Monday, August 9, 2010

Music Monday: Ruined by Fame?

Yep, it's Monday again. I've been thinking about band drama queens lately.

It's a given that some bands let fame go to their heads. I think we've all heard stories of bands wrecking hotel rooms and thinking they can do whatever they want. From one friend, I heard about a band that was trying to get girls to buy him a coffee after the show by being smooth. My friend was pretty disgusted. Doesn't paying for a ticket already give him money? Can't he buy his own coffee instead of schmoozing a girl he'll probably never see again?

I can't help buy be afraid for people like Justin Bieber. He's only sixteen (although I've thought he was twelve for the past several months--oops) and is already a superstar. Girls fawn over him. I watched an interview with him where the interviewer told him all of these new vocab words his fans were making up because of him. Words like Bieberlicious and Biebertastic. He loved it; how could he not? My question is, does he even have a chance at staying normal? Maybe, but I think the chance is very slim.

Really, its a wonder any band can resist the urge to go diva. Fans tell them they're wonderful. People are clamoring for their autographs, for pictures with them, for the water bottle they've just flung from the stage. They're actually making money from their own creativity! So we heap all this attention on them and expect them to stay down-to-earth. Hm.

At the same time, there are bands that do stay down to earth. The reason I was even thinking about this topic was because of one of my favorite bands, Demon Hunter. I was on Facebook when they popped up in my newsfeed. They were on their way to a show in New Orleans when they broke down in Texas. Not wanting to disappoint fans or spend an outrageous amount of money on a taxi, they send out a Facebook call to their fans. Was anyone in the area and able to give them a ride? They did end up getting a ride to New Orleans and, I'm sure, putting on a great show.

I really love the way that Demon Hunter treats all of their fans like friends. They don't look down on them or take them for granted. When I went to one of their shows in May, they thanked me for coming to their show and wished me a safe trip home. They seemed very humble guys. Of course, they were contrasted with band member of another band who was upset because I was buying a different band's t-shirt that was "cheesy."

I've also been impressed by others. Showbread never stays in a hotel because they don't want to waste money on it. They either stay with friends or fans, or they sleep in their van. Project 86's lead singer gave my friend a free CD when he found out that we'd wrecked our car on the way to the show. Kids in the Way went skateboarding with another one of my friends after a show.

See? They are out there. And I hope they stay cool. Do you know of other divas or down-to-earth bands?


  1. At all the switchfoot concerts I've been to, they've seemed to be down-to-earth. Jon Foreman's really chill and seems like a much more genuine guy than most other bands I've seen. At one concert that Jamin and I went to in OKC, they brought a kid up on stage to play with them because he was holding up a poster saying that he could play all their songs. So he took over the drums for one song. That was really cool, and something they said they've never done before.

  2. That's awesome, Alan! That's kind of like Norma Jean (I think it was them, but it was possibly Underoath). They lost their lead screamer right before they went on tour so they had a mic set up and asked audience members to scream their songs. A couple of the better kids even went with them to several shows. Now that's involving your fans!

  3. Whoa. Crazy. I've only ever been to one true concert, so I wouldn't really know. I think part of the reason I've been put off of concerts is the whole diva culture you're talking about. I don't find an evening enjoyable that I've spent watching snotty music stars gobbling up the adoration of the mindless masses.

  4. awww all of those bands seem so nice. it really is easier to enjoy their music when you know they're good people!


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