I was on the Weightless Recordings forum the other day and there was an interesting tangent conversation, which happens a lot on web forums, that revolved around the surprise of how much Weightless product a certain fan claimed to have collected. Basically, someone made mention that they have purchased every piece of merchandise the label had ever released. That is quite impressive, if you ask me – a fellow collector.
It was kind of weird to see people on a fan forum poke fun at someone for being too much of a fan. Is that not the point? Mind you, the folks are the forum are pretty much a fun-loving clique. There are plenty of inside jokes and micro-memes that pop up on the regular (Google “Purgatorious“). I know the gang was not really serious in their teasing of another forum member being maybe too open about his STAN tendencies (think: Eminem’s hit).
The real trigger for my slight angst is that a lot of the forum members are actually hobby artists themselves. Now I may be coming off a bit overly sensitive to some, but it would seem that such a group would be more em-/sympathetic to the plight of the independent artist (collective) and/or label, meaning such jokes would not really be propagated. Then I got to thinking about how often links for downloads for new albums are shared on the forum. That is when my blood really got to boiling a little.
From here on out, it needs to be about putting your money where your heart is.
All the time, we hear artists pleading, “support good music!” Well, how about this? You do it first! Artists are just as guilty of illegally downloading content as the folks they feel are ruining their chances of success. If that is not irony, then call me Alanis Morissette.
Honestly, how can you expect anyone to treat you with any kind of respect when you are not even doing so?
Gain Music Biz Success
From here on out, it needs to be about putting your money where your heart is. Every other industry expects a certain level of integrity out of its leadership. Politicians are scrutinized for every move they make in office; artists should have it very much the same. Let’s see some real action taken!. If you want to have a sustainable community that supports itself, then you need to do more than just showing up and looking cool at events. While showing up is half the battle, there is still another half that needs to be fulfilled. Some sort of giving back needs to applied. The best way you can do that is by showing substantial support to your fellow artists. There are many ways you can do this. Whether you make a point to buy t-shirts from your favorite local band or you volunteer your time at the same band’s merchandise table, it all has tangible value.
Regardless if you want to believe it or not, you are an influence to someone. Recognizing this fact will provide you with the power you need to really build up to your 1000 true fans. As you build this tribe of fans, your interaction with them should be one of genuine trust and appreciation. Keep this group growing and staying true by showing them how to be a self-respecting individual. Your call-to-actions should not always be about your gain. Give of yourself. Introduce your network of fans to your favorite music acts. Find out what causes your fans are passionable about and throw your support behind them if you are in agreement. This kind of action inspires; this kind of action builds presence. This is the prototypical work of the personable geek.
As this is a new year, what are you going to do to become a better artist?