Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Roots! Rock! Reggae!

I'm going to be a little controversial tonight. When you're in a band and playing shows, I guess your number one aim is to share your art with a bunch of people. If you just wanted to create cool stuff you'd keep it in the bedroom. If you're out and about then your intentions are different, and that's ok. Now, surely you want to share your art with as many people as possible - without compromising it, of course (this isn't a major label / indie label rant. It's not 1995 any more, kids). And, if possible, you'd like to be able to make a living off your music, so you could concentrate completely on making kick ass art. Which is also fair enough. But I'm not sure if it's possible to do this as an indie rock or punk band living in Australia. Hell, as I mentioned before, I know a guy who was in both the Triffids and the Blackeyed Susans, and he still works a day job. Because we're such a small market, it's pretty much impossible to live off your music in Australia. And because we're such a small market, you could tour your ass off year round and still only play to a small bunch of people. So, if your aims are to reach a lot of people and to maybe one day live off your music, then perhaps staying in Australia isn't the right thing to do. Perhaps you should move to the US, see what life is like in a bigger pond, and maybe become the biggest fish you can be.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that maybe this is where the Diamond Sea are at. I mean, in saying this, I don't want to define success for them. I'm writing with the aforementioned assumptions in mind, and they may not apply. But their first record is about to come out, and word on the street (from me) has it that it's unbelievable. Their songs are well-written and constructed, their live shows are engaging and, well, they're tight. I know they've got a bunch of other stuff going on in their lives, and that maybe the band isn't their number one priority, but if they're serious about taking the band as far as they can then they should probably be trying to get someone to release that record in the States, then go over there and tour the hell out of it. They're an amazing band, and at times when I'm watching them I feel like Melbourne - and maybe even Australia - is just a little too small for them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what about parkway drive? sure they toured overseas but they did that after they were massive here and i'm certain they could sustain themselves financially with only 3 tours a year in aust. you might not like their music but that's beside the point.