20070410

"The Industry" by Steve Albini and John Vanderslice

If you've got a few minutes, here are two really interesting links to read up on.

1. The infamous Steve Albini rant addressed to aspiring bands. Bitter and profound.

"Whenever I talk to a band who are about to sign with a major label, I always
end up thinking of them in a particular context. I imagine a trench, about
four feet wide and five feet deep, maybe sixty yards long, filled with
runny, decaying shit. I imagine these people, some of them good friends,
some of them barely acquaintances, at one end of this trench. I also imagine
a faceless industry lackey at the other end holding a fountain pen and a
contract waiting to be signed.

Nobody can see what's printed on the contract. It's too far away, and
besides, the shit stench is making everybody's eyes water. The lackey shouts
to everybody that the first one to swim the trench gets to sign the
contract. Everybody dives in the trench and they struggle furiously to get
to the other end. Two people arrive simultaneously and begin wrestling
furiously, clawing each other and dunking each other under the shit.
Eventually, one of them capitulates, and there's only one contestant left.
He reaches for the pen, but the Lackey says "Actually, I think you need a
little more development. Swim again, please. Backstroke". And he does of
course...."
2. The fantastic John Vanderslice giving an interview on the future of media and music. (thanks gvsb)
"At some point, the question has to be: Does spending this money do anything for my career in the long-term? Have you ever bought a record because of an ad or a print review? NEVER! You buy a record because someone you trust tells you the new Field Music or Lil' Wayne record is good.
The goal for any band should be fostering a career, and on the scale of me and my label, and my band mates, and my manager, that means recouping.

If you aren't profitable,
1. Your crew is going to eventually give up on you.
2. You will lose your autonomy and you'll start doing weird things to make money.
3. You'll have to work. This is a big mistake!

The music will eventually suffer, and therefore your career will eventually suffer..."

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