UPDATE II of III
The ramblings are cont…
Control – I don’t want it….but I think we need it….using probability as logic
The more aspects we truly control the better right? I’m not sure there are many that would argue with that simple premise, and I would think as many would agree that you’d expect to increase your stress levels with a dozen more tasks you’ve newly taken on. It is something we have talked about and something I think about quite a lot for this band and life in general. I call this the control paradigm hahaha….
We all know when you over control something you can leave it lifeless, but a lack of direction over choice and style can leave you in an equally bad mess. Which is the worse evil? For us the answer is put into context by time, we have therefore sacrificed some of the spontaneous aspects of this process by preparing every last controllable aspect…TO DEATH :).
After organising all of these aspects, connections within the industry becomes a focus and is often highlighted as the true weakness of organised bands. No matter how prepared we are there will be aspects of the offering that are out of control, whether it’s the people you use for the artwork, your producer or any other party that impacts you. I’m sure the sweeping generalisations are getting a little too much now?!
There are clearly many bands out there with the perfect storm of circumstances….the question that lingers from this obvious fact remains…. What is it the unique nature of the circumstances which makes something work rather than any other aspect?! I mean, maybe the whole thing is so much more pre- determined circumstantial destiny that’s futile to fight .. Barring drastic action of course
Our personal weakness is – 3 members. Just like we discussed in earlier blogs,
I don’t have any interest in recording software or recording music per say..But I have spent days and weeks and months over the past few years improving my patience and ability…for this is an aspect I could surmount and something I don’t think we can afford to compromise. If we stay in a band( or I in music) it seems there are skills which are as important as being able to play live/write. As mentioned above, being a keen social media enthusiast along with a sound or visual proficiency makes you a valuable asset for the challenges of the industry today…this is now part of the language of music.
Other friends approach –
I have a few friends over here and home that are musicians of varying degrees of success and everyone differs in how to approach controlling their’ material. When it comes to missing a person or three, I know bands that rely whole heartedly on session musicians and producers to bring their’ vision to life. This approach is organic and feels natural but I have an aversion. My issue is that, in as much a way as this is natural, organic, free and unique…it leaves too much to chance does it not? Too much to the chance meeting of a number of energies moving in unison and against each other to create the perfect blend of X….
With this approach there is a distinct possibility that song “X” will end up dramatically different to the demo (if there ever was such a thing, blasphemy to some. I’ll come back to this though). There is no question that there is room in this approach for magic and fantastic outcomes….but if it is that special, can it be done again? Can you control it? Or was it by chance? For me, this approach relies on too many factors working at a given time and set of days. Perhaps this is life and how it works, but I figured there is a more controlled approach where we can try to get the exact message we set out from day one of the demos…with a little extra along the way to make it strong.
In the same vain, we approached the demos with our weakness in mind. We decided that we would record the album which we have just made as a three piece 18-months ago. This decision was easier than sensible at the time, but it at least meant that we would be a lot closer to the original vision without constantly deviating(or allowing for another’s needs which should never be ignored but not be well timed when we had already spent so much time crafting the finished work).
With the ambiguity over the backing vox and guitars along with some extra supportive guitars, we didn’t really have a clue how it would actually sound until the end(around nowish)…almost 2 years in we are thankfully surprised with the results as they are, but imagine we weren’t?!…and the whole preparation process was in fact a build up to an experiment called: “can this talented group of individuals come up with something amazing from this premise(riff and vox) in 5 days?! GO!….
We painstakingly went through demos. As an admittance of weakness, we used a Roland on the demos for drums for it was time efficient and meant we could get started asap. The dynamic was of course lost for the most part so in that sense the demos lacked…. The Roland does allow expression though, so it wasn’t completely void of life, there was certainly enough to taste…. But the real deal is no comparison!!! We’re talking M&S cola versus Coke here 🙂
Because we have a mix of personalities that excel in many of the areas we are faced with we have been taking on most of the challenges with the areas of questionable weakness being put in the domino queue of concern….and now the only hope is that the order the dominos in is representory…whilst at all times knowing that has to be flexible…it is the responsible thing to do though no?
This lack of control and direction may mean that money/connections help, but in a world where most people in this world don’t have access to the money required, it becomes a scavenger hunt of compromise Ideally we are looking for a few talented people to assist with our launch. Perhaps annoyingly, we are an involved band with a litany of material we have been exploring for the release and we are looking to collaborate with talented people to bring this dream alive. This notion is both Nobel and valid, but completely useless if you haven’t the above. What tends to happen then is that bands like us start to scower guides, the internet and any connections and similar bands to see who they’re approaching/doing. If you are luck enough to find someone talented and cheap enough to work with…the cheap aspect leverages more freedom on their’ part(fairly), which naturally undermines the point of the experience again.
In other instances, you may find the perfect grad student that needs work for a portfolio, they may capture exactly what is needed…From this things go places for him/her..back to square one. This issue is almost as big as having someone to help for ages and neither you or they go anywhere….a little spot of mutual drowning if you will?
All of these activities all boil down to one fundamental point – trying to sell.
Selling, selling sell, se, llll
Whether you’re a window cleaner, a singer, or the chief executive of a multinational bank – Selling is a fundamental part of everyday life, we are part of the march regardless … seeing this as a positive opportunity rather than an overwhelming is vital, especially with the landscape as it is for up and coming artists.
Recognising the ever presence of this can be depressing Similarly, how you sell yourself socially or professionally and how you leverage opportunities form the backdrop of what people come to expect of you…every step is a defining moment or a potential pitfall.
These thoughts are obvious but I do spend a great deal of time considering the complexities of selling any idea to an impartial audience. In the band context this is all the more stressful for unlike a business where you can hide behind some apparent short coming, it is what it is…. You have to take these songs, package them, wrap them in some nice fonts and design and SELL SELL SELL to the highest bidder. It is vital to see this as a positive aspect, each action must not just yield results but must contain unique thoughts and methods to ensure that this challenging, all-encompassing aspect of what we have to do(but have no interest in)m is treated with the right consideration.
Soooooo, basically if anyone has any ideas, we’re open 😀 hahahah…
There will rather unbelievably be more in the next day or so…for better or worse and all that..