so i read modrec’s latest bulletin on our myspace about their crap experience playing support to manic street preachers. basically, they were not paid for doing a half hour support spot, they were expected to sort out their own equipment etc. and were left feeling bitterly disappointed and let-down. now you might be rolling your eyes right now, thinking this would only happen in greece but you would be completely wrong. let me set you straight on a few things.
the music industry is not interested in music. what counts is sales. that is, how much money they can make off you with as little effort as possible. have you ever thought about why you never hear about a and r people anymore? remember them? those strange little bods that used to trawl the seedy pubs and clubs for talent. ever wondered why they are no longer necessary? let the diva enlighten you…
music doesn’t matter anymore. celebrity is what counts. that’s why all our current music “stars” are originally from talent shows. from fame story to american idol the industry now has a steady stream of young girls and boys who can sing and dance to order. in a society where someone can become famous and put out a record simply because they were on a reality show, what chance do we lesser mortals have?
i was discussing this with our very hunky bass player and i was saying that we would stand a better chance of success if i was out clubbing every night with no knickers on and posting my bits all over myspace. now, as much as i know you’d love to see that (ha ha ha) it’s not going to happen. there is this other little thing that is very important to us personally and as a band and that’s called integrity. unfortunately, that is not going to get us anywhere in the business.
fame story made me want to vomit and though i admit to laughing at the poor misguided fools on american idol, i think the whole thing is appalling. churning out these well-trained (and not so well-trained) circus performers is killing music.
johnny cash says it like it is
after the gig the other night, we hung about until very late with the velvoids and nine miles discussing the failures of the music business. a very interesting discussion it was too. it’s not a case of sour grapes, we do actually care what the future holds for this industry. yes, it is partly our fault for attempting to get on the bandwagon. being impressed by and wanting record contracts etc. but (and it’s a big but) if we don’t get any financial help at all, not even getting paid for playing live or supporting big bands, how the hell can we survive? how can a lowly (and very poor) band like bad mathematics ever hope to make a record? we have the songs (enough for a couple of albums, we have the engineer, the producer, the designer, etc. etc. we will sell it ourselves. we have all the ideas. all we lack is the funds to make the damn thing in the first place.
the bottom line for me is that we don’t care about the fame bit. we want to be able to make the music that we make and we know that some people out there want to hear it. venues and organisers must start paying bands so that we can make that bit of money to put into the music. and we need to force them into doing that. how? we have to start refusing to play without payment. a very tall order because that means you don’t get to play because there will always be bands who will do it for nothing (and we are as guilty as anyone)
there’s more to come on this issue…
any other ideas people?