I know it’s been quite some time since I’ve said anything about the 2nd edition of my compilation-forming endeavors and I wanted to update the one or two of you that may actually have been waiting for it.
First, I want to tell you that dealing with musicians can be a pain in the ass at times. Even in the world of the local punk scene, you wouldn’t believe how many of these guys are prima donnas and don’t seem to realize the value of giving a song away for free. I get it, I know you need money and some of you really need people to WANT to buy your music. I agree with that wholeheartedly. I have friends that have been in bands that I have told outright that if they publish a CD, I don’t want it for free because a true fan of their music should be willing to give the band their just due for the work they’ve put into it. With that being said, we all know that’s just not how most of the world works.
People like to get stuff for free. People seem to enjoy music from a band that is willing to give them something for free also. Every band has to deal with their time of apprenticeship. You know, the time playing shows, not making any money, sometimes even LOSING money in order to get their music in front of people. It’s just how the industry works and the nature of entertainment commerce. Some of these guys put their whole life into it for like a decade or more and still get no return in the end. And then there are those that go out and do it just for the love of sharing their music with the audience. Those are the guys that I think are most likely to stick it out and build a strong fan base.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this implying that everyone I talk to is a dick – that’s really not the case at all. I’ve met some really cool people over the past couple of years and there have been alot of bands that were overly thankful for me including them on Ear Infection Vol. 1. There were even a couple of small labels that were cool and even one a little bit more established that worked with me and released rights for their band to be on the comp just because he saw value in allowing them be a leading name. All of these guys and ladies have been amazingly awesome and I really hope to do more work with them in the future. I feel like I got kind of lucky the first time around.
While I was putting together the first comp, I contacted over 200 bands and in the end I was able to put together a 42 band/42 song compilation. I think that was pretty good turnaround. I honestly was going to be happy if I would’ve gotten 15-20 songs from all those contacts. The biggest differences between then and now? First, I whittled my sources down too much. I have a hard time finding new local bands that I haven’t contacted already and the same bands that didn’t respond the first time (apparently because they thought I was looking for payment), still didn’t respond this time either. Second, most of the more established names won’t even give you the time of day because they have contract restrictions. There are very few of those who own their own label and make their own marketing decisions. Third, language barriers. I contact punk bands all over the globe and you wouldn’t believe how many of these guys/girls sing in English, but can’t really speak it fluently. Frankly, I don’t really see the problem with that either because Google translator takes care of most of those issues on my end – maybe they just aren’t aware that it exists, I don’t know. And lastly, I just don’t have as much personal time to invest this time around.
I do have to say that there are a few people who have already agreed to do the comp that I feel like I’m disappointing, but I would really like to take time to do something on here for them. They have been amazingly receptive, patient and overall awesome about this whole process. Shit, the guys from the Goddamn Gallows were going to pass along an unreleased live recording of one of their songs for me to use – that would’ve been amazing.
So, I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that at the end of the day, Ear Infection Volume 1 stands alone and doesn’t seem like it will have a follow-up, but I don’t want to leave things like that. I want to do featured posts on the bands that had been working with me. As a matter of fact, there are a couple of bands that had sent me stuff that I didn’t include on the first comp simply because the recording value wasn’t quite as good as the others. I’m going to check and see if all (or any) of these bands are still willing to let me use the stuff they’ve sent me, so hopefully you’ll still get to hear some of the cool stuff that has been shared with me.
***I also want to note that I will be discontinuing the availability of Ear Infection Volume 1 very soon, so if you haven’t downloaded it already, go get it now***