It's 2004 (I think, give or take a year).
Right now, there's these two groups that are hot on the scene. They have music videos that play on MTV (well, at least one does, the other group has a lot of hype through publications and other media) and a lot of people are convinced that they are destined to be the next big thing.
And, you forward to present day, and they are forgettable. No one remembers that they exist. It's all "Lorde" nowadays (I still wanna know if she makes it or breaks it).
These two groups are The Darkness and Silvertide. They were supposed to be at the forefront of this new rock revival. They had interviewers touting them as the next big thing. They bragged about sleeping in the studio with their guitar in their hand. And I'll be honest, they worked hard.
And then they disappeared. They were shoved in our face, and they evaporated off the face off the Earth.
Where did these people go?
This is an important thing to consider.
In life, you are either really really winning or really really losing. That is, you, like OneRepublic and Imagine Dragons (again, as of this writing) are being shoved in our face until you hope they go away.
Or you, like The Darkness and Silvertide, disappear off the face of the Earth and a handful of people with more IQ points and a longer memory than most people wonder where you went.
You want exposure. Always. There is no such thing as overexposure.
Anyone who tells you otherwise does not deal with things, and they especially do not have real problems. I love fourteen year old me. I do. But he doesn't know about the world like I do. Sometimes I need fourteen year old me to help me cut away from the crap of the industry that I preoccupy myself with, but that's about it.
The Sex Pistols were organized like a boy band. Except, their purpose was to cause as much chaos and destruction as possible.
When you research a lot of individuals that claimed as being "revolutionary", you see that the bourgeois have left their secret touch on their work.
It's evil. I don't like it. But I really hate the opposite effect much more. May you all be sick of me till the day you die.
Let's look at some tips to stop you from suffering the same fate as The Darkness and Silvertide:
Understand that you as an individual, are truly powerful beyond measure.
This might be hard to understand (hell, it's hard for me to understand) but you can do exponentially more than what you are currently capable of.
You might calculate your own creative output by your surroundings, but your surroundings are overrated.
Your friends are lazy slobs. Believe me, this is true.
If your friends are truly looking out for you (and some do, let's be honest) they will be like Ben Affleck in Good Will Hunting and want you to succeed.
But most won't.
Do you know why reality television is successful?
Reality television is successful because people as a collective whole are mediocre slobs who will never accomplish anything with their life. People as a whole are ratchets who do not have real problems. They complain about situations that they have put themselves in.
They get married to degenerates who cannot clean up after themselves and spend money on idiot things and blame other people for their problems.
People would rather look at Honey Boo Boo and talk about how much better they are than that welfare case as oppose to trying to better themselves.
Paul McCartney and John Lennon had bullies in high school that told them they won't be successful. Does anybody acknowledge those bullies? Hell no, better yet, they're probably dead.
The opinions of idiots are overrated. Let it not cloud you on the road to success.
Silvertide was touring with Aerosmith. M. Night Shyamalan put their songs in his movies. They probably had friends who never did that. They thought they had it made. They felt guilty to do more. That damaged them.
It might take you a while to figure out who you are and want you want, but it is completely worth it. Knowing what you want and getting it is the true definition of success.
Let's look at two different artists who made giant changes in their respected mediums, and look at their body of work as a whole.
We will first look at Alfred Hitchcock.
I hate it when people tell me that their favorite Hitchcock film is Psycho. That is such a slap in the face to a man who has revolutionized cinema.
Do you realize that 51 films of Hitchcock's were created before he ever made Psycho?
He made silent films and went all the way to the gritty/nihilistic tones of the 70s.
Do you realize that his best work was yet to come? That his Kaleidoscope project was supposed to be the craziest thing ever, and it never happened?
Hitchcock made his first film when he was 23. It was called Number 13, and it was a disaster because the budget fell through. This was in 1922, when saying you wanted to make a film was like saying you wanted to fly to the moon. An impossible dream for most people.
And he went out and he did it. Fifty years worth of filmmaking. The definition of full potential. Remember that when you're struggling to make a feature.
And he didn't care for naysayers. He threw his tea kettle at them.
The other group I want to talk about, are The Beatles.
Paul McCartney played with The Quarrymen with John Lennon when he was fourteen and he kept playing since.
Hamburg. Beatlemania. Going fully Psychedelic. Wings. Plastic Ono Band. My Sweet Lord.
At this point in my life, I would advise that an artist do everything he has ever wanted to do ever. Like The Beatles.
Get in trouble. Be financially successful. Be financially unsuccessful. Be financially successful when you have been previously financially unsuccessful so you know how good you have it.
Avoid Caucasian Thinking
I have this new term. It's a term that explains a certain mindset I have been coming across a lot lately. I call it "Caucasian Thinking". It's what white people do. It annoys me. White people hear a growling sound in the jungle and they go explore it until the source of the growling sound bites their face off.
In this case, Caucasian Thinking applies to success. White people love it when successful people implode on themselves.
Kurt Cobain is the biggest example of this.
White people love being sad with being plentiful. White people problems, remember this.
White people are afraid of success. They have guilt and feel awkward about everything.
White people hate it when other people are successful. They talk a lot of smack. Understand that when I say "White people", I don't just mean people with a challenged pigment, but people who gather around a certain mindset.
White people will make you feel guilty about your success. They will tell you to donate money you made on your own to idiot causes they don't participate in. They will make you feel bad about buying stuff that you enjoy. White people want you to learn about the history of everything Beethoven ate for breakfast before they want you to spit bars on your own album.
White people will sit behind a computer and call you a has-been when they were a never-was.
You're supposed to make money. You're supposed to move things. Diss anyone who tells you otherwise.
Again, avoid the thinking of passive aggressive white people. It only holds you back.
There was another artist coming up during Darkness/Silvertide who made his mark and completely changed/destroyed the music industry.
His name was 50 Cent.
50 Cent was different than The Darkness/Silvertide. One, 50 Cent had real problems. Shot nine times, you know the deal. When a record company hosted a field day when they decided to let artists openly use their studios, 50 Cent came out and recorded 36 songs when most people attending recorded 3-5. He had a purpose in life. In 50's mind, he's already dead.
50 don't play. When he sees an opportunity to make money, he goes for it. Vitamin Water. And that's why he's still around. If he actually liked movies and didn't see them as a solely financial opportunity, he'd be good at that too.
50 pays no mind to the haters complain about his current status of wealth. You need haters in life.
I don't want to make this seem like this is something that only happens in hip hop.
Let us remember that back in the 70s, Gene Simmons made sure to make KISS release an album every six months. Gene Simmons may be an individual with a disagreeable attitude, but he knew how to keep his band alive.
And really, let's be honest, you're either two things as an artist: You're either Gene Simmons or you're Pussy Riot.
Pussy Riot was offered the chance to get out of a Russian jail and perform with Madonna and they said no, because they only perform music as a symbol of protest and refuse to indulge the capitalist system when they make music. They don't charge money for shows. That's more punk rock than Fugazi.
Are you willing to adopt this lifestyle?
I don't think so.
That being the case, let us all be honest and accept the fact that we do believe in merchandising. Now, it doesn't mean you have to wear a suit and tie when you do these things but understand that the ability to maintain the rock star myth is expensive, and if you have to get a corporate sponsor to do what you want, so be it.
If the company that makes a beverage that I enjoy contacts me asking to sponsor an event where they will serve a beverage I'm apt to enjoy anyway, you best believe I will let them in. It will be ridiculous to do otherwise.
It's okay to mess up in life. Maybe you sellout, realize what you've done, and come to doing what you do best. I think people need that.
And I don't know about you, but that sounds like fun.