Being an unsuccessful artist


17. Mär. 2009, 13:23

At a certain age you have to admit that dreaming about being a rockstar is pathetic. I have reached that age quite some time ago. This fact does not restrain me from making music with friends, trying to find our ultimate level of quality, also another thing which we might have reached long ago – but then again, you never know.
Even as an unsuccessful band, you still want to do some gigs. This means that we must participate in many band battles, as there is no live music culture in the Netherlands. Band battles are quite horrible. You send in your demo, get rejected. Only once every while, you manage to be accepted, mostly because these battles are so low quality they have to accept everyone.
Being accepted, means taking a day off, and driving to the other side of the country to a concrete blockhouse in suburbia. No audience will show up, apart from the members of the other bands, sometimes accompanied by their girlfriends or their parents (who are of our age). You have to wait all night, listening to lousy bands at an absurd volume. As in general, the winner is decided upon by popular vote, we always lose, as we don’t bring along our girlfriends – they obviously have stay home to take care of the children (okay, forget about the parents).
I’m zen about that. The kids deserve to win anyway. Rock ‘n roll is no geriatric therapy (here might be some cognitive dissonance at work). Therefore I changed my strategy, trying to act like a role model for the young musicians – giving them advice about how to fine tune their music and performance.
Lately, also this strategy has become grotesque. I acted really fatherly towards some nice young bands, saying well done and mentioning something about how the required changes that would make their bands really worthwhile. Nowadays, kids are polite, so they nod and say thanks. Only days later, I read in the review in the national newspaper about their great debut album, a week later I hear them on the radio and see them on TV. So much for good advice.


  • Merovar

    I have played on some of this horrible Band Battles myself and I detest them. It's not about the music, not about who plays the most interesting songs or the most unique kind of music. It's always about who rocks the hardest and who has the coolest, pseudo-rockstar-behaviour on stage. I hope you will keep going with your music and find better gigs to play.

    17. Dez. 2009, 8:05
  • sil_mich

    Het positieve is dat er wel een mooi prachtig tragisch verhaal over muziek in zit. Je kunt er altijd nog een boek overschrijven of een film of TV serie van maken.

    23. Dez. 2009, 12:15
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