Wednesday, October 11, 2017

One story of one band

The band is Farewell My Love, and I wanted to incorporate that into the title in some way. Due to my current state of crisis and some recent posts, I didn't think I could put "Farewell" in the title without creating concerns. If the title seems bland, that's why.

Farewell, My Love was my 44th band review, but about half of those were bands that came from concerts or that I had gotten interested in through some other means. For bands that I reviewed because they followed me on Twitter, they came pretty early.

There were two memorable things from that. One is the onslaught from the main account. "Follow our bass player! Follow our lead singer! I thought it was overkill, but it worked because I did end up following all five of them. At some point that slowed down, but they would tweet about releases and shows and retweet things fans wrote to them. They seemed to be a big inspiration to a lot of young people, which I always appreciate.

(I don't know how helpful this is to anyone but me, but Palaye Royale has been following a pretty similar trajectory, which I hope will be where the similarities end.)

Some of those many tweets showed me that they were coming to Portland around when it would be time for me to review them anyway, Actually, another band had followed me right around then that was touring with them, too. Being able to do a concert review for two of the Twitter follow bands seemed like a pretty cool opportunity.

There were two other bands on the tour, plus two local bands played, plus the venue was interesting (the building also functions as a haunted house around Halloween), so there was a lot to write about that show. I got a few more follows from it, and then someone I knew from yet another band ended up joining one of those bands, so it was an interesting experience all around. Also, it was the closest I have been to attending a basement show in some ways.

A few months later the band needed a new trailer and crowd-sourced it. I supported it, and ended up on a video chat with four of them. At that point, two or three of the guys were also following me on Twitter, and I had ended up following a sister and a girlfriend.

It was a fun conversation. I remember knowing at that point that they had originally had a different singer, because I asked how they had met Ryan. I also remember talking about the song "My Perfect Thing" and telling them that while it sounds like a love song, it felt like love for the band. They agreed. They were having a great time, and enjoying the band and each other. I was happy for them.

And then everything changed.

Some things I can only guess at, but I know for sure that Ryan got really sick. I believe it interfered with some shows, but initially the rest of the band seemed to be supportive. Suddenly he was out, and Logan was angry and he was out.

That did not seem great, but health problems and work problems can put stress on relationships that the relationships don't survive. It was kind of sad, but then it got weird.

Chad taking over as singer was not weird. He had done some prominent supporting vocals, and seemed to be responsible for a lot of the band outreach. That made him a logical front man. It was weird when everyone went blond.

Previously there were two blond members, two brunettes, and one half and half. With the two blond ones gone, everyone else got a lot lighter. The only dark hair left was on the new guy. It wasn't just the hair. The previous fashion choices had been fairly Goth. Clothes lightened up too, and video settings.

That actually made the rupture more comprehensible; maybe they had started out on this path to being one kind of band, but it fit some better than others and they were reshaping into something that suited everyone better. Then the band and Chad unfollowed me.

I do use the free Tweepsmap features. I thought they would be interesting, and they have really reinforced that a lot of people who follow me only do it to get followed back, which has done a lot to alleviate my guilt about not wanting to follow them all. These guys, though, we had been connected for a while and I wondered if I should take it personally.

I don't know how high their follow count was before, but I remember them following at least 156000 people. Now it's 193. I can't even imagine the process of casting off that many kids. It was completely impersonal for them, but how many fans did they hurt? That was when they became completely unrecognizable.

It's not that I wish them ill now or anything, but it was kind of disappointing. Following that many makes for a messy timeline - that is true - but there are ways to get around that, like lists.

(I do have a contingency plan for what to do with my account if I suddenly get famous, but it if happens really quickly it may not work.)

I have continued following Ryan and Logan, and intending to review their new projects, but it can be more complicated than you might think. I am reviewing Zombie Sam this week, but the recordings are old enough that I doubt Ryan is on them. Still, if it gives some attention to the group, that could be supportive, right?

With Logan, he very well could be on the new American Monster EP, but now he has removed all references to the band from his account. Will my review be helpful? I don't know; band life can be complicated.

I can only do what seems right at the time. However, I am auditing an online course on the music industry, and maybe I will have better insight after that.

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