Selling Out: Why Bands Should
We all love our local independent bands. The albums are cheaper, the shows are smaller, and the musicians are more accessible. Following lesser-known bands mean that we are a part of something special, a unique musical experience that not everyone else is privileged enough to know about…that is until they “sell out,” leaving their true fans behind. For years small bands that make it big have been criticized for becoming “commercial.” They sign with a big label, maybe pick up a sponsor or two, and their music changes. You hear their single on the latest iPod commercial, the tickets are controlled by the Ticketmaster God and prices soar out of control, and anytime you hear their tunes on the radio you think, “ah, I remember when they were good…” Selling out has always had a bad connotation, but really, it is exactly what bands should do. While music is an art, it is also a business. Many people struggle their entire lives trying to earn an income doing what they love, why not afford musicians the same opportunity? Sure, the music can change; bend to what the new record label wants it to be, but this is a temporary way for some of your favorite rockers to pay the bills, and guess what…make more music! If they spent there entire careers jamming to you and your buddies, how long could they really keep this up? Signing with a label that will help get them noticed keeps the music coming, and once they have received some level of notoriety, many musicians return to their roots. Take John Mayer for example. After his success singing about your body being a Wonderland, he formed a three-man blues ensemble and recorded an album that he really loved. So, give your independent favorites a break. Selling out to a larger label is a forward step in the evolution of their musical journey. It means they are good; it’s just like your receiving a promotion at your job. Continue to support them as they advance through their careers. Like all musicians, they are bound to release some music that you don’t like, but their new fat paycheck means that opposed to finding them serving you breakfast at your local diner, another album will be coming along shortly.