Here’s one of the key things that I’ve noticed a lot of bands struggle with that ruins their careers almost right off the bat every time. It’s not being able to control their emotions. This impacts every single aspect of your music career, not just the relationships it sours but the bad press it generates and eventually the word of mouth that gets out that you’re an asshole and not worth spending time with. This is of course a self rejuvenating circle because the more of a reputation you get as a hothead the more people you are going to end up pissing off because they will be expecting you to piss them off. Then since they are expecting to be pissed off you are going to be on edge, and guess what, be more likely to get out there and piss people off. This is where shit gets tricky. So I want to pick apart how anger is going to impact your career and then what you can do about it. It’s a weird mix but that’s the way the news goes.
First and foremost, no one wants to work with an angry person. No one wants to work with some one who they are afraid is going to bust their balls constantly and how is going to make their lives unpleasant and uncomfortable. No one likes to be yelled at. Not only that but no one likes to be afraid they will be yelled at. I get that sometimes people are trying to do it to be helpful, that they are being honest in their willingness to straight up tell you what’s up But that doesn’t work. Most people are just going to be alienated and think that you are a dick. Coming at people and attacking them only makes them feel bad and less likely to want to help you in the future. Even if an individual project does not work out, odds are you were working with that person for a reason and would benefit from working with them more in the future. Being willing to call it a day and step away is a much more valuable thing than burning a relationship.
The important thing to realize is that whenever you express an emotion it is often perceived as much stronger than you meant it too. If you casually suggest you aren’t into an idea, people will realize that you think this is a bad idea if they have any sort of social awareness. Never push too hard, because if you are viewed as pushy then people will no longer view you as a believable expert to work with. If you lose your credibility as a band because you’re not viewed as someone who is sympathetic and fun to work with then your entire implied value is gone. I know a ton of subpar bands who get hella opening slots just because they are nice people and they make life easy for the agents trying to book them. If you communicate with subtlety and grace people are going to respect you a whole hell of a lot more This might take a lot of discipline, it has certainly tripped me up in the past. Here’s the thing, if you think you are going to snap, then just don’t talk.
Something a lot of people fuck up, especially men, is they fail to let the other person talk. If you rant at the other person they are just going to start hating you. Not only that but if you keep ranting you are going to become more convinced of your opinion, even if it is completely incorrect. The more convinced you are of your opinion and the more entrenched you become then you will find yourself kind of stuck. If you get stuck then you’re fucked because no one reaches out to help the angry guy. They’ll reach out to help the fragile person, or the hard worker hose hit a few hard breaks, but the mean person? They get fucked. No one can get angry at you if you choose not to talk. Even if they start asking you questions, sometimes choosing not to answer is the best way to show that you are trying to hold your peace, not stick your foot in your mouth and help build towards a better tomorrow by not completely fucking up today.
Don’t be afraid to remove yourself from negative situations. If you’re on a call say that it dropped, if you’re in a meeting say you have to go to the bathroom. Any sort of break you can take is going to make you calm down, even if its just for a few seconds. This is the bleak reality we deal with in the human psyche. Instead of getting angry and in peoples faces we just need to sit down and embrace that this is who we are and what we need to deal with. If we can have the wherewithal to step back and breathe then we realize that, in our case, it’s only rock and roll. This is the key for the entire music industry, it’s only rock and roll. Don’t take things to seriously, don’t get lost in the shuffle, it’s not worth it. This is independent music, we do it because we love it. Why would you need to jump down someones throat and make them hate themselves when you could just be quiet. One day at a time and peacefully progressing we will see a better future unfold.
The music industry is a place that is fun when it is colored by love amd compassion. It’s also a place where angry powerful dudes yell and make the rest of us feel upset. If you take advantage of a mentally fragile person you’re a piece of shit. And those people exist in the music industry. That’s a common fucking thing even. Don’t be one of those people. Instead be someone who is making friends, who is negotiating and looking for a better way. Being the person pushing for their way just makes you look bad and burns bridges. No one wants that. It’s only rock and roll, remember that and realize what is worth it.
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