The last couple of months have found me yearning for musical conversation. The way the Sword conversation got kinda heated was fun, and everyone was respectful. It was refreshing to have a discourse solely about the musical output of a band that didn’t devolve into pettiness or banal exchanges. It made me remember that people used to have endless conversations about music that were civil; an exchange of opinion and knowledge. Yeah, they could get heated, but that was part of what made them fun.
I spent my weekend recording leads for my band’s next release. There are very few things I like more than studio time. I love being in the studio. It’s one of the rare times that conversation on music stays focused. You talk about progressions and parts, spend hours getting sounds and messing with pedals and amps. You discuss the finest details of each change and each minor tweak. Everything else that revolves around music is secondary; it’s just focused conversations about how to create something (I won’t call it art even though I think it is art).
I think we often forget that when discussing music, rarely do we talk about the structure, choice of drum fills and songwriting choices. We focus on things around the music: scene identification, politics of the band, the hype surrounding it, endless discussions on digital distribution and how it effects music and musicians lives. We spend a lot of time talking about subjects that involve music and not the method or the technical side of making music. Maybe this is a byproduct of social media. These conversations are way easier to have without alienating non-musicians. It promotes communication and maximizes the amount of people who can interact. It’s not that those interactions aren’t worth having, but goddamn it I miss the other side. Yes, it is pretentious as fuck. Yes, we are looking at the work or theories of others as though they are under a microscope. I understand it is pedantic and elitist, but Jesus can it ever be rewarding. Sitting down with a group of people, slapping on a record and just talking about the process that went into creating it. Conversations about the production, or how awkward the chorus sounds in the third track. Discussing the choice of art work for the front cover and how it represents the album. These sort of conversations, that are directly about music, seem to have died off in the last few years. That could be age or lack of time, but even in areas where these conversations are possible, they just don’t happen or they are derailed and go off in an entirely different direction after a few comments.