by J.P. Kallio
I was talking to a fellow musicians few days back and I asked him if he actually listens to music in his free time. His answer was something I have heard bit too often in the past, “not really.” The answer had stronger effect on me than I thought it would, strong enough that I’m here writing about it. I often ask other artists what kind of music they listen to, and too often the answer is “I don’t have time, I am too busy working on my own music.”
Not only does this sound sad to me, but it is fundamentally wrong as well. If we as musicians stop listening to music, we remove the music fan within us, which was the reason we got into the music in the first place. But even more so, we lose the perspective of the music fan. This eventually turns us into very self-centred artists.
You see it is important to be able to stand in the shoes of the music fan to understand what gets us exited about new music. By saying “I only make good music” we have already become ridiculously arrogant! You need to be able to hear it from the perspective of your potential customer.
Do you think film directors stop watching other directors films? No! And that should be what inspires you. You should be passionate about every aspect of music, you should be exited about it. If it just becomes something you do as a job, the art is removed.
If I hit a rock wall while songwriting, guess what is the first thing I do? I listen to some music. If I can’t fall a sleep, guess what I do? I listen to music. And if I am between projects I try to flood my mind with good new music to get me inspired for what ever lies a head. I might be selective in what I listen to, but I still get very exited about every time I find a new artist or an album that just blows me a way. And if you are one of those people who believe all new music is crap and you only listen to old music, you are not looking hard enough! So musicians, listen to music!