John Strachan’s Doomed: 9/21/2011

John Strachan's Doomed

The Funeral Pyre and Early Graves frontman John Strachan is back, and dude, he’s returned with a vengeance.

So, there has been a ton of debate regarding Spotify, illegal downloading, blah, blah, blah. As per usual, it’s something that’s not going to go away and we all have to figure out how to adjust with the times. I have no problem with that one bit.

But if there is one thing that kind of rubs me the wrong way, it’s the constant excuse I hear: “Dude, I’m so broke right now. I can’t afford to buy music.”

I’ve heard that and “Jesus saves” probably the most in my lifetime. Here’s my answer: So the fuck what? Most of us are broke. That’s what happens. Money is something you work for, it’s something that you want to choose wisely what you spend it on. I get it. But here’s another thing: Don’t say “music is my life” if you’re not buying it.

This is a matter of priority for everyone. Today, music has become such a commodity that any kid can hear everything he wants in a matter of minutes. Which sounds great, but they’re missing the whole experience of what music brings to the table. Allow me to elaborate: When I was growing up, I used to have to beg my mom to take me to the local Sam Goodie in the Whitwood Mall. The mall sucked; it was a piece of shit. But they had a record store and guess what? I couldn’t drive yet.

I’d do all my chores, or mow lawns, or what the fuck ever in order to be driven to the mall just to buy some music. Singles cassettes, my first CDs — all of it was purchased there, way back in the day. I then discovered another local record store by the time I was 13, called Bionic Records. There were a few in Southern California and this is where I shaped my musical opinions and found bands due to the people who worked there.

Now this — this is what most kids are not being able to fully understand these days. How important the record store actually is. You see, when we were younger, we all didn’t have any money, but I saved and figured out how I could manage to buy the records that I truly wanted. That’s where this whole ship has been steered wrong.

Priority for most people now is just what comes easiest. Being able to walk into a record store, see posters of bands you’d never heard of, hearing a band over the speakers that you’d never heard, seeing flyers for local shows…this is all gone. And honestly, it’s tragic that people these days don’t get to experience this.

Music has no worth at the moment, because we have given it no worth. “Well, I go to the shows and support that way.” Well, thank you very much for your support; we all appreciate it every single time. But what about the labels who put blood, sweat and tears into this project as well? Supporting the band at their show is very important, but also, buying the LP or the CD from the label is just as important for this entire operation.

Instead of going to the bar this weekend and spending $50 on drinks, why don’t you save at least $10 to $15 of that for a new CD or LP from what’s left of your local record store. Is it really that much to ask? To really “love” music the way some of you say you do, you’d have no problem doing it. This is not a contest of who can have the most music downloaded to their iPod or how many songs they have on their computer. This is about hearing what bands are playing and putting your own personal value to it.

Most of you are going to tell me I’m full of shit, that times are tough, etc. I realize they are. But that’s when you’d need music the most, right? When these bands sing about the same thing you’re going through. But if you honestly support music like most of you say you do, you’d go to the store and buy it. Make music a priority by showing that it does have worth to you.

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About John Strachan

John Strachan is a music industry vet by all accounts, having done time at Century Media Records and Prosthetic Records. Oh, and he also just happens to front The Funeral Pyre and Early Graves, who are writing new material right now. John also runs a small DIY label called Forest Moon Special Products that you should check out.

  • Josh

    I was a tyke right around the time nu-metal was getting big I remember saving my lunch money and buying a korn cd at Sam Goody because it was the heviest thing I had heard at the time. A few weeks later I saved up again and went to a small independent shop in town and when the guy behind the counter asked if he could help me, I said I was looking for some metal “like korn”. The guy looked at me for a good 30 seconds and said “fuck you, buy this and come back and tell me what you think”. It was Slayer’s Reign In Blood and I really feel like that was a defining moment in my life. I couldn’t agree more with what you’re saying.

  • Metal Assault

    Agree 100%.

  • Gurrett William Beigle

    it doesnt matter if there isnt a independent record store anywherer near me. they are all closing down.

  • Xander

    I’m part of the “new generation” but I always do my best to buy as many CDs and vinyl as possible. I figure if I find a band I think is intriguing, I download it, if I like it I buy it, if I don’t I delete it. I own an ungodly amount of band merch, and I try to put as much money in the pockets of the bands I love as I can afford to. Being in a band myself, I know it’s certainly tough to make money (hell I lose money most of the time), but at least for me it’s about making the music I love. It doesn’t hurt to make money with it, though.