Sunday, September 18, 2011
Bands: A Quick Overview
In an earlier post, I stated that my goal in life was to go in music journalism & hopefully work within the rock/metal scene.
Yeah, well...I been thinkin'.
I've been mulling over what it is that I really want to do for the rest of my life & I'm starting to see that music journalism probably isn't my calling.
First & foremost, I took a journalism class last semester & it SUCKED.
Absolutely horrible. It made me hate the art of journalism with a passion.
Secondly, I think the main reason I decided to become a music journalist when I was in high school was, duh, to chill with bands.
I had this really skewed idea of what a music journalist really does:
They get press passes to talk to bands for a certain amount of time.
They don't get to choose what member of the band they interview, regardless of how little one of the members may know about...well, anything.
They ask standard questions that the musician has already been asked 300x that day.
Then they throw in a few goofy questions to differentiate themselves from other journalists, before getting kicked out of the tour bus or backstage area where they will soon be forgotten for good.
I've met a lot of bands.
Amongst some of the more well-known are: Stone Sour, Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, Shadows Fall, Otep, Unearth, The Veronicas...the list goes on & on.
I remember being at a Good Charlotte/New Found Glory show in 2003 right before my 12th birthday.
As the G.C. guys got off-stage, I yelled Chris Wilson, their current drummer's, name & he turned, smiled & waved at me.
I can't tell you how much that little wave meant to me at the time.
More than everything.
Then, that same night, a couple girls & I saw Chad Gilbert from NFG on the side of the stage, standing maybe 10 feet away from us.
He was talking to some chick in an incredibly short mini-skirt & when we yelled his name, he sort of half-assed waved without even looking at us.
I can't tell you how annoyed I was by that.
Pretty fucking annoyed.
More than annoyed.
Sure, in retrospect, I was just an 11 year old fangirl, but I felt like we, as the fans, deserved just a little bit more respect.
Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Chad Gilbert for some stupid little incident 8 years ago.
That would be silly.
I give him the benefit of the doubt & maybe the stripper he was talking to was actually a tour manager or something.
He was simply preoccupied & I can see that much more clearly now.
The reason I brought that night up, was because it just shows how much musicians, especially these boys in bands, have always meant to me.
I've had experiences with guys in bands being totally different from the first time I talk to them to the second.
Some get friendlier, some become bigger assholes.
I've known an entire band of married men who tried just about anything to get my friend to sleep with at least one of them.
When she repeatedly said 'no', one of the guys resorted to purposely spilling his drink on her & loudly talking shit about her all night.
I've known a couple bands to be some of the nicest, most geniune groups of people I've ever met. (What's up, Killswitch & Chimaira?)
...& I've met some serious, serious dicks.
Take the lead singer of a band I like to call, JizzVomit.
I see homeboy chillin' by an Unearth-merch table during an Unearth/Slayer show.
His band is pretty local & to this day, still remains pretty unknown.
A couple years earlier, though, they scored an opening slot at Ozzfest & because I had the Ozzfest dvd from that year, I recognized him immediately.
Me: Hey. You're name is Sean, right? You play in JizzVomit?
Him: *makes eye contact for a millisecond before nodding* ...Yeah.
Me: You guys were on Ozzfest a couple years back &...
Him: *turns away from me as if to say "Fuck Off"*
So I did.
Then, this motherfucker had the nerve to stand right behind me during Slayer with his little buddy & talk THE ENTIRE TIME.
No shit, he was talking about how he was nervous about getting blood drawn at the doctor's the next day.
&, yes, his real name is Sean.
I'm probably happier working on this post than he's ever been in that shitty band, so that's the way it's gotta be.
I've learned a lot from these "Boys in Bands".
If you're a fan, stranded in the middle of nowhere like I am, it's not very likely you'll ever become best buds with a band.
They're not gonna take you on tour with them.
They won't ask you to do merch for them.
They won't come visit you unless it's at a nearby venue & they have a show there.
&, Ladies, let that whole "I'm gonna find me a musician" dream go.
If there is one thing I've learned, it's that a lot, not all but a lot, of these dudes live double lives on the road.
A lot of them have no respect for women, be it a small-town groupie or the woman they married.
They. Don't. Care.
I've learned to stop looking up to these guys, because, at the end of the day, they're just guys.
Being in a well-known band doesn't make you God or anything close to the sort.
They're just dudes who either know how to work hard or got lucky.
Don't let anyone act like they got shit on you just because they know how to play guitar.
So, will I be spending the rest of my life working with these boys?
Some aspects of it still sound interesting, but the cons are definitely there, just like any other profession.
Nothing is ruled out as of yet.
I'm just trying to see all of these past few years interacting with bands, in a new light.
I'm currently watching a very well-conducted Immortal Technique interview & it's shit like this that makes me want to stay on the path I've been on for the last 5 years.
It's rare to get to interview someone like Immortal Technique in any genre, but maybe having that one good conversation could make all the other ones worth it.
Then again, maybe not...