As part of my community service agreement, I’ll directly address our comments section every once in a while. As my most recent piece here generated a large response and I have nothing better to do with my time, we’ll go through a few here.
My most recent editorial addresses the ethics of crowdfunding in music. I did not intend for it to be all about Allegaeon but that seems to be how people are interpreting it (the picture Decibel chose to use helped, I guess). I was also referencing Ne Obliviscaris who pulled some shit about not touring because they’re broke, as well as anyone who was thinking of using crowdfunding services as a well to escape the reality that we all face of working for a living. I stand by my point that no one owes us that living, that we need to build it for ourselves. To everyone’s feelings I hurt with this piece, good—that was the point.
I’m going to shock everyone and lead this off with agreeing with someone from the comments section. Who? Vince Neilstein from Metalsucks. Vince writes, “Some good points made in this article re: entitlement, but I think you're missing the point Neill: so far the band has raised over $2,500 PER MONTH from fans willing to support them on this new Patreon endeavor, so I'd say the demand is clearly out there. Also based on your description of the band it's clear you've never (or hardly) listened to them.”
Vince and I have a long standing relationship where Metalsucks will write something that pisses me off and I’ll write something about it. I’m sure this will continue because I’m petulant and they keep running a website. But he’s correct here: I don’t know shit about the band’s music, mostly because I don’t care. And yes, he’s also right that obviously there is some demand for their service, albeit not nearly the 51k they want per band member per year. Regardless of the number difference there are obviously people out there who care about this band and probably other bands who will try to do the same thing down the line. Are there people who would pay me $2500 per month to do anything? No, no there are not. So I’ll concede this point. Regardless of how I feel about this whole thing, there are people out there proving me wrong.
Now to some of the Mensa level think tank comments. While I’d love to get to everyone I felt I’d pick out a handful of you so that you’d think you won something for once in your life. Don’t get used to it.
Adult Male writes: “I stopped liking music at like 27 years old. If you are over 30 and talking about this shit like a journalist you are an epic fail.”
Beyond living an obviously well rounded life, Adult Male has taken time from his busy schedule to talk about someone talking about music on a music web site and condemning it as an “epic fail”. This is so fucking meta that I don’t know whether to have hurt feelings or teach a philosophy class on it.
LOLButtz writes: “"BACK IN MY DAY BACK IN MY DAY BACK IN MY DAY BACK IN MY DAY"
He’s right. I’m old.
JiJ writes “Are these pieces edited?”
Yes, they’re far worse when I submit them.
Paulcore writes ” How the fuck do you include Trump in a metal band conversation. You fucking pussy.”
Because this is the response I knew I’d get. Actually the Trump thing really stuck in a lot of people’s diapers, much like any time I’ve used Obama’s America in pieces. Have you read my previous editorials? You should, they’re fucking fantastic. I must mention that someone told me to check a calendar because it’s still Obama’s America. My calendar doesn’t say that anywhere. It just has pictures of cats on it.
Fuck Decible writes (eloquently): “Also wat their video about their crowd funding. They were inthe home almost 8 grand after the last tour they did. You asshole with "get a job" shit can go try 2 make 2 albums that have been on the top 200 chart in popularity. There isn't money in music stop being dicks.”
Jesus Christ, they’re right about how public education is failing. If I understand you correctly -- and there is clearly no guarantee -- then you have little to no idea how touring works. As Mish Barber-Way stated in her editorial on Clrvynt, they could have fired the majority of their staff and done that work themselves. And maybe next time have someone read over you contracts before you sign a bunch of shit away, having to pay out to a label is a raw deal and I’m sympathetic to anyone who has to do that, much in the way I’m sympathetic to a puppy that can’t lift its leg when it has to piss and ends up wet.
Barry writes “Who hired this guy? Does he even listen to music, or care about musicians? How about this is where things have headed where musicians can't afford to be musicians and need to do mindless jobs and join the machine.Might as well be a piece about ending any dreams about playing music, in any genre. Let's all just become journalists and put this guy out of a job, and see if he asks for help? Decibel I am very disappointed.”
I really don’t. I haven’t been a musician for over 20 years, had bad contracts, lost money or know anything about this. And for the most part, most musicians can barely scrape by while working their asses off in soul sucking jobs they hate for the opportunity to do what they do, they just don’t ask for a parade for it. Do I think it’s a fair system? No, it’s not. But it’s reality and the very definition of privilege is thinking we are entitled to do what we want and make a living from it. And a lot of you are right, the music industry is mostly bullshit. But there’s resources out there to help musicians make the right choices and not get sucked into a bullshit contract or a pay to pay tour. But no one is going to hold your hand through it, you have to learn how not to be naïve all by yourself.
Enough people mention that no one is forcing anyone to do anything that if I mentioned y’all it’d read like an Academy Awards thanks speech. I never said they’re forcing anyone to do anything. What they are doing, though, is saying that without this they’ll break up. For as many people bitching about my reading comprehension that shit sure is in short supply here. They’re saying their (musical) lives are in your hands. While it’s not forcing that is some A+ level guilt tripping. It’s fucking childish. And if anyone wants to reward that kind of thing that’s their prerogative. I just can imagine how shitty you’ll be as parents.
And finally we come to Urmum, who writes: “cry baby faggot journalism. Get a job.”
Stand up and take a bow, you’ve won 2016. Thanks for such constructive and well thought out criticism everyone, you’ve made me agree with someone from Metalsucks, question who I’m voting for and also question my will to live on the same planet with you. A good showing for all!