Saturday, 18 May 2013

Bullet For Your Gun

“I am not a bullet for your gun
I cannot erase the things you’ve done
I am not the drug you need
Can’t stop the cuts that bleed
I am not Jesus for your cross
Can’t give back what you have lost
Can’t make your problems disappear
I am not the answer, the answer to your prayer”

Bullet For Your Gun – Black River Drive

I blog a lot about New Zealand being a small country with a relatively small music industry and how bands gather a small but dedicated following from our beautiful country when they first start out. While this kind of music industry might not make a band from Auckland or Christchurch or Feilding the number hit on the US Billboard charts, it does mean those of us who attend shows get up close and personal with the band – so close you can touch –at gigs and on interact more on social media sites. For example, Taylor Swift may be one of the biggest act in music right now, but you would never see her having a beer with her band mates after a gig and replying to every single comment left on a Facebook page. The biggest muscians in the world use their Facebook page for nothing more than publicity of themselves, whereas our local Kiwi bands are great at keeping in contact with their fans.

I first discovered Black River Drive when they opened for Seether last year, then heard them again when they opened for Luger Boa a few weeks later. I thought they were cool, I bought their music and I “liked” them on Facebook; you could say I became a fan. I wasn’t a crazy stalker find everything out about the band kind of fan, but rather a fan of their music and their style, much like, I would assume, a lot of their Facebook followers. I love the way Black River Drive use their Facebook page for more than just publicising their music to encourage people to buy it. I have spent a lot of time reading through posts where BRD have asked their fans about where their music should head next, what covers they should do, even how they should raise money to produce a new album without having to sign up to a major record label. They answer all questions and comments, thank their fans for their interaction and, knowing people are probably having a bad day, post videos of roosters. It makes me want to like them more than I already do; I want to go to their shows and I want to listen to their music.

I’m deliberately writing this musing over Facebook posts during New Zealand Music Month as I feel connectivity is a large part of what makes NZMM, and I think local bands are fantastic at connecting with their fans via social media. We are encouraged to go to shows and discover new talent, and while this is a great thing, it takes time and money and effort on the listener’s behalf. We give them money, they give us music, we give them our effort getting to the show and they give us their effort playing a fantastic live set, and we give them our time to know them, and they give us their time by responding to their fans.

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