I’ve decided to do a series of band tips. I figure my band is successful enough and I’ve learned enough to have some wisdom to pass on. I’ve been doing it for a while and notice a lot of awful things bands pass off as normal behavior so hopefully I can make the world a better place by helping to prevent this.
I don’t profess to know everything about ‘how to make it in the music biz.’ If I did I would be writing this from the lounge of a tour bus and not the free couch in my cheap apartment (Or maybe I would be writing it from this couch between tours). At the moment my band has 277 likes on Facebook, 273 followers on Twitter and 835 fans on Reverbnation. We do well playing out and people enjoy our stuff; however, if you disagree with my views I encourage you to share your own. This tutorial is intended to help people catch up with where I’m at or surpass me. If you have another way of doing things which will bring more success I’d love to hear it.
Part 3: Criticism
And both the best and worst thing about the internet is that people can now share opinions with everyone. They can even share them with the band. This often leads to confrontation, name calling and a few buckets of hurt feelings.
My advice: Get over it.
Every couple of weeks I see some band on my Facebook feed going crazy over a bad review or someone saying they don’t like them. Since when do local bands expect everyone to like them? I know people who don’t like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel, Alice Cooper and Motorhead. Personally I’m not a big fan of Radiohead. And while it hasn’t been discovered ,the LHC is looking for certain particles believed to exist that don’t enjoy Pink Floyd, CCR or Faith No More. Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity mathematically proves that not everyone in the world likes Johnny Cash.
So what’s so special about your band that everyone who hears you must love you?
I think one of the biggest problems with local music is the complete lack of constructive criticism about bands. Constructive criticism is one of the best ways for bands to learn, grow and become better. Yet, whenever I say “I don’t really care for your style,” “I’m not a big fan of the backing tracks,” “You guy’s fucking suck,” or “You should focus more on the music than masks and trying to be Slipknot” I’m called an asshole.
I’m not an asshole, I’m just the only one saying what a lot of other people are thinking. Bands seem to only want to hang out with folks who blow smoke up their ass and tell them how great they are, but that’s just not healthy.
Don’t get me wrong, the musician in me knows the pain you feel when someone says they don’t like your music. After putting all that hard work into something it sucks when people don’t dig it the way you do. But you have to remember that yelling and name calling don’t help your case and only make you look like a total asshole.
The only band that managed to turn around a bad review on the Audible Stew were the Said So. I didn’t care for them the first few times I saw them, but after I wrote about them and they got wind of it they offered me their album to review. When I heard “Leggo Your Ego” I thought it was pretty good and my view of the band has changed since then.
But my views of the bands who call anyone who doesn’t kiss their asses and worship them only ever changes for the worse.