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  #1  
Old 02-23-2018, 05:32 PM
martianmambo martianmambo is offline
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Default Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

Let me make a disclaimer: For most of my life, I've been shy, and only in my late 20s and early 30s have I come out of my shell quite a lot. So, making conversation with strangers has always been a bit difficult.

Anyway, something that I've often wondered is: why are some musicians so difficult to talk to? Why do they seem so completely disinterested in making new friends? Sometimes, there seems to be this impenetrable wall of disinterest or self-involvement. Although I've been playing music for about 13-14 years, I don't have many musician friends, and I'd say only one or two of my close friends are musicians--and it's not for lack of trying. Drummers seem to be the hardest to make friends with.

Here is an example that serves to illustrate this problem. I remember about a year after I started drumming, I had the opportunity to see Ari Hoenig live and meet him afterward. When I met him, I shook his hand and introduced myself (I was a very shy 16 year old and didn't know what to say). After I said my name, he quickly cut me off and replied, "Oh, never heard of you," then walked away in complete disinterest. 90% of the time I've tried to talk to other musicians, I have met this sort of total disinterest, even when I first compliment them on their performance or something as a convo starter.

Does anyone else have similar experiences? Any clues as to why some musicians can be such jerks?
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:35 PM
MasterBlaster MasterBlaster is offline
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

STFU!!!

lol, jk!

.........
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  #3  
Old 02-23-2018, 05:47 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

Like anybody, musicians come in all colors. Some are genuinely friendly and warm, some are suitably diplomatic, and others completely lack a sense of diplomacy. The attitudes aren't strictly linked to the person's level of success, and are often inverse. That is, some musicians (actors, etc.) who've accomplished little, think very highly of themselves and don't have time for the little people*. Whereas some of the most famous and well-respected artists are quite humble and approachable. But there are exceptions, and it's really all over the map, just like with non-artists.

I guess the answer is, musicians are people.

I've met some pretty famous drummers in some private, 'just us artists' situations, and their attitudes have varied widely. Weckl was the most unpleasant. Or maybe he was just mad that I was let into the party. :O

Bermuda


* I don't mean the Leprechauns.
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

I'm with Bermuda on this one. There is a whole continuum of personality types represented in the pro-level musicians I have met.

With respect to drummers, I've had the honor of meeting and speaking with Bill Bruford, Gavin Harrison, Pat Mastelotto, Tobias Ralph, and Keith Carlock and it is very hard to imagine a more interesting, warm, and engaging group of nice people.
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:44 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

Not only are drummers people, but people have bad days. I know I can have a pretty hard-to-love attitude if the gig was foul and the day was already challenging. But knowing, as GI Joe used to say, is half the battle; if I recognize my bad mood, I can do something about it.

It costs nothing to put on a smile and a bit of warmth for the thirty minutes between last song and last call. But pissing someone off usually has longer term consequences.
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  #6  
Old 02-23-2018, 06:49 PM
martianmambo martianmambo is offline
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

Well, then, it's comforting to know that I simply have had bad luck. There is hope yet!
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  #7  
Old 02-23-2018, 08:51 PM
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Purple Cobwebs Purple Cobwebs is offline
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

I go to see a lot of local bands, and often chat to the drummers afterwards. I've always found them very friendly and generous with advice. Most love showing off their kit and talking about it. Usually it just takes a comment on something either about the kit, or about something they played to get them talking. Once they find out that I drum, they are happy to talk drums!
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:18 PM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

90% of musicians you've tried to engage with have been rude and/or dismissive? I find it hard to believe to be honest. It seems an excessively high percentage and causes me to wonder if they're actually the crux of the problem at all. Quite often when people claim that "everyone else" is the problem, there's actually a glaring issue that they may be unwilling to address.

Is it possible you might need to turn your eyes inward for a bit and revise your approach?

Last edited by Pocket-full-of-gold; 02-23-2018 at 10:39 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2018, 12:08 AM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

Can you imagine as a famous drummer being approached by all the idiot drummers in the audience after the show, every show? Imagine also that they have weird expectations of talking to you for a while and having you show off your gear, and also realize that whatever you do or don't do might get reported on social media and message boards.

