People delay phone calls – that’s just how it goes. It’s part of the world of independent projects. I’ve been having some frustrations with this recently so I wanted to pick it apart a little bit. It’s one of the most frustrating things in the world to have happen to you – to be building up for something and even structure your day around it, only for the call to fall through. Suddenly you can be left up shit creek without a paddle and nothing to do with your day because you were expecting to work on this project. It’s part of why I strive to be always busy, always tackling the next thing. So that’s why I ended up writing this article, because rather than being on a call I have to kill time until the thing has been rescheduled. It’s a simple part of the brutality of the industry and is going to leave you frustrated and tired, but you just need to embrace it and figure out alternate paths forward.
I think one of the most important skills to have in this industry is patience. Life happens. I know that we all have these supercharged existences where everything moves at a million miles an hour and the circus never stops, but sometimes shit just happens. People don’t seem to totally understand this. In a culture of ‘now’ people seem to think that they need to have everything right away. This isn’t the case. Sometimes we just need to sit back and relax and embrace what’s coming at us. People get busy and emergencies happen. Life isn’t easy all the time. I know it can be easy to forget that but we need to have patience with people. For many of the folks, especially on the independent level this isn’t their full time gig, and you shouldn’t expect them to spend all their lives at your beck and call. Instead just be grateful you are being considered for a a phone call at all and then figure it out from there. It’s the impatient people who end up being fucked in the long run.
It is true that some people delay phone calls simply because they don’t want to tell you no. As we discussed previously, no one wants to say ‘no’ in this industry and everybody says yes all the time. Because of this long time ‘nice guy’ thing that the industry has cultivated its possible that you are being ignored simply because people don’t want to have to deny you. I know that’s shitty because it’s the easy way out, but for a lot of people they are under so much pressure already that they don’t want to add another thing – especially if that thing is something that could lead to a stranger yelling at them. People are crazy, so even if you aren’t you need to be aware tat if people have had bad phone experiences they might be less likely to want to work via phone calls – even if they are objectively on of the most important parts of the industry. The industry is a weird tumultuous place and we need to embrace that madness.
This is part of why it’s important to live in a city that has an influential scene if you want your band to get anywhere. If you are going to a lot of shows and start to meet people your influence is rapidly going to grow. People have a much harder time avoiding you in real life and they have to have a physical interaction then which can always lead to better results. Just be careful to be diplomatic. People don’t want to be bullied and odds are they are fairly busy, they don’t want to have to put up with your bullshit, but they do want to help you out. Keep this in mind and try to remain diplomatic and helpful as possible. People care more about physical relationships than phone ones, and more about phone interactions than text ones. That’s just the order of things in this crazy old world of ours and we need to embrace that if we want to find an effective way forward in the twisted hell of the underground music world.
People usually aren’t actively ignoring your calls. If you are in a band and trying to get to a higher level people will admire your tenacity as long as you make an effort to not be annoying, this of course can be tricky. It’s so easy to drive people crazy with constant phone barrages, instead you need to back off and be respectful and helpful. You need to show people that you are part of building a tomorrow that helps the collective not just yourself, and if people aren’t picking up our calls that means they might not want to be a part of that, or at least that they feel that your image of a better tomorrow is different from theirs. That’s totally fine. Some partnerships were never meant to happen, but other times you just need to put your foot down and tell people they need to pick up the phone or realize you won’t work with them again. I know it’s a treacherous path to cross given this weird world of cyber connections and miscommunications but sometimes that’s how it’s got to be.
I know that I come across as nihilistic in a lot of these articles, but let me assure you – there is a lot of hope, it’s just that sometimes things get you down and end up being extremely frustrating. Like many of you, me and my bands have hopes an dreams and we just want to get moving on shit, but a lot of the time we find ourselves stuck in the muck and frustrated with what has become of our lives. We can move forward though – lead by example and make yourself as available as possible. Remember that kids are looking up to you and you are blazing a path that one day we all must tread if we want a reliable and sustainable future.
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