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"In praise of the part-time musician"

"In praise of the part-time musician"
January 05, 2009, 07:30:43 AM
Quote
The mysterious Norwegian known as Fenriz has made 13 albums as drummer, vocalist and guitarist of the cult black metal band Darkthrone. He is known and admired worldwide as one of the founders of black metal. Most days though, he is Gyvle Nagell, a 37-year-old who works in Oslo's central postal sorting office. For all their renown, Darkthrone, like most other extreme metal bands, simply do not make enough money for Fenriz/Nagell to give up the day job. But this hasn't stopped him being a prolific and legendary musician.

Such double-lives are common throughout the metal underground and in many other music scenes. There are entire genres that do not permit artists to survive off music alone. A huge amount of music is subsidised through day jobs.

It is this kind of musician - dedicated, self-sacrificing, self-disciplined - whose efforts are the lifeblood of a host of vibrant music scenes and who will be least affected by the current turmoil in the music industry. Any money they made was only ever ploughed back into music. Lower revenues will certainly make them dig deeper and sacrifice more for their art, but it will not stop the music.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/19/part-time-musician-music

Keith Kahn-Harris' latest book, Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge, came out in December 2008. We're awaiting a review copy.

Re: "In praise of the part-time musician"
January 05, 2009, 09:42:54 AM
It is worth saying that classical artists survived largely on the commissions and interest of the nobility and noble institutions. Quality was clearly the most important factor, not saleability. I expect the rise of the middle classes coincides with the rise of crowd-appeal and novelty.

Re: "In praise of the part-time musician"
January 05, 2009, 11:46:56 AM
I remember reading an interview with Abbath/Immortal in the bloody awful Terrorizer mag, of how it was only late into their career that they were actually able to make a living from it, i.e. around about after "Blizzard Beasts". Not that surprising seeing as Immortal never really had the hype of the other Norwegian bands and are probably one of the more "difficult" black metal bands to get into, at least with the first few albums.

It is worth saying that classical artists survived largely on the commissions and interest of the nobility and noble institutions. Quality was clearly the most important factor, not saleability. I expect the rise of the middle classes coincides with the rise of crowd-appeal and novelty.

It's also worth noting that many "patrons of the arts" were not so much interested in charitably funding the creation of art per se, but rather in basking in the reflected glory of famous figures of the day and a way of achieving a kind of immortality. No one would remember some fat aristocrat or pederast cardinal, but the man who commissioned a masterpiece would not be forgotten. I'd relate this to how certain record labels will release any old shite from a well known/respected/kvlt figure in the diluted metal underground of today.

The book sounds both promising and interesting.

Re: "In praise of the part-time musician"
January 05, 2009, 03:43:10 PM
The article is sound in logic, I agree with what he is saying but didn't know he had released another book. I remember hearing about the first one but I also remember that I was skeptical about it. Has anyone here read his first book and willing to offer a comment?

Seems that there is a ton of books on the subject of metal, most of which have slipped under my radar. Also, wtf is this: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Metal-Documentary/dp/B000O76TRM/ref=pd_sim_b_8

or this:
http://www.amazon.com/Norwegian-Black-Metal-Peter-Beste/dp/1576874354/ref=pd_cp_d_0?pf_rd_p=413864101&pf_rd_s=center-41&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000O76TRM&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0T51XEZKF21D11DYTPDP


Didn't intend to hijack the topic just amazed what exists and is linked from the KKH amazon page.

Re: "In praise of the part-time musician"
January 06, 2009, 02:03:25 AM

Keith Kahn-Harris' latest book, Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge, came out in December 2008. We're awaiting a review copy.

This book was first published in 2007 actually(which is when I received it). It's certainly a far more intellectually based look at Metal than most have ever attempted -  but also written from what I might call a typically "western democratic" perspective(ie. much moaning about "racist"  "fascist" and "sexist" views, ) and the like.

But then there's this:

"Some websites have developed into complex and idiosyncratic guides to a host of metal and non-metal resourse, containing links, articles and bulletin boards, such as the voluminous American Nihilist Underground Society."    pg. 94 "Extreme Metal..."