Record company rats
I wish for them nothing but a soothing and serene sleep
August 16, 2005
Recently, I have spent most nights
chronically unable to sleep. Lying there awake I analyze the situation
I have found myself
in but never quite find a solution. I actually think I may
be losing my marbles -- as the saying goes.
I had always considered
myself quite hard-boiled and emotionally prepared for anything
obscene, offensive, and outrageous that
the music business could throw at me, but, for the moment,
my life seems to have choked on a piece of bad news.
It turns out that
my record label has for some time concealed its financial situation
from the likes of me -- the artist
-- once considered the backbone of this industry. Now,
scramble to restructure or sell the label, depending on who
I ask, there seems to be no one who can, or is willing to,
provide any satisfactory counsel.
Let’s assume that I
turn around and say to them, “Listen,
I am physically and emotionally spent from having been on the
road for so long promoting this record, and now I have just
met with the legendary producer Peter Asher who is willing
to produce my album for free because he loves the new songs.
It is really important to the band and I, and to Peter, to
the recording in October, as we had planned to,
we feel the band must keep its momentum. Now, since there is
all this talk of the label folding and what have you, why don’t
you either promise me that we can get on with the recording
of the next album this October or let me walk.”
what they would say, except it is not even worth asking. In
this industry even hypotheses can be conjecture because
getting someone on the phone who is willing to take responsibility
for their answer is as unlikely as waking up one day to a New
York city without any rats.
So there it is -- my dilemma.
Not exactly what I thought of when I dreamt of musical stardom,
or even just a musical
life. Some nights it seems entirely reasonable that I walk
from all of this and get hired in a normal industry, work with
normal people, and earn a normal living. It all seems possible
until I wake up and realize we have simply achieved too much
to walk away from it now.
It would be nice to one-day walk on
ground that doesn’t
feel like it could break under my feet at any time. It would
be nice to lift this overbearing feeling that no matter how
hard I try some jackass somewhere could screw it all up, without
I have to admit: I don’t anticipate such a time;
not in this industry, not anymore. Gone are the days when the
artist mattered. Today we seem to be nothing more than an appendage
to an entity of much greater importance which in my case, I
am sure, is the board of directors, or the shareholders, or
I wish for them nothing but a soothing and serene
For more about Buddahead, aka Raman Kia, and his band, visit buddaheadmusic.com