Written by Evan & Nate of Blacktop Queen
My love for anything comes from originally being a fan. We see someone do something we think is amazing and we try and be like them, it’s as simple as that. I think being a fan of something or someone keeps the excitement in your life! When you are inspired by people you want to do better and do more which leads to you inspiring someone else and the cycle continues.
I’ve always been someone who loves the people behind the music equally as much as the music they make…in many cases even more so. My favorite band coming up was and is OASIS. Their sibling rivalry and humanness in their interviews and live shows was such a captivating part of what they gave to fans. It really showed me that being a fan of the whole picture is where you can really get inspired and feel closer to the songs or the art.
A more recent example of me being a giddy fan boy was working with Paul Banks from INTERPOL. Growing up as a fan of their’s in jr. high and high school was such an influence on me. Writing songs with him and hearing his process and the way he creates was a huge boost in creative energy . It also gave a whole meaning to those songs I grew up with.
I think a lot of people are afraid to admit they are fans because either they are afraid people will ridicule them for their choices and/or if they are artists themselves that they won’t be considered peers to those they look up to. I think it’s mistake to forfeit your “fan status” for any reason. It’s a gift to be inspired by someone’s art or actions and we should support the people that give us that gift. I’m so grateful for the people who’s art pushes mine, whether its be a famous band or a local artist.
Be a fan and be proud to be into what you are into. Guilty pleasures don’t exist, you like what you like 🙂
We were asked to write about how being a fan of music is nothing to be embarrassed about. Music has almost been the entire thing my life has orbited around since my teenage years. I would take my lunch to my schools music room so I could eat quickly next to the drums and play for the rest of lunch hour. I moved to California (away from all of my friends and family) to pursue my dream of making music, and to this day all I do is tour and play music or come home and write music. If anyone reading this is feeling embarrassed about being too much of a “fan” of music all I can do is offer you a personal story about my teenage years and one of my personal fan obsession’s to let you know that you’re not alone or weird; or maybe you are weird and that’s okay.
Thrice is a band that played an integral part in my teenage years and in the amplifying of my obsession with all things music. I can’t even really put my finger on what it was at the time, I still respect their music today but I don’t actively listen to it. However at 16 years old I was obsessed. I would hide their lyric sheets in my schoolwork so I could read it during class. I don’t think I took headphones out of my head in high school; and at least half of the time Thrice was playing. I actually joined the fan club. I paid money to be a part of the inner circle of Thrice information. Something about their music hit me in the right way at the right time and made a genuine connection to my soul. It played an enormous role in the beginning of my songwriting and musical approach to creativity.
They were also one of the first bands I would go to see obsessively as a kid. It was a 4 hour drive from my small mountain hometown down to Denver to go see shows, but I would regularly make this trip to catch a Thrice show. I would show up hours early and stay hours afterwards to meet the band; to tell them how much I loved their music, to ask how they wrote songs, to ask Dustin about his lyrics, and to ask Riley about the drums he liked to use. Eventually they actually remembered me. I was “Denver kid”, that guy who was always hanging around whenever they came through Colorado. One time I didn’t even make it into the show. I was 16 and my girlfriend was 15. The show was 16 + and they wouldn’t let her in. So we watched the entire show through a small mailbox flap in the venue, and again I waited until a couple hours after the show to talk to the band. It really meant a lot to me that they took the time to hear out a music obsessed kid who looked up to them.
Years later I’m not sure what’s going on with Thrice, I haven’t listened to them in years, and I have yet to run into them in the music community. (If I did, I would absolutely tell them about our conversations we had years ago.) However, the tables have turned. I’ve been fortunate enough to be the one on tour, playing shows to excited young fans, getting direct messages from young drummers or musicians with questions, and having people approach me after a show saying that they’re a drummer as well or that they’re also in a band. These are moments I love and I remember my younger self; a massive music fan who was mystified and excited by all the things music. These are moments I love to take the time and continue that circle of life of music fandom by taking the time to connect with a music fan and giving someone else that word of encouragement or piece advice that helps keep their fire alive and excited about all the things music and the magic it can add to someone’s life experience.