4.03.2007

After our interview was broadcast, Ajay sent me an email from someone that has a different podcast. She had some really nice things to say about me, so I wrote her and thanked her. She replied and, among other things, told me about her brother, who is telling her that he wants to skip going to University to play music, and that she was frustrated by this. The back and forth piqued my interest and I look fwd to her reply, and I thought I'd post it here to bounce it off of you guys as well:

Dryshave -

"Hi Tim,

You're welcome for the kind words about your interview. It's refreshing to hear a musician who has an understanding of the soul of music and can find contentment making music whether for himself or a large audience, while maintaining logic in regards to business. That's a rare combination. It's also rare to hear a musician give thoughtful answers while being interviewed.

I have a 17 year old brother who lives in Ajax and plays the bass in a band. He and his band are so convinced that they are going to be rock stars, that they are forgoing all plans to go to college/university. I just want to ring his neck but at the same time I respect his passion for music and admire how much time and effort he puts into practicing and writing songs. I try to convince him to get a music degree so that he will have something to fall back on, but he just scoffs at me. At least a music degree would allow him to enter other professions, without losing his intrinsic love of music i.e. music therapist, session player, music teacher etc.

Anyway, I won't bore you with my family drama haha.

Take care and best of luck wherever life takes you next. Sounds like you have your hands full with a new family, which really is a beautiful place to be in life.

-Karen"

Brokenengine -

"Tell him that no one in Canada "makes it".

Look at last years Canadian Idol: Rob James was one of the contestants, and HE had a Top 10 hit in the 90's. TLC, a HUGE act, declared bankruptcy, and they had the luxury of the American market to their benefit. The major labels will only touch you if you sell 15000+ on your own, and by that time, you don't need them anymore. With the major, you get them to do a lot of work for you, but you make $1/album. And all the money they spend on you, promoting you / videos / albums / etc, they only LOAN you, you have to pay it back, while they still make 90% of the profit from your album. And still, they'd rather develop easy things like Boy bands, pop tarts, and for sure things.

You can stay indie and make $10/album, but selling 15k without them is very hard (almost impossible in todays market). So, you tour your ass off, sleep on peoples couches and floors, and slog it out travelling from Edmonton to Winnipeg to Calgary to Montreal(because thats when the gigs are booked, so thats what you gotta do), exhaust yourself and basically fry by doing all the mundane tour support yourself, and not concentrating on being an artist. The only way you can possibly survive this is by sleeping at all times you aren't eating, driving, or performing. Forget about the "Sex/Drugs/RockNRoll" myth, unless you want to burn out in 2 weeks. So, there's that idea of fun out the window. And say goodbye to having a life or future with this. He is 90% to be asking people if they "would like fries with that" when not touring, making next to no money and basically starving when he IS touring, with only a future of "Walmart Greeter" to look fwd to.

And what with the sea change in technology, who knows whats going to happen, what its going to take? It's a really interesting and exciting, and yet scary (because of change, right?) time for indie music these days.

Whats more is, college is where it's at for exposure. I didn't go to university, and here I am, working at Rogers, making an ok living, but not nearly what I'd be making with even a BA to fall back on. I mortgaged my future on trying to slog it out in the indie scene, and the ironic thing is, I probably would've been MUCH MORE succesful if I had gone to University and taken advantage of all the University opportunities to play music and that captive audience. Because you
can't play a big University pub unless you're a student, or a member of COCA, and being a member of that costs money too. Either way, its SO MUCH easier to create a buzz in a University. All those kids WANT any excuse to go out and party, and they all WANT to know guys in cool bands. You can play on campus, or off campus(especially if he goes somewhere like U of T), and still have a safe home base to come home to...

...not to mention all the girls! I know he's your brother, but try
this angle: All those girls, away from home for the first time, looking to find themselves, to experiment, to let their hair down, get wild. Who do you think they want to do this with? Their math tutor, or the cute guy in study hall that plays in the wicked band?

Hmmm, maybe a good idea I DIDN'T go to University, that could've been trouble hahahahah!

Anyway, I hope that helps!"

1 comment:

Ian C. said...

amen brother. amen.