Tobias Lichtmann

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. SoundCloud
  4. Bandcamp
  5. Mixcloud
  6. Spotify
  7. YouTube


Catching a ship long gone

I met Mads aka Monolog about a year ago. He played at my "Traurig Und Untanzbar" Event. Weeks after the show we had a chat about how he had created his very unique style of music. We browsed through his gear, pondered on memories where and why he got this or that piece of hardware. And eventually, he said something that I literally had to let sink in. The importance was not just rooted in the content of his statement, but also in the WAY he said the following:
"If you wanna get signed by a label, you might feel urged to match that label's sound. You even might be expanding the sound they currently stand for. And you might think that this is the way to get signed. Be like what they represent, but sound a little different.
But in reality, what you're hearing right now (and what is making you think the label is looking for) is nothing but a reverb, a delayed reality of what WAS what they stood for long ago!
Sounding alike or similar to a current release is like tryin' to catch a ship that not just has left the harbor. It's even worse than that: The ship you wanted to catch has by now become nothing more than a tiny dot at the horizon. It's long gone and it's gone for good.
And all that there's left are stories(=> tracks) of the discoveries others made whilst being on this boat. But these stories won't be yours."

Personally, I feel this is very right. And this makes me sad on the one hand - cuz I may have wanted to be with this or that label/ship/younameit SO badly.
But on the other hand: Why don't I build my own ship and go onto my own journey?
Leaving aside the pro and cons of being signed to a label, my very personal opinion on this is:
Be inspired by artists you like but don't be similar. Be different, get used to being rejected plenty of times. Eventually (and this is not a guarantee!) you might succeed.
But first and foremost: Expand your horizon - for example start listening to the tunes your artist-heroes listened to when they were yound. See what inspired them.
Or listen to tunes that you don't like at all.
Let all that sink in and come up with your reaction to all the input.
Your reaction.
Not the reaction you think that might suit a label's taste.