Despre Scena Metal de la noi… cu bune si mai putin… 

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon Articles

About our Metal Scene… with good and less good… 

I wanted to write something about this Metal scene of ours (if I’d call it underground, it would already be a pleonasm) since summer, after I attended the second OST Mountain festival. But I wasn’t in the best shape to write about something like that, plus I had to focus on DBE3. Now that I finished the events under DonisArt, I feel more peaceful… Honestly, I don’t even know if I feel like organizing something Metal in the future, for few bands manage to surprise me with something. And creating a sing along and bring them here, hmmm… it’s not really my style… there are organizers making a living out of this, lurking, waiting for this… why would I jumble over this? What would I have to gain? 

But let me get back to our Metal scene. I had a very bitter taste in my mouth at OST… and I must say we’re sadly embarrassing! How the hell ca 20 Romanian bands would come at this festival and the number of people, on average, in front of the stage, is only 20-30? A festival that would support local bands was desired, together with not only foreign headliners… what would have happened if there were only Romanian bands? The location was splendid, located somewhat in the middle of the country, the ticket price not exactly affordable, but explainable at the number of attending musicians, there was also the contest highly and mightily announced from Bucharest taking place last fall to choose the festival’s line-up,  plentiful promotion, a weekend  without other competing events… hmmm… 20 bands mean ca 100 band mates who, in their turn, would have come each with 1-2 friends (without counting fans), a decent crowd would have gathered. But who said these kinds of calculations can be made… here? Who said that bands must stay in front of the stage, in public (how pompous “public” sounds), to feel the presence and support the cause? If fans didn’t come because they were not interested in Romanian bands (they being visible only at the bands playing last), what did our Metal music scene besides the so called show? It seemed that the backstage was too comfortable, others arrived only half hour before the show and then dissipated… It’s disappointing for a band to play in front of 20 people (I mean outdoor, for in an intimate club is really great), it’s sad for an organizer to see there is no interest (being always reproached the line-up was uninspired or maybe he made other mistakes),  it’s annoying for that person who comes to an event in the first row to support a cause, to see a band or more and spending a couple of hours/days in an environment he believes he’s attracted to and want to find himself in… 

Many conclusions can be drawn, I will outline only some, maybe easily abruptly presented:

-Romanian Metal bands don’t have friends or fans (meaning supporters)

-Romanian Metal bands don’t have yet the education/reflex of respecting each other, of supporting each other not only in a declarative manner

-Romanian bands come, play and leave… they don’t socialize, don’t have the patience to stay next to the other local bands, together with the attendees…

-Romanian bands get mad on the fact that the public don’t support them, but they don’t know if they did what they had to receive according responses 

And maybe there would be more ideas, but I don’t want my conclusions to start off bitterness in thinking or expression… on the contrary, everything seems sad, disappointing, hopeless… like someone’s music, heh. 

I think what happens today is more like an effect, the cause being somewhere in the past… in the beginning of the ‘90s. 

I will try not to mention names because I might not mention some and pay too much attention to others, maybe too much than they mean. Truth is I don’t see myself as the one entirely knowing our underground, despite the fact that my first Metal radio broadcasting took place in 1991, December 6, at a local station. 

