DASTARDS – Does it need to be commercial?

Here at Stretch Towers we have this conversation a lot – and it shows the breadth of Wake’s songwriting abilty that we are even discussing it. Do DASTARDS tracks need to be commercial?

The answer I guess depends on what we’re trying to achieve – and exactly what is meant by ‘Commercial’

It could be argued the ‘Commercial’ means ‘will it sell at all?’. Well – with the ‘long tail’ of global online retailers – even very niche tracks could sell in quantities that could keep the artist in beer and kebabs. But I think most people think that the word ‘Commercial’ means selling lots to the mainstream public ..

Before we look at that though we have to really think about the idea of people actually buying recorded tracks. Does anybody do this now? Apart from Grannies buying the Will Young CD (because he’s a nice polite young man), who else is buying? Download sales are massively increased – but I’ve yet to meet a teenager who has actually ‘bought’ a download. So I don’t think we can count on recorded music sales as the main source of income for DASTARDS in the future.

Maybe ‘Commercial’ means – ‘does it appeal to the masses’ (i.e. would they download it for free if they could? or would people watch this band live?). Well – we could dive off here into a discussion about the state of ‘live’ music in the UK – but let’s not.

I think we’ll assume that  ‘Commercial’ means ‘enough people like it to mean that it gets listened to’ then YES I think that DASTARDS tracks DO need to be ‘commercial’ – but – as we have discussed – ‘commercial’ will mean different things to different people. And really – at the end of the day – the artist has to bear in mind the audience for their music and – to coin a phrase – ‘Give them what they want!’

(And we’ll educate them at the same time time to try new types of music too)



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