Dealing with musical ignorance

I went to this store just this afternoon where I knew there was a guitar that really looked like it could do business, and I wanted to look at it and see if I wanted to buy it (with the money I have, it seemed possible). I’m not giving up my games design course (yet), but I wanted to pursue making metal music alongside my other interests and plans, mainly so I have something to fall back on and because you never know when fortunes may change and opportunities may arise. Anyways, while I was considering making the purchase, I felt like the salesperson was a little too excited, having a little too much faith in me. Then again he’s a salesman, it’s his job to sell you something and make the profit (then again, he was nice enough to through in an amp for free). That’s not the worst part though, since about 6 other people I know believed in me and it’s honestly a good thing. The worst part was what he assumed me and my brother would be both be in a band, and the same band, and that we would have a boisterous interview with Simon Cowell (urge to asphyxiate someone rising), and that we might be the next Proclaimers (in reference to the rock band called The Proclaimers). You won’t believe how I managed to hold back any thoughts of wrath in the face of such ignorance.

The guy apparently knows about musical instruments, but in my opinion he is one of many people in this day and age who has no idea what heavy metal is, and so cannot understand what I may intend to do. He saw my hair and my outfit, which was all predominantly influenced by heavy metal, thrash metal, and speed metal culture since the 1980’s, but all he could think of was fucking Guns N Roses. Part of it isn’t even his fault, since I felt a little too lost for words, too concerned with making a purchase, and thus perhaps a little too off guard to correct him. And he had this opinion that I wanted to emulate the success of those huge rock bands of old, when my intent with a guitar is to make metal as an art-form and as a devotee of metal, rather than cater to the tastes of those who just want mindless generic rock. The sad thing is, it reminds me that not everyone has the same familiarity with metal music that I do or the same sense of discernment that I do, which rises from them not having the same interest in metal music as I do. And there are still a lot of people out there who’s idea of rock, particularly heavy rock and heavy metal, is stuck in the point in time in which they were about 18-25 years old, and they never looked past that or beyond that now, just as they failed to do in their youth. In my area, I once again get the impression that what I am interested in is unfamiliar to many. But the flipside of this is that it could make what I would like to do that much more interesting for people.

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