This idea has been clawing at my heart for practically the whole month. Like a pressing call of nature or the daunting and haunting leer of hovering guilt.
Ignoring the urge won’t help either. It’s 11pm and Im up watching Narcos but my head is stuck on the theme song. ‘Soy El Fuego’ I think they call it. A sweet ballad that is sung with one’s head in their hands, ponderous, ruminating on all the sad things that make life so drab. A farewell to the dead and to those already halfway there.
There’s lots of these drab things going around these days and the spirit compels my pen (or rather the keys on my otherwise rickety Toshiba Satellite c650) to do the talking once more. And what you may ask, haunts my waking moments like a shadow that I must stay awake and plough on in mindless soliloquy?
Well aside from the escalating price of beer, cigarettes, bottled water, this cantankerous rain, the state of my finances and the smug thugs we have parading as government, there is the small matter of music which I take the liberty to once in a while, take some concern on.
I’ll get straight to it then. I am sure you have at one point in your life felt like you get an undeserved praise. If you haven’t then let me give my example because I have. I have felt that my best achievements lie in the past. The present and sadly the future, it seems is meant for other people. And I have felt an immense pressure to start accounting for my dwindling stock.
You see, the nature of the material universe and the life that is governed by the laws of relativity is that everything loses meaning the moment it is put into effect. As time passes that great 14 yard throw you just did is quickly surpassed by the exploits of another teenage hotshot whole be throwing an extra 2 or so yards in the not so distant future (with or without the help of narcotics). One day you are the love of the world and the next day you are old news that the butchers will use to wrap meat with for the customers.
This law of vibration as some would like to call it applies to everyone including the rock bands in this country. Sooner rather than later, that EP you released one or two years ago will account for naught but idle talk of how it used to be.
A good example is Last Year’s Tragedy, a band I would love to single out for praise. But praise at what expense? Let’s wind the clock back a few years. Last Year’s Tragedy is one of the oldest bands that is still active. Their performances are a sight for sore eyes. Needless to say that you’ll be leaving the show with a hoarse voice and a sore neck from all the moshing. Good band with lots of potential, goes without saying!
This band, has an EP that was released in 2013. The EP ‘Challenge Accepted’ is composed of five songs. This year they added a sixth single to add to a total tally of six songs.
With all the reputation and the love this band gets, sadly this isn’t enough and like this writer, LYT is living in the past. With the state of the local rock scene that satiates its appetite for music largely upon foreign content, a local band needs to work twice as hard as an underground band in Germany or even Australia to win the undivided attention of its own home-grown fan base.
The nature of the music industry as it stands is that bands across the globe, with far less following that Last Year’s Tragedy are producing music at least on an annual basis. With time, and that time is quickly coming to pass, the legend that is Last Year’s Tragedy will soon be nothing more than legend, a phantasmagoria, because the old fan base of 2012 and 2013 is quickly getting disillusioned by the inactivity. 2015 is quickly handing the mantle to 2016. And anyone with any sense will agree that 5 songs isn’t enough to keep a fanbase on its toes for 3-4 years.
More importantly it is absolutely imperative to woo new fans with new material. Present day metal heads and rock lovers are busy listening to unknowns from across the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. With the help of our largely inactive bands and constant access to the internet, it is now a reality that the light from distant galaxies are far more prominent than the lamps on our own front yards.
Too much flak you say? Maybe. It may be true that we are being completely insensitive to the plight of bands in this country. Getting studio time isn’t a walk in the park and most especially getting the money to set up that studio time. When a huge chunk of your band is also working 8-5pm jobs and saddled with family commitments, then producing music constantly isn’t as easy as it seems. Couple that with an ungainly fan base that is unpatriotic and unsupportive then you don’t find yourself with much incentive to be active? So let’s just sit back and ride out our reputation till it dies.
But the funny thing with life is you can’t be a fence sitter, otherwise you are not of help to anyone including yourself. Either you bite the bullet and soldier on with purpose, or quit altogether and take the high road like a lot of brave people have done. And I say brave because they are willing to live with the regret of not taking up their commission and making their dream a constant reality.
So what will it be Last Year’s Tragedy and everyone else who hasn’t produced music since freaking 2011 and yonder? Absence of Light, In Oath, Void of Belonging, LOADB and the others? Blue pill or red pill? It has to be one form of courage, the journey or the exit door. No one lives at the train station.