big al (gendertrouble) wrote,
big al

clearing things up about the plaza

so i wanted to publicly clear a few things up. it's not as if a ton of people are talking about it, but it's come up and you -know- how i loathe misunderstandings, so here it is.

nakatomi plaza did not break up because we didn't 'make it'. we did not break up because we were upset about where the music scene was going or because people were downloading our music instead of buying records. and none of us have stopped playing music because we don't feel compensated for it. we all love playing music and we will all continue to play in bands and try to tour, i'm sure, for the rest of our lives.

the confusion seems to stem from some stuff oscar and i wrote for the liner notes of our last record, and i can understand that. but those things we wrote were not about the record or our decision to stop playing together as np. we were taking advantage of what could be the last time we have liner notes to pontificate in, to speak to some issues we've seen in the scene since we started.

clearing it up part 1: why we broke up

there was a dark period in nakatomi history where 'making it' (as in making a living with the band) seemed plausible, and we tried to do the things we thought we needed to do to make that a reality. and yeah, it didn't work. but that phase ended 5 years ago. since then we have only been trying to get people to listen to us and have a good time. yeah, sometimes we turned down shows that wouldn't pay us the amount we'd have to spend in gas to get there. it's not because we are greedy jerks, but because we couldn't afford it.

the reason we stopped playing together is because it was time to pursue other interests. maybe i can only speak for me personally, but i have a full time job (that i love) and a serious laze problem and i just don't have the wherewithal to do 5 musical projects, read up on my more (and less) academic pursuits and still have time to relax and watch way too much tv. some people do that, but i don't have it in me.

clearing it up part 2: what we're talking about

now, regarding what we (or at least what i) wrote in the Ghosts liner notes: all that talk about racism and sexism and pretty boys and AP? that is not about 'making it'. it's not about who gets on tv and in magazines. it's about every day basement punk shows. it's about the local promoters with reputations for "returning emails quickly" who added us to their mass mailing lists when we asked them for show help. or just never responded. it's about being ignored across the spectrum of punk rock publications. and yes, i understand, some people just don't like our music. i know. i'm not crazy. but i also know that punk rock is -not- the inclusive love fest we've pretended it to be for the past some odd decades. and i know that there is a serious lack of certain demographics in punk rock, and the idea that that is simply organic and 'just so happens to be' is total bullshit. and deep down every single one of us knows that.

and i know some really shitty bands get attention. and you start to wonder why.

what i wrote in the liner notes wasn't about -us-. if anything personal, it was really about oscar. but really it was about -all- the bands that aren't full of fluffy or scruffy straight white boys and how those bands get ignored over and over again.

and yes, the fact that total -crap- made by white boys gets noticed, loved and popular is what highlights these issues.

you can speculate on reasons more people who aren't straight white boys aren't playing punk rock, and why those people tend to be in lower profile bands. and you can find that those reasons have no racist or sexist components at all. but, frankly, you'd be wrong.

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