I've talked about this before, but we're in a changing era of music. With the industry struggling to adapt to these recent changes, every band, group, and project has to ask itself: "So what do we do now?" Nobody has the answer. March of this year transitioned most of America into an inescapable new landscape. Don't get me wrong, while I don't speak across the aisle, the caution-focused reaction to the scary new world of the coronavirus is the correct one. With an event as unprecedented as this, health and lives are more important than rock and roll.
The Crown Remnant is no stranger to playing shows - having embarked just last year on a western U.S. tour, and playing dozens of local SoCal shows since the group's inception. In fact, it's my firm belief that one of the key ingredients of success is relating and conveying that powerful emotion music brings face to face with your potential listeners. You don't really fully understand an artist and what they mean until you see them live; their energy, diction, and spirit.
That leaves us with a decision though - how do we adapt in a live music industry built around gathering tightly together and destroying souls with a healthy dose of metal? The answer, in my opinion, lies in the digital age.
Only a handful of years we ago, we started embracing the social technology of live streaming, digital media, listening services, and more. Other industries were quicker to jump onto maintaining a digital presence and monetizing it - suddenly artists, models, and actors had the ability to monetize their own digital following and swim in a vast sea of independence (led by their new sponsor handlers). That process has been refined again and again with each new service and years of experience.
While the music industry has followed some of those trends, musicians realizing they have the power to create their own content, gather their own audience, and make their own money from behind a computer has fallen behind other categories. I almost think this is due to tradition romanticism, and potential confusion on how to transfer the old model to a brand new one. When you're managing a band, the steps seemed pretty simple. Write songs, pursue quality recordings, sell tickets, and market online. The majority of the work was dedicated to creating a ground following, and then utilizing that real community outreach to translate into word of mouth sales or follows. The conclusion here is that our industry is being squeezed and forced to take everything we used to know about being an artist, and find a way to utilize online tools to make it happen. Ground campaigns now become web campaigns. Live shows become live streams. At the crest of it all is quality recordings, and releasing music. Coming up with new music has been more important than ever and if you're around in the industry now, you're seeing a large rise in tracking sessions.
All in all, it's a struggle to adapt. The downsides exist - that passion, and liveliness will never be matched through a screen. The attention span of viewers is infinitely lower online, and the cost of producing your music is only going to rise with demand. At the end of the day though, the silver lining from an artist perspective is that the playing field has been brought back to shine a center stage light on the music. If you believe in yourself and in your material; your quality, writing, and ideas matter more than ever. From a consumer perspective, you're going to be spoiled for choice with artists working harder than ever to create new music. While that might not be as visually stimulating as a live show, maybe now is the time to let one of the other 5 senses shine, and kick back with a fresh new album from a new band.
The Crown Remnant