I can't tell if I hate Nashville, musicians, my generation, or just people

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Menorahman, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Menorahman

    Menorahman Inactive

    Aug 13, 2015
    Nashville, TN
    Background: I moved to Nashville over a year ago just to experience the city and to be around more musicians. My hope was that I could do more musical stuff here compared to elsewhere because of all the people.

    Result: I barely like music anymore.

    Now, I wasn't expecting things to be easy, but oh dear lord. I did not think that SO MANY people would be THIS delusional about...EVERYTHING. First, most of the musicians I've encountered are just bad. Some possess ok playing skills, but when it comes to songwriting they don't have a clue. This wouldn't be that big a deal if it wasn't for...

    EGO. The musicians aren't just bad, they are extremely arrogant and self-absorbed. Nobody is interested in learning or getting better, they just want to talk and have others listen. Everyone wants others to join THEIR band and play THEIR music, and they act like doing so is a great opportunity. Yet the music is the definition of generic and mediocre. Have suggestions to make the music better? NOT INTERESTED. Nobody seems to want to compromise even a little bit. I was actually kicked out of band because I suggested moving one part around in the guitarist's "song" aka two chords progressions. The guitarist would not budge at all and didn't even want to hear how it sounded. I said to everyone "what's the point of being in a band if we all don't have input." To which the guitarist replied "well this is MY song and if it was your song then you can do whatever you want with it." Then after that he refused to play with me.

    I've realized that most people here only want to play with musicians who are worse than they are. This became evident to me when I noticed others getting angry after hearing my music. They would be all friendly and want me in their project until I sent them some of my songs. Then they would either try to brush it off "oh that's nice" if in person, or if it was email they would just never respond. I've pretty much stopped sending people my tunes because 9 times out of 10 it would cause them to end the conversation. The other 1 person would usually ask me if I actually made it myself or would compliment me some other way. But in the end it doesn't matter because even if the musicians are good, most everyone tends to...

    FLAKE. The other big problem. I can't even count the number of vocalists and musicians who have committed to something with me only to vanish without getting anything done. As bad as it is with the male musicians, it's far worse with the female ones (which seems to be true outside music as well). I've had girl after girl commit to singing over my stuff "yeah this sounds awesome I'll totally get this done!" *Two weeks later* "Stop rushing me, has anyone ever told you that you come off as abrasive?" Ridiculous.

    Part of this is inherent with musicians, but I think the other part is that my generation (I'm 25) is terrible. Facebook and the internet has led to a society where words have become more valued than action. Want respect? Act really confident or be a girl and it won't matter that you have no skill and aren't accomplishing anything. Then all you have to do is shut out any opposing views and you can live life as one big delusion. Works for the government.
    Tupac, Zodion, Mike_1978 and 12 others like this.
  2. Anachronism

    Anachronism Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2014
    We're gonna need some popcorn
    bolophonic, Polfuste, anavar and 47 others like this.
  3. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Maybe it's not Nashville, musicians, or your generation?
  4. LowNloud1

    LowNloud1 Commercial User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Wilmington NC
    I am a hobbyist making stone picks that I sell but mostly give away. They made me do this anyways.
    There is a lot about the music world that you can probably learn from them. For example, if the songwriter accepted your change, he'd probably have to legally give you credit as an arranger at least, something most are not willing to do, especially in a music town like Nashville.

    As for making it in such a competitive environment, it's more about who you know than anything else. I think places like Nashville and most every major music city make it difficult to break into their circles. It's about ego, posers and status. But it is also about being good at what you do, persistence and attitude. Try to do studio work. Get a network of musicians going.

    IMO, to really make it, you need to be a good writer. Get your songs heard and played then other musicians people will want to work with you.

    The culture of professional musicians is kind of strange to me. I remember seeing an act in Nashville where the main singer came on after her band played half of the set without her. Then she comes out, sings a few song and off she goes. No encore. No rapport with the audience, something I was just not used to seeing.

    Just my 2 cents worth. Good luck.
  5. Menorahman

    Menorahman Inactive

    Aug 13, 2015
    Nashville, TN
    That's weird with the singer. Was it just a bar band?

    Anyway, I don't really want to be a professional musician or to "make it." Sure it'd be cool, but I mainly want to (and do) produce albums.

    Playing with others is fun though. They just don't know what to do or how to take it to that ~next level poopie™~.
  6. StyleOverShow

    StyleOverShow Still Playing After All These Years

    May 3, 2008
    I live in LA, another over saturated market for musicians.

    You'd think that it is a meritocracy (I know big word but it means the best get the best based on their merit). They are terrible bands that enjoy popular moments because EGO is going their way. "Direction" has closed down Hollywood tonight because of Jimmy Kimmel's Show. They are the current thang, like those Sex On Fire guys a couple years back. It's luck, and being prepared, having the insight to see that this might work, and commitment to the music.

    Now Flakes extends beyond musicians, it's just we makes dates that we can't keep. Something comes up, or you are just plain afraid or not interested in showing up...too late to call off, just ignore your phone for a while. I show up prepared, but have flaked on jams and such, even as recently as this month . Just not enough to there, there to make it happen.

    Most bands aren't looking to the rhythm section for ideas about new songs. We do better enhancing their primitive ideas than actually writing, IMO.

