Hi there. Thank you very much for your honesty and your opinions. They are highly valued.
If anything your criticisms confirm what we already know (which is good as we are aiming to fix these issues) and it’s also great to hear about the things you think we’re doing well. Thanks again for the suggestions and the advice. Best wishes, Kick-Ass Trainers
THE NEGATIVE & UGLY RESPONSES:
Now, we want to talk a little about the negative responses we get from just a few whiney artists who couldn’t handle the constructive feedback because we feel there are important lessons to learn for all of you reading this blog.
First of all, here’s the initial feedback that is given to each artist after we’ve reviewed their music.
Thanks for your submission. We appreciate hearing from you, but have chosen not to work with you at this time simply because it’s not the right fit for this compilation. If all you wanted was a “yes” or “no” – then stop now and don’t read any further. For all others who can handle constructive feedback; go on.
Despite not being selected for the Green Washed Ritual II compilation we want to provide you as much feedback as we can to assist you and do it with the best intentions to help your music career. You deserve more than just a simple “sorry, not interested” like most companies do. We hope you value the extra time we took to provide as much detail as we can, as each of these responses is personalized.
Understand, we are only one critic so take what you can from it and never forget that your music is touching someone’s spirit including your own. If you do not agree with our review, that’s fine, but no need to be negative and email us back whining about it. The answer would still be “no”, respectfully.
Secondly, as you can see – what good does it do to write back and complain about 1 persons critique of your music. At the end of the day, if your fans are buying your records, coming to your shows, etc. – that’s all that matters. More so, what good does it do to write back hateful messages when someone took the time and energy to care about you and your musical aspirations. There is enough venom in the world… so don’t contribute more. So you weren’t chosen, move on.
Third, if you don’t have the backbone to absorb constructive feedback, then this is definitely not the right industry for you. Not everyone is going to like your music, so accept it. Continue to believe in yourself, but void your ego. If you are hearing the same reponses over and over, it’s time to listen to what people are saying. I remember when my band was getting bad feedback and it angred us. Then one day, we decided to make changes and before long, we had more fans at the shows and more shows – nearly 200 per year.
Fourth thing is that we learn more about a person in how they deal with issues, in this case, the response to the constructive feedback. When you write back negative emotions, you start to chip away at the trust that is needed in a working relationship. The point is that you should never ever step on someones toes, because you never know who can help you down the road. If you burn that bridge per se, you will most definitely lose out on opportunities. For example, not getting put on our newsletter or adding us on twitter; where tons of opportunities are listed! Always be kind to people and recognize that emails are bland – so don’t take things for face value that someone is trying to hurt your feelings. We are nice people, as most people are - who care!
Here’s a few of the negative responses, which were distasteful and out of line:
Note – this band loved to talk about all the beer they drink and how punk rock they are.
Date: 01/20/2011 11:39 AM
Come see us live you fuckin pussy.
Note – this band we told them we didn’t like their lyrics for use of the N-word.
Date: 01/26/2011 3:54 AM
Man yall whack ass hell. I know this is not just the typical every day shit you hear but yalls lost!!! yall will c me for sure!!!!! whatever it was i forgot fuck you
Here’s an example of someone who later apologized, which showed great character:
Date: 01/20/2011 3:10 PM
I’m sorry, I was being flippant but I didn’t mean any disrespect. I do value your opinion and your critique and take everything you said as honest criticism that can only help improve my music. But that statement truly did cause me to laugh because the two things that artists, fans, radio stations and podcasts agree on are that my music is unique and that the musicianship is exceptional. This is feedback that I’ve literally received hundreds of times, unsolicited. You don’t have to take my word for it, if you read the comments people leave you’ll see for yourself.
I can’t truly be objective about my music, but I’m a programmer with a market research background, so I paid for a study on Jango which backs up the idea that those two qualities are strongly present in my music. Having said that let me emphasize that I don’t have an inflated view of my skills as a musician. I’m a programmer, not a professional musician, and there’s a reason for that.
However, I do hear alot of metal, and the combination of tribal and rock drums, the mix of eastern harmonic minor and classical dorian riffs, and guitars so psychedelic most people think they’re keyboards, that is a fairly unique blend. The odd-metered work in Gravity is not common, which is why it appeals to jazz-fusion folks. And The Turk constantly wins high praise for its originality and creative vision.
In the aggregate, I’ve also delivered something that stands apart from the crowd, a unique blend. Mixing in the metal with Latin-inflected folk with a droning trance beat and an acoustic round for two guitars is not something that I’ve seen before on an album, and based on my fan comments and cross-genre appeal it’s been well-received despite the lack of genre alignment.
As for musicianship, I know I’m a lousy singer so you don’t need to convince me. But I’ve been getting glowing accolades for my technical skill, and if you listen to the solo work in The Turk or Gravity you’ll see why. If those don’t convince you then I can’t ever convince you because that’s about the best I can do.
Once again I apologize for coming off rude. That’s a poor reflection on me and not at all accurate. I don’t take any of this very seriously compared to work and family, but I should have taken the time to formulate a cogent response rather than something flippant, because I truly do value your feedback. It’s only from the reactions of people that don’t like my music that I can figure out how to broaden the appeal, and I don’t take any of this too personally. Best regards, Matthew