A band asked me whether or not I had contacts to people in the business who would like their music. The question itself is a hypothetical question, because there is no way of knowing how a person, even someone you know very well, will react to a piece of art. They might like it. Equally, it might leave them completely cold. Or, sort of luke warm.
The strange thing in this particular case was that the music had not yet been written or recorded.
Imagine if someone asked you to pass judgement on a song like that: one that didn’t exist. Imagine if they then asked you to imagine what others might think of it.
Ah, but there is a reason why someone would think to ask that question. Music made according to a preconceived idea is the thinking behind the question. See, if we have these kinds of riffs and those kind of shoes, that drum sound and this haircut, this ethereal female vocalist over that chopped up beat… and we’ll get something that could be “viable”.
The dictionary definition of “viable” is “capable of working successfully”, with synonyms like “practicable”, “applicable” and “usable”.
Who the hell would want their favourite new band to sound like that?
As a long time practitioner of the art of making a living on one’s instinct, which is what the music business is all about, I urge any young artist reading this to forget their preconceptions, get out of their comfort zone, find their connection to the Universe and just let rip.
The best stuff will come out of that process, which is, in fact, an anti-process.
See “process” is defined as “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end”.
We don’t want a particular end. We want something that kicks ass, stirs the soul and feeds the spirit.
You with me?