Well then. I may be late for the party, but I find myself a way there. And that is the most important part of it, is finding yourself at the finish line no matter how long it has taken you to get there.
I may have been born at night, but it sure as hell was not last night.
Music is my life. It is in my soul. It has always been there, and it will forever remain.
And because of it, when I find myself surrounded by musicians in my social life, it is astounding to determine those who are fake and those who are real.
For those of you who are fairly new and for those who have foolishly forgotten by now… it is no secret that if I find something in music that I really like.. then I am 100% all for it to the point that I even promote it during my own time. I live it, breathe it, rinse and repeat.
I understand in the music business that there is a product that needs to be sold to the masses. It is a musician’s dream come true for their material to spread like wildfire, and perhaps even go viral for just a day.
The more the merrier as they say.
I am not against anyone in the business trying their best to do that and be successful at it. In fact, as I said… I will do all that I can to help make that happen if I can, if I am totally into it.
But I am on to you. I really am.
Today’s example goes international.
A band was brought to my attention from South America. And I had only heard ONE of their songs and I enjoyed it. So I did what any other human being would do, and started to follow the band on social media from top to bottom, left to right. And stuck it out with the band even though there was not much to offer in the way of merchandise. Plus coming from another continent I thought would be kind of tricky.
But the band was nice to talk about it. They gave several different options and offers that would include international shipping. And dummy-me, I took the bait. Not to say that I did not want what I paid for, but I had no idea of the shit storm that was soon to follow.
A storm that would turn me off of bands in general.
It took over two months to finally arrive from South America. And I wasn’t thrilled about it at all. But then again, it wasn’t like there was something I could do about it any way.
So from the beginning, the South American band wasn’t in a good light when it came to merchandise.
The second round came within a week of receiving my first shipment. In fact, I was asked if I wanted some other merchandise in that week BEFORE receiving that first shipment. And again…. dummy-me goes and buys more. Now I’ve spent more than $50 (including international shipping) on stuff that I bought, but haven’t received in hand.
Eventually the first shipment arrived. The second shipment came just as slow. About two to two and a half months after ordering so easily through PayPal.
Second shipment I was more content with than the first for whatever reason. And then just DAYS after receiving the second shipment, I was again given some particular “special offers” that wouldn’t last for very long.
Guess what? I fell for that sense of urgency. Shipment #3 took yet again TWO FRICKIN’ MONTHS. And yes, I was approached during that two month period with offers of something else.
I finally told this band, “I want a t-shirt and maybe the CD. And that’s all. Nothing more.”
To which I was given this rotten wrap-around about how t-shirts are so expensive and everything. And the blame went to shipping costs from South America. Whether or not that is entirely true, I do not know. I do not have a t-shirt yet.
But more and more and more and more options and offers kept coming. After three in a row, I really needed to stop and take a break. But the offers took no break. I began to feel like if I kept saying “NO” that they would stop altogether.
Needless to say, I am not a fan of shipments taking so freakin’ long. Nor am I enticed or interested in watching a “special concert” via the Internet and paying for it. If this band wants to perform for me, they can find a way to come to the United States of America and do it live in person. I mean after all, isn’t that the musician’s way of life? Isn’t that their ultimate dream?? Travel the world and spread their music to as many people as possible. Isn’t that the point of it all???? If not, it used to be at one point!!!
Here’s where it all fell apart for this South American band. Even though I was a huge fan of the one song that I found on YouTube, the live performances were an entirely different thing. And it was unsettling.
There was some teaser videos made for their performances online. Excerpts of performances from the past that were live. This band sounded awful. Absolutely horrible. And it was so full of cringe.
Some bands sound fine when they play live. Others (like this one) not so much. I understand that bands will not sound like a copied self from the studio. But if you can’t sound remotely close, there’s a big problem!!
Ever since, I have been wondering if I was going to be filled with regret to support what I could consider a “lost cause” in the end.
Just recently I saw that the band was posting photos of fans with their merchandise. To which one fan from the USA had like 30 signed photographs or prints. I exclaimed with a bit of envy of the person, and the band took that as an opportunity to jump me privately.
They were going to offer me various combinations of photographs/prints.
Three photos for $11.90.. international shipping included.
Then it went on from there:
Seven photos for $16.90
Ten for $20.90
Twenty for $27.90
Umm… it got worse from there. The original post was of 30 photos. Wanna know how much 30 of them would cost? $37.90
And the band chooses which 30 photos will be sent. Keep in mind they are not signed or autographed. As you can expect, they are leaving that up to the imagination that signing them would be extra.
However… if I wanted to be the one who selected the photographs, they were $5 each plus shipping. Suddenly, just because I want to choose… $37.90 turned into $150 PLUS shipping.
What in the hell??
They sold it as urgent. This time I did not fall for it. The moment that they realized I was not going to buy anything, they stopped talking to me.
I went back to the person who had been contacting me all this time and I went back through every time that they had contacted me. I read over the contents of the conversation and suddenly realized that the evidence was right in front of me. This band never contacted me to say hello. They never contacted me to find out how my day was going. Every time they reached out, they were attempting to sell something.
All the times that I had attempted to initiate contact, was met up with silence and them ignoring my messages.
Let me repeat myself by saying that I fully understand that bands have something they want to sell. And that’s how their career works. But there has to be a level of reciprocity between musicians and their fans. At some type of level musicians must communicate with their fans. How else are they going to know what their fans want?
It is very clear that there is no reciprocity by the way of communication. Either you discuss buying some of their merchandise or purchasing the opportunity of watching them in their live streamed gigs…. or you don’t talk to them at all.
That is bullshit. I am on to you and every other band that has done me like that!!! I’ve received something from other countries. South America, step up your game or lose your career.The separation is soon coming.