Thank you Jamie Tate at The Rukkus Room in Nashville, TN for the perfect summary of our current plight as recording musicians. (Used completely without permission, so Jamie I hope you don’t mind 🙂 And thank you Peter Banner for posting in on Linked In.
That said, I am not an audio snob, and Lord knows I’ve got about the crappiest home sound system that money can buy. However, the reality is that Jamie’s diagram is about two completely different things.
One, those of us who make and record music (that’s everything on Jamie’s diagram up to the Vintage British Class A Mixer), we do it for us. Be honest. It’s true. It’s completely selfish. We create because we are compelled to. That’s who we are, and we love the process of making great music, and making it sound amazing.
And I have no problem with that. Being selfish. As an artist the only person you are ever, ever going to satisfy is yourself. Period. And I think that’s a damn worthy goal. If you have something to say, then say it, and f**k any and everyone’s opinion. You”ll never make everyone (anyone?) happy anyway (if you’ve ever written a jingle, film or TV score -you know I speak the truth).
I say, write for you. Produce for you. Create for you.
And the second point (you thought I forgot, huh?), is if others do listen to your music (even on MP3s and $12 ear buds) that’s super extra bonus points! Having others listen to something you created? That’s freaking awesome. That means you created something, then had the balls to take it out into the world.
Which in my mind is absolutely a part of the creative process. You can create all the beauty you want there in your Mom’s basement, but if you don’t take it out into the world… you’ve only done half of your job.
Why? Because our job as artists is to evoke, inspire, and poke at the world around us to get a reaction – an emotion – good, bad, whatever – something!
And if people like what you do. Great.
If they hate what you do. Great.
If they have no opinion? That’s the worse thing that could ever happen. That means you have failed in your job as an artist. Why? Because you were boring.
Write the truth. Speak the truth. Poke at the world – the good, the bad, the unjust – but for God’s sake… just don’t be boring!