What did you have to lose to gain?

It seems with every day that passes it becomes harder to really exist as a functional part of the society we live in.  Your whole life is about finding something sustainable to do that allows you to be what you want to be but the only problem is that you spend most of your time finding that something that is sustainable.  Income taxes, property taxes, and insurance will run you into the ground no matter how successful you are.  This is where music comes from, and it is why it feels so good to crank up the volume, bang your head, and scream words of angst towards a failing system of greed.  It is why it feels even better when other people start banging their heads to your music, and listening to the words that you have to say.

Then they start buying your shirts, your music, paying to get into your shows…..but where do you draw the line.  Where is this fucking line that separates the financially successful bands from the financially un-successful bands.  Where is this fucking magical place that somehow monetizes art into a career for 10 times the amount of members that are even in the band, with the cost deferred down to the end user.  And what an ugly fucking place this must be, to take something so artistic, so creative, so raw and put an absolute minimum price on it.  I’m talking about every headlining band here, every band that CANT play a local bar on a Tuesday night for free because there are so many financial obligations to them playing a show that it is just not a fucking option.  They are fucking hamsters on hamster wheels, thinking that the faster they run, the further they will get.  The more they sell themselves to gain, the more they lose…..and you know that moment happens, that moment you look at your merch booth and your t-shirts are $40 and a hoodie is $65…it has got to fucking suck, it has got to rip your fucking soul out to have to charge each diehard fan $10 to get you to autograph a piece of glossy flashy paper advertisement.

They all say this is necessary and you know what….I believe them.  Because at one point in their now pointless lives they were just like us, only they were willing to trade off a large part of their soul for recognition and money….to sign a contract saying they will do what the dollar says to do.  We are at a crazy time now because when a lot of the bands had to make this decision there was no internet, therefore there was really no free way to get recognized by millions of people all at once.   Naturally there were less bands, or at least there were less bands to choose from, less known bands, way less recorded music…If you wanted to hear a new bad ass band from Nebraska you would just have to fly there and hear it in person….but that was so long ago.

You know what pisses me off more than anything…..When bands fight over money.  Whenever you see this happen it is a sure sign of forgetting where they came from.  Especially when they kick people out of the band over money, percentages, whatever it is they want that they cant have.  Meanwhile they keep getting older balder and fatter re-thinking the ideals that made them write those quintessential songs that made them who they are, who they MUST continue to be because of this hamster wheel thing.

And then you have every big metal tour coming through now playing at smaller more “intimate” venues they call them.  The same venues they all played the year they exploded, the sold out ones in the middle of the city, the ones you say you saw them at before they moved on to the amphitheaters.  Of course these shows are going to sell out, it’s what they want, but they’re not going to tell you that, there is too much pride to lose.  Heavy metal is the only genre that says “metal isn’t dead” “metal will never die”… fucking shit, no genre of music will ever die, but why don’t we hear people saying “hip-hop’s not dead” “emo music isn’t dead” “alternative music isn’t dead”….and ironically enough the only “punk’s not dead” show going on is being put on by the same people saying “metal isn’t dead”.

Remember that flashy light thing from Men in Black, that makes you forget everything up to a certain point…..A lot of motherfuckers out there need that.  They’re all trying to keep us in the fucking 80’s and 90’s, the heydays of their careers.  The internet is here now and I’m sorry but when a Youtube personality can be more popular than 90 percent of all bands out there its time to change your game, flip the script, get down with the new lingo, or go down to the hall and play fucking bingo.  I’m so tired of hearing people talk shit about DJ’s making so much money and being so huge and how it’s not art….fuck you.  They’re just as artistic as you trying to sound like some band you idolize from the 80’s.  Certain genres of music put down other genres of music and for what, what the fuck are you putting down, is this out of jealousy?  Are you pissed you can’t sell out shows anymore because everyone is at the other party you weren’t invited to?

There’s something about punk rock, you run into a member of an old school punk band and they are fucking healthy and happy looking.  Usually have glasses on because they were reading something important, and their main job now is some lifelong passion of theirs that they are doing because they enjoy, while still playing shows whenever possible.  You could carry on an intelligent conversation with most, and not one renounces anything they originally wrote about, because it was their passion, they didn’t “sell out”.  Punk rock represents open mindedness to me.  It represents the ability to write about whatever you want, change your entire sound with no repercussions, and search for what it is that makes you not want to kill people.

Go to Wikipedia and type in Warped Tour, just fucking do it, look up the lineup of all years, look at every fucking band that has ever played.  Then try and tell me that every single genre of music has not been proudly represented and given a chance.  I never heard about The Deftones getting in a fight with Eminem….because that never happened!  20 fucking years it has been going on and I can tell you first hand that I have never seen so many people waiting in line to get into a show.  A show with headlining bands that don’t play headlining slots, the band that played last the night before plays first the next day.  Completely random as far as I can see.  So you end up with stoked kids running back and forth to the 9 different stages scattered all over, but on the way to the other stage you pass the hip hop/dance stage, the comedy stage, acoustic stage.  There is so much variety and randomness, shit we even played on the acoustic stage, non acoustically.  And these bands are not necessarily always the headlining acts that “deserve” to headline amphitheaters or anything like that….but I didn’t hear one bitch about going on at 2:45 in the afternoon.

a lot of people may think I am wrong but you know what, I am right to myself, and honest, which is hard to find now days.  Ill be dammed though if you will ever see an Athiarchists shirt for sale for $40, but then again…I can always be wrong I guess.  All I know is I want to be one of those dudes wearing glasses looking good at 55…..Or I’m sorry they wont be glasses, they will be gloves and hay hooks because I am a fucking farmer, which means that by the time I’m 55 combined with banging my head I will probably be in a wheelchair….But you know what, I will be the best god damn punk rock raging gravy farmer in a wheelchair that I can be at that point in life, and I will feel good about myself and the choices that I made, I just would like to ask you, whoever you are reading this….what did you have to lose to gain?