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Bands and Crazy Fans-Double edged Sword.


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These days, why do fans feel like they’re owed something more than just music by their favorite bands/artists? Fifteen years ago when we were in crazy fan age, we simply didn’t have access to our artists. Things like meet n greets were only won on the radio. You read interviews in Spin magazine and bought “tell all” paperback fan books on sale at Waldenbooks.

You waited in line at midnight to buy records the night before they came out. You did it because that was the closest you could come to supporting your artist. Then the internet happened and suddenly there were daily blog posts of interviews with the band, personal online journals on artist homepages, and the wild world of twitter. Suddenly you’re being showed photos of the band’s daily life and being told who they’re hanging out with, where and why. They share information with the world (well, their fans who care to care about their world) that only friends & family of the artists would know about should the world wide web not exist. If you’re a super fan and maybe a little crazy, as most super fans are, over time you sorta get a feeling that you’re actually close to the artist. Like if you lived in the same place and ran in the same circles, that you’d probably be friends.

You begin to care about the people behind the music. As a result of this caring, a one-sided intimacy is established, and people begin to feel like they want a unique experience with the artists, just like they would with any of their real life friends. (Yes, it’s unfortunate that most people don’t realize how truly one-sided these “relationships” are.) Limited edition remixes don’t have the same value as an @reply on twitter or conversation after the show. You know, the kinda shit that happens between friends.

There’s totally a level of delusion that comes along with the fans thinking they’re “friends” with band folk. That’s a given. But combine that with the lethal combination of kids being raised these days to be spoiled rotten and ridiculously selfish and you’ve got a recipe for creepy fan disaster.

** HOWEVER, the intimacy promoted by the internet actually ends up benefiting the artist in the form of ca$h. We’re in a world where records don’t sell as much and shows don’t sell out bigger venues often. I don’t want to argue how we got to this situation, but we’re here. So you’ve got artists desperate for the attention and wallets of their fans. You’ve got to somehow figure out a way to get people to care enough to take it to a level of INVESTING in your talent. You’ve gotta get em to want to pay for that music, those tickets, and those t-shirts. You can’t make a living putting out music just for creative sake. It’s a career and anyone who tells you otherwise is a broke ass hippie.

So who buys the most of your shit? The crazy fans. The music business is no doubt a business and it’s all about the hustle. The internet has just made the ability to hustle or connect with your fans so much easier. It is this hustle that can build a strong a fan base and moves units. For many, this may not have been the original intention of the social media and such, but it’s turned into one of the saving graces of the failing modern music industry. You aren’t just selling a song anymore, you’re selling the brand you’ve created along with it.

Fan clubs are a great example of monetizing this brand / persona. They offer sneak peaks into all sorts of useless shit and you ask people to pay for access to that. And who’s going to care enough to do that? The crazies. It’s a double edged sword. You want people to give a shit about your band but then when they care too much or make it too personal, it’s creepy and needy.

At what point are you wiling to lose a revenue source because it gets too weird or personally taxing to keep up with? And for the record, I’m not totally for or against people wanting more from their artists than just the music. The blame falls a little bit on the chicken and a little bit on the egg. I understand both points of view but mostly I just think that it comes with the territory of living in the public eye, so suck it up or get a regular day job. Shit, I feel like old man Lefsetz now. Whatever happened to just waiting outside the venue by the bus and asking for a photo or an autograph? Oh wait… they do that too and EXPECT that the artist will go chat them up like they’re best friends. :lol:

Sent to me by an Aquaintance via email.

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