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Michael Massimo
Michael Massimo

12/12/05: Massimo State of the Union

n. pl. mo-men-ta or mo-men-tums
1. Symbol p Physics. A measure of the motion of a body equal to the product of its mass and velocity. Also called linear momentum.
2. a) Impetus of a physical object in motion.
   b) Impetus of a nonphysical process, such as an idea or a course of events: The soaring rise in interest rates finally appeared to be losing momentum.
3. Philosophy. An essential or constituent element; a moment.

I had a whole cynical and acerbic rant written for this installment of the Flipside, but it sounded, well, cynical and acerbic and in the end I didn't think anyone would find it all that interesting so I thought I'd just stick to the facts.

The simple truth is things aren't so good, folks. It's hard to keep a band going with virtually no money, manpower, CD sales or attendance at shows. And so we find ourselves severely lacking in the word defined above.

It seems these things have a cycle. Write songs, put band together, book shows, release CD, be a promotional machine. Rinse. Repeat.
Then no one attends said shows (making it nearly impossible to get rebooked), CD gets ignored despite the incessant promotion (which in itself drains so much energy (not to mention time & $) that songs no longer get written), the artist inside slowly dies, frustration rises to the point of suffocating every once of fun from the project, and the time inevitably comes to stop, regroup/re-evaluate and just go back to writing songs for no one.

And the songs come.
And they demand to be performed (art in a vacuum is not art).
And the whole thing starts again.

I guess what I'm saying is, for the immediate future, we're in the "step back and reevaluate" stage right now. Only a fool continues with a plan that isn't working. So, though we won't be performing for a while (next Spring maybe?), this doesn't mean we're not still working behind the scenes. We're going to spend time solely practicing, writing, letting all the promotional efforts and imagined momentun fall by the wayside, and get back in to being a confident, solid rock band. Personally, I think we're a damn good band already (it's really too bad only a small handful of people have actually seen us play over the past few years), but we could be much better. And we will be. And when the time feels right , we'll come back strong. It just needs to be fun again and right now, speaking only for myself, it's the farthest things from it. There actually is a limit to how many times you can consecutively play for no one. Some things on the horizon we hope to have accomplished during this time include: introducing an alternate bass player, recruiting backup singers, hiring more college interns, launching a proper MASSIMO band site, approaching the few insutry contacts we have and possibly launching a small ad campaign.

I suppose I could make it sound more exciting to be in a rock band, but that's why this page was designed, for good or ill, to let you know about the real struggles involved in keeping the band going. Sometimes (hell, most of the time) it ain't pretty. For those of you who don't know, the music business is in a severe state of disarray right now. Every issue of Billboard holds some new surprise that needs to be adapted to. Even the major labels aren't certain where the chips are going to fall right now. It seems the CD is going the way of vinyl. And these days, people are busier than ever, facing more competition for their entertainment dollar with much less time to spend it. Yes, the digital age provides many opportunities but many more as yet unanswered questions as to what the new business model will be.

It's hard to know where, how to fit into the landscape. The bottom line is, we've yet to connect with our audience. Any audience, really. It seems the demographic that is our audience hardly ever goes to shows or buys CD's. Awesome. It feels like we're the Jets of the alternative rock scene right now (3-10 for those who don't know). Success has a lot to do with delusion; and in the face of such adversity, the truth is, sometimes the illusion of delusion is hard to maintain. It's not always easy to "fake it 'till you make it".

And so it might seem that when the going gets tough, the tough get cranky, take their ball and go home.
But the tough are still working hard.
And they're coming back with bigger balls.

See you when we see you,


Michael Massimo

Skytide Music, PO Box 141, Edison, NJ 08818-0141 (732) 661-1941 Massimo Mailing List

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