A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Expectations and Some Band Realities

As a fan of music and then as a musician, my attachment to music is 100% completely and purely emotional. Any money I made from music all went back into my music. I knew early on that if I wanted to buy a house, a car and to have a family I had to get a real job that paid me a weekly or monthly wage. Expectations of making money in music never really played on my mind.

So when I started to deal with people (either musicians or not) who had a completely financial attachment to music, I was shocked to say the least. It was an eye opener. It was like when I was doing my law degree and realising that the laws don’t really matter, because if you are a person that can put up a good argument and sow that seed of doubt, then you have a chance of winning a case even though that person you are representing has broken so many laws.

And of course, then there is the justice that is dished out to the wealthy compared to the poor.

So imagine being in a band, when the drummer just talks about making millions but does nothing to contribute except complain that he doesn’t like a section in the new song because it is too technical to play and people don’t need to hear crap like that. Then thirty minutes later when you tell him to play a stock beat, he refuses to do so because it is not technical enough.

Growing up my dad was a musician.

He had weekly gigs and got paid well for them. On top of that he also worked his 35 hour week at the local steel mill and he took all the overtime they offered.

So for my dad, it was always “When are you going to get a real job?” because the weekly musical gigs that I was getting were not paying nowhere near as much as what my dad was getting. Of course my dad played the wedding scene and there was plenty of money in that, however when I started to gravitate towards metal and rock music my dad thought I was up to no good, doing drugs and being irresponsible.

But I never really had any expectations that my music career would come together. In my head I always knew it would be a lifetime struggle, like the Anvil story. And to be honest every musician needs to be thinking the same. Sociologists have shown how a focus on short-term profit can become a strategy of long-term decline.

A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

Artists Need To Do More To Stay In The Game. Lessons from the Diary Of A Frontman.

I really dig “The General Journals – Diary of a Frontman… and Other Ramblings” that Robb Flynn puts out there. I see them as honest and man he talks some hard truths in there. In an environment where a lot of metal artists are still trying to get some ink in magazines and newspapers as a sign of success, Robb Flynn is going straight to the core. He is speaking to his audience without the need of a middleman.

The truths and frustrations on the song writing process, the whole parting with Adam Duce, the depression that came after it, the Beneath The Silt post, the acoustic shows, the gigs, the Power Chord post and so on.

Most fans of music dig the emotional connection and Robb Flynn is there on the front line trying to make a difference.

Love him or hate him, this is what Robb Flynn is doing for the metal community. He is making a difference. It doesn’t all have to be about YouTube videos or posts of cover songs. The blog is sufficient to keep people interested in Machine Head, without any new music coming. As soon as he releases a new Journal, hundreds of other websites pick up the story and add their own little take on his words.

Randy Blythe is another who is connecting with his photographs.

They are connecting with their fans on different levels.

Every post about the band dynamic and the song writing process, I can relate. I can connect with that. I am sure many other musicians can as well.

The metal community is still about the album cycle. This needs to change. It’s not the nineties anymore. Unless an artist’s product is so outstanding it sells itself, artists need to do more to stay in the game.

Too often artists are unapproachable. I have never met Robb, but I bet whoever he comes across, he will be open to discussion, because he is passionate about what he does. He is excited to talk about his past, the albums that influenced him and current music that has his interest.

Outside of the metal community, you can say that he is unknown to most. He is not mainstream, nor does he want to be. Most of us will fade away and those who create great art will live on, through their work.

Unlike so many in the metal community, Robb Flynn was a seasoned performed when he had success in 1994 with “Burn My Eyes”. As he is getting older, he continues to achieve success. From 2003, and with the addition of Phil Demmel, Machine Head has gone from strength to strength.

In a musical world run by Corporations, who only see the fame and the dollars, Robb Flynn is the anti-hero, the one that is looking for the career. You woodshed, you wait for your time, if you’re great, you will triumph.

He is not fussed if he makes a million dollars or thousands of dollars or hundreds of dollars. All he cares about is being involved with creating music. It’s all about the sound, the song and upon this foundation, Robb Flynn has created his best work. The post on “Halo” and how it took six months to be written is pure gold.

When the history of metal is rewritten in the future, Machine Head and Robb Flynn will be spoken about and revered.