Oct 27, 2010

One Man Bland.

Dear AAP:
I don't think anyone is ever going to understand what I'm trying to do musically. I gave up on playing in bands because it was impossible to get everyone on actually show up for rehearsals and stuff, never mind getting them all on the same page musically. I'm glad I can create all the music I need on my own laptop and send it all across the world potentially, I think if I was born even 10 years earlier I would have given up on music because of all the idiots you have to deal with if you want to make music in a group. So my question is - Does all this technology mean that actual bands of 2 or 3 or 11 people will become obsolete? - SoloBand

Dear SB:
I agree that we are lucky to live in an age where the technology allows anyone, whether a singular visionary or a raging ego-maniac, to create music without the hindrance, input or help of other musicians. This has allowed many people who couldn't integrate their sonic vision with the visions of other people to create the sounds in their head. Hooray for technology!

...it also means that people who LIKE performing with others, who like seeing their vision evolve and go in directions they otherwise wouldn't have dreamed of, who know that a good band is somehow, magically, MORE than the sum of its parts... won't have to cope with as many insufferable blowhards and self-proclaimed geniuses.

Maybe you've just had some bad luck, or maybe you live in a smallish town where there are only a few bands/musicians your age, or maybe you're an insufferable prick who thinks he's the only one in town who knows how to play an A chord... but I have to tell you that all musicians are not "idiots" ..sure they can be a pain-in-the-ass to deal with...but I'm telling you that in ANY collection of 2 to 11 individuals there is going to be friction. Sometimes that friction is worthwhile. Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it IS the friction that makes discovery possible... and I think that is what you risk losing when you decide that you're ONLY going to create music on your own. Don't get me wrong - a lot of great music is made by loners in their basement... and if you have a lot to say that is a great way to get things out of yourself.. but eventually you're hopefully going to be hungry for new ideas about your instrument, or your message or your overall sound and the best way to discover new things is to find them while playing with other people, listening to other people... opening up your mind to someone else's ideas and opening up your heart to what other people are expressing through their music can only enrich your own.

Enjoy your drum machine, sequencers, synths and MIDI interfaces... Create a vast body of work based on all those thoughts and sounds you have swirling in your head... Work it all out and piece it together exactly how you hear it in your head with no compromises and no outside influences... Maybe it'll be genius. Maybe.