    Nah, kid, you're right where you should be, seeing the world as it exists, uncomfortably close to reality. I saw it the same way when I was your age living in Vegas.

    Keep your head in the game. It takes smart moves to move up, and luck. Be on time, ready to go, not too strongly opinionated, just more than competent on your axe with an eye on the prize. Attach your wagon to a rising star and help out, play your parts, sing your harmonies and remeber to smile on stage.
  7. LowNloud1

    LowNloud1 Commercial User

    Jun 11, 2012
    Wilmington NC
    I am a hobbyist making stone picks that I sell but mostly give away. They made me do this anyways.
    It was her touring band. I can't even remember her name now but she was hell bent on making it in Nashville but never did. She was a Yankee though so that might have played into it as well.
    carsbybigd likes this.
  8. I just moved out of Nashvegas, moved out west after 18 years there. Nashville projects the image of being "Music City USA" but it's just that, an image in advertisements and tourist brochures. The scene there can suck the life out of people. Few venues to play, plenty of dishonest people, and the egos and flakes. Talented musicians can't get a break but mediocre artists with connections get fast-tracked (if they are young and good-looking). Real shame.

    (I'm an old fart, wasn't trying to "make it" in country music, so no that's not why I left the town)
  9. Yeah, lots of popcorn!
    seang15, Zodion, Creede and 9 others like this.
  10. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    It does seem clear where the issue lies...
  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Meh! There are mediocre to bad musicians everywhere. I will say, the competition is fierce in NYC. Many bands that gig in other parts of the country would never get a gig in NYC.
  12. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    uh oh, we are going to have to go out for more popcorn.
    Zodion, CatSquare, Spectrum and 12 others like this.
  13. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    probably just people.
    jmetcher likes this.
  14. Roland GR 88

    Roland GR 88 Commercial User

    Sep 16, 2013
    Ontario Canada
    Retail store manager
    Welcome to the biz.......you picked the most plastic-fantastic town of flakes and fortune hunters in North America, what did you expect ?
  15. wmhill

    wmhill Inactive

    Aug 20, 2012
    upstate NY
    MTD basses endorsed artist Bartolini pickups emerging artist TECAMP bass players gear endorsed
    Nashville is a whole different world. I've only visited, but have a friend that's a working musician there- and just what I've seen & heard through him, it's not for the faint of heart.
    Tupac, Zodion, DrayMiles and 3 others like this.
  16. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I've found that I can't control others; I can only manage myself.
    Mastiff_5, jdb72, ThatLowEnd and 17 others like this.
  17. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    To me the emblem of Nashville phoniness is the television program Nashville Roots, which is just "the biz" trying to glom onto the Americana movement, just like they did with bluegrass when the film "O Brother, Where Art Thou" made such a splash (even though the music in that film is NOT bluegrass).

    "You try to put Nashville in a nutshell,
    It's a hard sell town where the dollar is the king."

    Steven Fromholz, "Late Night Neon Shadows"
    Zodion, petrus61 and carsbybigd like this.
  18. engedi1


    Sep 16, 2005
    As a fellow Nashvillian I feel your pain! I am not surprised you had the issue you mentioned with the guitar player. Sounds par for the course with me. I will say that I don't think you have found very professional people. It's like LA, there are reams of douchebags and flakes but there are ALSO people who care, who are serious, and who will collaborate. Now, your post is all about songwriting and songwriter issues which is the most ego charged part of this business. Probably because its the only way to make any money whatsoever. I am curious as to what your experience as a bass player has been like. I came here when I was 28 and found that I didn't know any country songs! Life (having three kids) has slowed me down as far as professional aspirations but I have managed to develop a relationship with a few people who use me for sessions which I enjoy and I play out with some folks I actually like. But the songwriting thing is dog eat dog.
    Winoman, moonshinegtrs and carsbybigd like this.
  19. Bunk McNulty

    Bunk McNulty It is not easy to do simple things correctly Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Northampton, MA
    I used to hit Douglas Corner Cafe every now and then. They'd have a Friday night jam at 7, and then Pat McLaughlin at 10. Two very different crowds (younger at the jam, older at Pat's show) united by the need to back-slap, air-kiss, etc. Made me think "the industry" in Nashville was just one huge schmooze-fest. I've seen nothing since to change my opinion.
  20. TripleDouble

    TripleDouble Guest

    Aug 5, 2008
    If this isn't some trolling...MJ Popcorn GIF, Hunter S quote on the music industry, and my own snide and cynical comment about idealism. Next thread. Ok, ok, here's my best stab at a snotty quip:

    "The Music Industry" is all about money and power, not making beautiful music, especially in Nashville, NY, and LA. Living in Nashville, it's like you've brought a hacky-sack to a rugby match are are wondering why you're getting the crap kicked out of you.

    I've done better, but you get my point. It's easier to find like minded artistic folks where there isn't a carrot of fame being dangled, luring all the raging hungry jackasses. And I can empathize with your comment all too well. I lived in LA, actually had a decent gig for a while, but only stayed a year as being a phony wasn't for me nor was the quality of life or long term prospects. Spent decades in big east coast cities, better, but still scenes that had a lot of BS, and very, very few folks ever made it, fewer lasted. I live in the country now and play gigs with good folks who are good players and like it a whole lot more, though there is no chance of hittin it big here, and you have to work your tail off to get by...so pick your battles I guess.

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