I recently read an article (I’m not linking to it…) which asked, “should your band break up if your only fans are your friends?”. I want to pretend to take this question seriously… But it is just too flawed. First of all, it only makes sense if you presume that the band, or even music, is an entirely commercial endeavor. You have to assume there is no inherent enjoyment in the band and there is no satisfaction outside of strangers’ adoration and money. Only if this is purely commercial can one entertain the notion that it is a failed enterprise.
I’m well aware that I see things differently than a lot of people. Music isn’t an option for me; it is a need, a compulsion. I also write for me; it makes it all the more satisfying when people dig it. I’ve had many conversations with different people explaining that playing live is only slightly more rewarding than playing in my studio (and I love playing live). At the center, music is expression; it is art. My playing is me.
So, the question is would I stop doing BassDbler if all of my fans were friends? Fuck off.
If anyone out there is playing music they love to only friends… Good on ya! Keep doing it. Be happy. You’re not the shitholes ruining it for everyone else.
If you’re in a band and you like just playing once a week at a rehearsal space and you don’t play out. Keep doing it. As long as you like it, that’s all the validation you need. You are also not one of the aforementioned shitholes.
Luckily, “only fans are friends” isn’t the case for me… Besides, BassDbler fans are family.
I actually quite enjoy the music business side if things. I appreciate it. I have no aversion to making money or understanding that there is a huge commercial part to play… but it isn’t the only thing. It isn’t the thing which should define your happiness with the music, or bandmates, or yourself.
With that, I encourage all musicians or anyone associated with the music business to check out RenmanMB. Steve is a benevolent genius who had helped me immensely.