The Music Game: CMW Edition

When are you going to start doing something different?

In fact, I’ll even rephrase the question, just in case you don’t understand.

Why should I, or anyone else, care?

It’s been three nights of CMW and so many bands are doing the same thing as always.  It’s nice to be comfortable in your circle of friends, family members and the few randoms without actual knowledge or taste – do you think it’s enough?

Unless you have a rich uncle that owns a label and wants to throw money at you, the only way you are going to be successful anymore is if you do something new.  Stop comparing yourself to other bands, DON’T DO THAT.  It’s the worst strategy and it has never worked, you’re playing a loser’s game if you’re trying to be the new Diamond Rings – that sound was old in the 80’s.

There was a time in Canada when being on the cover of NOW or Exclaim! meant something, now what you get is the same interviews and reviews from 20 different magazines, everyone is afraid to step out of line or risk being cut off from the mainline that PR firms have created.  If you’re not willing to play the positivity game, you’re out.  You can’t say anything even borderline constructive or you’re out.  Even asking the wrong question is enough to cut you out.

I interviewed this band called Neverest a couple years ago – by interview I mean that the band was there, two PR agents were in the room and two folks from the label were also there, coaching them to make sure they didn’t answer anything with – gasp – an actual response.  That’s the problem right there, everybody is image obsessed and for some reason the media has no problem with this.

We need to start caring more and stop accepting mediocrity, there are bands out there that have far more talent and better sound than what you’re being fed through radio, major publications and the me-to blogs.  They get it right sometimes but when you’re constantly left wondering if there’s more to music than the clone-factory.

I’ve written about this before and I’ll write about it again but if there’s one thing you need to read, it’s this:

Go practice, make yourself better and then make yourself a career.

The rockstar is dead, musicians in Canada don’t have money, they won’t have money, and they have never had money outside of the privileged few.  If you want to be one of those, luck and being in the right place have nothing to do with it, you need to not just be the best but you need to make sure you’re honest.  Honest with yourself and honest with the fans, they can see through your image and if you make them do that, it’s one step too many for them to access you.

I’m not saying ditch the PR firm, I’m saying ditch the attitude that you’re hot shit because you have one.  You can get people interested with image but if you have nothing fresh music-wise, you’re just a final year art project.

We all want to be successful, what are your motives?  More importantly, what is your plan?  It had better involve practice and patience if you want to make a career instead of a fast burning fire.



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