Confession: It’s been tough. Being an artist in this community and time. There’s so much potential but also stumbling blocks. I never caught a break when I was fresh. I didn’t have the confidence and never felt part of the scene no matter how hard I tried. So I’ve remained on the fringe trying to be solid and reliable when I’m asked to pitch in. Selling a few records here and there but otherwise toiling away on my own. I can’t seem to stop writing music, even when I’ve tried. I get more depressed and and anxious than usual. There’s a pressure that builds. I don’t do it for fame, for money or accolades. Maybe this is my problem. But even the most driven among us still want an audience. Someone to relate to. To know you’re not just making noise into the dark.
The last strategy was to put some records “out there”. That meant iTunes and Amazon (for the physical CDs). I thought it would help legitimize me in some way. This didn’t come cheap on my budget. It’s $50 a record each year through Tunecore. The positive side is that it pushed me to make sure I had the best quality material I could produce. But this was never a sustainable strategy without some sort of small break in my luck. So I started holding back. Not released anything substantial and new, waiting for direction and opportunity.
Along came my project on Soundcloud. But after a year of hard work I figured I actually paid 20 cents per listen. The work I put in was invaluable but again I think it’s time to change strategies.
So the next phase in my 16 years as an artist - I think I’m done giving music away for free. It seemed like such a good idea for so long but… I’m not sure it’s the best way for my craft to flourish. We are awash in free music all the time which seems to inspire blurry focus from artists and limp passion from the audience. So I’m at the point that I am asking people to support me. My ongoing artistic pursuits will be into a series of EPs 2-4 tracks in length in regular seasonal releases: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. My main platform will be Bandcamp as I feel they give you the best ability to release and promote your material. Of course I’m doing this just as people are switching to streaming their music. Maybe this has always been a fools errand, but at least it’s my errand. Or maybe I can begin to create some kind of crack in the darkness.
Matt aka Machinnes