Posted by Kimberly A Bettes
You know how most bands or artists have an amazing debut album but then they sort of, well, go to pot? They burst onto the scene with this fresh new sound that everyone loves, with soul-piercing lyrics and head-bopping beats, and then every album after that pales in comparison. You hang on the edge of your seat, waiting for the release of their next album in the hopes and expectations that it will be as good as the first. But then it comes out and falls flat. Just like the next one, and the one after that. I could cite examples for days. Hootie and the Blowfish is just one of many, many examples. You ever wonder why that is? I have. And I know the answer.
The music is always the best when the artists are independent, when they’re making music for the love of making music. Before the corporate business aspect comes into play. Before their music is being dictated by stuffy old white guys in suits and ties who think they know what the people want to hear. It becomes all about what will sell. Not what will touch the listener. That’s when it all goes to shit. The lyrics, the music, the beat, everything. Gone is the breath of fresh air from the band that was doing what they loved, which is something easily picked up on by the listener. That’s right. We can tell when a band is in it for the love of what they do and when they’re just doing it for the money. And ironically, the time they start doing it for the money is just about the time the money dries up, because we don’t want to hear yet another sellout band. We want the band that grabbed our interest back in the beginning, the band that sunk their musical claws into us and wouldn’t let go.
The same can be said about indie films. And yes, independent authors.
When you’re an indie, you don’t have to answer to anybody. You can make whatever song or movie or book you want. You can tell your story your way, the way it was meant to be told. Indies are in it for the love of what they do. They’re not in it for the money, because there usually isn’t any money. It’s only later, when corporations get involved and the artists have to create within guidelines set by the guys in suits that it loses its charm. That’s when people lose interest. When the craft becomes a business and the art becomes a product.