YOU… wanna be somebody… be somebody soon. Too soon! And that’s the problem. Why do you all want to be “somebody” so badly? Why can’t you wait and earn it?
“We released our demo today, can you please write about it in your blog/zine/site/mag please”? “We’ve only been together a year, but we are determined to make it to the top”. “We may have only recorded 4 songs so far, but they are 4 songs that show plenty of promise”.
Where do I start? I know, how about if that’s the best you’ve got then I’m not really feeling psyched to check out your 4 song e.p. Your 4 song e.p that got snapped up by a digital only label. I don’t really understand these digital only labels to be honest. As a band you have access to all the same music streaming sites as everybody else. Why wouldn’t you just do it yourself? I’ll leave that subject here though, as it’s not what this piece is about. Back to your 4 song e.p.
I’m looking at your half page ad that you shelled out for, published in a magazine of good standing, and all I see is words. Word after word of fluff, guff and typos. Guess who wrote their own P.R? Guess who had no business writing their own P.R? I get it, hiring a P.R firm doesn’t play nicely with a young band’s non existent budget. Too bad, you need one! And a graphic designer too because your ad looks terrible. No, your bass player clearly isn’t a graphic designer. Fire him and hire someone who is. This is why one does not simply become a “somebody” when their resume consists of only a year of gigging, and a 4 song digital only e.p. If you were bent on writing your own hype then the money you spent on paying the artist who did your cover art would have been better spent on a 6 week journalism course at community college/adult education e.t.c.
You’re not thinking things through. You’re not considering the bigger picture as it pertains to the career you are clearly longing for. Quite obviously the psychology of this has not entered your plan for global domination. For instance, when you say “we may have only recorded 4 songs, but they are 4 songs that show plenty of promise” you are making a statement that simply says “we know we are not somebody’s yet and we’re asking that you make allowances for that”. Oops, that wasn’t the best marketing line for your ad. You’re supposed to be selling yourself here, not hi lighting how little you’ve accomplished. “We’re not somebody’s yet, but we have promise and we are going to work hard until we reach the top”. Ok, good! So why not take that promise and put that work ethic and enthusiasm into raising your standards, for EVERYTHING, over the next few years. Why not hang back until you know you have something good. Forget the magazine delusions and work on your craft until it can compete with established artists. With your peers. Your crummy ad isn’t going to get you to the next level. Only you can do that by being good.
Your music, art, design, website, (what’s that, you don’t have a website because you have a Facebook page? Doh!), social media, contact list e.t.c all have to be up to snuff. If not you’re a sitting duck. Why any artist would be happy to be forgettable is beyond me.
If your work is strong in every area it will speak for itself. And your half page ad need only have your logo, cover art and a snappy tag line. If you’re good that’s all you’ll need. Trust me.
On the subject of wanting to be a “somebody”, let’s talk about the artist who actually was a “somebody” in their past, but that time is long since gone and they refuse to let go of it. If what you did was great and made a legitimate impact you will be a “somebody” forever. If Frank Sinatra were alive today do you think he would be on his Facebook once a week making posts about gigs from 60 years ago? No, he would be drinking whiskey, straight over ice, in a swanky room with women 40 years younger than himself, while some other chump posted about gigs from 60 years ago on an un-official Sinatra page. Once or twice a year is alright for nostalgia sake, but once or twice a fortnight, or even a week is desperate as fuck. Let go of it and let the work speak for itself. Don’t sully it’s memory, it’s potency, it’s legacy by constantly engaging in “remember when” behaviour as a means to validate yourself now. You obviously don’t feel like you’re a “somebody” right now otherwise you wouldn’t feel the need to continually drag up your past. It’s one of the oldest, longest running side effects of music business notoriety. This awful trait of never shutting up about something you did years ago. If you want to be relevant now be active in your present. Fucking do something, instead of talking endlessly. I see original members of VERY famous rock bands on my Facebook all the time doing this. But at least they always have a tour on, always have a show, a flight booked. At least they are actually doing something. There are people who “do”, and people who “don’t”. People who “do” waste no time talking about what they are going to do, or what they have done, because they are too busy focusing their will on what they are doing right now.
