Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Why do you want to do this?

The eternal question seems to be "why are we here?" If you are a musician, you need to ask yourself why? If it is to be a rock star or if there is any celebrity attached to the answer, well then, you need to re-examine things. Fred Durst became a celebrity. Did that create a long lasting career for Limp Bizkit? Did celebrity help the band sell tickets to it's reunion tour? If you pay attention to the news, well then you know the answer to the last question. I am not saying that the band's huge success in the late 90's was not astounding, but what I am saying is that as the world discovers you as someone privileged, as someone above them, you will lose your hard core real fans. In today's musical climate, fans want to be part of something they believe in and feel connected to. Fans are not interested in the feeling of exclusion and disconnect in life experience from the bands they love. Paris Hilton did a record, so did Heidi Montag. Heidi's record sold under 1000 copies the first week and a whopping 658 digital downloads. She promoted her record anywhere and everywhere but at the end of the day, nobody gave a shit. I know you are saying that what you do is better than Heidi, and I believe most of you when you tell me that but... As extreme as the point may be in this case, I am trying to paint a picture for you. Be real. Be honest. When you have the night off from playing, connect with your fans by hanging out with them in the club you play in your home market or interact with them on-line. Get in the trenches with those who already believe and the ones you want to make believe in your band. How many of you reading this blog lose interest in a band when you start seeing them appear on red carpets or the real kiss of death, try their hand at acting. How do you treat every person that you come in contact with? Remember this...Bands don't own fans, fans own their bands. Get the picture?


  1. I hope there are people following this blog who are benefiting from it as much as I am. I can't even tell you how thankful I am for the advice and information I've absorbed from this as a "starving" musician still getting his feet wet in the Des Moines scene. I've always prided myself on trying to remain as "active" in the scene as possible as far as heading out to the local clubs like the House of Bricks or People's to catch as many of the local and regional acts as possible, but I'd always been shy of "stepping on another band's toes" by trying to distribute free copies of our music at their shows. We've always tried to make our music available as it's finished by means of posting the tracks on Myspace or Facebook, but we'd never really gone as far as giving away something that people could physically hold in their hands. It make perfect sense, though, and we're going to start doing that ASAP.

    So really, thank you so much for creating this communty information resource. It truly is helping out.

  2. I second Lucas. I feel like I've found a secret book of knowledge. No, I'm not saying that you've got all the answers, but I imagine that after having been down the road a few times, you've picked up a few.
    I've been a musician ever since I first held a guitar when I was 14. I just knew it was in me, and I wore that guitar out - literally wore the paint off the fretboard (cheap guitar) teaching myself to play it. I've never been into the idea of FAME or FORTUNE (while I do admit an obvious desire to make a good living). I'm more concerned with expressing what I feel, sharing that with others, and hoping they connect. I'd rather give my music away to acheive that - even if it does mean I'll go hungry a few more days than I would have if I'd signed a contract with some massive distributer. If even one person hears a song of mine and tells me that it really gets them down in the gut, that it 'takes them back', or that it means 'so and so' to them - then I feel like a success, and I feel personally gratified. That is what I strive for- creating a connection through the music. I seriously doubt many people come across a Limp Bizkit song on the radio and say "good fucking call" and crank it up and keep on driving past their house to round the block a few times, there mind swimming in old emotions and old memories. When a band is about the money, you can tell - the opposite is just as true.
    I think, however, some bands get in it for the right reason, and then (as much as I HATE this phrase) 'sell out'. One of my favorite albums is "S.C.I.E.N.C.E" by Incubus. The whole thing is just a creative, beautifully savage and twisted collision of ideas and sounds.... And look at Incubus now (or recently). Where the hell did all that go ? I call it "plastic music" - manufactured by men in suits to sell records. It just pisses me off, and I stop listening.
    Anyhow... Five Stars. I'll keep reading if you keep posting. Perhaps someday our paths will cross in a creative venue.

  3. To you both,

    We are all in this together. Two great things about the internet is that it is an open source for information and if you guys are catching on, collaboration (Sorry to sound like Al Sharpton.)

  4. Oh, come now Matt, a little Limp Bizkit now and again keeps the doctor away... ;)

  5. LOL... oh sure, who hasn't 'rocked out with their [gender specific parts] out' to the smooth melodies of "Rollin' - Urban Assault Mix" once or twice? (HAHAHAHA!!!) I just meant that it will never make me think of anything more important than how to beat up people smaller than me or which engine to hang from the tree in my front lawn today... :P