Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images The sad news came across late Wednesday afternoon…
- Posted on Dec 16th 2009 4:00PM by Justin Jacobs
While that might sound like a complaint, warding off the mainstream's acceptance has long been a part of Jay Reatard's desire to keep himself true to his music -- he believes that any musician's audience is a direct reflection of the music being created. A Reatard song appropriate for a Crayola commercial, then, would not be a true Reatard song.
"I'd like to think that the people who get my music are people I'd want to hang out with or I'd enjoy talking to," he says. "If really boring, bland people started coming to my shows -- you know, guys in Tool t-shirts or Juggalos -- then I'd have to question what I'm doing."
Admitting that he certainly couldn't level with everyone who enjoys his music, Reatard believes that bands do have a sense for the type of audience their music will draw, and "the more popular a band gets, the further away from that they are," he says. "If there are 30 people at your show, you could probably get down with all 30 of them. You get 30,000 people, there'll be a lot of boring people in there."
A band like Kings of Leon, who traversed from shows of hundreds to thousands with 'Only by the Night,' Reatard believes, must have a sense of what they're doing.
"A band like that makes a conscious decision to homogenize their sound and clean it up," he says. "Then you'll either fall on your face and look like an a--hole, or your audience will get much bigger."
Though the sentiment may sound like spite, Reatard insists that mainstream fame just isn't his bag -- and he's willing to keep himself on the fringe.
"If I see things going well, but not exactly how I want, I'll f--- it up on purpose," he says. "I know how to make a polished pop record. I just don't want to."