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Hi Rob. I read one of your recent interviews and it inspired a question. I hope to hear your take in this... But, how did it happen for you? The transition from local band to a signed act that is opening for Pantera and on huge festivals touring the world? I know it takes hard work and there is no short cuts...but I was wondering if a scout for the label happened to see you and liked what they saw? Which means there was a bit of luck involved. Or did you guys just build your fanbase on a local level till you were headlining all the local clubs and it just kept getting bigger and bigger until it exploded?
I don't know if the local scene is anything like it used to be in the late 80's, but it's pretty shitty now. You work your ass off promoting and trying to write cool songs. No one cares. Some people show up. Other times it's nearly empty rooms. Occasionally, you'll get a good crowd that really digs it and might buy some merch. But with all the time and energy and failures, the band starts to fight within itself. Even if you heart is really in it, it's hard to find like minded individuals that will help you take it to the next level. It seems as though some people need to be constantly rewarded, to prove to themselves that they are headed in the right direction. If they just work and work all the time, without seeing much increase in popularity and without any reminders that it is even worth it (as it is very expensive being in a project), band mates begin to get discouraged. It's hard to keep it together. And they inevitably end up quitting. I've went through countless of band members and can't help but feel that it would have been much more successful if everyone just stuck to it and didnt quit on me. So much wasted time trying to find new people and re-teaching the same old songs when you could be writing all new songs and moving forward. All the set backs get very frusterating.
So my questions, I suppose, deal with how you rose from local to national? I imagine you started the same way..playing to people that didn't really care. At what point did they start caring? After you were already signed? Or was there a ton of people that really dug WZ in the early days? I think some of it is psychological. All it takes is a couple people in the audience who are really into it and it inspires others to headbang and get into it as well. It's like a cause and effect. When did you first start noticing kids at the shows knowing all the words to the songs?
And one final question: If you had it to do all over again. If you were 19, just starting your first band, do you think it would go down the same way? What do you imagine yourself doing differently, if anything, in this day and age with how music has evolved throughout the years? Do you think you could pull it off again?
It seems harder than ever to gain any success in the music biz these days. There are many contributing factors such as internet downloads, increasing sub-genre's of music taking away from the over all statistic of music fans (ex. my theory is that there was a time when there was just hard rock or soft rock. that expanded into never ending battles of "what is metal", etc... hair metal, speed, black death, industrial, grunge, yada yada. It split the core fan base into smaller sections), and also the fact tha,t there is just more stuff to do these days. Kids dont go outside anymore, because they are too busy indoors playing video games, etc.. So it seems less people care about music, especially newer music. They just stick to what they have become accustomed to, and thats it. But the curious thing that I wonder is...why did these people pay to even go in the show, if they were just going to stand there and look bored? Why did they leave their house?
Well thank you for your time. Sorry for the long detailed rant message. and in a Tim Curry Home Alone 2 voice, "Have a lovely day!"
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That was a great answer. And a good question. Rob's right. The sharp eye of the tiger means you're always looking deeper than the others, quicker, and you've got to stay on top because once you have competition they'll always be trying to up you...so you have to be smarter and out-wit them so you stay on top. But you're not suppose to look like you're competing or else you blow it and look small. I remember playing that game when I was 16 with the girls. Haha. It's still a good example. Us girls all got together from different places to work a summer job so no one really knew anyone else, and if you have a big ego and you want to be the leader of all the rest of the girls then you had to show that you could do things that no one else could. There was one girl there who I knew to be a leader and she was damn good at it. But I wasn't going to let her steal this opportunity from me. So it was an undercover kind of competition and we both knew it. The other girls were like the audience. You had to fight to get their attention and then keep it. It went back and forth between us for a while. Then strangely enough we ended up making friends and I liked her a lot. It turned out I outsmarted her haha, by doing something all the rest of the girls wanted....making them think I was secretly seeing a guy while I jogged to the beach every day. When I got bored with all the competition in my life, because it was nothing more than ego/challenge, and I started getting into soul-searching, I almost instantly disappeared from the scene. The girlfriends I had at school had to go find someone else to compete and get attention with because now I was playing it quiet, and no one bothered me. But it was the exact same game. When you're doing anything, you have to be smart and stay on top. While hiding you have to be smart and stay hidden. A LOT of things go on behind the scenes. So it's really just as fun as the surface popular things. It's really about being objective. It's stretching yourself to do things you wouldn't do if you were part of the herd. You step out of the claustrophobic herd mentality and you get creative.
When you want to make money having to be on the surface then you got to do it that way. And when you want to hide and make money then you go around to the places to give service to those who need to have cool music to go with their product like video games, and you need to play real smart in the hidden sectors as well, because there's competition everywhere to get paid and to be wanted by others to have your skilfull cunning sounds in their products.
It's the same, as above so below. That was a great question. I'm glad Rob answered it. Shows us just how brilliant he is, heh!
Wanna compete with that? lol....
Oh sorry I have to make something clear. When I said "by making them think I was secretly seeing a guy while jogging to the beach every day" I meant mind over matter. I never lied to them, because that would be lowering oneself and that's not leadership. What I did was I implanted a thought while I was at the beach wondering whether this mind over matter worked, and when I got back to them, all of the girls were suddenly wondering what was I really doing while jogging to the beach? They figured I was meeting a guy and that got them curious because it was mysterious. Well I said no! I was not meeting any guy! But they didn't believe me. So yea, mind haha over matter. Objectivism. Just thought I'd make that clear.