Meaningless Opinions

The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

My role isn't to entertain. I do my best because it's required to entertain if I'd like to eat. I feel that my role hasn't changed very much - maybe that's why I'm broke? I feel like I have to establish a connection to other humans, to relate to them, to convey the feels, tell a story, give them hope, or a comfortable pillow into which to cry like the blubbering babies we all are. I'm not here to "wow" anyone, I don't' give a fuck about that. The only way I know how to do it is by writing about my life, sometimes in a vague way, sometimes more direct. Those are the things that have always resonated with me, so I'm trying to do that for others, to leave them better than I found them, like all of the music that I love has done for me.

Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?

The value of music is basically that it's a free turd. "Don't worry bro just go play shows." Most people do not want to pay for music anymore when it can be streamed and because of poor taste in sound quality in general (see question above, two back) people will literally listen to music through the speakers on their laptop, even through that one speaker on their iPhone. I'm gonna channel David Lynch here for a second. If you think, for one fucking second, that you can experience a song on laptop speakers, or your iPhone, you are a moron. Period. Perception of music is in the shitter right now. Listen to what everyone likes! It's atrocious one-note snare rush hackneyed buildup drop the bass fucking garbage with zero emotional content - it's a delivery device for a false sense of "community" or "party" for this young generation who was raised on the Internet and immediacy and LOL and video games that are insultingly easy and too far beneath my skill to bother playing.

How, would you say, could non-mainstream forms of music reach wider audiences?

They can't. Well, unless two entirely separate generations of the music industry as far as listeners and label people all died simultaneously. I'm not naming names.

Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

AAAAAHHHH, see - you're very clever, and a good listener to music, I can tell. You are approaching it from the correct place, from a place of active listening - but I think you're being idealistic. Music is mostly now wallpaper, something that occupies nothing more significant than any other part of the droll backdrop of someone's nearly meaningless life, along with all of their other equally pointless possessions. This may be more true in the USA, where terrestrial radio plays, literally, the same 15 songs all day. Can you believe that someone would listen to this? That is signaling to me that there are still millions of people who do not give a single shit at all about music or what they are listening to. That active listenership that you describe, that is a thing of the past, much to my dismay - it's going the way of the vinyl record, the 2D platformer, the synthesizer as used in country music, etc. Listeners don't realize how important they are. Without them, we are shouting at the void. I know all about that void, by the way.

Reaching audiences usually involves reaching out to the press and possibly working with a PR company. What's your perspective on the promo system? In which way do music journalism and PR companies  change the way music is perceived by the public?

Eh, the promo system itself is fine. People get into music promo because they love music and believe in its importance, and want to share it. It doesn't always work - music critics are in a unique position of power over musicians. Of course, they would all be as useless as nipples on a breastplate without us, but they are guarding the doors and holding the keys.  Music JOURNALISM I see as something different from music CRITICISM - journalism can be a way for someone to talk to an artist and dig a little deeper than just listening to a record; or to learn something technical, or emotional, or personal about the artist. Criticism, however, is the most archaic aspect of the music industry, and it's absolutely silly that it still exists. What no one seems to realize is that music criticism is absurdly outdated - it existed before the advent of recorded music because people needed to know a bit about a piece of music before springing for tickets to see it performed live, or they needed to know if it was a simple enough piece that their chamber ensemble could tackle it after dinner - these kinds of things. Now, no one - and I mean literally NO ONE's opinion on a piece of music matters. Not one person has a musical opinion that is relevant. All that is required is for a music journalist to say "New Autechre record called Exai, out on Warp records tomorrow. The stream is here on Fader." And then hey presto! The listener can click the link and make up their own mind. Music criticism should just stop because it doesn't achieve or accomplish anything - get tons of good press and think you're the shit and then fall off. Get tons of bad press and hate yourself and feel defeated. Or don't read it at all!  A "review" has not ONCE made a single piece of music any better or improved any one's life in any way, ever, in the history of all music, except for the person who wrote it and in the case of Lester bangs, all of the laughs elicited.

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