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Just Justified // Volume 1 Justin Conklin Monday 25 April 2005

I have decided to start a column if you will, or a reoccurring article by me about how I am feeling about the scene. One thing that has come to my mind is all the new kids who love punk rock; they act like they’ve been in it for years. They heard the bands we’ve listened to for years yesterday on MTV. We all seem to care; we call them posers and basically remove them from the scene in our minds. One thing we’re all forgetting is how we were introduced into the scene.

I personally was introduced with Pop-Punk and ventured further into it to find the heart of what I like. I found bands like Taking Back Sunday, The Used, Rancid, Death by Stereo, Matchbook Romance, Finch, and more. The point I am trying to get too is not with the new kids loving punk rock, but the media they’re hearing it from. The truth is, they’re most likely browsing through there new bag of Abercrombie jeans and watching MTV. So what? MTV is a media where bands can reach millions of people. We all seem to care? As soon as a band is on MTV people shout posers and claim they’re not true to punk rock. I totally disagree. It’s nearly impossible nowadays to have a truly underground scene. There are probably 5-10 times more bands then there were when Sex Pistols, Ramones, Clash, etc. hit the scene with they’re original punk rock tunes. There is competition and bands cannot survive if they don’t get publicity. Keep reading kids, please I will show you about how the music industry works.

The average person only sees one side of music; that ironically being, the musical side. However, there is a very deep dark side we all tend to forget: the business aspect side. You want a band to come to your city without being publicized at all? Have fun, because they won’t be making enough money to make it to your town. The truth is these bands start bands because they love music, not because they want to be rich and famous. Once they have committed their whole lives to there bands, they obviously realize they need to make a living off of it. They drop their jobs, girlfriend(s), family, and friends just so they can dedicate their lives to go on tour and be a real band. Once all this has taken effect, they need money. MTV and Fuse is a tool to reach out to more people. Getting more people into the scene is not a problem, we don’t have a capacity limit, and we’re not going anywhere soon. We’re all just simply selfish, we want to listen to these bands and no one else too, and we want to claim they’re discovery. We want to be selfish and have them make us music, but not let them gain more fans and become even more respective. Money makes the world go around, and if you truly love a band, you wouldn’t mind them selling out shows. The more money they have, the longer they will be in it, the better CD’s they will be producing, the more kick ass stage presences you will see, everything can be improved to some aspect. Imagine if you got a job, would you want to work really hard and make hardly any money? Pour your heart into something and lose all your friends, family, and life for something but have nothing in return? No and neither do these bands. I am going to refer to a good friend of mine, Eric the old manager of count the stars as he provided me some good comments about the situation back in 03: “All bands have to eat, and they eat by getting better tours.. and for bands thats a good thing cuz they wanna eat, and they wanna live somewhere someday.. no band wants to live in a cardboard box.. It's a living for these people.. Music is an art still, but it's also that bands living...” He couldn’t have said it better. “All those punk rockers that started are filthy rich now.. They are all rich.. dont let them fool you.. They are smart, smart business people... an art is an art, but its also a business.. the fans don't know about the business.. they dont want to know about the business, they want it to be in an art form....”, Eric Toben, manager of Count the Stars.

To sum things up for you guys, I am trying to let you know that just because your favorite band ends up being on TV, it’s not a bad thing and maybe they don’t even want to do it, but the truth is they have to make a living and be able to survive. To them it’s a hobby that turns into a job, and who wants to work your heart out and get no money in the end? I know I wouldn’t. So lighten up on bands you have loved and you see on MTV. I will give you a few exceptions though, some bands are corporately made just to make money, and I can clearly say I don’t support these bands. I support bands who only have to do it and feel it is necessary to continue there artistic aspect of the band. I hoped you enjoyed reading this, and if you did leave a comment I could always use the extra inspiration to keep on writing!

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