Billy Corgan discusses what’s wrong with modern music
Billy Corgan, front man of Smashing Pumpkins has been in the music industry for over 20 years now & he has learned a thing or 2 about how the music industry has changed over the years, and not necessarily for the better. If you think you have a chance of becoming the next Smashing Pumpkins (or the next any other band from 15-20 years ago that made a dent in music by being original), think again. That window has closed and the game has changed. The gatekeepers have changed the rules. The industry is no longer about pushing art forward, it’s about maintaining optimal profits by dumbing down it’s audience. Billy has done several interviews that are incredibly eye opening. He has clearly stated what I have been meaning to write about for quite some time. And let’s be honest, with his credibility, the message is much more impactful coming from him. Regardless of the style of music you make, you’ll want to internalize his message.
These are some of the things being discussed that you as an artist are going to need to think about:
People are no longer willing to pay for music:
They expect free, or almost free in comparison to the prices we have been accustomed to in the past.
Bands aren’t encouraged to be themselves:
If you think they are looking for a dangerous band that goes against the grain & makes exactly what they want to make, you’re wrong.
Bands are encouraged to beg for attention:
Begging for “likes”, shares or YouTube hits is the exact opposite of what being in a band is supposed to be about. Also, it’s a turn off for your audience.
Touring is the only way bands stay afloat:
A song on the radio (unless it’s an enourmous hit) is not going to translate to many sales when people can get it for free. Touring allows the band to keep doing what they are doing, but not much more. Bands these days settle for some popularity but rarely make much of a living. Unfortunately they are accepting this new reality without much question.
We have an attention span problem today:
Doing the same thing that has been done in the past will no longer work. Artists need to be about more than music, they have to envelope their audience into their world with multimedia. Music alone is largely just white noise now. There is too much of it going around for free for you to expect much attention or support.
It’s more important than ever to support the bands you care about: To not support the music you love with your money is a vote for the enemy of art.
This is a pretty scary time for those of us who care about music as an art form & not just a profit making machine for the guys at the top. I hope awareness brings about change.
Enjoy these videos, and let’s hear your feedback in the comments. If this resonates with you, I encourage you to share this with your friends & start a greater discussion on what we as artists plan to do about about the current musical climate.
Next, see what Trent Reznor has to say about the current music climate.
To your continued pursuit of art.