Years ago, I was asking people who knew my music for a description of what I do. In this biz, you’ve got to write a bio, send stuff to reviewers, radio stations etc. In the written material, you need to describe your music. It’s difficult for most people to describe what they do — we all tend to think we’re unique and many of us don’t like to be compared. It’s easier just to ask our friends what they think.
So, I turned to a good friend of mine and asked. He replied, without hesitation, “Wimp rock for losers.”
I laughed out loud. You see, there’s an element of truth to that description. My music is not exactly hard core or heavy metal (although I’ve played in punk bands). And some of the lyrics are about low emotional points in my life (it’s a common theme in music). So, while I think of it as melodic rock or power pop or something, wimp rock for losers (people who have experienced loss) is not too far off the mark.
Justin/Taylor Swift/Bieber, I’m not
I’m never going to be Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Justin Bieber or One Direction. Nor Ozzy Osbourne, for that matter. And that’s a good thing. I get to do what I want to do. I don’t have to worry about being popular. I can write about things that might offend people. I don’t have to exercise 2 hours a day to keep my sex-symbol body and I’m probably never going to work with a choreographer. These are good things. And my music is not going to sound like top-40 music.
you probably don’t relate to top-40 music, do you?
And like the baby in the picture above, you and I make whatever we have going, work — even (or especially) when it’s not trendy.
The death of the ‘Rock Star’
The beautiful thing about music these days is that, compared to the way it was in the ‘old days’, it’s easy to get your music in front of people. In those days, the barrier to entry was very high. It cost thousands of dollars for studio time. You typically had to manufacture 1,000 CDs at a time and you had to pay for that up front. And if you wanted to make it available to millions of people, you had to be a one-in-a-million shot and “get signed” to a major label. And as the public, we mostly consumed what the record companies fed us (fortunately, some of it was pretty damned good!).
The lucky few were “rock stars.” We would likely never meet them. They played arenas. They flew in jets. They had legendary parties to which we were not invited.
The birth of the uncool
Now, it’s different. If you’re skilled, you can make pretty good sounding music on your computer. You can put it up on your website and make it available to literally billions of people (getting their attention is another thing though). And there’s no artificial barriers between the musicians and the people who listen to them. You can see what your favorite musician had for lunch on their twitter account. You can watch backstage videos, behind-the-scenes stuff from recording sessions, Q & As on Reddit…
There’s more of a two-way relationship. And you can relate to your favorite artist, like they’re a person (which they probably are).
Maybe you’ll even relate to what I do. Maybe it will reach you or touch you in some way. Maybe you’ll simply like the melody or find yourself humming the tunes tomorrow. Take a listen. Is it wimp rock for losers?
PS: The other day, another friend called my music “dad rock.” I’ll embrace that label too.