Thursday, December 9, 2010

PLEASE READ FIRST

Support or Don’t – A Manifesto

Anyone can pick up a guitar and belt out a tune. This is ultimately the reason why music carries such an importance. There are literally an infinite amount of songs still to be written.

I, however, carry no illusions that just because I am one of the million who wrote a song means that I somehow hold everyone else obligated to pay me for my time or my talent. I’m just some chud who plays the guitar like I think it ought to be played, I write words that make sense to me and I make art that makes me laugh.

But I also believe in supporting the artists and musicians that I admire, and many people agree with this sentiment.

When I started the Eyebats I was living in a remote northern community where punk rock only exists on iPod shuffle playlists. Punk rock being the musical tool of the bored and the discontent, I started a one-man band on one of my lunch breaks, squeezing noise from my guitar along to drum loops in front of a mirror (I am still debating on the level of embarrassment of the mirror thing).

I wrote songs because I both could and I had to. At no point did I ever think of the dollar value I could associate with them. And, with an end product – essentially a physical record of those songs, it seems entirely inappropriate to start now. I don’t subsist from writing songs. And there are enough people out there who are both better at it and are far more self-deserving, so save your pennies for them. But it seems wholly counter-productive to completely remove myself from the pre-existing support system of independent music.

I despise CDs – having purchased copious amounts in the past, I largely feel guilt for participating in the mass environmental glut of non-biodegradable plastic. And I’m not always game for purchasing a $20 vinyl record – there are personal levels of comfort and wealth associating with supporting a band. Furthermore, what if you enjoyed the show but admit to not wanting to listen to them at home? Thankfully, while there are an infinite amount of songs to be written there are also an equal amount of answers to arrive at.

My answer is to silk-screen a poster of the album artwork for the Eyebats. Visual aspects of music are just as important to me as the music. And I enjoy the tactile experience of listening, something that is lost when downloading an album off our booger man friend the Internet.

Support or don’t. If you like the music you can have it for free. If you want to support the ideas purchase the poster for the magic punk rock number of $5 (est. 1974). If not, don’t worry about it.

Yrs. Chrix