After the great crowd from December 1989, the most rockers enjoyed TV and radio night shows of some promoters and we waited to see/listen foreign music, enjoying IRON MAIDEN or KREATOR… Romanian bands started to appear abundantly, some of them having access to promotion according to the mood of promoters or small interest games, so called “to lobby”… And this is where sides, envies, polemics, scandals started to happen… If a band was one day, month or year older than the other, they expected to be seen as a veteran, as the band that knew everything compared to the rest… if more bands of this kind appeared, and a newer one knew a faster access in detriment of the other (the eternal “respect standing in line” symptom), it was clear boycotts, breaks and the beloved throwing obstacles in one’s way started… The press was viewed as gods, invited to various festivals to jury and decide the faith of one or another… or at least the prizes, never significant, but useful… Moreover, the press or organizers preferred to promote only big bands, well known ones, the target audience towards underground being almost zero… or at the “peanuts” level… so there was no education towards this, a habit of exploring, discovering, transforming… Even though few believed in this way and tried to follow their pies in the skies… so, if you don’t plant anything, what do you want to grow? And if you did this only on your field, without presenting others your discovery, revelation, everything is still zero… Time has passed, we talk about ca 20 years, many from the past remained few and active, the rest taking shelter in their homes, next to their families, viewing the Metal chapter as a checked, but closed one… meanwhile the young ones appeared who sadly took from the badly formatted bad habits, few bands having their own dream to unconditionally follow without having to make compromises… 

What’s important is that all of them (youngsters, veterans), meaning the ones who love music unconditionally, kept investing in it, buying more advanced tools, spending money on rehearsal rooms, on quality recordings in decent studios, in editing promo materials but also sales, in displacements to perform gigs… and the result seems to be disappointing for the most of them… 

It’s normal for this to happen, as long as the starting point was wrong, when the value system was erroneously set... The bands are born out of love and respect for music (at least that’s what I want to believe) and this is how it should stay… Some manage to be successful in Romania, some outside, but they rarely get to be known everywhere… because we talk about completely different systems… and some, hope dies… or struggle in their own frustration, not having the conviction/certainty that this is their value, at what they did so far. 

There’s also a common catalyst for all: the love for music! Maybe it’s time to stop seeing differently, to see what we actually continue to be: beautiful souls who want to do something beautiful! Daily worries, petty envies and the will to play unfair fade our minds and make us uglier in thinking, then in expression and eventually, in behavior and this way, for most of the times, leads to the result that might scare every offender, like me or you: ignorance… This word is scary, isn’t it? Even though, when you want to do something good, you do it without imposing yourself to get somewhere, on every way… you do it because you feel it and can… without imploring feedback… or scolding others’ ignorance… if you don’t receive something what you thought you might, you start all over again, think it over, rearrange, transform and present once again… maybe it will turn out right that time… and when you have no power, resources or mood, you discreetly retreat, without pathetic reproaches or scandals interesting just for you… And if it turned out unexpectedly well, don’t forget where you came from… another classic trap, on the other side of the barricade, so to say. It’s no one’s merit you made a band… or that you invested I don’t know how much in tools and promotion… or that you organized events… or that you attended hundreds of concerts, supporting the cause… or that you wrote about, heavily promoted, or that you have label and lost enormously in great, but unappreciated releases… no one forced you to do so, that’s what you felt, that’s what you did… and you lived… and you can keep on living, if you don’t let yourself captured by other landmarks that have nothing to do with the reason you once started doing this… 

So, whatever you are in this Metal Scene: band mate, fan, organizer, promoter, reporter, label, club owner… Look at yourself, see if you failed somewhere in the steps you made, no matter what the ones around you did and, if you still have faith in beautiful deeds, keep it up, but in the right way… even if you will play only for your family, for at the festival the public is not interested in your show, no one reads you, no one buts your products, no one appreciates your effort and work… it’s only your problem, my Metal friends, no matter what you do! And if you can’t do it anymore, that’s it…, leave the place to someone who maybe has something to say! 

In conclusion, I want to remind you that this I wrote this article because I felt like it… not to delimitate territories, create sides or criticize things we all know… like an incurable optimist, I believe things will change, transform, maybe evolve, I have expectations from the new generation, more free in dreaming and less anchored in the bitterness of an already outdated system of our days. And I afford myself a last mention: there’s no egg without chicken, the band without audience doesn’t function, there’s no spirit without deed… anywhere on his planet… even though, here, like nowhere else, we want ostrich egg overnight from a “stressed out” chicken… Europeanized one! 

Peace! 

Doru

October 9 2011