Sounds exhausting, right? Sometimes you're just tired, and it's a job. If you meet the same guy at a coffee shop the next day, you might have a better, or possibly worse time.
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:10 AM
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DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

As Bermuda said, musicians are people.

I've met dozens/hundreds of musicians, from un-known to house hold names.

Some are super nice, some aren't at all. Many are in-between.

Some I've met at different points over 30 years, and have had very different experiences depending on where they were in their lives/career.

I'd say many more are very friendly/nice than not nice. Though one does have to be respectful.
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  #11  
Old 02-24-2018, 12:20 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

When I was touring:

I found it extremely difficult to remain genuinely genial. By the time we would get done with the radio spots, and the ticket-busking and mid-day promotional stuff, there was just nothing left for me to give after shows. Add to that the fact that 50 people per night want to shake your hand.... I'm not a germaphobe, but there's a limit to how many sweaty unkept palms my immune system is willing to embrace each night.

You have a script... Thank you for coming, it's great to see you, I love playing here, etc, etc,

Then there are the asks..

Can I take a picture, can you sign my shirt, can I have free shit, can you talk to my friends, can I touch your gear, can you hang out with us, wanna smoke up in the back lot?

You get to a point where you're so F'ing jaded from the human interaction that you lose your social grace. You just want to run to the bus and bury your head in a pillow.

On the flip side, when I encounter touring musicians, I no longer try to shake their hands, I tell them that they were fantastic and that it's nice to meet them, I do not ask for anything, I ask if there's anything they need locally, and I let them be.
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2018, 12:34 AM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
When I was touring:

I found it extremely difficult to remain genuinely genial. By the time we would get done with the radio spots, and the ticket-busking and mid-day promotional stuff, there was just nothing left for me to give after shows. Add to that the fact that 50 people per night want to shake your hand.... I'm not a germaphobe, but there's a limit to how many sweaty unkept palms my immune system is willing to embrace each night.

You have a script... Thank you for coming, it's great to see you, I love playing here, etc, etc,

Then there are the asks..

Can I take a picture, can you sign my shirt, can I have free shit, can you talk to my friends, can I touch your gear, can you hang out with us, wanna smoke up in the back lot?

You get to a point where you're so F'ing jaded from the human interaction that you lose your social grace. You just want to run to the bus and bury your head in a pillow.

On the flip side, when I encounter touring musicians, I no longer try to shake their hands, I tell them that they were fantastic and that it's nice to meet them, I do not ask for anything, I ask if there's anything they need locally, and I let them be.
POST OF THE DAY. Very well said.
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2018, 12:57 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

The TL/DR version....

No, I don't want to smoke up with you, but I'd smile it if you gave me a Jay and walked away.
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  #14  
Old 02-24-2018, 01:58 AM
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GruntersDad GruntersDad is offline
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

I have been to over a dozen drum clinics locally with some very popular drummers and only one refused to hang out after and chat or sign autographs. He will remain nameless as it may have just been a bad day.
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  #15  
Old 02-24-2018, 05:47 AM
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DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GruntersDad View Post
I have been to over a dozen drum clinics locally with some very popular drummers and only one refused to hang out after and chat or sign autographs. He will remain nameless as it may have just been a bad day.
I've worked backstage at dozens of clinics on top of attending dozens more.

Bozzio doesn't like to do autograph sessions.

I sort of recall Tony Williams didn't do an autograph session, but maybe I just didn't stick around.

I attended one of the very rare Neil Peart clinics, and not only did he not stick around for autographs, when he was done, he was DONE. He disappeared back stage in the blink of an eye.
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  #16  
Old 02-24-2018, 09:37 AM
martianmambo martianmambo is offline
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Default Re: Why are some musicians so difficult to talk to?

Yeah, ya'll are right. I was exaggerating when I said 90%. I've met many nice musicians, I guess I just focused on the bad experiences with a few. Musicians are human, so I prolly just caught some of them on a bad day or they were pooped from the performance.

Thanks for providing some much needed clarity <3
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