(I got the idea of this post from a post about journalism by Jussi Mäntysaari . Music journalism and band interviews, to be more exact. This gave me an idea. Read it if you want but beware: it’s in Finnish: http://alsosprachjussi.blogspot.fi/2012/12/ei-enaa-artistihaastatteluja.html ).
Back in the 80s, when I was young, I and the boys next door got into Kiss. Kiss was something huge, a group from another world or another dimension. We hardly knew anything about them as there was no Internet around – we just had read about them on Finnish music magazines.. We knew they were from the USA and had recorded some albums that affected us in a weird way.
So, we wrote a letter to them in very rudimentary English. “We are fans, can you please send us some guitars so we can be like you?” was the core of the letter. We never got a reply. Or our guitars. Why, Paul, Gene & the rest of the guys, why?!? 😀
And when I listened to the radio and found a damn interesting band, sometimes all I knew about the band was the song itself. Nothing more. It could be that no Finnish magazines ever wrote about them. But I was cool with it. Music was the most important thing and if I bumped into information about the band, fine. That was bonus.
Now, almost thirty years later, things have changed. Teenagers don’t pick their favourite bands from television, radio or the magazines. They can be found on the Internet. You see a video on YouTube, get to their Facebook page, send a message and a bit later, you can even get a personalized reply. And you can get all the possible information from the band in no time. It’s almost like the members of the band live next door. Almost.
There is no mystery in the music business anymore. Is it good or bad? I don’t know. It’s different, that’s all I know.
Perhaps it’s me? I’ve learned a lot since the first demo of our band. I know how the music industry works. I know what bands have to do to get an album released.
Let’s just say both have changed. The world and I. Still, one question remains: can I go back to my teenage years? Can I listen to an album and feel the magic again? Well, yes, partly. Damn good songs still affect me in a good but weird way. But then, I’ll have to start digging information about the band. “Where do they come from? How do they look? What are their influences?” and all that stuff. Because the information is there.
What’s the solution to this problem? Should all bands be like Tool? They very rarely give an interview, you know. There is a certain amount of mystique around them. And that makes them more interesting to many people.
So, bands, don’t be like most bands. Be mysterious. Don’t spread around information about yourselves. And remember: in the end all that matters is your music. You’re just a carpenter, although you’re still interesting to some people.