So. Every now and then, people approach breaking point, but before you break you are instilled with the clearest mind you’e felt for years.

This happened to me the other day.

Let’s be clear. I will never break or be broken – there’s a mental toughness imbued in me from the folks and from my experiences that is pretty much fucking invincible.

Exhibit A:
I’ve been (excuse the obvious A-Team symmetry) convicted of a crime I didn’t commit – forced to swallow the punishment being dealt out from a fucking upper class moron completely abusing his position, testimonies and recall of events being changed by the hour, until it sits conveniently alongside his predetermind version of events.

To be informed that I was ‘lucky’ to be spared a jail stretch.

This was nearly five years ago, and the conviction is spent. Finito.
I served my punishment.

Couldn’t leave the house between 9pm & 7am for six months.
200 Hours community service.
£1000 fine.

City centre brawl, (in retaliation to being unceremoniously headbutted) – at the time where an politically ambitous judge is leading the charge against city centre violence.

I, Dumb fuck, was made an example of.
About to start my English degree at the University of Manchester.
Straight A college student.
Not a token stock dolescumite – nothing to be gained from punishing them.

I’m against city centre brawling. It smacks of low class.
In many ways,  justice was served.

I mused,  sat uncuffed and smoking a cigarette in the club doorway, watching the guy being stretchered into the waiting ambulance, on the uncertainty ahead.

Justice is not to have every sentence you utter in your defence immediately dismissed, whilst allowing a continually evolving alternate chain of events be dribbled out and taken as gospel.

Justice is not to have your brief silenced at every turn by the prick with the gavel, in a manner of a bored, impatient child.

Justice is not the opinion of one man – especially the one man who allowed the above to transpire.

But justice prevailed. The alternate events become recorded as fact. Punishment was served on these facts.

Exhibit B:
Moving forward in time; we are making our way back to the car, to load out our gear.
There’s a protest outside the BBC and the police are their to observe.

We pass a van.

A pig leans out and asks me where my permit is.
Thinking he means the protest I say ‘Permit?’
‘For that outfit’ he replies.

Hardy-har. What wit. Except I can’t retort in the standard fashion.
He’s an on-duty officer of the law and knows it. Abuse of power 101.

Don’t misunderstand. The insult was pathetic, but thats not the issue.

The issue is that due to the make up of society, all I can do is swallow it and walk on, seething.

But I don’t break.

What has the above to do with anything?
These are two concrete examples of the things that drive me.
There’s more examples;  i see it daily.

How is this relevant to The Black Knights?
It’s important to understand the situation in which we operate.

When you feel a calling to do something – a visceral, mental and spiritual call that will never go away, it’s important to understand how this call clashes with reality.

The first thing that everybody who creates art needs to grasp is that nobody gives a fuck about you or your art. Certainly in the beginning, and for much of the time you continue to create.
It is fundamental to accept this.

You should strive to create the best art you can muster, that conveys everything you wish to convey. If your art doesn’t, work at it, keep creating and working toward perfection.

Just don’t expect anybody to give a fuck; they don’t.

It needs to be fucking understood. This has to be your base starting point.
Some artists wish to put their creations ‘out there’ into society, into the maketplace, to make their art into something thier livelihood.

This is where art meets business. This is the maelstrom.
If you don’t fully understand and embrace the extent to which nobody else gives a fuck, you will be torn asunder.

In the maelstrom, nobody cares about the methods and time it took, or even the meaning behind your creation.
Nobody knows about or wishes to know about the time, money, blood, sweat and tears that go into the creative process.
Nobody knows or cares about the motorway miles, the lugging of gear, the rings you jump through just to get your agreed fee (if one exists).
Everyone is special, everyone is dirt.
It’s an information superhighway (remember that?) of millions of people clamouring for attention – but nobody looks.

With music – this is The Black Knights‘ chosen artform – the only thing the maelstrom sees (if it is even looking) is the finished article, the ends.

It cares not for the means.

Our debut album ‘Sickle Sell Saturday Night’ is finished.
Released into the maelstrom.

It is our finest work to date. And I have been driven throughout its process to completion from despair to elation. It costs less than two bottles of Corona to buy, but is infinitely worth more.
This is unimportant in the maelstrom.

Throughout time:
I have played shows:

– to a party of folk headed up by a one-armed woman, under a railway arch

– to a single, solitary spastic who had an overly-keen intention to take us home with him

– to hundreds of people, outselling the headlining act 3 to 1 on merch

– to a venue full of unknown quantities, initially completely against us, afterwards raving about us

– to literally an empty room before being told to ‘turn down’

– in the midst of a flu virus for three shows in three days

We have been told:

– by one person that ‘i’m not gay but you guys gave me an erection’

– Why not try Britain’s Got Talent?

– on countless occasions by people you know or even consider friends ‘I didn’t know you were playing tonight’ despite being invited, as they arrive for another band.

– that we are one of the best bands in the world

– that we have massive gay appeal

– that we are one of the shittest bands ever (not told directly to us – on a blog)

– by a sixty year old man that we are the best support band he has ever seen

Ignorance in others is the status quo.
Marvel as someone complains when others ignore them, then instantly dismiss someone who approaches them.

Suspend disbelief as someone who has made a career in music radio and TV broadcasting complains about being ‘mithered’ by bands.

The music industry.
It is the only industry in the world that tolerates rank amateurism alongside professionalism.

It is an industry of veiled behaviour,  false smiles, deception, individuals never telling others what they think of them.

The music industry is the biggest blag of all time.
Nobody within it has got a fucking clue what they are doing; they grope blindly in darkness and sometimes stumble upon a crack of light.

Most of the time they are wading in a barrel of tits and still emerge sucking their thumb.

Vast sums of money are thrown behind people, most fail.
If you were to put all costs v income on a balance sheet, and present it to a bank manager, you would be in a padded cell within the hour.

People complain about hearing the same song over and over, but listen to nothing else. And buy the song.  Sorry, illegally download it from an filesharing site.

Whilst stating ‘well the band get enough anyway, greedy fucks’ without being able to even remotely define this income stream

It repeats ad infinitum, sliding from the depths of pain to utter unfettered joy and back again.

We can leave the maelstrom any time we choose. We don’t want to.

We are skint. We are despondent. We are elated. We want to destroy. We want to save.

Some give a fuck, some never will.

I fucking love it.



~ by tbkband on July 24, 2010.

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