I’m an avid Twitter user. I never used to be. I mean… who can truly express themselves in just 140 characters? What could you possibly convey in such a restrictive manner? I had an account set up years previously and never used it but rejoined two years ago and I can now fully extol the virtues of the little blue bird much more over Mark Zuckerberg’s book of faces. I use it mainly to promote my writing, my mixes as well as the music I really like that I think others might enjoy too. On the reverse I do probably spend way too much time tweeting about cheese, cake and all sorts of other bollocks. Hey, nobody’s perfect at the Internet. It’s not real.
Twitter isn’t just a social media outlet. As a friend and follower pointed out, It’s also a communications tool. It’s great because you get to see everything in ‘real time’ and I’ve gotten so much information about Drum & Bass related stuff from it by simply scanning my timeline to see what DJ’s and producers are doing. That is when they’re not moaning about Ryan Air/ Easy Jet (delete as applicable), giving each other shout outs from Terminal 5 or motorway service stations. The interaction element is also a major part of its appeal. You can ask your favourite artist about that new dub they’ve been playing or when a tune is coming out and can get a response almost immediately. Unless it’s someone who never replies to anyone who isn’t a DJ. Or happens to be Zomby.
It happens. I wouldn’t take it personally. It’s the internet remember? It’s not real.
While there are more than a few positives to using Twitter and social media in general for music purposes, like anything, there are the obvious negatives. Whilst the internet has given everyone a voice it’s also given people license to say what they like to whoever they like believing they or anyone else wants or even needs to hear it. YouTube is the perfect example of this. Is there anything more self harm inducing than the comments section on a YouTube video? It’s like watching a gaggle of fucking idiots running into each other head first whilst proclaiming their opinion is king.
The other week I was privvy to reading tweets aimed at Shogun Audio boss and Radio 1‘s Drum & Bass flag bearer Friction. Now, he’s been in the game a long time. He runs a hugely successful record label and is a presenter on arguably the country’s biggest radio station on top of being one of scene’s highest level DJ’s. He clearly has an idea of what he’s doing. Yet it seemed that for one person he played too much of a certain style of D&B on his show, tweeting his disdain to Friction in no uncertain terms. I know we all like to express what we are thinking. It’s a natural human reaction. Sometimes though it’s best just to sit down, have a cup of tea, read a book and focus on something else like say, I don’t know, life perhaps? There are moments when our musical idols don’t sit within the parameters of what we want them to do. This is where the internet and relative anonymity it provides those who use it with an outlet to openly criticise or simply slate, unnecessarily. Usually with all the eloquence of a monkey with half its brain removed.
These days it’s incredibly easy to let musicians, producers and DJ’s know what you think about them. You can do it from the toilet if you so choose. Barraging producers and DJ’s with abuse online for the fact they may not have played your favourite tune, don’t make the music they used to or didn’t wear the shirt you like when they played your local club is boring and quite honestly makes you look like an utter cunt. Drum & Bass fans are incredibly vocal about their idols ‘selling out’ or going beyond the borders of 175bpm. Don’t believe me? Check any Facebook thread about Chase & Status‘ or Sub Focus‘ new albums and I guarantee a large portion of it is spleen venting about why they don’t just remake X-Ray or Duppy Man for the millionth time. There’s plenty of music being made, go and listen to that instead? You might like it.
So next time you write a tweet or comment to give an artist unnecessary stick think about what you’re saying before you press send and maybe ask yourself: does anyone really fucking care?