The stigma of being local

April 05, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

My Ticket Home (Rise Records)My Ticket Home (Rise Records)

 

A few months ago I wrote an article about why your band isn't working out. One of the key parts I wrote about what your involvement in your local scene. Lets take a deeper look at that. We seem to be stuck in the limbo of blaming things on our local scene. How many times have you heard someone say "Our local scene here sucks"? I know I have heard it a million times. Lets take a closer look at why the scene "sucks". I remember when I was growing up in Columbus, Ohio, our local scene was thriving. When I was growing up, bands like Attack Attack!, Miss May I, My Ticket Home, The Crimson Armada, etc.. were all local bands. Sure, some of them did a few tours but for most of them it took a while to break out into the national spotlight. What did they do leading up to that? They played local shows. More importantly, they supported each other (for the most part). Now, I wasn't out here when Phoenix had their huge boom about 10 years ago but im assuming it was the same thing. Im assuming you had a bunch of bands that showed mutual respect and support for each other. One thing I am guilty of and I am sure you are as well is labeling another band as a "Shitty local band". Im not sure when this frame of thought started but it really is killing the scene. As a photographer, I got into the same habits of just "judging" the work of my peers. In order to really grow I feel that you need to "receive" the work others have done rather than "judging" it. Its really hard to draw a crowd when the other bands in the scene refer to your band as some shitty local band. Worst of all, by saying that another band is a shitty local band, it doesn't make your band any less of one! I remember when Attack Attack! was breaking into the local scene. EVERYBODY hated them at first but they seemed to promote a more friendly vibe and everyone quickly just kind of accepted them. When members of other bands spoke about them, they were no longer trash talking them. That positivity kind of echoed through the scene and everything became more productive. People started packing out shows. Bands were selling merch. Bands were putting out better music because they were no longer worried about all the trash talking. If the music scene "sucks", I believe it is because the bands in the scene let it suck. Try promoting a more positive experience with the people that go to your shows and the bands that you are playing with. Strive to be original, If you do, the other bands in the scene will react and it will push everyone to be better. Most of all, just play music because you love doing it. You have to fall in love with the process before you can make a career out of it (That is true with just about any career out there). Good luck and I hope to see you at a great local show soon.


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