HELL, YES! THE FRIENDS YOU’LL MEET AWAY FROM YOUR DEVICES.
The thing about the internet is you can get stuff on demand, but nobody knows what he or she are looking for. Being in a band has a non-tangible reward, especially when the promoter hooks you up with a bunch of locals who take their opening slot for you as a platform to make a pretty wondrous noise. Being pleasantly surprised is far more fulfilling than typing “polka-grind bands from Crib Death, Iowa” into Google. Feeling that great sense of discovery is an extension of the fan in you who thinks the love of music is far more than a bunch of sound files. You make friends, get drunk together and swear to help each other if they ever make it your way on tour. Some shit you just can’t download—like camaraderie.
FORGET IT, DUDE. LIFE IS HARDER THAN YOUR MUSIC.
Would you rather listen to some of your favorite records and bask in their greatness? Or would you rather get caught in the hamster wheel of social media, worrying about “friends,” “followers” and “likes” that do nothing to get you new strings or sell the CD you paid to get manufactured? Do you want to pour out your heart in front of 17 alcoholics and three kids with Xs Sharpied on their hands, while a lesser band possessing more connections than artistic vision and/or talent got a premium gig opening for a huge act in a theater across town? Do you want to deal with faceless assbaskets on the internet hating on you because your folk-punk outfit somehow offended their technical-metalcore sensibilities? I’m not even in a band, and reading that list makes me want to stay home.
TOTALLY! AFFIRMATION WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS.
You wrote that song that made one person feel better about him or her self, forget about the death of a loved one or simply colored his leisure time better than Nickelback, Kanye or the Biebs ever could. Manage your expectations: Would you rather get a kind word and a handshake/hug for your art? Or a run-o’-de-mill Facebook like? Consider for a moment how much meaningful affirmation you could receive on the road versus staying at home and bitching on the ’net all day.
UH-UH. WHY WOULD YOU WILLINGLY GO INTO A SHARK TANK?
The business is stacked against you. Pay-to-play policies still exist in some clubs. Downloading culture is prevalent (thanks for everything, Shawn Fanning) and you’ll never make back what you invested into your work. Record labels only want you if you have built your own communities, and then they want you to sign those “360 deals” where they get big chunks of your publishing, merchandise, song placement royalties (assuming some ad agency wag repping Volvo digs your music) and God knows what else they can extract. Let’s not forget alleged “creative types” telling you they like your music and they “have no budget, but the placement would be really good exposure for you.” To quote a popular song placed in a commercial, somebody left the gate open. And when everyone left, all your stuff—and dignity—was stolen.
DUDE, PUNK MEANS TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR DESTINY.
Earlier in this piece, we mentioned the concept of the band as pirate ship, where you are building, nurturing and testing your relationships with the people you consider creative associates. Call it arrested development, suspended adolescence or Peter Pan Syndrome. Being in a band means you don’t have to work in a cubicle farm, answer to some uptight prick from the human resources department because you yelled, “What a bitch” when you gave yourself a paper cut. You don’t have to grow up. Being in a band is your world: From the noise you make to the money you don’t, you remain the captain. Sail around the world or plow the fucker into a goddamn iceberg. You only answer to you. alt