Audiophiles vs. Art
It’s 5 AM and as usual, I’m thinking of music. I thought I’d write down some recent thoughts going through my head. Maybe push it out into the digital void and see if anyone reciprocates the message.
Music is art. Art is communication. I believe I’ve said this prolly a few hundred times in random interviews and blog posts via Latin For Truth’s bully pulpit. I say it often because it’s a basic essential to writing and performing music. You create a sonic representation of a mimesis of a life event or an emotional state and try your damnedest to make it personal, poignant, and relatable. If you’re drawing from your personal life as a creator it’s hard to also keep up with the technical aspects of your medium or genre. All you can really keep up with is what is the best way to communicate the things that have been happening and influencing you between records you create.
We’re a punk band, in the general genre mindframe though I’d like to think we make broader tunes than that, so a lot of the musical aesthetics should mimic a live setting. Punk bands don’t make consumable records(I’m generalizing but on the whole, it’s true). We make records to keep you mildly satisfied between experiencing a live show. Now there are bands that cross those lines and they get shit for it. Which is absurd. I’d say most musicians are fans of all music. A guitar player can listen to old standards, musicals, bebop, world music, and drum and bass tunes and still write something specific to his band; whether it be a metal band or a folk punk band, etc. So if you make a record that rips while you play it live in a sweaty basement, but can be listened to and enjoyed in a bedroom setting, that’s dope. I’d say in terms of broad strokes of art, that is good art. Something that communicates well in different settings and different mediums. I’ve never seen Jean Michel Basquiat’s paintings in person or heard Tom Waits live, but I still enjoy both as artists. But I’m kind of wandering from my point.
You have a choice at some point to choose between being an audiophile or an artist. Audiophiles usually move more into the production field as they get older and artists work at disconnecting themselves from the mechanical parts of recording, freeing themselves up for capturing the right idea outside of preconceived notions of correct tone and timbre and lean into the psychoacoustics of music. That’s when you have these cool moments on records where a band does auxiliary percussion with trash cans or someone like harry partch invents an instrument to record an atonal melody to push you into a new realm of psychoacoustics. That’s the fun parts of recording for me. All the live stuff can happen any given night when you and your band mates are in the room together. And because I believe in this and the exploration of the aesthetics of a song or composition, I know I’m not an audiophile.
I’m a dude who wants to create new art. I don’t want to reproduce anyone elses record. Though I might say it from time to time, when it comes down to it, I believe Latin For Truth has original records to make. Not genre records. Not homages to older records we grew up listening to. I believe in the band because I believe in the possibilities. It’s not an inflated ego thing. The notes, words, tones, and textures have all been used before. It’s our job to make something new and personal. We’re all a bunch of freaks and we’re punk players from Alabama and Georgia. We’ve got a personal perspective that very little, if any, can touch upon. Back to the audiophile bit, we haven’t ran into the right audiophile to help us find the soundscape we want to use and that’s a part of it. It takes all types of ingredients to bake a cake; like it takes all types of musicians to make a record. Without artists on the record, you have nickleback and dragonforce; without audiophiles, you have stuff like mic’d air and the sounds of machines running translating an emotion. You need that sail for the ship to move but you need that anchor so you don’t drift to your death.
If you’re in a band, be aware of who you are as an artist and who you work with or you might put out music you don’t like then be held to that standard of art. Just be aware and always work on your craft. Work on being a decent human being. Learn to be happy. Learn to help people and help yourself. Push forward. Think forward. Explore and communicate. There’s a fine line between mimicking good art and creating it. A lot of people figured out how to write a song people can sing along to through overused song structures, overused lyrical themes, overused riffs, and overused melodies. Lets all turn our ears and minds. It’ll only help us grow.
I believe in our friends and the people who enjoy our music. I hope this is the beginning of a new era of music. I’m hopeful and I hope you are too.
- doctor: sir we asked you to tape your allergic reactions this is just a video of you skateboarding
- me: tell me thats not sick
- doctor: haha yeah its pretty fucking sick dude