Okay, my name is Heron Demarco. Artist/blah blah blah.
Anyway , I’m on myspace the other day and I bump into a guy who I thought had some great music. Really great. So I send an email telling hm how great I thought his music was. He writes me back…..”thanks for the add”.
What? Thanks for the add? What kind o’ generic, cut and paste shit is that? Thanks for the add? Wait a minute. I praise his music, I was about to tell the world about this guy and really pay my damn money to see him and all he had to say was…”thanks for the add”? Wow.
I don’t know what’s going on in the man’s life. Maybe he was having a bad day. True, but come on man, when speaking to people who love your music, or want to do business with you, the kind of day you had has nothing to do with how you handle that situation.
There’s been days when I literally have been in physical pain, stressed out my mind and I’ve still approached my fan mail with personality and appreciation for that person taking the time out to listen to my work, buy a t-shirt, a cd, something. I don’t give those people eneric notes like “Thanks for the add”.
I treat people like they want to be treated. Like a person. A human being. Yeah man those people that you add online and ask to come to your shows are not fuckin ATM machines. Or bottomless holes you try to shove merch and cds down.
They’re living breathing souls. Who also have problems just like you. What if the person who heard your music just found out that his mother has cancer, just lost his job, or something horrendous.
What if your song gave that person some hope? Or what if that person felt so touched by your work that they felt compelled to tell you about it and you turn around and say something cliché? Did you ever think of that?
I know what most of you are saying. That guy doesn’t owe you shit! You know what you’re right, and I just hope he understands that I don’t owe him anything either when he sends out an email blast of his next show and I don’t show up.
And I hope you remind yourself that no one owes you anything when you drop your next cd and only two people buy it. Or only your friends and family show up to the show. Yeah it happens don’t act like it doesn’t. Ask yourself one question if that does happen. What fuck have you done lately for someone? Other than ask them the buy a cd? Or spend their last dime on your labor of love.
I say this because I am a fan of music first and foremost, and believe that fan relationships are a musicians’ life’s blood. Yes before I am an artist I am a fan. A personal hello, thank you, or otherwise could mean a world of difference. Trust me.
After having a one on one discussion with a guy named David Hooper, I became a fan of his. Why? Because David was real. I could sense that he really gave a damn about helping me and pushing me in the right direction. Not saying he’s the only music marketer online that cares. He’s just the only one I’ve spoken to on the phone so I can only speak on that experience.
Let me tell you something here. I’ll tell you the real reason the music industry is in the shitter. No it’s not downloads, or the damn economy. Those are just cop outs.
The real reason why the music industry is on life’s support is because the labels, the artists, the content providers don’t care. The put out crap, write crap, report on crap, and expect you to buy crap with diamonds.
File sharing was built from a necessity. It didn’t just happen because someone wanted to be an asshole and steal music(well at least I hope not..lol). No, it happened because people were tired of paying 15 bucks for 2 songs. So rather than do that, someone thought hey, why not rip the only two good records and share it with friends. The artists and the labels didn’t care so eventually neither did the fans.
I will leave you all with this .I can remember when I lost my day gig a few months back, and I was on a forum explaining my story. Telling them how much I wanted to pursue my dreams etc.
Well much to my surprise it was free for all and people lined up to throw darts at me, tear me down, and just try to kick me even further into the ground. Well it didn’t really turn out the way they expected because I opened a fresh six pack of “fuck you” for all of them, but there were those that gave me words of encouragement, advice, and just a simple…”sorry to hear that happened” to you. It meant a lot.
My point is this. I see a lot of bullying, hateful behavior, selfishness, impersonal acts, and down right nastiness in the industry. I have for years and I’m sick of it. No one gives a shit about you until they can use you for something.
I don’t hear from most artists until they need me to “hook them up wit a website” (my day job was a web designer), come to their show or buy their crap cd. Rarely a hello. You’re lucky if they remember your name.
Most musicians are quick to tear another band a part rather than offer advice, help, some picks, strings, anything other than…”my band is better than yours”.
In a nutshell I’m for the people. The fans. I’m not a fan of the 15 song album with the two decent records. Or the artist that behaves as if he/she is god’s gift.
I think fans are first and foremost and yes I do think about my fans before I release a song. Before I step into the booth, before I do business with anyone. Maybe you should to. Maybe we all should just a little more.
Thanks for your time people.
Heron Demarco http://www.myspace.com/herondemarco