Monday, December 27, 2010

A Look Back: The Hardships of 2010

>> 2010 was truly an eventful year in the music industry. Good Charlotte finally released a new album, 14 year old girls couldn't stop talking about that Justin kid with the nice hair, Paramore made great advances in becoming a household name, Something Corporate played a reunion tour, and Ke$ha was... herself. But people don't seem to acknowledge the bands that were overcoming obstacles and taking chances trying to make a name for themselves. I'm not trying to only address the negative events of the year, but one recent event made me realize that artists deserve more recognition for everything they go through in order to share their music with us, the fans.

>> The chain of events that occurred between December 16 - December 22, 2010 provided me with a great example of the hardships musicians face. Back in July, I met my friends Seth & Zakk at a show at the Vibe Lounge here on Long Island. They're from Cape Cod, MA and don't play around here all that often. I got them another show at the Vibe on Thursday December 16th. The way it worked out, this show was on a Thursday with bands even I've never heard of. Seth & Zakk played second, for about 15 people: 3 people who worked there, 9 or so people from the other bands playing that night, a few people I didn't know, and me. In all honesty, I was more upset about the poor turnout than my friends were. They said things like this happen, and that they just treat it like a practice. It was great to see that even with only a handful of people in front of them, the guys made the most of it. You can tell that music is really what they live for, the passion behind every note is obvious to anyone who has ever seen them perform. After they played, one of them said something that completely changed my perspective on things:
It doesn't matter if we play for 5 people or 500. At the end of the day, that's still 5 more people that have heard our music and have given us a chance.
>> We left after they played & the guys stayed at my house that night. (*Note: This is by no means a common occurrence.) The next morning, their van wouldn't start. It wasn't in the best condition to start with, considering it was from 2000 & had over 300,000 miles on it. Long story short, the guys ended up taking a train to New York City, then another to Rhode Island.
"We had to hail a ride by hitting up every person in our contacts and finally got a hit from a friend. Hah, so it was a stroke of luck that we got out of RI." - Zakk
>>They had to leave the van at my house, which is a good 5 hours away from where they live. Zakk had to borrow a car to drive back down that Sunday (2 days later) just to find out that the van started this time, and the tow company wouldn't take it. He had to drive back home by himself without the van, having gone a total of 10 hours out of his way for nothing. He came back down again the next day, and the van died again after going only a few blocks. He ended up having the van taken to a junk yard on December 22nd since it wasn't worth trying to fix it. Now they're working without the van, which will make it much harder to get to shows, let alone get all of their equipment there too. It was a really complicated, stressful, drawn out situation that nobody should have to experience, but it was handled with determination and only mild frustration.

>> This is only one example of the hardships faced by artists every day. They do their best to make music they can be proud of, and hope that fans will enjoy it just as much. These musicians aren't looking for fame (although they probably wouldn't mind it). Their main goal is to do what they love and share it with people who might love it too. That's why it's always important to support lesser-known artists. Bands like Envy On The Coast and Bayside have a great following today, but they started out as local bands here on Long Island. Bayside has been together for 10 years, but they've faced their share of hardships along the way. The same can be said for Envy, who actually broke up in 2010 due to various obstacles in the industry, and within the band itself.

>> Just because a band has signed with a label, it doesn't mean that they are guaranteed "success." Just because you've never heard of a band, it doesn't mean that they don't deserve your attention. My goal in writing this isn't to highlight the negatives about being a musician, but to show how much these artists go through to share their music with whoever is willing to listen. Next time you get one of those annoying messages on Facebook from some guy asking you to check out his band, give them a chance. Who knows, they might turn out to be your new favorite.


info said...

well said, kate!

Kate Russell said...

Thank you! :)

Seth said...

awesomee <333 love itttt! :)