A to Z of Making It, Alternate Reality, Music, My Stories

2015

STREAMING
Streaming wins. So if you are an artist and your business model is based on recording an album and selling it, then you are challenged. However if you are an artist that creates new music to engage with your fan base then the world is your oyster.

DATA
The greatest value of any online company lays in the consumer data it collects. Why do you think Google, Amazon and Facebook are valued so high? So if you are an artist with an online presence what do you know about your fans? How do you turn fans into customers? How do you reward them?

DIVERSIFY
Diversity is the key to survival in any business. Amazon back in 1993 started off as an online bookstore. Now look at what it sells and what other services it provides. If you are an artist you start off with creating music. Then what is the plan.

NEWS/MEDIA
Who can we trust to be impartial today? The main news outlets are owned by massive corporations who are conspiring to control the narrative. They exist today to serve a select few. The ones that control the narrative are the ones that control life because in the end people love a story. That’s why novels, TV and movies are popular. That’s why reality TV shows employ scriptwriters.

TOURING
All the money for the artists is in touring. If you are a new band, then you need to establish a fan base before you even contemplate playing a show or touring. It’s totally different to when I was starting out. If you are a small independent band and self funded or a large independent band and self funded your mission is to constantly release new music, connect with fans and play live. It’s a lot of hard work and if all band members are not on the same page animosity ensures.

ALBUMS
If you are going to spend the better part of a year writing and recording it, then it needs to be great from start to finish. Good is not good enough anymore. Even though Five Finger Death Punch released two albums worth of music they really had enough great songs for one nine track album. Machine Head went three tracks too many on their new slab. Megadeth on Super Collider really had three good songs with a cool cover of Thin Lizzy. It should have been an EP instead of an album. Isn’t it better to tour on four great songs then a whole albums worth of music where only one song is included in the live set.

TECH
Our digital lives are all tangled up with the big technology companies, like Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook. These big techies are also becoming the powerful cultural gatekeepers that the much despised record labels held so dear for so long. Will the same hate befall the new cultural gatekeepers like it did the record labels.

TRUST
Our relationship with the large tech companies is based on trust: we trust them however we don’t really understand what they are gathering on us. And that trust will start to erode.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, Piracy

Creativity involves Diversification

I love creativity.  It could be a song, a story, a novel, a comic, a movie, a photograph, a TV show or even a website.  We are overloaded with people creating something.  Some of it is good, some of it is bad.  However that is subjective to my tastes and interests.  Stuff that I like, a lot of other people don’t like.

Due to the Internet, the entry barriers to promote creative works have diminished greatly.  That is a good thing.  Sometimes it takes years for the creative works to be discovered by an audience that appreciates it.

Check out Randy Blythe’s Instagram account.  This dude, takes awesome photo’s and then adds a story to each photo that he takes.  He personalises his creativity.  You don’t have to be a fan of Lamb Of God, to appreciate the creative work of Randy Blythe.  He doesn’t even advertise that he is the singer of Lamb Of God, all he has are the words, “In some band. I try and be a good man.”  Make sure you check out his photos from Prague, during the court case.

Nikki Sixx is another, that is creating quite a few different creative outlets.  Apart from Motley Crue, he also has Sixx A.M.  On top of that, he is a book author, photographer, web show DJ and many more.

Check out the photos on his Tumblr account and on his Instagram account.  Even Nikki Sixx has started adding stories about his photos, in a similar vein to Randy Blythe.

There are others, like Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambria and Corey Taylor from Stone Sour, that released concept albums and are branching out into graphic novels, comics and movie deals.  Robb Flynn from Machine Head is another that is building connections with his fans, by posting his Journals/Ramblings up once a week.

That is what it takes these days to make it.  You need to be creative 24/7.  You need to remain in the public eye.  You need more than just one outlet.  Selling music is a zero sum game.  Having all your eggs in the one basket, is not good risk management.  Spread out, diversify.

You need to connect with people.  It could take years or it could take days, so be prepared to put in time.  You probably will not be paid and any monies you are paid, would not be enough to support a family, but then again, all creative people create because they love it.  It is an outlet to them.  Somewhere through the years, this changed to people creating just to be paid, which is a shame.  Look back at all the masters of history, from Beethoven to Bach to Dali and Monet.  They created music and paintings, not to be paid in the millions, because they wanted too.

So don’t buy in to all of the piracy and copyright infringement bullshit, put forward by the entertainment industry’s lobby groups like the RIAA or MPAA or the labels/studios themselves.  Creativity can bring back many financial gains, you just need to be prepared to put in the time.

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