On The Grind

Marq Sobierajski is a prolific Baroque-style composer who infuses metal and EDM genres in interesting ways.  Despite his prowess and mastery of his craft, and production skills, he’s found himself facing some tough questions – and wondering if he should call it quits.

If you’ve ever felt like throwing in the towel, then you know the feeling of defeat.  As we enter a vicious, emotional downward spiral, the negative relationship that can develop when you let something you’re passionate about drive you into the ground to the point where you no longer enjoy it is what can truly sting the most.

That’s what’s been happening to Marq, and we attempt to dive head-first into what’s causing his burnout.


Listen to the episode.

The past predicts the future.

In order to better understand how he’s arrived at this juncture, I had to get to know his past a little better.  I have some inklings as to what may be causing it in general, as I’ve suffered something similar in my life.  However, simply relating doesn’t do anyone justice.  I have to hear his unique story and understand from his perspective what was happening.

Marq has had quite a few accomplishments in terms of growing as an artist – Without A Chord.  It seemed to me like he had found his voice, his sound, and the message he stands for.  It’s easy for me to stand where I am and assume he was already at his summit – the peak of the mountain he was climbing.

However, upon closer inspection, he revealed where he saw himself.  Somewhere much lower on the mountainside, with a struggle that felt like he couldn’t reach any higher.

Grinding is a form of buffering.

There are so many things we touched on in this episode, it’s hard to pin down every single key moment and distill the learning lessons, so I highly recommend listening to the podcast for the full experience.  One key takeaway I can poignantly recommend digesting, is that grinding is a form of buffering. 

To buffer means to avoid doing what’s important.  If, for example, you crave meaningful relationships with people, but instead turn to selfish pleasures of playing videogames, or pornography in isolation, you’ve been tricking yourself into using these false pleasures to fill the void that genuine, meaningful relationships are meant to fill.

It doesn’t just apply in a sexual or social fashion, we can face the same issues professionally, too.  How much of your time is spent on developing your career, versus just waiting for business things to happen to you?  If an artist just sits in their room day in and day out and cranks out song after song and barely puts their music up on Soundcloud and calls it a day, there is a very strong likelihood that all this bespoke artist may ever get are a bunch of likes and some follows and comments on their soundcloud page, and that’s it.  If this is the case, it becomes much easier to see why grinding away at the same routine and expecting different results to no avail for years can leave one feeling discouraged, and burnt out.

Get Bored.

That’s right, our best inner-self gets to come out and play when we’re bored.  We need to connect with our inner-most selves in order to better understand our deepest desires, wants needs, and goals.  The only way to get more acquainted is to spend time allowing our inner selves to come out and play – through boredom.

When we take the time to think of the big, crazy dreams we would love to achieve, we then have to face the challenge of growing into the version of us that is capable of achieving it.  This is where fear and doubt and all of that negative self-talk creeps in, and often prevents us from trying further.

The thing is, you can be suffering from burnout without even realizing it.  We’re all given a purpose in life, and realizing that purpose to its fullest is the greatest challenge in life.  Marq has quite a few paths that interest him deeply, and those unique skills combined have the potential to make him very successful and live his dream life comfortably.  However, that may require him to realize that his time is limited, and you can’t travel in opposite directions at the same time.  His lesson is going to be learning how to say no to things in order to achieve what he wants.

In the next episode, I’ll uncover some strategies, tips, and tactics for overcoming burnout, and how to prevent it.  In the meantime, I would love to know how this episode helped you or affected you.  Burnout can affect everyone differently, and creatives tend to be impacted the most when it comes to mental and emotional wellbeing.

If you have been impacted, or know a fellow creative that may be struggling during this time,  Grammy has a MusiCares program available to help those in need.  For serious depression or urgent suicidal help hotlines, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention can help.

The Modern Producer Secrets Podcast is brought to you by Music Producers Alliance®–an online community and professional development platform that provides learning resources, networking opportunities, and mentoring to music creators in any industry.  Join our Discord server.



Copyright 2022. Teknofonic Recordings LLC.
Produced and hosted by Cameron Bashaw
Editorial: Justin Mok

Marq Sobierajski is a producer and baroque hybrid artist that infuses metal and electronic genres into his personal brand: Without a Chord.

Without A Chord (bandcamp.com)

Intro Song: Without A Chord – No$seB4LL Primates

Outro song: Without A Chord – Maximal

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