StreeXB Global Talent SearchWho Says Indie Rock Bands Can No Longer Be Heard?

Your Band Sucks is a beautiful, hilarious, and rich memoir about one guitarist’s epic immersion in the world of indie rock music.

There had to be something else here. But what?

It’s also the story of an entire generation and time.

Over the last couple of decades, there are many legends that have come out of indie rock. These can be heard at all times and anytime if one wanted to because we are literally submerged in this culture. But the truth behind this indie rock band is not known to the general public. To rock enthusiasts, these songs are what encompasses their lives. Rock ‘n’ roll to the world is what they say. This book shares a true story behind a legendary indie rock-star. This will change your mindset about rock bands and rock songs.

Read on below to get a better understanding of what embodies indie rock.


 

Somewhere in the latter half of the eighties, it became much easier for weird bands to do band things: play shows, make records, go on tour. The hows and whys that had been so elusive just a few years earlier were now shared through surprisingly effective samizdat and word-of-mouth networks. Though back then, low-level rock clubs weren’t particularly concerned about Better Business Bureau−esque ethics. A pal in a fairly well-known band played a show in a decent-sized city, met the owner in the office afterward, and asked for the band’s guarantee. Then the owner opened a desk drawer and casually gestured toward the gun he kept there, and my pal decided to forgo that night’s wages.

But every touring indie band had stories like that. In a different city the dead-calm club owner wore a sharp silver suit and was said to be mobbed-up and to carry a gun, and when it looked as if his promoter might stiff us, I told him that he ran a really nice club and it would be a shame if word got around that he didn’t pay bands. (Crazily enough, this tactic worked.) Because after a couple of passes through America and Europe, states and countries stopped being flat maps in the dogeared road atlas we kept stashed between the front seats of the van and became three-dimensional, with memory and incident and images and the people we met.



 

I liked plotting weekend shows by scanning mileage charts in the back of a road atlas to see how far you could drive and still make it home in time for work on Monday morning. I liked the voices you heard on college radio stations while driving on the interstate, for the ten or fifteen minutes before static buried them. I liked arriving at a club in the late afternoon, the few people in the hushed beer-and-cigarette-smelling room only starting to yawn and stretch into another day. I liked how our rehearsal room smelled of old amp tubes heating up. I liked handwriting the set list each night, and I liked identifying songs by shorthand or in-jokes so no one in the front rows could know what was coming. I liked being onstage, even if, for many years, I wasn’t quite sure what to do once I was up there and remembered so little of it afterward. I liked how some people in the crowd watched with real intent while you were just setting up. I liked staring into the eyes of random people in the audience until they looked away. I liked how being on tour moved you in a perfect counter-rhythm to the nine-to-five world: your adrenaline rose when it ebbed for those at work and peaked after they went to bed.

I liked the way all this organized and structured my life. I liked that we all found this way to stay young, well into our twenties at first, and then well beyond. I liked believing that we knew something most everyone else didn’t. I liked believing that we were going to change music. I liked believing this would last forever. Because, for a while, that was easy to believe.

 


StreeXB would like to thank Pitchfork for a sneak peak of Jon Fine’s book. We would also like to thank Vanity Fair for the image.

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