Written by Mike Deitzman*
After reading weird comments from fans chiming in trying to “know the scoop” or “fix” problems within bands, I had to speak my mind on it.
Having been around the block/scene with local bands now for 21 years, I’ve seen everybody break up. Popular bands, unpopular bands, and everything in between. I can still remember vividly the mass death of nu metal and rap metal bands around 2003. I’m not exaggerating when I say at least 15 bands broke up or completely changed styles, seemingly overnight. It’s crazy to say I’m sort of used to it by now.
I’m not naming the band, but there’s a band out in our scene right now, who may or may not have broken up. At the very least let’s say that after a few years of work, the dynamic of the band is probably rapidly about to change. I choose not to name the band, because they’ve always done a good job of keeping their names in people’s mouths, and right now I don’t think they need the publicity. The things I’ve learned about bands is that we as fans get attached, sometimes just to the music, sometimes to an individual player in the band, we just get attached. That can be a beautiful thing. That can be an unhealthy thing too though.
Bands allow us a voice in matters that really aren’t any of our business. It’s a cool feeling when a band says “you guys are the 6th member of the band” But, it’s just something cool to say, it’s not all that accurate. When you put years into any relationship (family, husbands, boyfriends, wives, girlfriends, bands, or friends) and it fails, it’s really shitty. It’s never a decision that comes easy. We should give that relationship dynamic a chance; a chance to either heal itself, or not. We, as fans, we have a role. We have a place, but let’s not confuse that for more than it is.
A band can break up and stop doing shows. You know what doesn’t go away? The music they created together in that band. It lives on, especially in this digital age, forever. I still learn about bands that broke up years and years ago. It never changes the music. In the movie Airheads, the main character Chaz says (and I’m paraphrasing here) “ I’m messed up and average enough, I could write a song that’ll live on forever, after that it don’t matter.”
Bands have a shelf life; music is infinite. So thank them for the music they wrote, keep buying their merchandise and keep sharing their music on social media. Follow them into new projects (music or otherwise). Hell, annoy them with “reunion” comments.
We, the fans, have to remember that our job is to love the bands and love the music; not try to fix problems within the band.