Æ: Aglet Eaters

Interactions in Installments: DIN Martin Part 2

Posted in Discover by R on April 26, 2012

Can you tell me what you guys do – do you have day jobs or do you study? And what are your ambitions – not necessarily to do with the band. I mean, what do you want to be when you grow up?

All four of us have got different things going next to the band, jobwise. Bills and rents need be paid in the end and at the moment we can’t do that just by making music. Still though the band, or just the matter itself, music, is what we do and what we relate to the most (it’s our first love, one would say 🙂 ). That includes, of course being creative, writing, rehearsing, playing, recording, coming up with ideas, chucking them away again, making new ones, as well as promoting the whole thing, being in touch with people from the business or other bands, sorting out shows, being in touch with fans and so on. It’s so exciting to see the whole thing grow and go somewhere. One thing leads to another. An idea gets bigger and gives you rudiments to new plans. It’s great and it fills me with a lot of contentment and joy. So basically I’m already doing what I want to do when I grow up. (Does that mean I’m a grown up already? Mmh..) 

I personally would say though that the perfect scenario would be one where rents and bills wouldn’t really make me worry anymore. It’s not about getting ridiculously rich, but just to have enough to get along and also getting it through the music would be great but it surely is a long way. I really struggled finding words to say that now, which is weird. There’s this debate in Germany (again) started by the German Pirate Party. It’s basically about that all music should be available and downloadable for free on the internet and there shouldn’t be any more copyright laws and so on, which I find is complete bullshit and totally the wrong direction. I feel like this whole indie movement or whatever you want to call it, brought up this sense of being “uncool” when you earn money with your art or your music. Do you know what you mean? And that is really dangerous, cause the last thing you wanna be as an indie or alternative band is to be uncool. So bands go along with it. That’s the reason why so many indie labels didn’t survive. Some people expect to just get music for free. I don’t really get that. People should recognise it as someone’s job, and sure the music is for them to enjoy and listen to but it needs to be paid for, just as a you need to pay for a bloody yoghurt in the supermarket or whatever.

I drifted off there a little. It just made me wonder why I find it so difficult to say that next to all the other reasons why I’m a musician and why I love it so much, I do want to earn money with my music, too. 

Are you a grownup already? I’m 25 and still keep wondering what I’ll be when I grow up. is there a point you reach where you wake up one morning with the sudden realisation you are a grown up? I guess I just imagine one day I’ll have a steady job and a routine and stability and all of that, but I haven’t quite worked out how that’s going to happen. I really hope I turn into an adult before I grow old.

I’ve heard about the Pirate Party. I don’t know where I stand on the music/art should(n’t) be free debate. I understand the artist’s perspective of course – I certainly wouldn’t want something I created being distributed without my permission. At the same time I am a firm believer in the theory of intrinsic motivation and that music (or anything creative) comes across as more authentic, more honest, if it’s not motivated by money. Something very personal, especially, seems to be sort of cheapened if you put a price on it. For instance, I don’t want to know the worth of any of the more personal writing I do in dollar value. This doesn’t mean creativity is not a profitable skill – there are plenty of professional outlets for creative types where you can support yourself doing what you’re good at. I think a lot of these professions are regarded as ‘selling out’ and you should just be paid for what you want to create and not what someone, er, pays you to create.

I think the issue might be more one of appreciation/acknowledgement rather than money. The lack of “thank you”s, or “good work!”s etc. Since it’s impractical to expect everyone to be able to communicate their appreciation to you, paying becomes a substitute.

I like the internet for that, though – how I’ve had the chance to tell all the bands/musicians I admire how good they are. That’s why I like writing about music too – it’s kind of like ‘translating’ or ‘reinterpreting’ the work for an audience. Though, I don’t know, maybe you’re like Roland Barthes and think all those adjectives are indeed ‘the poorest of the linguistic categories’.

 I don’t know. It always bugs me a little when being grown up is connected with having a steady life and a nine to five office job (for example). I mean if that floats your boat then fair enough.

I know people who are in their 40s and they are probably the most grown up people I’ve met, although they completely live the opposite of a steady life with normal jobs, families and so on. Most of them are away traveling half the year and the other half they do jobs at festivals or in bars or so. I think for me anyway, it’s far more important to be able to do what ever it is that you want to do, as well as being at peace with yourself. I’d leave this grown up term out completely!

 This band the Go Betweens pops into my head there. They are from Australia but I think the lead singer passed away a few years ago. Anyway they’ve got a song called ‘Boundary Rider’ and there is one line that goes: ‘to know yourself is to be yourself’. If I’d make a movie called ‘Grown Up’ I would make ‘to know yourself is to be yourself’ as the caption. Go find out who you are and what you want to do and then do it. Is that too romantic? I don’t know. But seriously this line from the song really seems like a perfect guidance and once you are really clear with yourself then you may as well be doing that nine to five job in an office, have a family or what ever, cause then it’s your thing. 

(I don’t know if any of that makes sense to anyone who’s not me…)

 I see your points on the music debate and I’m actually with you. Art shouldn’t be money motivated. 

I’m making music because it’s my passion, that’s what I want to do and I can’t really stop it either. I would never make it just for the money. This has never been my or the bands intention (it’s also not in manifesto 🙂 ). I would stop it by now if it was just for money reasons.

But, and thats kinda going back to the grown up bit above, when you find out that this is what you gonna be doing because you enjoy it, because you have to do it, you don’t want to do it part time, you know? You don’t want to be stuck in a boring job on the side just so you can pay for a living. I mean that’s how it starts but the aim really, for me anyway, is to do music full time. Then you have the headspace to focus. 

But you still need an income, not much, just enough to live a fairly decent life. 

I think it’s really cheeky that people, who aren’t actually musicians their selfs, start debates about whether other peoples work should be available for free for just anyone. For me as a musician it feels degrading. They don’t accept making music as an occupation, which I think it is, not in a bad way. It’s a job that most people who do it, enjoy. Maybe that’s why it sounds so abstract. And believe me, I’m not about the money and I don’t want to sell records like Jacko did, but if people stop paying for music or concerts then I’m sure it’s going to fall apart and we end up with only the crap you can hear on daytime radio shows. 

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