Thursday, June 9, 2011

Appreciate it, Malaysia.

So this is where we are.

A deadbeat. A scene falling into ashes. Everybody's just giving up.
Giving up their bands, giving up their gig-going, giving up their music, giving up their passion, giving up the phase of their life that would be considered the happiest in their entire lifespan.
Giving up.

That's the problem in this country isn't it? The problem we never escape from because everybody just loses their initiative to make something grow. This whole music scene thing? It's a joke. It's a complete joke. Only a handful takes it seriously and the rest of these kids? They just come and go, but they don't do so in a way that's even worth respecting.
They come, find faults, pick sides, judge, criticize, boycott, get bored and then, they go.

What we need, is a change, a new movement of the OLD folks, who have been passionate all their life, to find the opportunities to make more worthy shows. Our scene nowadays is filled with shows that lack in catching the crowd's eyes. They have quantity (say over 15 bands for a day), but they have no quality.
They start late.
Over ambitious.
Pricey entries.
What do you expect when you see an empty venue?

Who went to my birthday gig in October 2010 at Noisy Studio? It was small scaled. It was cheap. I provided free food & drinks. It was accessible. I had a good line up - a little too many I suppose, but at least I canceled just a few than tire everybody out by ending super late. And most importantly, at least everybody enjoyed it. So many people came, the studio couldn't even FIT everybody.

My point isn't bragging. My point is: if you want to do shows, know how to do it.

There is also no point in doing a show that's meant to be exquisite, without a big budget to fall on when profit never shows. One thing, guys, for a fact, is that all the nicer places are usually inaccessible. Again, how can you expect more than a handful if you spend loads of cash on an event with nice sound and equipment and quality yet the atmosphere and choice of performers do not reach the standard?

It's all about knowing what you are doing - starting small before taking out the big guns. You cannot learn to run before you learn to walk.

Have people perhaps thought of joining all these low budgeted/no-budget-at-all organizers (say Dyslexia, UxF, Nervhous, Vokill, etc...) and make one BIG organizing community?
And don't go "ew, communities" because that's just the biggest bullshit I can hear. If you call yourself hardcore or punk or whatever you say you are, you think you're 'individual'? Don't be fooled, you're part of a subculture, which is part of a group and is part of a community.

All I am saying is, since everybody now tries to do good shows without much budget, then failing and losing even MORE money, why don't everybody collaborate, split the costs and share profits? The shows then become more diverse regarding genre, places, crowd, bands, concept. At least with every show there is one organizing label that takes the higher stool depending on what type of event it is (Concert / International / Punk / Post-rock, etc).

Sure, many of the kids nowadays think the real musicians are not materialistic and dedicate solely to music. But you still need to understand business if you're going to want your music to get OUT THERE. Do you think Butterfingers just sat around waiting for their luck to come? Or OAG, or Pop Shuvit or Love Me Butch or Hujan or Yuna? No. They went out there, strategically, to find ways of branching their music out and pulling their money in.

'Tapi diaorang mainstream la...' - Honestly speaking, not really. Not all. And even if the successful ones are mainstream, they deserve it because their effort is there. I honestly am not much of a fan of a band called Bunkface but I have my small respects to the boys for doing it DIY with effort until they reach the top, top enough to charge ridiculous amounts for booking them. And then Sam starts the Azenders which is a completely different story.

I've strayed off topic, haven't I? Anyway. I'm just trying to say, there are so many bands with potential to make it big and so many organizers that can help the bands. With bands by your side, the organizers can go from just organizing gigs to being booking agents and work with other projects. Opportunities are there when you seek it.

The important thing though, is for everybody to appreciate and accept all the different genres in the scene. You don't have to enjoy them but there will never be progress if we always condemn each others' efforts and work. 'Ew, band indie'. Padahal band2 macam Thy Regiment bukan indie? Punk bands like Carbon4teen isn't indie? They're all Independent right? They aren't Indie Rock, but they ARE indie. Learn your terms well and know your definitions, because you only look a fool.

The scene is not about canalising and separating. There are no protocols or rules to music. If organizers themselves jeer at bands from other genres, they will never be exposed or mature enough to understand the purpose of creating platforms such as gigs for musicians to showcase their talent, whatever sounds they originate from. It's not about what u can or can't listen to. In order for the Malaysian scene to stay alive, everybody has to start supporting everybody.

You diss a shuffler for wearing a trash metal cap. So what? A techno-lover cannot enjoy hardcore? Are we so anal we have the right to stop people from coming close to our genres and scene? Aren't we, as musicians, organizers, scenesters, suppose to open our arms to all who want to venture?

Sure, a lot of these kids aren't passionate and don't stay for long, but everybody has the right to put their share, however little.

It is time we start to slash out all the negatives, use our common sense and gameplan and proper plotting to set the scene back on its feet. I'm leaving the country for over a year. I'd expect good changes whenever I return for vacation.

With Love,
KL Mosher