October 23, 2014, posted by Crumbs

The General Journals: Walk The Plank

Machine Head

I gotta say...
Facebook is freakin’ weird...
I once read that average life of a Tweet, is 4 minutes. Meaning, that in 4 minutes, what was said via Tweet, would evaporate, and whatever people on Twitter reading it, would be gone. I experienced it first-hand, to the point where I just bailed on Twitter. I’ll post the Journals up there, might read my feed twice a month, but that’s really it.

I like Instagram more, but even that is a lot of the same. Food pics!
From time to time, I look on our Facebook page and it just seems like an endless stream of ads for our new record.

I've asked myself several times, "is this just too fucking much?” “Are we just shoving ourselves down people’s throats, and running the risk of turning them off, or worse, tuning them out?” In an age where there’s an endless barrage of info coming from every angle, would it just be better to let people discover the record?

And yet, amazingly, every time we put up an ad, inevitably, multiple people on our FB ask, “They have a new record coming out?”

Oy vey...
Facebook is such a weird universe. Now if you live in the public eye go ahead and multiply that weird universe x1000! Though I'm sure for every person not in the public eye, it's just a microcosm of it.

There’s your friends, maybe family, and then your distant-friends whose lives you voyeur into but haven’t seen in years. I know if I ever see Genevra looking at her page it’s an endless stream of baby pictures, cute animal pictures, and un-educated political / gun sloganeering bullshit.

For a band, it’s broken down a bit different. There are of course the diehard supporters. They’re first and foremost. There also exists a large group of “I’m-not-really-sure-if-they-are-fans-or-not,” and last and certainly least, there’s the people whose sole purpose is to troll your page. Like, I don’t know… let’s say the Children Of Bodom "Hate Crew” that has been out in full force in light of the US tour being re-scheduled. It’s typical shit talking, albeit a ton of it to the actual Machine Head fans saying ‘how much better Bodom are than Machine Head’ and how ‘Bodom should've been headlining over Machine Head’, and “fuck Machine Head”.

However, most people usually need the motivation to act like fools and Alexi’s little bitch-ass response certainly got the "Hate Crew" fired up. Hate Crew?… pffffft!… more like “Alexi-ain’t-that-Great-Crew!”, more like, “bought-a-ticket-too-Late-Crew!”, more like, “It’s-not-my-fault-you’re-a-virgin-and-can’t-get-a-Date-Crew”!! But to the weak attacking the MH castle? Whatever… we've got the Head Cases, the fucking MH diehards, armed to the teeth and defending us to the bitterest of deaths. For every person that complains about the tour getting canceled the Head Cases are like "shut the fuck up, life goes on, M F’n H to the death!!!” So for every one of those people, I thank you VERY much. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate the fact that you do that. Because shit DOES happen and sometimes life DOESN'T go the way you want it to.

I cannot tell you how many times I wanted life to go a different way, and it didn’t, and I wanted somebody to blame, I wanted somebody to point the finger at, so I could go THIS IS YOUR FAULT!! But the fact is, there isn't always someone you can blame. In my experience, a lot of times when something went wrong, something else went right. Working through these things isn’t easy, but as a result of it, my life was improved because I was open to seeing that.

I know I’m not the only one to broach this Facebook subject, and I’m not quite sure why it’s not way more widespread amongst musicians and artists alike? Probably because deep down musicians are all pussies.
But when I see our Facebook page I see we have about 1.3 million “likes" from all over the globe. I ask, does that mean “Bloodstone & Diamonds” will sell 1.3 million copies?
Fuck no.

Shit, every post about the new record almost half the comments are saying “Nope, not gonna buy it.”
Well how about ½ of that number? Will it sell 500,000 copies?
Oh hell no.

So let’s cut that in half and we shoot for 250,000 copies, worldwide, in a years time. I mean I’m no math major, but if 250,000 people from the MH page actually buy the album, the other 1,000,000 people are off the hook and can continue to occupy a place they have little (or no) interest in.

We have 270,000 “likes” in the U.S., and our A&R guy Monte Conner swears emphatically that if we equal what “Locust” did on it's first week sales (16,000 copies) we will be killing it, especially considering that the CD / iTunes market is down 40% since “Locust” came out in 2011.

I know Sebastian Bach and even Trevor from The Black Dahlia Murder have gone “public” with the very same questions. Why the absolute chasm between “likes” and actual sales? To some, an artist calling out their Facebook “friends" is what could only be seen as “Social Media Suicide!”

But on the other, what does 1.3 million “likes” even mean?
I don’t care if you don’t like me. I’ve got enough of my own damn self-respect, I don’t need yours!

Numbers that do not translate mean jack shit to us. Hate to be so blunt, but they don’t. If we lost 1,000,000 people on this page and were left with 300,000 die hards? DIE HARDS! I’d take those 300k to battle with us ANY FUCKING DAY!!
My hope would be, that if you are here, it’s because of one thing.
Because you have been deeply affected by our music.

You aren't buying our records out of some misplaced sense of “metal-loyalty”, or some blind patriotism towards Machine Head. I wouldn't want that anyway. I don't like blind patriotism of any kind. I don’t get it with sports teams and I don’t get it because of pieces of land and the imaginary boundaries that were drawn up long before you existed.
If you truly believe in us, it’s because we've earned our way into your heart.
How? Through A LOT of hard fucking work, and a lot of great music, and more importantly, because we give you something that other metal bands don't.
There lies the connection.

If the connection between us and you is true, then we’re there riding shotgun with you on the road of life. We're definitely not "your life”, but were there alongside you. We’re honored beyond belief that people have allowed Machine Head to become the soundtrack to their lives. But really, there's nothing more than that.

You don't know us anything because of it. We don't owe you anything because of it.
We came into each other’s lives when we each needed each other. In time, maybe we stay with each other throughout our lives, or maybe we don’t.
Being in a band is not profitable. You do it because you love it, because it fills a need in your heart.

These days, the smartest and brightest go into technology, not music. Technology has crushed music into the dust.
Why would you even go into music? Make a freakin' APP!
Albums and singles don’t sell anymore. The new iPhone 6 just did 39 million. That’s 39 times platinum in 6 weeks!!
Not one album in ANY genre has gone platinum this YEAR.
Not ONE.

I’ve said a lot here, most of it was a stream of consciousness about the shit running through my mind, but here’s the deal. All of the above is pointless without this…
There’s a new Captain aboard the S.S. Facebook. "Blackbeard the Terrible" ever heard of him? Well you’ll be seeing him around quite a bit.
Just don’t get too comfortable... because a whole bunch of you motherfuckers are gonna walk the plank!

SoundScan's Third-Quarter Numbers in One Word: "Bleak"

Subscribe to The General Journals: Diary Of A Frontman... And Other Ramblings

Visit The General Journals archive: - A Place Dedicated to the Mighty Machine Head!