A question regarding individual identity vs. art.
Like many of us, I'm an artist that toils in obscurity, and will most likely continue to do so, but I'm finding myself increasingly in an odd place between needing recognition as an individual musician vs. my art. Here's the deal:
I make weird music. I invent, research, and build microtonal instruments, and make ambient/experimental/industrial/metal noises. I've released 3 albums and 1 EP, and am working on my first microtonal metal album. I've released all of these under my own name, which is starting to create a bit of a dilemma. For the past several years, I've increasingly been getting calls as a bassist for hire, playing in all kinds of different bands: hip-hop, doom metal, blues, jazz, funk, etc. I've always felt that I've had to explain to people that my art that I create is not the sole representation of my musical abilities, and it's always been an awkward conversation. I feel like I'm having to justify my skills - just because I make weird microtonal music doesn't mean I can't play the blues, too. Most of the time this has worked out ok, but at a last minute gig last night with an artist I'd never played with, he said something that gave me pause. He said that after he booked me for the gig, he listed to some of my music, and got worried. Everything worked out great, and he loved my playing, but this makes me wonder how many gig calls I'm NOT getting because of my own individual art.
So now I'm considering developing a separate moniker for my music, and promoting that as a separate entity (much like Trent Reznor vs. Nine Inch Nails, for example)., and changing the artist name on my previous releases. I'm mulling over the advantages and disadvantages, and I'd like to hear the opinions of random people on the internet (always a good source for consensus). What say you?