Social Distancing: (insert some witty remark here and make sure it’s not something everyone’s already heard a million times)
These are dire times. There is no way around it. Sure, there is something good in this, as there always is, but I wish Mother Nature hadn’t had to resort to such drastic measures to save herself. Well, we had it coming…
If I just keep this within the parameters of the band and music, this is what’s up. Our gigs are all canceled for now and no active work is done on bookings. We’re not practicing together as a band at the moment. The album work is still progressing (more on that below) and some new ideas are being worked on. That’s pretty much it.
So yeah, the album progresses. We got the first mixes today – fuck yes! Felt pretty weird to put them on for the first time… Nervous excitement. Is it going to be all shit, sound terrible and be full of mistakes, or will it be something insane and out of this world? Based on the first rough listen, it’s somewhere in between (surprise, surprise). These are mixes, not mastered versions, so they still sound somewhat “dry” and “sterile”.
Other things we’re working on are things like album name and cover art, distribution/publishing model, and legal aspects of our money stuff (i.e. should we form a company and, if so, how).
I just want to close by some current thoughts. Music, both live and recorded, is fucking important. Why else would people make the effort to do all these shitty living room live streams and stuff. The audience also makes the effort to tune in. Imagine lock-down without any music or audio-based art. It’s not possible in the long run. The shittiest thing with the current business models is that artists (“content creators”) suffer most of the current situation, not the streaming platforms or internet providers, who benefit from the content. Also venues are forced to close, some probably permanently. It’s a travesty that platforms like Spotify now introduce charity services where an artist can request tips from their fans. Fucking hell, Spotify, just share some of the revenue with your content creators instead.
I am genuinely worried this is all accelerating the inevitable trend of more and more “music like content” being generated by artificial intelligence, and all revenues going to these digital streaming and AI platforms. Now, it is a valid question to ask if this is such a bad thing. The philosophical and moral dilemma isn’t straight forward. If AI takes 25% of Max Martin’s revenue, is that really so bad? What if AI can introduce musical innovation us humans cannot imagine? New chord progressions, rhythmic patterns, harmonies, etc. However, to me music has always been a human-to-human interaction. A human writes it, a human performs it and a human listens to it. Everything else is noise (as Otis Gibbs says in his podcast intro). But that noise collects all the money and I don’t trust it cares about anything else than collecting some more.
So while you should look after yourselves and your loved ones, maybe also look after your favorite artists, be that a songwriter or performer. Buy their album or merch, or donate in ways that go directly to them. Join and share their live streams and videos and shit. And if you can and there is a way, also support your local venues. Without them, what’s the point really?
Hang in there. We’ll do the same.
Lasse / Flush