Trust me, I know you want your friends and family to support your band and come to your shows. I liken this to the way a sandy blonde suburban preteen boy must feel when his dad gets drunk with his hot secretary instead of coming to his soccer games.
Even if your friends do come to your shows, you want them to “get it” and understand the relentless effort you have put into your craft. After all, while many of them are drinking their brains away with an $8 Jack and Coke, you’re sitting on your ass every night, exhausted, screaming your lungs out, improving your precision as a guitarist, beating your heart into the drums, or even, doing whatever it is that you do with a bass.
Chances are, your friends, family and even your girlfriend don’t truly give a shit about your band or your music. Many people expect their loved ones to be their biggest advocates, and feel crippling disappointment when they aren’t.
There are many people who are proud of me and have helped make my accomplishments possible, but that doesn’t mean they have to be a fan of what I do — or that I should count on them to be.
Over time, I have internally noted that nobody (outside of my awesome peers in the music industry) has ever offered me sincere encouragement to continue what I’m doing. In fact, I’m convinced that some even harbor jealousy.
I no longer expect their encouragement. Why should they? They have kids and shit, and to them, I’m fucking off. How could I ever know a thing about REAL responsibility or life experience?
Don’t try to sell your music to your friends and family. They are not your consumers. They are not customers. Counting them as your fan base is a mistake. There’s an even more important lesson to be learned here. If you want to become a professional, then don’t ‘take it home’, as is advised with any other job.
Getting bummed that your family and friends don’t back you like you want them to is a waste of fucking time.
Sadly, I’ve seen the uglier side of this spectrum. Once you reach an arbitrary boundary of success and you start to make a little money, you start to hear from many of these people again. I’ve been contacted for loans, jobs, and concert tickets more than I ever imagined a 26 year old snapback obsessed metalhead would.
I’ve had people ask to tag along with me to a show so they can hang out with a band while I interview them yet back out the second I ask them for help (holding the camera, etc.) in any way.
For the last two years, I have truly come to love the people from around the world who value what I do — as a singer, a YouTuber, a writer, or a dad joke teller. These sort of people think you’re cool even though you’re not — which makes them INFINITELY cool, even if they don’t realize it.
Ultimately, you will be much happier if you spend more time loving the people who love you and your music instead of sulking about those who don’t.
Remember the faces who stood front and center in an empty room to watch you play, and never fucking forget them.