I was inspired to write this entry after meeting Jesse Leach, the formal vocalist for Killswitch Engage and current vocalist for both Times of Grace and The Empire Shall Fall.
Anthony and I went to the Kearny Irish (a fantastic little venue in NJ) to see The Empire Shall Fall a few weekends ago. I wanted to say hello to Jesse but as usual, I was feeling very shy and didn't want to approach him throughout the night (even though he was hanging at the bar being a normal dude). Eventually, I worked up the courage to say hello and tell him how awesome the show was.
And guess what? He was REALLY NICE!
We chatted for a bit, got a photo together, and that was that. All in all it was a very positive experience.
My heart explodes a little more for all things Jesse Leach since our meeting. Not just because of his talent or music, though.
Because he was nice to me.
Unless he's a douche to me at a later date (highly unlikely!), I'll forever associate this happy memory to him and his work.
This even works on me for bands/artists that used to be great but are starting to suck (I'm not naming names because I'm not that mean)! Even though their new stuff blows, I still find myself buying the CDs and seeing the artists perform because the artists were just so damn genuinely nice to me.
Crazy how that works, right?!
The opposite happens when an artist is mean to me. I'll forever have that shitty memory tied to their work. I may not completely stop supporting the artist's work but I definitely lose some passion and end up not going out of my way to support them like I used to.
Kind of like that time I met Richard Patrick from Filter and he was a rude douchester for no good reason, even though I waited outside in the rain to say hello to him for over an hour. Or that other time I ran into a member of local band The Oval Portrait at Taco Bell and he was a dick to me when I said I liked his band's music.
I think I've only purchased 1.5 Richard Patrick-related albums after that awful meeting (the .5 is the Army of Anyone CD, which was $6 and terrible). And I never supported The Oval Portrait after my impromptu meeting.
One band is gone. The other isn't nearly as successful as they used to be.
It would be unfair of me to say these bands folded and/or became irrelevant because members were jerks to me...But I can say this...Maybe if those guys weren't such assholes to me (and other fans, I'm sure), things would be different.
You could argue that I caught these guys on "off" days. That they were in shitty moods and just couldn't help being dicks. But I say fuck that.
If you're serious about being a musician, then it's your JOB. Be a professional and don't let your crappy mood interfere with your livelihood. I can tell you right now that I have had plenty of shitty days at work but I'be been sure to keep my mood in check for the sake of my career. It's tough to do some days but it's certainly well worth it in the end.
And honestly, fans don't really give a shit if you're having an off day or not. Why? Because it is your JOB to make them happy REGARDLESS of whatever bullshit you're going through! They're holding up their end of the bargain by seeing your shows, purchasing your merch/music, and spreading the word about your greatness in hopes of recruiting more fans for you.
So there you go...This is why it's important to be nice as an artist when a fan approaches you. It's your time to create that happy memory and make a fan for life. It's also an opportunity to make your dreams of playing music for a living a reality.
So...What do you think?