Diary of a Madman #6: Seedy Sales in the 21st Century
Dr. Hex on the problem of illegal downloads and why music collectors are the laughing stock of the masses
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Oh, I don’t mean this article. It’s only been 2 weeks there. I mean in terms of the last rant that you guys heard from me. That’s been a long time coming. Get off my lawn kid. Pffft.
Anyway, after several days of no altercations and living a sheltered, hermetic life in the heavenly suburb of Thane, I had a visitor. Once upon a mid-day dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, I heard a rapping at my door (actually a doorbell, but I am doctoring the facts for more effect). A friend (or so I believed) visited my house and soon after, started laughing uncontrollably. I looked around, puzzled. Oh, I’ve been known to be quite the jester in my time, but here, I gave my friend no cause for amusement. Bewildered, I asked him, why did he laugh so? He pointed at my CD case and said- “Dude, like, you have so many CDs. LMAO. ROFL. LULZ. ROFLMAO. LOOOOOOOOOOL.” He visited my home”¦nevermore.
I remember, as a younger man, that my life revolved around buying music. I would wait for my classes to end, not merely because I did not enjoy my classes, which I did not, but because I’d go home and listen to my music collection. Which was sizable. TWSS. But seriously it was. I remember waiting for the month to end, just so that I could buy some new music with the money I’d saved. I remember, waiting for one album to end, so that I’d replace it with another. And another. And now that era has ended. And music collectors are the laughing stock of the masses. Oh yeah, let me tell you something! You can’t spell masses, without “asses”. Or “masse”. So en masse, they are asses.
So, that’s a problem. But it’s not the main problem.
It’s just Problem 1.
What really gets my goat, are people who allege that musicians are in this just to make money. You know how I respond to that? LOL. LMAO. ROFL. LULZ. Do people seriously think that anyone with commercial ambitions and no love for metal, would decide to make money through METAL? A genre where most of our own heroes are starving and dying penniless (I do not exaggerate. You’ll be surprised how many of them have day jobs). Where being successful generally means being on the road a lot, away from our day jobs and thereby becoming more and more broke by the day. Do people actually think that we pick up instruments in the quest to address queries about whether or not XL shirts will fit our fans, or will XXL be more snug? Do we become metal musicians to spend our time at the merchandize counter and take home less money than I will earn from this article? No, we do those things because we believe that in a world where people laugh at your CD collection, where Facebook minimizes your reach on a daily basis, where people would rather look at videos of cats and babies than listen to your original music, we would appreciate some kind of appreciation from genuine fans who enjoy the band for the music.
That’s Problem 2.
But what really annoys me is when people post articles saying that the record industry is stronger than it has ever been. Are you frikkin’ kidding me? From the time when music could buy you many a lavish home and a car, a lot of us can’t even pay for our Uber fares to and from the venue with the amount of merchandize we sell. Who writes these articles? Are there real life Jesse Pinkmans (or is it Pinkmen?) doing the blue stuff, and picking up the pen to write their views? Are the “researched” facts they gather, the castles in the sky that metal musicians climb beanstalks for, only to realize that they’re not Jack”¦and that their dreams were full of jack****.
That’s Problem 3. And since it’s just an article, it’s probably the least of my problems. Here’s the real problem.
When metalheads, well-meaning or otherwise, do not realize that illegal downloads are a problem. When they do not know the many bitter words their favorite musicians share with their families for making music that does not pay their bills. When they think that getting music for free is their birth right. When they make longwinded excuses about how bands should look at touring to make their living, because quite honestly, nothing depletes your band account like touring does.
Thankfully, I have Rolling Stone to pay my bills. Most other musicians don’t. Be the change. Pick up an album of your favorite artist. I’m not asking you to support my projects. Support anyone you goddamn like. But help music become something more than a hobby.
In closing, I’d like to say that the world sucks and we will all die.
Riju Dasgupta does not exist. The writer of this piece is an illusion created by mad scientist Dr. Hex, who makes it seem like he plays bass for Albatross and Primitiv. But because bass is inaudible, one truly knows that he doesn’t exist.