To everyone who waited, my apologies for the delayed posting. My brain was already on torture overdrive, distilling 20 years worth of thoughts, experiences, and insights on the music industry, and it really took time to decide on how to finally treat the issue at hand without resorting to producing a litany of sins I’d love the music industry to answer for.
This piece, I address, above all others, to my fellow established musicians in the local rock music scene. Most of us have gone way past that enigmatic “dead at 27” mark, so I think it’s about time we started thinking about the future. Not ours – the music’s.
Like so many others in the scene, I’d like nothing more than to just simply make music, have fun, and deliver the shit out of my bowels at every engagement. But the fact is that I’m forced to deal with the business side of things by default and this necessitates my having to arm myself with as much knowledge of the industry’s inner workings as I can just so my crew and I don’t end up getting victimized.
Since the 90s, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to talk to fellow artists about their thoughts on the music scene and one thing I’ve learned through these interactions is that everybody is privy to some kind of industry bullshit or sob story in one form or another. Whether it’s about greedy label execs, fly-by-night organizers, lopsided contracts, under-the-table agreements, payola and other kickback schemes, or even opportunistic poseurs within our own ranks, these rants have essentially remained the same since I first entered the fray more than 15 years ago.
So, I guess the question is not so much about what’s happening anymore (again, since everyone seems privy to all kinds of dirty info) but rather, HOW the hell they keep on happening and WHY in Pepe fuckin’ Smith’s name haven’t we been able to fix these problems in spite of the fact that WE, the MUSIC ARTISTS, are central to all the wheelings and dealings that take place inside the music industry?