One of the things that really frustrates me is people who are big in a local music scene and then don’t actually do anything. Be aware that this is going to be kind of a rant but it’s been a long time coming. Now realize that this isn’t targeted at people in bands, though it can encompass them – a lot of people in bands have busy real lives though and can’t dedicate countless hours in going to shows and hanging out at bars with their favorite bands, I get it. I’m talking about people who comment all the time on Facebook, go to a ton of shows, pretend to be buddy buddy with all of the musicians and then bitch about not being able to go to the cool festivals because they work a shitty job at a gas station. These people are a cancer on the scene for a wealth of reasons and watching them drain our resources and generally be frustrating to deal with has gotten me to a point where I need to let the rage out for a quick minute.
I think probably the most egregious example of this are the people who go out and create pages for their “Production company” or “Record label” when in actuality all they are doing is retweeting a few bands now and again and maybe funneling a few groups to the right merch people. These are people who want to look impressive but don’t do any of the requisite work needed in order to be a real benefit to the scene. Instead they just want scene cool points. It’s true that yes, doing something like this can get you scene cool points with the younger generation who don’t see how things are, and it also can get you points with the people you book one show a year for, but most other folks are probably just going to ignore you an think of you as, frankly, kind of a poser, which is what you are. The things you’re doing do have some value, but don’t think that you’re realistically getting anything above and beyond that.
Now you might be saying “Well isn’t it only a good thing when people are involved at all, even if only in a minor way?” And that’s certainly an argument I understand and one I have made before. I do think these people are somewhat helpful, but let’s be honest. How many people are checking out their production page where they share local bands? Of their 500 likes how many do you think are organic and how many do you think are their friends trying to be nice. This ties into what I’ve discussed here previously about being able to tell what is real and what is not. In a lot of cases shit isn’t real and because it isn’t real it doesn’t really matter. But you tell these people that what they are doing isn’t real and they will freak out at you. Now I get that too, they feel like they are supporting the scene. But eventually you get to a point when you need to decide if something is real and if it’s even worth doing at all.
Of course, this can take on many forms. For example I have a blog called Two Guys Metal Reviews. I get a few hundred views a day, nothing huge, and I certainly don’t think that people are buying records because of my site, although hopefully a few are finding new bands. But when it comes down to it, Two Guys Metal Reviews is personal project that I have been working on since I was 15. So that means when I do it it doesn’t matter if its real or not, because I like doing it. The same token applies to any project you take part in. The reason that this ends up hurting the scene is because it makes people feel like they are doing something but aren’t actually. It is diverting valuable resources and energy in order to create bullshit that no one really cares about. Imagine if all the people who ran those ‘production companies’ actually put their work into something productive, you don’t think that could be a whole hell of a lot cooler for the scene they claim to love?
All I’m asking is that you try and make an effort to do something tangible, more tangible than this article for example. This is mostly just a prolonged rant, so it has no real value especially since the people reading this post tend to be the sort of people who are aware of these sorts of things anyway. However I’m simultaneously sending texts to book tours people will actually attend and working on other tangible things, this is merely one of the many things I’m trying to do. What I focus on is trying to create events that people really connect with. You can’t just expect things to work out because people like music, you need to figure out how to make them care, and you can’t just throw up your hands and give up. But if you do throw up your hands and give up then at least have the balls to admit it and move on with your godawful life.
I know that I’m just a bitter old man who has been doing this for too long but I still genuinely believe in what this scene can be and I don’ have time to dick around with pretenders. If I find your company and discover you aren’t legitimate you will have wasted my time and in the end hurt one of the bands you like. We alre all pushing for something greater here, but merely contributing to the bloat and helping to give the industry a worse name than it already has is not helping anyone. So either nut up and be read to make the sacrifices and hard work needed in order to succeed and help out everyone or just be happy with being a casual fan.
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