My name is Connor Dean. I’m from Eugene, Oregon and I play guitar and sing in a rock band called Standard Deviant. For the sake of brevity, everyone says we sound like jimmy Eat World. Flattering and understandable, but I like to think of myself as having something more unique. But who doesn’t? I am so late getting to bed for work that I’m going to go against all my instincts for carefully choosing words here for this semi-public display of personality, and instead throw all caution to the wind and allow myself to be 100% authentic for the sake of my elusive time. For better or for worse. Authentically is almost always better so let’s go with that.
I was interested in the IA Conference because after getting my B.S. Degree in Popular Music Studies (haha, but also ¯_(ツ)_/¯ ) at 36, and having far less to show for the rest of my life prior, I began really throwing myself into music again after a decade of perpetually giving it up to try to figure out what I was supposed to do in life. Spoiler alert! I still don’t know what I’m supposed to do in life. I don’t even know how to play the guitar–I’m a drummer. But with each small goal, I consistently found myself motivated and driven to just keep working on music-related things. Playing music–and taking part in all the related minutiae in it’s periphery–just feels right. I’ve never had conversations about music that didn’t get me animated, I’ve never sang a song that didn’t make me feel better, and I’ve never experienced any cognitive dissonance when I had to choose any of those things over something else. Except, of course, the dissonance between my introverted nature and large gatherings at concerts. But life is funny like that. I wasn’t even intending for Standard Deviant to ever be a “real band.” Even when we recorded “No Place, Like Home” and pressed it to vinyl, I still figured that was the end goal. I realized that I wasn’t satisfied with that being the end, so instead this is just the beginning for me.
Life’s too short to live any more years in sad, and sometimes jealous regret of not having done the only thing I ever imagined myself doing. So I bought these conference tickets last February having always wanted to come to Iceland Airwaves. But also, if I may be so bold as to admit, I barely had any clue what it would be like. And I certainly didn’t know what I’d do at the conference. But the idea of being at a music festival surrounded my musicians and music-lovers, talking about all things music just didn’t really seem like much of a question to me. Other than vaguely broad ideas (and specifically unrealistic fantasies) I don’t know who I’m looking to meet here. But in my experience in life, I have found that my expectations are more of a frustrating burden than they ever are at being guiding assets. Thus I am open to meet anyone that can help me expand my knowledge, network, growth, and friendships both within the domain of music, and outside it.
And if anyone’s got a bunch of spare money lying around that they just desperately want to give to me, unsolicited, then I’d like to meet them. Obviously. Frankly I don’t really care about money aside from the whole living-in-capitalism thing. At this point I would quit my job right now to pursue more meaningful life goals–which center around music for me. But Ironically the the debt that keeps me there is debt for an album and music production gear. Indeed, life is funny like that. Talk of my job must be my cue to go to bed, but I’m excited to meet some people who are nerdy about the some of the same things I’m nerdy about : )