by James Stefanuk

The Scene Unseen | July 27, 2016 | Vampires

They only come out at night, slithering in and out of clubs, drinking, sweating and watching you scream. They are the creatures of the night, the blood-sucking shape-changers and life-giving soul-shakers. They take your money, take your pride, and if they say sorry, well… it’s already too late. But it’s not all bad.

We are all vampires in this industry, from a certain point of view. We feed off poison, money (poison), and bask in the energy output of others. We seek to control others, make friends of strangers and share our spoils with those we deem worthy. Everybody wants some.

Unlike the traditional vampires of legend, the relationship is symbiotic. Scratch any thought of parasitic creatures from your mind… it’s not like that. The parasite takes and gives nothing in return. We are all the same creatures, with different strengths and weaknesses. We all need each other. It’s a massive wolf pack, with biting and clawing but a mutual understanding that we can’t take down that elk by ourselves.

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I suppose some would think it makes us no better than any other industry, any other theme-song-slinging cheerleader-swinging Krispy-Kreme-peddling baby-kissing con-artist corporation, but they would be wrong. Those fuckers feel no shame. Musicians come out at night for a reason; they don’t want to peddle their wares, but they also get hungry like anyone else. Money is a salty metaphor for recognition. There is no such thing as “sold out;” just “sold to:” (Insert car/cereal/movie here).

So what makes the Indie music scene different from any other business? We are selling art. Most of us are ashamed that we even have to sell it. Most of us want fame (e.g. mass recognition) much more than money. Many will pump gas or drive Uber and lose money to play to crowds at night. I don’t want to give you the wrong impression though; musicians are not martyrs. Oh, Hell no. We are vampires.

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There is a romance in the air, always. Those who lose it, lose out. The bar owners, the promoters and the musicians who can maintain their cool and create a mystique are the ones who last and prosper. The fans feed off their energy and send it back in spades. We are all vampires hanging out together, trying to impress without letting on that we are trying to impress. It’s kinda cute and pretentious as hell, but it’s all for a good cause.

Who can say who a person really is? I like to think the acting is during the day and the real souls come out at night. To give a little blood, to take a little blood, to make the pool bigger. We just want to love everyone and be loved, and smite our enemies in merciless cold blood. We are a seething mass of bodies in the underground music scene. We desire and command the love and respect of everyone we meet. We are coming for your minds, your bodies and your souls. We are vampires.

– James Stefanuk

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