A recent conversation with my producer* for a project I am working on right now led me to have some thoughts on talking shit about people in the music industry. I’m guilty of it for sure. On this blog even, talking shit about drummers. But I would defend myself in saying that I try to at least approach my shit talking from a more artistic viewpoint. As in, I just have some disagreements and opinions about what is cool or what sounds best. I know Carter Beaufort is a bad ass. I KNOW IT. Same way I know Katy Perry is so fucking awesome.
*that’s such a Nashville thing to say “my producer”. I feel like you can hear this around town everyday. “My producer was telling me about this new restaurant…My producer just played steel guitar on a new black keys song…My producer took a shit this morning…” Fucking Nashville man. I”m part of it.
My producer - there we go again - was talking about just working with bands, usually young bands, that LOVE to talk shit about successful pop artists. The young, wide eyed and hopeful for his success as a true artists singer for the cool indie southern rock band will say “Katy Perry sucks…I could do what she does so easy.” Could you? Then WHY THE FUCK AREN’T YOU. If it’s so easy to sing and write pop songs and make millions, why aren’t you doing it you cocky, narrow minded, artistically self righteous indie shit head.
Go be Katy Perry. Or Taylor Swift. Or Florida Georgia Line. Or NICKELBACK!!!!
The proper way to approach this subject is, “eh not my thing, but good for them”. I’m serious, the idea of anybody making money playing music is amazing. I am genuinely happy for those that are successful, even if I think their actual music is shit. Whether it’s pop, butt rock, bro country, The Beatles, Radiohead, Blink 182 or Stevie effing Wonder, I love when artist make money.
A hardcore band ACB knew (I don’t remember which one) was making a record with Adam D (producer and guitarist of Killswitch Engage) and country music came up in conversation. Somebody in the band boasted that “they could write a country hit so easy if they wanted to” to which Adam D exclaimed - “No you couldn’t! Fucking write one. Do it. Right now!” He is so on point. If you could you would.
I like Katy Perry. I think her songs are fun as hell. I first heard ‘California Gurls’ while driving up the 5 through LA, having days before being smitten by the girl I would eventually marry, a California girl from San Diego. I was all “fuck yeah California girls ARE so incredible!”. Katy Perry can sing. She has probably worked way harder than you to get to where she is. Same goes for Taylor Swift. Justin Bieber. Nickelback. Everybody you probably think you hate.
But many years from now, when you are living in Nashville or LA still pursuing a music career and hoping to land a gig as somebody’s touring guitarist or drummer or tambourine player, don’t doom yourself to eating your own words when you get the call to come on tour with somebody you have openly talked shit about in the past.
“Hey Aaron, this is Dave Matthew’s Band’s manager. Carter just quit the band and you come highly recommended from my contacts in Nashville. We can pay you $1,000,000 per year, but one quick question - Have you ever talked shit about Dave Matthews Band??”