Calling It Quits: Playing in a Band No One Likes

I Threw a Show in My Heart and Nobody Came

What's it like being in a band that you think is amazing and everyone else is completely indifferent to? Well, it's a lot like a job where you're the laziest guy on the shift and everyone knows it; it's not great, but it beats working. Except you're working really hard and it sucks. And all your friends are getting promotions, and even if they eventually get dropped by their promotions, they at least got a taste and what did you get? First on a bill of three on a Tuesday night. Like your life, the analogy eventually falls apart.

[...]

I wanted to be successful. Not rock star successful, but successful enough that I'd be tending bar six months out of the year instead of twelve. I wanted to be at least Murder City Devils successful. And I have the idiotic tattoos to prove it. You don't get a flaming 13 on your arm unless you're deeply invested in being the sort of person who's earned a flaming 13 tattoo on their arm. I wanted to die semi-young and leave a semi-successful corpse for my mother to cry over. So what one wants out of the band is entirely irrelevant. The world is a vampire and you are a bucket of blood sitting in the corner, unattended yet still strangely ignored, until you go bad and somebody inadvertently kicks you over and the floor is incredibly sticky and still the vampiric world fails to pay you a morsel of mind. Poor li'l bucket of blood.

If this narrative seems to be lacking in specifics, that's because, as I noted earlier, the specifics aren't entirely interesting. And I should be clear that I'm not speaking for anyone in the band other than myself. If you want their perspective, corner them in a bar and ask them. Like the leprechaun, if you capture one of us, we have to give up our gold. But in this case, the gold is a list we keep in our back pocket of everyone in the industry who ever lied to us. But, hell, I imagine even those monsters have their point of view. It couldn't have been easy to deal with five rapidly aging problem drinkers who were watching themselves become the butt of jokes in the Brooklyn Vegan comment section.

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2 Responses:

  1. Mike K says:

    I think Jim's response in the article hit the nail on the head “Maybe people just don’t like you.”. We get asked to play from folks who can book us, instead of begging. Begging to play, just demeans your talent. You can do some self marketing, but don't whore yourself out. We're not selling out shows, but you also have to look at the market. How many folks can pay to see/hear us in the market?