For the past eight years that I’ve been in the local music scene, I have slowly watched it fall. I have watched the bands I love break up, and I have watched friends become enemies. I know everyone has seen this happen.

We all ask ourselves “why did this happen?” But what we really need to be asking ourselves is “How can we change this?”

For some reason, bands these days have it in their head that they need to be #1, and that they need to “make it.” And that mentality has led to the idea of competition — many times, cut-throat competition. Instead of helping one another, we fight with each other to get to what we think is “the top.”

But we don’t see how this affects others: Fans are getting more closed off and hostile to other bands and subgenres, getting into fights at shows, and only coming to see the band they want to see before heading for the exits. If I’m paying $10-15 to get into a show, why wouldn’t I stick around to see the other bands?

Point being, we musicians have started a war.

Why does music need to be a war? We are all here for the same purpose. Whether you are an acoustic, metal, hardcore, pop-punk, or even hip-hop musician — we are all here for the purpose of performing music! Instead of having just narrowly-defined metal shows or just pop-punk shows, let’s have them become one!

Now, you might say “there won’t be a good draw.” Well, if you let your fans believe it is okay to dig artists across vastly different styles, they won’t think it’s such a big deal either. Your fans will have to go to your shows sooner or later — even if you have a polar-opposite of an opener!

Stop this war. Encourage your fans to go to other shows, and not just yours. Stop letting egos get in the way of what you and the person next to you love doing. The faster we can unite as one and become stronger musicians, the faster the music scene will recover on all fronts. Just let all the negativity go.

 

— Amanda Maddera, Casket of Cassandra