Andrew Goes Way Into One For Backlash Magazine
I try to answer all the emails I receive - I get about 100 per day, so it's a bit difficult in between drinking loads of beer; but can't complain because it means we can actually DIY it as a band and it works. Recently though, I've noticed a worrying inbox trend: The Shortcutter. The Shortcutter, wants to get signed and wants someone else to do the hard work for him - he wants to go on tour but doesn't want to drive the van. In short, The Shortcutter wants to get famous and quick!
The majority of (very sweet) mails ask my advice on things like (a) recording music (b) putting out your own records (c) getting gigs - great, I'm only too happy to help if I can, and if I can't help, I might know someone who can. Lately though I had numerous mails like: "We've been doing gigs now for over a year and we feel like we're ready to make the next step (I love that phrase - take a step forward in the dole queue brother), I was wondering if you knew anyone that could sponsor us so we can get new equipment and guitars?"... (This next one is true I swear) "Hey Man! We're a prog-emo band and have been playing in Guildford for about six months and everyone thinks we're really good, do you think that you could get us a support slot with Panic At The Disco or a big band like that - we'd really appreciate it. Thanks!"
What the fuck am I? EmoBands'r'Us? "Really appreciate it", I bet you fucking would - you fucking weirdo. Let me get this straight, you're writing to me to get you a gig with a band I don't even know? "Uh, hello is that Panic At The Disco's manager? Yeah, okay well my name is Andrew Ferris... Ferris... yeah, I play in a band called Jetplane Landing... Jet-Plane Landing... er, yeah I know you've never heard of us, but listen up bud - I've just had this great email from a guy in Guildford who wants to play a few shows with the lads, is that cool... yeah - fantastic, I'll let him know. Thanks for your time."
I met Bono once in a hotel lift in Belfast. On the way down, I caught his gaze for a fraction of a second and much to my surprise he spoke to me "Hey man, where you going?" he said, taking off his wraparounds and smiling his blinding orthodontic grimace (maybe that's why he needs the shades). "Oh - just heading out to get some breakfast", I replied. "Breakfast, yeah man - I remember when I could do that (Bono staring straight ahead now) - enjoy it son, enjoy it".
Now, this was a weird statement on two levels. Firstly, because in my nervous confusion I initially thought that Bono had a weird stomach complaint that Paul McGuinness had kept out of the tabloids 'No Breakfast For Bono - Ever Again'; and secondly because he had wanted to let me know that he was Bono and that he was too famous to sit in a Café on the Lisburn Road. I know who you are Bono, I am not fucking thick - I know you are the most famous singing leprechaun in the world, why do you need to tell me that you can't do these normal things?
Ego corrupts and fame fans the flames. I'm concerned about these kids who want the short cuts. Take a leaf out of the MOBO winning Sway's book "I wanted to release the album ('This Is My Demo') independently to prove to people that I could do it on my own, and prove that to myself to a certain extent. The proof is in the pudding, I'm very proud of the album."
Reply to ProgEmo: "Hey there, thanks for your mail. Perhaps, if you're doing so well in Guildford, you should stick at it there and just build it up gradually, create a good buzz. I've passed on your email to Panic At The Disco, but since I don't actually know them, I doubt you'll get a reply. I do know Bono however, and so I've forwarded your mail to him as well; hopefully he'll give you a shout over the next few days. All the best, AF"
Write to Andrew on email@example.com - please allow 21 days for delivery.
- Andrew Ferris, Backlash
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