Wednesday, March 20, 2013

why you do this.

here is a point of convergence for both metal and cinema - michael dafferner's "why you do this" documentary.

dafferner is a member of new york-based band carbomb and this documentary chronicles his band's struggle to stay alive in the unforgiving modern metal scene.

there are a ton of great interviews with members of gojira, goatwhore, the chariot, and lamb of god, but the real meat of this documentary is carbomb's desperate attempt to stay afloat financially and emotionally while playing to crowds of a dozen people at hole-in-the-wall venues all over america.

the financial toll is hard enough. despite being signed to relapse - an underground label most metal fans regard as major - the band is forced to tour pretty much on their own dime, relying on merch sales to pay for the gas to drive to the next stop. at the end of one tour, they calculate their finances and figure out that the tour has not actually netted any profit whatsoever. instead, the tour has cost the band a few thousand of their own hard-earned dollars.

but they keep doing it - paying to get their music out there - not in the hopes that they'll one day become famous and get signed to a label that will cover their costs, but because they simply love making, performing, and sharing their music.

and this is a point that any dedicated artist can understand. every artist has been at a point where his or her art is costing more money to produce than is bringing in, and that's often a very difficult reality to come to terms with. how long does an artist let this cycle continue before it becomes too much to bear? this is obviously a heavy question and I'm sure the answer will vary from person to person, but I think an artist that is truly dedicated to and loves his or her craft will never stop. budgets may change, the scope and scale of the art may change, but that urge to create will never subside. no matter how low I've felt with regard to myself and/or my career, the one constant has always been creating art.

like dafferner and his bandmates, it's difficult to create your art without a receptive audience. but as with so many artists, an audience can and will be built, it just takes time - time and effort spent making art that is worthwhile, art that will give people a reason to care. it may take a long time for people to see it - many artists have died before seeing their work find an audience - but that natural, innate drive to create is so all-consuming that there really aren't any other options.

only to create.

(buy a copy of the dvd.)

(like carbomb on facebook.)

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