’s never too late. I was an absolute drunken mess until I was 34, then I dusted myself off and by my 35th birthday I had made enough $$ to retire from 9-5 forever.

  • Jay

    Jeez I feel that last paragraph bro. My hard drive is filled with riffs, jamming sessions, ideas, progressions etc that are just rotting away there. Keep uploading music and giving it heaps man, I look forward to your posts & vids every day. Check the hair in my pic from back when I was punkin’ it… We were definitely the cool kids! Keep it real and kill em’ all

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      nice spikes Jay. I did dreadlocks for about 2 years but they became so horrible and gross I finally shaved them off. All but two locks in the front. it left me looking sort of like a cockroach (antennas). Then I shaved one of them off… then I finally shaved the whole thing. Yuck, my white-boy dreads were awful.

  • Nikola Sarac

    Wow, what a post. *High Five Malan
    I wish you to succeed in your music endeavors. You are the right person for music, no mater the age. When listening to your music I don’t know and don’t care how old are you, I only care about the music.

    Happy Birthday!
    Btw, you look younger

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Nikola – I swear sometimes I forget how old I am, because I don’t look it and my lifestyle doesn’t match. I wonder sometimes whether it’s a good or bad thing… but I default to good so I don’t drive myself too nuts about it.

  • http://youritalianrecipes.com/ Yi Recipes

    happy Birthday Malan. you are a true inspiration. I wa playing with seo and bloggin before, but now i am focusing on campaings and see what is working, I am not your level, but i read your good advice and focus and I have just started to see some profit on just focusing on 2 campaingns instead of 10 and turning those into profit.
    Thanks again. H BDay. Antonio

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Antonio btw my middle name is Anthony and i’m italian, so some of my family call me Antonio.

      and yes, focus will bring profits. when i started i only ran one campaign on one traffic source (Adwords) for the first year.

  • Petre Veluda

    Happy Birthday man! All the best wishes, have a marvelous year and never stop writing ;)!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Petre, I won’t stop

  • Eric

    happy birthday malan

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Eric

  • John

    Hey Malan, happy birthday! You’ve reached so many goals in these years, you have proved to yourself that IF YOU WANT YOU CAN DO IT. So… go for the next goal: to be a great musician. Age is not important, don’t let it impact negatively on your mindset, use it at your own advantage, just change the angles of your prospective and let this vision become reality. You know very well how to work on angles right? If this is what you really want, go and get it. I’m sure you will be successful Malan, never forget what you are: a roman warrior! AD MAIORA

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks John. I like the idea of creating an angle to market my music. Really great idea.

  • http://www.bronsonlaureiro.com/ Bronson

    Happy Birthday Malan!

    Actually my first thought when I read that was … no way, I thought you were 31. seriously.

    Remember, you’re lucky. You’re in a position where you can walk away from any shitty deal. You can focus on making the music you want to make, not what someone thinks people want to hear.

    Good luck with your music. As with your marketing business and fitness just take consistent daily actions toward your goals and you will get there.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Bronson, yeah everyone guesses late 20s to early 30s. I told a 24 year old girl I was dating that I was 28 when we met. A few months later we realized the relationship was going to last so I had to tell her at dinner that I was actually 34… haha. She didn’t care at all.. just said “cool I love that age” and ordered her pasta.

  • Hong Ying

    Happy Birthday Malan!

    You share this very honest post with us. You are brave! I understand your feeling very much.

    Don’t make a negative link between what happened to your family and the passion to make the music.

    There are thousands people loving making the music. I’m afraid that making the music is not the reason for what happened to your father and your brother. The more likely reasons could be: not flexible, emotional, not a good manager of life, etc. So, separate your pain of family loss from the love of making music.

    Be a mentally independent man, instead of being a kid. A kid’s emotion is strongly influenced by family and other staff. Really, be an independent individual.

    I read your GREAT posts and think that you are quite good at managing important projects in life, such as consistent actions in the fitness and marketing business. If making the music is your dream, you should go for that. You’ll be successful! 🙂

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks Hong.

  • http://joegaines.com/ Joe

    Happy Birthday Malan! I love that you continue to push yourself to grow in all areas and you do a great job of articulating that in your writings….

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks man, writing it out is really good for the soul.

  • RJohnson

    Keep it up!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      will do

  • PG

    Belated happy birthday Malan, this was very brave & heartfelt post. As small town country boy I can relate to some of it. The journey you have taken is inspiring! Props to you good sir 🙂 And keep the fire burning!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      hey us small town country boys gotta stick together PG

  • Love Raj Singh

    Belated happy birthday bro!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Thanks man!

  • Tung Tran

    Dude it took me a few minutes to double check the article and your blog several times to confirm that you’re really 41.

    I always thought that you were late 20 or 30s. You look a lot younger than your real age. Happy birthday Malan!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      you know what’s funny Tung? I had to do the same thing. I forget that I’m as old as I am.

      #1 because i don’t look like it
      #2 because my lifestyle doesn’t match a normal 40 year old (wife, kids, job, etc) and #3 because i hang out with a lot of younger people
      #4 i date younger girls.

      So I had to check more than once and do the math and make sure I had it right, because it even surprised me to see it there.

  • samrex

    Dudeee this is so sick! Happy birthday and awesome band photo!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks man. always good to see ya here – Malan

  • Clint Fillingim

    Awesome post man and Happy Birthday! I see a lot of parallels in our lives, I grew up playing drums in a small town and moved to Nashville 3 years ago to pursue music then I found IM and never looked back. I’d love to meet up one day man, hit me up if you’re ever out here.

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      never been to Nashville. I have a lot of music industry friends that are out there now. I’ll put it on the list of places to go next.

  • Stephanie

    Hey Malan! Can you please name the other band members? I went to Junion High with you in Ada and High School for a bit so it was good to read about how you’re doing. Glad to see you’re doing great!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      From Left to Right. Greg Deering, Dave Wilbanks, Malan Darras, Jeremy Darras, Skip Todd.

  • Oscar Camargo

    Hi man, You want to know how a found this Article two years before it was written?? I Just was thinking About how my life will be when i reach my 40´s; some time ago i was really frustrated of my life, i was very sad and lonely man; Then i Knew about marketing and thanks of many things happened in that time, I realized a new mindset that got me out of my frustration and i started to do things that make me happier.
    Now i´ve been doing Marketing for a year and i am close to live only for this bussines.

    I Just think: how many time it takes to Malan to reach “the level” of a great Affiliate? I just thought i started late, but i realized that I did it at almost the same time you start…… i cant belived ..and this is because you look younger than your real age.

    Greetings from Colombia

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      thanks and good luck Oscar. it’s never too late

  • Cleo Oliveira

    Hi. As you say to give you a high five or a hello of supporte you, here i am really appreciating this article. Im not much into reading blogs but i felt very curious about the person behind those five books that you reccomended. As i was seaching for books to enhance personal growth. I felt compelled to learn about you as i love to learn too and to exchange knwledge with interesting minds.