Andrew's Backlash Spiel #4

"Art nourishes the soul, not your mailing list demographic" - Andrew

Greetings Backlashers – another issue, more brilliant music to read about and new records to discover. As part of Smalltown America, I am privileged to receive lots of CD each month from bands all round the world. On a quiet month we get around 30 submissions and sometimes as many as 100.


I remember collating 'Public Service Broadcast #1' four years ago and not having too much trouble plucking the wheat from the (admittedly subjective) chaff. Four years later, there is still that same vein of excellent new material to mine, however it’s going deeper and deeper underground.


For all it’s merit MySpace has allowed a vast number of bands that simply are not ready, to foist their material onto an already over-burdened listener/readership. Personally, I am drowning in a sea of bulletins, unsolicited MP3s, mail-shots and blog entries.


Please think me a Luddite… I contest that bands, artists, journalists and photographers are best locked away in a room actually creating, rather than informing people about what they have created. Naturally, there is a healthy balance. One can’t produce an album (or magazine!) and bury 1,000 copies in the garden – but similarly, if time spent on inane tasks like updating a LiveJournal or Wikipedia entry were invested into ‘writing songs’ then maybe I’d hear more third verses and fully formed ideas when going through the CDs with my cup of tea on Sunday afternoon.


Art nourishes the soul, not your mailing list demographic. True, we live in a world of endless communication opportunities, and the notion of viral marketing is being revolutionised by successes such as Panic! At The Disco. But this trend is a worrying one; bands need only write; record; release; tour and repeat – your time in the sun will be short lived, make the most of it kids! I think Abdominal says it best on DJ Format’s "Participation Prerequisite" where he cites that wannabe MCs "need skills period... flow and control, intellect and wit".


They don’t need 14,637 MySpace friends.


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Jetplane Landing is currently recording some new songs.

- Andrew Ferris, Backlash Magazine