THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD: ART FOR ART’S SAKE

It’s been two months since the release of Emo FASCISM and people have asked whether I was happy with the response to the album. Well, no, to be honest I am definitely NOT happy. It’s not that I expected massive CD/merch sales or crowds at my launch gigs – but perhaps I had thought that the music scene had grown somewhat since the last time I had released an album in Singapore viz Popland’s Groovy (1998). Back then, I had pressed a thousand CDs and sold more than half (yes I still have about 200 copies at home) but this time I cautiously pressed only 300 copies and at this stage, 250 copies remain unsold.

In addition, the launch shows scattered across August and September have been very poorly attended, despite my best efforts in promotion and personal invitations – although I must thank the media (especially Straits Times, Business Times and TODAY) for doing their utmost in publicizing the gigs and the venues/organizers (Artistry, MAAD Sounds, Hood Bar, Esplanade, Home Club, Lowercase, Timbre, OOOM) for their fabulous support. But sad to report that the audience was just not there for my music. Just yesterday, I was informed by Mediacorp Radio that they have decided not to play my music on any of their stations. No reason given – not good enough for them, I presume. So I suppose on these grounds, Emo FASCISM is an abject failure.

But frankly, I do not give a fuck. I recorded Emo FASCISM first and foremost for MYSELF and nobody else. I am an artist NOT an entertainer. I am not here to make the general public feel good about their lives – quite the opposite in fact. The songs on Emo FASCISM were written as an expression of my inner being and not some calculated formula to appeal to your average teen.

That all said, I have thoroughly enjoyed every gig with The Groovy People (thank you, Patrick Chng, Ray Aziz, Nelson Tan, Benjamin Ang and Chee Wah Yong) and with Eileen Chai, and I look forward to playing even more gigs. I am afraid that I will be making music until I am physically unable to – so that’s your problem, not mine.

Today, I go back into the studio to record my next project, an acoustic 4-track EP called Alpaca Blues and am genuinely excited about the prospect. See you on the other side!

… still there’s more …

5 Replies to “THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD: ART FOR ART’S SAKE”

  1. I’m right there with you brother… It’s extremely frustrating to pour your “heart and soul” into songwriting and then struggle to even give it away. But I think you’re exactly right, if you’re writing to satisfy yourself then all you should feel compelled to do is create the best art that you can. That is all that we can control. Whether others want to come along for the ride is sadly, not up to us… extremely frustrating but also extremely liberating to know that we are doing this for extremely self-indulgent reasons… and it feels damn good.

    p.s. – you know I would love to purchase a hard copy of EMO FASCISM here in the U.S. – just let me know how.

    Thanks. Matt

  2. Got my copy of Emo Fascism on Saturday. It truly is a pure pop delight and do I detect a bit of (dare I say) “jazz” inspired influence. Always knew there was a bit of Roxy Music from the 70s and R.E.M. from the 80s but I was stoked to hear a bit of jazz composition too. Well done Mr. Mathews and my daughter has been humming “Silver” for the past 24 hours 🙂

  3. Hey Matt

    Excellent! Yes, definitely jazz compositions! Many of the songs written during the 18 months I was teaching pop piano!
    Glad you’re enjoying the album
    🙂
    Cheers
    Kev

Leave a Reply