Public service announcement:
I don’t actually mind torrents that much for a number of reasons, but, honestly – buy a shirt, go to a show, or send your musician a tip or something if you want to torrent. It’s really important that you know in this genre especially, if you are torrenting the music, and not buying merchandise, or going to shows or requesting the music from your local DJ’s, or if nothing else spreading the word as much as you can, you are not screwing over some nameless faceless corporation or some huge record label.
This isn’t a matter of huge sales. No one in this genre is really trying to live on making music, that would be nice, but even self sustaining is fantastic in reality. Bringing shows to your town, producing albums, paying designers for artwork for merchandise, all the things that go into creating new music is all exceptionally expensive.
Your contribution by purchasing CD’s, Shirts, tickets, is how it happens that I can play shows, have shirts to sell, and make music. Your willingness to buy a ticket to a show is why a promoter is willing to cover the costs of travel expenses. If they think they will lose money, they won’t bring a show to your town. Your willingness to buy a CD, or an MP3, or a shirt is why I am able to bring out an actual album in physical format with quality booklets with lyrics, it’s why I am able to afford to take days off to come to your town and play a show, and hang out.
If you care about the music, the continued ability of artists to make the music, the continuation of nolongerhuman (these albums are telling a story and that story isn’t even halfway through) the ability to see bands live, to have better sound at better venues, to have better quality production on the CD’s and MP3’s, you, and me, are kind of in this together in all honesty.
In this genre unlike almost any other, you have a direct ability to help. People ask me all the time why I don’t play certain cities or countries. The reality is, you have as much to do with that as anyone. If you want a band to play in your city – I need you to get involved in order to make that happen. Bands have been dropping the genre, have been quitting music, have stopped touring, and it’s almost completely because there is no demand for it, no one has time or money to support it. Without you getting involved, no one has promoters willing to risk thousands of their own dollars to put on a show. Labels aren’t willing to invest in the risk of producing CD’s that no one will buy, and bands well, as I said, I don’t expect to live on this, but no one can hemorrhage money forever, no matter how much they love what they do.
This is not me blaming, nor me saying that anyone here is anything but the utmost in supportive. nolongerhuman fans have always been some of the most loyal of any band – and I thank every single one of you for that. I only hope I can repay your loyalty by never compromising the integrity of the music, never watering it down, and never being anything but honest. Each and every person who sends me a message, I contact directly, and try to answer questions or help in whatever way I can. Some of you are now close personal friends of mine for that very reason.
This is instead – a call to action and a reminder: You make a huge difference in the continued ability of bands to tour, to write music, to create music. The quality and availability of music, and this genre as a whole. You guys are as much a part of it as I am. It doesn’t matter if you have money, it doesn’t matter if you have time. If you have enough time to read this, you have enough time to help. Here’s some simple things you can do:
1) Request songs from your DJ’s, do some research on your favorite bands, so that you have unique requests. Keep requesting them.
2) Go out to the local club nights, bring your friends. Request bands from your local promoters, CD stores, and again, DJ’s.
3) Buy CD’s, or MP3’s if you can. If not, buy a shirt, even a sticker helps.
4) Talk to your friends, your co-workers, anyone about your favorite bands, get the word out there to anyone who will listen.
5) Share posts, pictures, updates, on social media. Social media is one of the *only* ways many bands have to spread music, information, news.
6) If a band you love has a show in your town, GO. Honestly. Don’t treat it as though they will just come back again. They may not.
7) Request stickers or promo material from your favorite bands, put them all over your town.
8) Put into the music what you get from it. Support it. Please. Not just me, but the genre as a whole. Support it. It’s a passion of mine, and I see it suffering, and we can – together, shake off this apathy and make a force to be reckoned with.
Once again. Thank you. To each and every person reading this.
