Music and The Music Industry
We posted this on our Facebook last week in response to what seemed like some of our fans misunderstanding our position on the issue of pop music vs indie music, and we were overwhelmed with the response we got and the massive support everyone has shown us.
You can read the original post here and also view all the kind comments everyone left too, but we thought we’d copy the post and put it below too for any of you that haven’t read it yet and don’t fancy having to go over to Facebook.
Thanks again for all your support, it truly does mean a lot!
We’d like to take a minute to address some of the issues that we’ve been facing recently (including some of the arguments involved on the status we posted last night), and also in regards to what we’re currently doing and what we’re trying to achieve.
Our long term goal is to be able to get ourselves into a position where we can be performing every night, playing music for people that love what we do. That’s probably kind of obvious, but we think it’s good to remind people. We aren’t the kind of people that are motivated by money, if we were then we would have been lawyers or accountants. But we chose to try and form a band because its something that we love.
That said, we find ourselves in a very difficult time at the moment. Trying to be in a band full time, work full time hours, and balancing some kind of normal life doesn’t really work.
The issue regarding the anti-chart music feelings seems to have got completely out of hand. Every time it gets mentioned we feel our point becomes lost as it spirals out into a debate on musical politics. We would like to try and explain now as simply as we can, that we are not against pop music, the music industry, or the artists themselves. There is always a place for pop music, because there are always people who enjoy listening to it and will keep buying it. And that is absolutely fine.
The point we have often tried to make however, is that there is a huge stylistic imbalance and overall lack of variety of types of music that gets through the selection process to be given enough promotion to be allowed to get in to the charts. Anybody who looks closely enough into to the way the music industry works can see that it’s not simply a case of writing the right songs and then sitting back and watching them go to number one. You have no chance of competing against any artist with a promotional campaign backed by a large company, because you simply aren’t going to get enough exposure.
And that’s where the frustration comes in. We feel there are many people who enjoy listening to rock/alternative/indie/guitar-music/whatever you want to call it, and they are underrepresented at the moment.
We aren’t saying we are the band that will be able to change that, but we’re willing to have a go. And we think if we can convince more people to have a go too, then we might get somewhere.
In response to the criticism about the songs, we are grateful for your advice and opinions, and we do read them all and take them on board. We may not always agree, and if we don’t then we’ll probably try and debate it with you, but only because we’re interested in hearing your side of the argument and we’re wondering if you’ll be able to show us something we’ve not thought of before.
The problem we’re facing at the moment is that we’ve developed so much since we released Melrose Yard Demos a year ago, but due to the circumstances we are in we don’t have much to show for it.
We’re going to be completely honest and tell you that for the past 6 months we’ve been talking to a few labels who have expressed interest in signing us, but feel that the market isn’t quite ready just yet for us to be a worthwhile investment. “Indie music isn’t selling right now” has been the catchphrase of these meetings, and has sort of buried itself into the heart of the band.
So we’re left still doing all of this 100% on our own. No financial backing, no marketing or PR team, just us 4. It’s basically like trying to run a business. We have a product that we are trying to sell in order for us to make a living. It seems bad because nobody likes outing a monetary value on creative work, we always like to think our creations are worth more to people than the amount they pay for them, and we think every artist feels that way too.
So we’re left trying to develop this business, with no idea what we’re doing and no experience. Mix that with working late, lack of sleep, bad emotions and a lot of alcohol, and sometimes we don’t make the best decisions. We know you can see that sometimes, but we hope if nothing else you know we’re always being honest.
There’s no point lying to your fans, they’ll see right through it, so we’re trying to get everything out in the open.
Yes some of the songs off MYD appear childish and ‘6th formy’ as someone put it, but you know there’s a reason for that… because we were 17 years and at 6th form when we wrote them!
The Swings & Roundabouts EP was more recent and we tried to experiment with some different styles after hearing back from you guys saying some of the songs were a bit similar. And we’re quite happy with the way that turned out. However, since then we feel we have upped our game and grown into our sound much more, and we have written and recorded another 12 songs that are much more in line with where we feel we should be right now.
We can see your confusion, looking at us as a band 2 and a half years on from when we started, still trying to promote the same songs and claiming we’re doing big things. And all we want to do is get in the studio and record them for you all to hear, then go on a tour to every city in the UK (and some of the other wonderfully exotic places some of our fans are lucky enough to live!) and play them all for you, but we can’t, for several annoying reasons.
Record labels want new songs that have never been released. Every label we have talked to has said “we love the songs you’ve put out, what else have you got.” There always has to be a queue of new songs available before anybody becomes interested. Nobody would want to invest their money into recording and releasing the songs off Melrose Yard Demos for us, because they’re already out there for free. And the same with the Observations single we put on iTunes. So we’re left fighting this frustrating battle between trying to keep our fans happy and the labels interested, and it’s not easy!
But we’re gonna keep at it. As long as you guys keep watching the videos and reading our posts and debating stuff with us, we’ll stay motivated.
So we want to thank you all for all of your support, as always it does mean a lot and to see so many of you getting involved in the discussions, no matter which side you take, is great to see.
Keep helping us spread the word by telling your friends about us, and we hope to have some good news for you soon.
Ben, Ash, Ross & Jordan.