The wannabe “somebody” writer comes next. I’m fucking sick of them. Just because you have some shit internet page and call yourself a writer/reviewer/king of the realm doesn’t make you so. Oh no. It’s insulting to bands that actually put the work in, to see just how little work you are investing on your end. What kind of a “writer/reviewer/blogger” that wishes to be taken seriously can’t even fucking get the title of the album they are reviewing correct? Especially when the title is comprised of 3 simple english words. Nothing fancy or mysterious, just 3 words. Do your fucking homework! I completed an interview recently with a music journalist. Someone who has been writing for a reputable title for some years. The quality of the questions he posed to me revealed he clearly had read up on me enough to form something of intelligence. They were thoughtful and considered questions, but more than that, relevant to the artist he was interviewing. It’s not that hard. If you are serious you will do your research. There really is no excuse for calling the album you are reviewing something it’s not, as there really is no excuse for saying the singer is somebody he’s not, or that the band features members from a country it does not. The P.R pack you received has all this information in it in plain english. You really can’t figure it out? You are not a music journalist. You are not even a blogger. You are dyslexic. And all this is watering everything down to the point of stale cat piss. Why can’t you all demand more of yourselves? This is weak. This is a joke.
What about the studio recording/mixing/mastering engineer who’s hasn’t even made anything that’s been seriously released, picked up by a label or written about anywhere? What about that guy? He has a Facebook page, it says right there that he’s all of those things so he must be right? No!! Just a couple of rank digital recordings that lack any understanding of gain structure, correct use of compression, e.q, e.t.c, thrown up haphazardly onto every online streaming site doesn’t make you any of the titles you bestow upon yourself. It makes you desperate to be a “somebody”. Forget about the guy who says he can record everything in full bit depth at his “professional” studio and provide it to you ready for immediate mixing at industry standard, when the reality is very different. The reality is it was actually recorded through sub par pro-sumer equipment and exhibits so many clocking errors and phase cancellations between microphones that these “mix ready” recordings are anything but. “Mixing technology is so good now you really don’t need to bother with recording through the best possible equipment in the best possible room anymore”. Say what? Just hire a top mixer to sound replace everything so you can sound like every other bland as fuck record of the last 12 years. That way you can have that same sound as 50 million other piss weak bands with no artistic integrity, no message, no fucking purpose beyond being a band that gigs on big tours and sells albums. Shit band names, shit song titles, shit lyrics, shit ethos, shit plastic production. I take the stance of the dissident and say a resounding fuck that, and please pass me the salt.
Then there is the Facebook “photography” page. Oooooh, what a nasty little creature that is. Just because you have a DSLR, a Facebook page called “Stale Cat Piss Photography” that is loaded with pictures you took with the camera set to auto at multiple family lunches and assorted gatherings doesn’t mean you’re a fucking photographer. If you want to call yourself a photographer so badly go do an adult education course and see if you can learn how to take a photo in manual mode to begin with. Once you have that sorted start taking photos and see if you actually have any talent at all for composition. You know? For actually seeing the photograph before you’ve taken it. If you get that far maybe start learning about light sources more. Natural light. Where it comes from and what it does to your photographs. Then maybe start thinking about artificial lighting, how you can use it creatively to light subjects in an emotive way, or use it to try and replicate natural light. What was that? You’d like me to repeat all that? Just read it from the top down again, it’s all there. Sorry, what? You still don’t understand? That’s because you’re not a F.U.C.K.I.N.G P.H.O.T.O.G.R.A.P.H.E.R!!!!!! So stop calling yourself one. I could go on and on all day long. Photoshop artists that abuse the bevel emboss/plastic wrap/blur/ clarity/lens flare/saturation/sharpen tools e.t.c with no understanding of how to use any of them. So called record label owners who have never pressed a cd, or at best release themselves on cd-r because they don’t want to step up to the plate and have to deal with pressing plants, deadlines, communication problems, real money. Come on guys.
Stop calling yourself a Singer/songwriter/musician/recording/mixing/mastering-engineer/music journalist/writer/blogger/ tour promoter/record label/photographer/film-maker/digital artist/graphic designer/painter unless you do any of these things well and have proof of it. If you don’t, the only thing you should call yourself is wanker.
Wannabe Somebody Wanker.
Demand more of yourselves!
I get more meaningful interaction from my wood pile. I am deadly serious about that. I have tree frogs living in there that I see and talk to every day. What I get back from them is far more evolved than all your internet fraudulence combined. What do the tree frogs say to me? Fucking nothing!!!
It’s time to go back to the drawing board for all of you. Get better or leave this place. But like Conor McGregor says, “You’ll do nuthin”.
I just finished listening to Bethlehem’s classic “Dark Metal”. On the cover of the booklet it says “Fucking Kill Yourself”. Nice little synchronicity there huh?.
I’m not even apologetic for any spelling or grammar mistakes I’ve made here because I can write better than 90% of you “writers” so called.
Put that in your blog and smoke it.