Silence and secrecy during the making of new records: do they both have an influence on the fans’ approach?
I am a longtime fan who survived to the 80s – years of isolation and almost lack of news directly from musicians – and one who is making her best to fit to the growth of the social media – where I am almost sick of news directly from musicians! LOL… –
Two big things I basically have to consider, first, in my argument on this blog: lack of news today versus lack of news in the 80s; plenty of news in the 80s versus plenty of news today.
Well, to tell the truth the lack of messages from my heroes in the 80s didn’t make any difference, we had few “channels”, “sources” where to get news and the validity of whatever I was passed along couldn’t be verified. I can remember knew lucky guys who could spend hours outside of their studio awaiting for my artists to come out and all what they could discover was printed and shared weeks later on the fanzines. The news printed grew older faster, as some time passed by and something new happened by the time they ended up on the fanzine. The artists had all the time to get ready to answer people questions and also to deny part of what their fans heard weeks before.
Plenty of news: I can’t think have any tons of news heard, at least in a short period of time, I have tons of news every day right now thanks to the social media. If in the 80s, we worried about our heroes with no news coming, today we get only confusion: it’s ok to sometimes have the same newsflash from a couple of sources at the same time, but a different use of words can make … a difference!
Secrecy. My favorite act is currently crossing that period, when, as sometimes also other artists do, they wouldn’t tell you anything of the new recording sessions even if they were under torture! They are hiding the song titles, the album title, the kind of music, and the names of guests on the songs… why? I’d love thinking in their particular situation they’re hiding something big (ger), a terrific surprise that would be spoiled if anticipated to us. The other musicians simply do it to have peace around, no stalking, and no mobbing around. I might understand if some superstition is behind, in particular if the project is a work in progress for several years. If it’s simply because their manager doesn’t want them to speak to the fans, or to official sources, well, I have really trouble in understanding…. Secrecy I guess is generally a marketing move to appeal on people’s attention.
Living in fear? Of what? The hours, days, weeks and months spent locked in a studio might be a sign they are afraid of the outside opinion. I think working so hard and for so long, incredibly tolerating the fans’ mobbing, the media pressure could be a sign that their consciousness is not fine. They might regret for doing some wrongs and are afraid to come out with a super, special, cool record to compensate past spites.
Marketing moves. I do think silence is a move to appeal attention, but it’s risky, because it might get the fandom bored. It is funny that the announcements of collaborations were the main game in the 80s within the record companies; they struggled to have more power by announcing musicians working together; since today record companies are out of the game…. The managers of the generations are now handling by themselves this game, which before was in the hands of somebody over them.
Banning and censorship. I have seen it few times, also within the other fan communities a couple of over-informed guys who had snippets, even demos on the new studio albums. Whenever their websites were shut, that album was commercially a disaster. Any abuse must be punished, but the excesses on each side dramatically have an influence on people, like a domino game. Fans, if you have any precious snippet: you’d better think twice; my dear heroes: you’d better keep in mind that the over-informed fans help you promote your records.
Having said that, if one day one of my music or arts fave hero would ever stop to share anything on what is being prepared, I wouldn’t be on his side that much. Maybe I’m influenced by the case of my fave band, but also generally I see more negative than positive factors on choosing the silence.
DD TV xx