Roadrunner Records - Slipknot's hard-hitting, aggressive metal anthems are getting…
- Posted on Aug 7th 2007 2:00PM by Nikki Sixx
So, you're sitting there with a new guitar and a dream. Maybe your favorite band's music and a poster on your bedroom wall. You practice and practice, and your friends want to know why you don't want to hang out all the time anymore. But you stay locked in your bedroom, and practice. You say, "I'm learning something new." You dive into music with a passion you've never felt before, and nobody understands. You tell everybody your dream and they laugh and say, "C'mon. Forget that. You know it will never happen." But you know in your heart that it will. You're gonna make it to the top. Music will be your life, and you will breathe new life into music for all the world to hear. You have no doubt that you're on your way.
Then one day you wake up and your dream has come true. You roll over in bed and your head is no longer full of excitement, wonderment and passion. It's clouded with dread, 'cause you can't get outta bed without that hit, a toke or a drink. The crowd from the sold-out show is still ringing in your ears, but you don't really care anymore. It hurts ... it hurts so bad you have to do it again and again. You're not a dreamer anymore -- you're an addict. And so the story goes ... This isn't a new story, or refreshing at all. So why do I rant? Well, to be honest ... it's not that, but it's this that I want to talk about.
The music industry is a business. We all agree, and I am the first to tell you, I'm a business man. I have a family to support and bills to pay. I'm not unique in that way, but in any other profession your business partners, the executives, the wives, girlfriends and co-workers would not leave you to die, or worse, enable you to continue on being an addict. So why in the business of music?
Well, let's see ...
Maybe the record companies, managers, agents and hanger-ons don't want the money to stop? They say things like, "It's OK, 'cause he's in a band. It's OK, it's just a car crash, it's just a hotel room, it's just cocaine, it's just a few too many drinks. Don't ruffle his (or her) feathers ... everything's gonna work out. We can't cancel the tour, the TV show. We have a deadline for the album." Or worse, they say nothing.
Well, you know what? People die from this shit and record sales go up. Oh, wait, there's a good motive. It's a business after all. Cruel, sad and true. I've seen it, I lived it. So why bring it up? Well, to be honest, it's not humane to pussyfoot around this pink elephant that's dying in the middle of the room.
In our song 'Life is Beautiful,' we sing, "It took a funeral to make me feel alive." I think we need to stop enabling artists before the blood hits the floor for humans' sake, not for gross ticket sales' sake and not for commissions, but because we care. Think of the lives that might have been saved if someone stood and said to the artist in a downward spiral, "I won't manage you or release your albums unless you get help. I love you too much to watch you die." End of story. Walk away, and stop turning a blind eye. There are those in this business who do that, but there are far too many who don't. Enabling someone is the same as killing them -- it's just the dull side of the blade and it's a slower, more painful death for everybody involved.
Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, Kurt Cobain ... Oh, God, the list goes on and on, and it will continue to grow (and grow). I was on that list and now I'm off. So, if I have just one thing to say to another artist, it's remember that dream. And if I have one thing to tell the music business, it's to stop kissing the addicts' asses. Get some balls and find your hearts. Stand up for artists and not for money. Let's make music, not coffins.