The modern music industry can be a confusing, intimidating thing. All this jargon, and that weird way of speaking that bands only seem to do in interviews and press releases. What does it all mean? Well, I've put together this handy phrasebook for translating musician into English. Next time you read an interview with a band, or have them drunkenly tell you all about their band in the toilets after the gig (whether you care about their stupid band or not), run what they say through this handy guide and get a better idea of what's really going on:
Yeah, we're sort of electro, we love the TS808 and all that stuff.
(We couldn't find a drummer).
We like to mix up loads of genres. We've all got loads of influences and we all bring something to the band, so it makes our sets very eclectic.
(We're always arguing about what to play).
We're releasing this next record as a free digital distro, to say thank you to our fans, because music should be, like, free, man. Crush capitalism!
(My dad's garage is still full of unsold copies of our last album).
Our creative process is quite fluid, like, we just blue-sky think all these ideas, and it all just flows together, man.
(We take lots and lots of drugs).
We really believe in lo-fi analogue recording, it's just so much more authentic than this modern, over-produced bullcrap.
(None of us knows how to use Protools).
We love our new drummer, he's really got into the spirit of what the band is all about, it's like he's been here all along.
(We hope he's less of a psycho than the last guy but our hopes aren't high).
We're all full-on rock and roll, all the time! We're living the dream!
(I'm an alcoholic and my wife has left me).
We're a really democratic band. We don't believe in leaders.
(Our decision-making process consists of yelling and fistfights).
We like to play intimate venues, it really helps us connect with our fans.
(It's less embarrassing when only five people turn up).
We really like to mix it up live. Every time you hear us, it'll sound a bit different to last time.
(We're under-rehearsed and make a lot of mistakes).
Man, there are so many sharks and money-grabbers in music! It's really hard as a musician to avoid the bad guys.
(Someone at our last gig sold us skunk that turned out to be oregano).
We can't believe how lucky we are to have such a quality guitarist join us. We're all learning so much from him!
(It turns out there are more than four chords).
This music blog says we're the future!
(It's written by my girlfriend, but even then I had to take her to see Mamma Mia before she agreed to listen to our demo).
We're not into that self-indulgent virtuoso crap. It's got no feeling man, Kurt Cobain proved it, you've gotta have heart, it's all about the message you're conveying!
(We suck and we're in denial about it).
Yeah, we're cool with the old bassist. Things just weren't working out, so we went our separate ways, we're just too busy to talk to each other.
(We've agreed that if he doesn't tell anyone about my drug dealing, I won't tell his girlfriend that he cheated on her).
The last singer didn't really fit in with our philosophy, you know, the way we approach music and creativity.
(He believed in showing up to rehearsals sober).
We decided we don't need a bass player, we love to explore unconventional soundscapes.
(Every bassist we tried to audition took one look at us and ran away screaming).
I hate breadheads! We're in this for the music, man, commercialism is killing music!
(We could never persuade anyone to pay money to listen to this rubbish).
Yeah, we set up our own label to release our music independently, it's the best thing for an emerging artist and gives us so much freedom.
(No record company would look at us twice, so I got my cousin to make some stickers in Photoshop to put on the CD case).
Guitar solos are for posers!
(I suck at guitar).
We're releasing an EP because people don't want to listen to whole albums any more. Downloads have changed everything man, it's all killer no filler these days!
(We only know five songs)
I think a bit of creative destruction really helps the songwriting process. It helps that we all have really strong personalities who aren't afraid to say what they think!
(We fight like siblings in the back seats of a hot car).
We're going to do an unplugged gig. It'll be a really cool way for our fans to hear our music in a new way.
(It was supposed to be a proper gig but the drummer couldn't make it).
Yeah, our singer has that x-factor, he's unconventional but he just dominates the stage, you can't take your eyes off him.
(He can't sing, has a stupid haircut and dances like an idiot).
We just love to improvise, our songs are more like loose templates that serve as the basis for free-form extemporising.
(We're too disorganised/high to write any songs).
We mostly play covers, but we like to throw in an original now and then to keep it interesting.
(And watch the audience go to the bar).
Man, these promoters are scumbags! They just want to screw the bands!
(This one guy had the temerity to call us jerks when we didn't bring anyone to the gig and drank the free bar dry).
If you liked this you might also like my handy guide to musicians. You might also like to sign up to my mailing list, which contains all kinds of handy hints and exclusive resources that will help you not to become like these bands.
About The Author:
James Scott is a Music Producer in London, UK. He works with up and coming artists all over the world to help them get noticed in the industry.