People often talk about how we should support musicians the best we can, but I think nowadays it’s even more crucial to do so. With only recently seeing VANT after they announced their ‘indefinite hiatus’, it made me appreciate the bands that are about today. Those who are still producing music, touring and enjoying themselves while they’re doing it. And that’s not to say that VANT weren’t enjoying themselves, seeing them live has proven the point that they absolutely adore their fans and playing gigs. But they recently touched upon how financially, bands like theirs struggle without the support and it really made me realise how musicians have to rely on album sales and getting into the top-forty purely just to survive.
I’m just highlighting a problem, interesting music can’t survive without financial support and streaming alone just doesn’t work.
— VANT (@wearevant) October 4, 2017
With a band like VANT, they have a punk ethos. Their songs are socially aware and thought-provoking. And! Radio stations have played them too! With the likes of ‘The Answer‘ being Radio One’s Hottest Record in the World. But you can argue that there aren’t enough punk bands in the mainstream charts. Are radio stations still scared of bands like this because they push the envelope? They discuss racial tension, religion, war, politics, equality. Things that need to be spoken about often but aren’t. Needless to say, airplay is key and without it, musicians have to work even harder to get their voices heard. And so the struggle of getting into the top forty begins. You can see it becoming disheartening for bands who want to play music they love, contemplating changing their sound just for a chance to be heard.
And even after a few occasional plays on the radio, it doesn’t guarantee a lifetime of success and support. Musicians need fans to buy their music. I know we’ve all fallen guilty of illegally downloading songs and or albums online. Myself included! Either because we want to test the water first and see if we like it, we might not be able to afford a vinyl or the album or we might just not be bothered to go out and buy it. In the grand scheme of things, this could hinder a musician massively. I know there’s a bit of attitude surrounding this where musicians are like “As long as people are listening to our music, that’s all that matters”. But there’s been time and effort put into writing the songs and everything that comes along with it.
Not only buying music but by going to gigs as well! Physically going out and showing your support means just as much! I can’t even begin to explain how incredible it is to see your favourite musician play your favourite song live. Whether that be standing in a small bar with another twenty people or in a club with another two hundred people. Musicians rely on their live reputation. Granted, I know tickets can sometimes be a lot more expensive, but I’m sure when a band or artist see actual people turn up it makes everything so much worthwhile.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is, if you can, support musicians. Regardless of if they’re big or small. Spending a tenner on an album that could change your perspective on how you see the world. It could change the perspective of how the musicians can see the world. Don’t let decent bands/artists die out! Support the cause!