Producer Musings d

Producer Musings 005 – If Its Not Awesome, Its Terrible

“The difference between a good performance and a great performance is a nap.” – George Burns

There are some cold harsh realities to the music industry that many sensitive fragile artists are not willing to explore or accept. In truth you need to do both. Accept it. Then Explore it. This is your ONLY chance of getting anywhere in this place that Hunter S. Thompson once described as “a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. ”

Here is the truth about your recordings, live shows, music videos, etc. If they don’t immediately hit people in the face with some form of attention grab. If they don’t immediately cause uncontrollable flashing of the audience’s internal “Awesome Alerts.” Then what you are doing sucks.

Seth Godin spelled this out years ago when he taught us all about the ubiquity of “very good” artists. Very good is NOT awesome. If you are very good you FAIL. If you are very good you are TERRIBLE. You and your band, and your EP, and live show is either awesome or terrible.

If you’ve been at this for a while a don’t have very many fans. You need to admit and embrace the fact that you are fucking terrible at this. Get over that sole crushing hump and explore and analyse your terribleness. Find out why more people don’t come to your shows or buy (or pirate) your recordings. Solicit the audience for honest feedback and seek out music industry experts (people with golden ears) to give honest criticisms of your music.

Do something with the feedback. Listen to what the feedback is saying. Don’t argue with it or rationalize your way out of the criticism. Face the music! Do something constructive with the feedback you get. Even if you are shocked by it. Even if you don’t believe it (it can’t be true…it just can’t be). Trust me it’s true.

The message of stay true to your convictions and heart only applies to insanely gifted and focused artists. Everyone else (the majority…most likely you) are beating dead horses. Chasing impossible pipe dreams. And wasting their time and everyone else involved.

If you can do this exercise (embrace, explore and analyse your terribleness), then I believe you have the skin thick enough to actually have a small hope in hell of a career in the music business. If your ego is too fragile and you can’t go through this exercise in a meaningful way, then you don’t even have a small hope in hell.

This rant was inspired by Martin Atkins. Someone who can dish out tons of music industry realities that every artist needs to hear! Google him fuckers!!!

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