Have you ever felt that your point of view was not being understood? Have you ever felt that you are bad at convincing people about something technically right but it just escapes your skill level? Have you ever felt like you way of thinking is so unique that nobody else will relate to it? Welcome to the club. In my alter-career of music, this happens daily.
I'll give you some examples. During the initial phases of our recording, there were many times when I was possessed by my wanting to edit some very obvious errors as soon as we recorded the cut. I felt very strongly that we shouldn't sit back and wait until the last phases ie. during mixing and editing to correct this. But every time, I was snubbed and almost insulted by my band members on this point. The reason - we can do it later and our engineer is tired. He needs to take a break after a recording session.
Initially I felt that they were not getting my point. Then I understood that they thought that I was, as usual, in their view, being just insistent on a point in a unshakeable manner to be ridiculous. Obviously, I felt bad. Today, as I'm getting ready to go to the studio, it feels 'nice' in a dirty way to know that the band's point of view has changed as now 'we' feel that we should insist on getting these changes done despite the tiredness levels etc.
Then it came to some of the suggestions done by the engineer about our arrangements. We didn't have a producer for our album and we ourselsves were to be deciding at crucial junctures. Most of our 10 songs in the album had been written and arranged long before and we were very happy with what we had. Believe it or not, just a frown from the engineer was enough for inciting a wave of guilt within the band about that part/arrangement. There wouldn't be a the slightest bit of hesitation before conceding to the suggestion made by the engineer.
Most of the times, I was stubborn and confident of the parts being good in the way they were. All of the times, I was the criminal. I still feel bad about this and in the course of the recording, decided to curtail my opposition just because I thought it was getting conflictive. Of course, Vinokur has had a lot of part to play as a mentor. But now, the band feels that what we feel is right should be pushed. We wrote our music and we should demand what we feel for.
Finally, there is a lot of differences within the band about what to play for our gigs. Here the problem is two-pronged 1) About playing our softer, mellower songs to a college crowd 2) About selecting some popular Bollywood/IndiPop/IndiRock songs as cover songs.
I am very bull-headed about the first point. The softer songs are in my opinion, a part of our music which needs the as much promotion as the others. I believe that being a professional band, it's important to play the music that we believed in while writing the songs. The argument against this is that the tone-deaf college crowd (I don't understand this term though) will only root to those faster, peppier tunes and will boo a band which plays some toned-down, soulful songs. They seem to believe that once this happens, our professional career as a band will also go down.
My point of view is that we should play what we want. This I say on the belief of knowing that our song-writing is strong. There are people who are bound to like a certain type of songs. Why wouldn't you want to play such songs to these people, even if they were the minority? The collective point of view is that such songs still are not good for college crowds but only for private audiences.
On the point of selecting songs to cover, I firmly believe songs shouldn't be banal. They should be good enough for us to be respectful of the music. The song-writing and lyrics should fit in some criteria. Come whatever may, we change the song and play it a different style as would all artists who cover other people's songs; to provid their interpretation of the song. But again, I wouldn't want to play popular Bollywood tracks like 'Pappu Can't Dance' etc. The band believes that this is the only way that we can get the crowd excited enough to sing along.
With almost all such songs I feel disappointed that we are doing such songs. The only way that such songs will make sense is if we make a satire out of playing them by changing lyrics and showing that we think lowly of such mediocre bull-shit of such stuff coming out from Bollywood. Most of the times, because of the music and because I feel that I'm being a road-block in the band's quest to move forward, I agree and slowly get used to the traumatic process.
After elaborating all this, I feel that I'm still 'wrong' in most practical senses. That's not because of something that I feel deep inside but because of what people have made me feel. Don't you think that we should me more confident of ourselves and play good music?