I used to wonder what to write about. What’s the right thing to say? Am I wearing the right thing? Am I editing this picture the right way? What colors do I bring out? What do I make the bass line do? Am I good enough?
I still wonder a lot of that sometimes honestly.
Maybe it stems partly from growing up in a Mexican house hold, first generation where we were just trying to figure things out in a new country... maybe it’s being the only Mexican kid in grade school pulled out of bilingual classes early and thrown in a gifted program as the youngest and only one trying to figure out English AND advanced classes.
Even in high school my mom made me take a bunch of college classes and graduate college with an associates degree a month before high school cause she found out my buddy William had done it. Constantly being pushed to be the best and be the best and be the best, but the best at what? I rarely had time to figure out why I was so obsessed with being the best, I just knew I had to be the best.
It finally hit one day. I spent so much time trying to be the “best” bass player. The “best” audio engineer. The “best” photographer. The “best” videographer. The “best” business. I hadn’t taken the time to figure out why.
It’s a blessing I suppose to have the skill sets now to say what I need to say with a wide vocabulary but all that energy got me to the point of exhaustion. It burnt me out. Why do I want to be the best? I can produce an entire record I wrote and make my own graphics, visuals and release. Cool? Now what.
Turns out, after taking some time to just think and organize my thoughts, life has given me plenty of things I have to get off my chest. Plenty of things that keep me up at night thinking. Plenty of things I’ve tried to push deep down by drinking myself to sleep or working out obsessively. Plenty.
I was talking with my buddy Dale, a.k.a. Willie Faulk one day. Him and Asher are the other 2/3’s of vocals on the Colour Storm project.
That’s the conclusion we came too. It’s all ammo.
The Forward album was nothing more than therapy. And those guys helped me say some things I couldn’t put in words myself.
It got me thinking what’s the point in making up a story when life gives me plenty of em.
...It’s all ammo.
All of it.
Every heartbreak. Every loss. Every first love. Every last word. The times I drove 12 hours to see a girl. The times I slept in my truck outside a gas station. The times I failed. The times I won. The times it didn’t work. The times it did. Every knot in my throat I tried to hold back sadness or anger. Every time I overcame. The people that picked up the phone when I needed it. The times I was hungry. The times we celebrated a pack of Kroger chicken breasts cause all we could afford was a pack of tortillas and cheese while trying to make this music thing work. That time my mom beat cancer. That time I let the perfect girl get away. That time I did it again. Those memories from the road. Those talks on the back of the bus. The time I bought my first home. The times I am blessed to share with good people in that house. The first time I saw my great niece the first time.
It’s all ammo. It all counts. It’s my story. I am me. And what if the “right” thing or right sound or right look is simply if I myself like it. My two ears. My two eyes. My mind. What if good enough is simply good enough for me. What if I make things that I myself and my friends and family want to hear, wear, watch, and enjoy.
What if “what if’s” don’t have to be “what if’s.”
What if my ammo shoots my shot.
And what if my shot is aimed exactly where I want it.
And what if... what if I just happen to have a stockpile of ammo itching to fire.
3rd Lion is a brand that encourages individualism. Self thought. Self reflection. Self healing. Growth. In all aspects. Physical, spiritual, and emotional. Growth through honesty with ones self and refusal to settle with good enough.
When I started the brand it was simply a place where I could be me and make my own music. My goal now is that others find it a place where they can be themselves freely as well. Whether I myself vibe with it or not doesn’t even matter. It’s become bigger than me... and I love that.
It’s all ammo.
My friend told me the other day, “I feel like the struggle you faced has all been God pulling a bow back as tight as possible and you’re about to shoot, faster and harder than you’ve ever shot. And you’re not going to miss.”
That resonates with me deep in my bones.
It’s all ammo. 🦁🦁🦁
Shop the new “It’s All Ammo“ collection here