Art & Recognition

Welcome to the first official Soapbox Army blog post! 

Gonna start off with something that's been on my mind lately. And that is the topic of artists and the recognition for their art. Our guitarist, Pheroze, posted something related to this on his own blog recently. One of the things I took from it was that we, as artists, shouldn't be whining that people aren't paying attention and complaining that we're not getting the right opportunities and bitching about others' success. He goes on to explain that he creates art because it's a calling; and his focus is on continuing to create and get better at his craft. And that "Generally, if you're doing something important with your life, not a single fuck will be given about it by anyone." This line cracked me up, but it's also sorta true. It's a generalization and people do care, but you can't expect them to care about it like you do. 

I agree with Pheroze. However, I think that as artists we ALL want to be acknowledged (to different extents). It should never be the primary motivation for creating something, but it's always a factor. Even bedroom artists will post shit on YouTube, email friends, etc. It's part of an artist's (and human) nature to want to connect with people and have them see what you've accomplished. Sure, there's guys like Kurt Cobain who supposedly committed suicide because of how mega-famous Nirvana became, but when they were starting out, Kurt was sending demo tapes to SubPop and other indie labels. He wanted people to hear and recognize his talent - he may just not have wanted that level of recognition. Careful what you wish for.

I am not a self-promoter. I don't like doing it, I don't like getting in people's faces. And it's probably hindered certain aspects of my life and career. And the thing is, I do believe in our music. And there's nothing I'd rather be doing with my life. But in order to continue this thing in earnest and beyond just a hobby, you need at least SOME people to give a shit. It took a new member of the band to light the proverbial fire under my ass and get me to realize this. Because, like Pheroze, I've always believed that it should be all about creating art because it's what you're supposed to do. I've always admired bands who believe their music speaks for itself. There's both an ego and a humility to it. And if people aren't paying attention, hey - you still accomplished something.

But as an artist, you have to make a distinction between hobby and a real desire to achieve. I didn't start this project to achieve Coldplay-level ubiquity. But I do want to achieve something with it. Recently, there's been more people commenting, interacting and just overall RESPONDING to our music in a favorable way. And these are the people that matter because they are the true music fans; their lives are enriched by the music. And that's what it's all about. Of course it feels good to create for yourself, but it feels GREAT to affect people in a positive way. Satisfy yourself creatively, and hopefully enrich other people's lives as a result. And then you've "made it." And you can start whining about other shit.

That all said, thanks so much for the support! -Dan

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