The Top Ten Ways To Tell If Your Band Has Sold Out

10) Your lead singer is in any way good looking

Being pretty is a clear sign you are chasing that corporate dollar. This rule also extends to the rest of the band, but seriously, who’s ever heard of a good looking drummer? Should you be cursed with good genetics, the easiest ways to ugly yourself up are to get fat, grow horrible facial hair, or just dress poorly. See: Jim Morrison.

9) You have a Myspace page

Whilst once it may have been a legitimate way to gain exposure, the problem is that too many bands have since gained exposure through Myspace. Basically, any attempt to gain exposure is not acceptable.

8) Your music fits into a recognised genre

Unless a new genre has to be invented to describe your music, you are trying to appeal to a recognised audience and thus have sold out. The same goes if the invented genre is just a pre-existing genre either beginning with “new” or “post” or ending with “core”.

7) Your music is liked by teenagers

Your music should be too complex, too deep and too inaccessible for teenagers to like it. If your fan base can in anyway be described as “teeny-bopper” you have sold out completely. Teenagers have single-handedly ruined music, and you should accept and abide by this truth.

6) You don’t have some kind of addiction

Whether it’s alcohol, women or collecting antiques, there should be some part of your life that everyone knows you are not in control of. This helps establish how much of an artist you are. Clean living musicians who can be described as professional are clearly sell-outs with no artistic merit.

5) You are not working class

Unfortunately, there’s no way you can put down the silver spoon and pick up a guitar. You sold out at birth.

4) You have a song played on MTV

Unless the song is played on a countdown that is something like “100 Worst Songs of All Time”, being on MTV is a sure sign that you have sold out. Being banned from MTV is also nothing to be proud of, as it means you’re successful enough to have warranted a banning. See: Madonna. Really, you should not have a music video at all, unless it is either so arty as to be completely incoherent or so obviously produced by your record company that you can claim to have had no involvement whatsoever. Having a music video go viral on Youtube is also getting close to being a sell-out thing to do.

3) You record your music in an actual recording studio

With the rapid improvements in digital recording technology it is very difficult to sound poorly produced, but that should not prevent you from trying. Real music sounds like it was recorded in a bomb shelter. Drums should sound like trashcans, guitars and bass should be indistinguishable, and vocals should at best resemble a wail or possibly a shriek. Basically, if you have any kind of production quality whatsoever you are clearly just in it for the money.

2) Your record company is not run out of someone’s basement

Your record company should be a one man show run by a guy with a passion for music and no discernible business skills. Bonus points if you sign to a record company run in a whole different country, although you have to be careful that people think this is because you couldn’t find a local company willing to risk signing you and not that you are successful enough to have signed to an international label.

1) Someone, somewhere, has heard of you

The cardinal sin of being in a band is that people have actually heard your music, as having your music heard is the first step to being popular which inevitably leads to making money and thus selling out. The only possible exception to this rule is if the people who have heard your music live in the Netherlands or Japan. Unless of course you’re a Dutch or Japanese band, in which case you’re doomed.
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