If people put even 10% of the effort and time that they put into posting utterly pointless posts/polls/comments about politics, what Obama is doing, what atrocity some faceless political figure you will never meet has done, or will do, what war is being waged in a country you had never heard of before, or If even 10% of that effort and time spent debating, the snarky quasi intellectual banter… If that was ever applied to this scene, our electronic music scene, we could make this scene great.
We could support our musicians and our clubs, and promoters; see great tours; meet amazing musicians and people… We could make our scene as moving and as powerful and influential as it deserves to be.
I am sometimes told I need a blog, which I have always considered precarious ground. My opinions are not often the popular ones. In particular, a conversation this afternoon about the growing apathy of music listeners. Just in my 15 years in this genre, all 15 of which have been as a fan. Here is an excerpt, you tell me if I should start a blog and flesh this out:
“People are amazingly blah about new music. Somehow they expect that bands “have ways” to get popular, simply because they are bands and are already somewhat out there. In reality, bands need people to be excited and involved. Without that, popularity will fail.
People are more and more and more apathetic. Now, they are just sitting back and letting people tell them what to like; no one seeks it out anymore. They monitor Facebook, Vine, Twitter, Instagram… They see what is reposted, what people are talking about, and they themselves then go look into it. If they haven’t heard of it, they can’t be bothered to take a listen. It would be a waste of time, in part, because the music is often perceived as easy to make, but often even more so because so many, so many mediocre, barely competent bands churn out album after album of the same beat, the same lyrics, the same images, the same lack of any passion.
So, the popular bands, whether they have long since stopped caring, or were simply relying on an image that succeeded rather than music or not, get more popular simply by the momentum of their own preexisting popularity. It’s a self fulfilling cycle.
Thus, you end up with bands trying to to *shock* you to attention, since bribery doesn’t affect people in a world where half the musicians give the music away for free, and the other half is easily torrentable. And the adage is true – if something cost money, is hard to find, and you have to work for it, you tend to value it more. Hell, I know a dozen bands with thousands of fans, that do not have a full length CD out. This makes it pretty clear to me that these fans aren’t paying attention to the music. They are paying attention to whatever is thrown in their face; whatever is easily digestible and easy to find. This is a very big warning sign. The best things are not supposed to be easy, cheap, and readily available. This is why there are less than a 1,000 four star restaurants, and more than 100,000 McDonalds. Easy is popular. Thinking is not, even when someones health is concerned.
Hell, to me, MP3’s to me are disposable. If I buy them and lose them, I just buy them again. However, if I buy a CD and lose it, I am upset because I may never find it again. Music has, as everyone knows, become wildly devalued, and the worst part is that all this does is open the door for the bands that are popular to take advantage; to never expand or attempt to be more than they are, and for new bands to simply poorly imitate since people will likely listen to it as background noise if nothing else. Why not? It was free, and easy.
I remember the days, not terribly long ago, when I used to plow through used CD inventory, digging and sometimes coming up with a band I had never heard that changed my life. I found Wumpscut that way, I found Leaether Strip that way. Those bands led me to others, I found friends that liked those bands and they introduced me to more. It started a lifelong love of a music genre most have never even heard. It started my band. In a real way, it saved my life.
Now, those stores have closed. People consume one download after another, sometimes not even listening to the music, just “having” the MP3’s. Bands pass off a CD with 2 original tracks and 11 remixes to give you something new to consume. Bands have thousands of fans and no music. None. Bands release and re-release the same CD’s a dozen times. Bands have songs and albums so terrible and so trite that I shudder to hear them but, I do everytime I go out. Lyrics are so offensive to anyone who is thinking that they would not only stop listening, but be personally offended. They aren’t though. It simply doesn’t matter enough to be offended to most people.
You guys, the fans, are every bands judge and jury. You are the ones that can change it. It takes time and effort and work, and standing up to the masses of people who are mindlessly consuming.
This scene was something I loved, the depth of it, the honesty of it, the brutality of it from time to time. You guys can take it back if you want it. Or, you can do nothing.”