Jeff Scheel from Gravity Kills uses The White Light to discuss topics of relevance for bands trying to gain traction.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I talk with musicians all the time. I work with them and I am friends with musicians of all talent and professional levels.. There are a couple in particular from St. Louis that individually climbed the ladder and made it to what most of us would think was a very respectable level of success. Sometimes I admit that what I type could be construed as not so optimistic. Some have gone as far to call my outlook on this business as bleak. I see that sometimes people take these words and think more about their perceived lack of success versus thinking about what they did accomplish and how special it really was. I know exactly how you feel. When people ask me how I perceived my own career with Gravity Kills, I tell them that "My band was in Rolling Stone Magazine but was never on the cover." I wanted to be on the fucking cover. We all want to be on the cover. We all want more than we have. That is human nature. But really what is the point? Where I'm going with this is... with all the anarchy happening in music now, I think we need to rethink the scale of how we attack the world with our music and the scale by which we measure success. Ultimately, I know we would all love to be making a living by only writing, recording and performing music. That is the goal and some of us may be lucky enough to do that at some points in our careers but why can't we seem to escape the pre-Napster paradigm model of how we measure the success of an artist? Do we really need to be on MTV Cribs to feel like we have accomplished something (is that show still on?) with our music and our message? I have said this before and will say it in many blog posts to follow this but, as I told one of the aforementioned artists yesterday, THINK GLOBALLY BUT ACT LOCALLY. The seduction of the internet is that you absolutely can have your music heard around the world. Some of you may actually have fans in far away lands and places that you may never ever ever have a chance to play a show. The seduction of mass media is that we are bombarded with celebrity culture and we think that red carpets and acne medication commercials are the real measure of your success. Of course I truly believe that you should make your digital strategy with the world in mind but a more tangible way to feel, touch, taste and smell your band gaining traction may be to also focus your efforts on becoming a real player in your local music scene. Many of you will disagree and talk about how you can't get any love in your home market simply because you are local, but could it be that you really need to be better at what you do? Go Green.