How I lost my love for music (and how I found it again)
I had subscriptions to Smash Hits and Number One magazines, and later Melody Maker and Select. BBC2 ran some wonderful shows such as Rapido showcasing the most exciting new bands, and I watched slack-jawed and awestruck at this interview in which NIN’s Trent Reznor professed the same love of The Wall that I had. Within the month, I’d be flipping off the slammed door while screaming, “I’d rather die than give you control“:
Music was more than my catharsis, it was my inspiration. One day my classmate leaned over his chair and told me, “Levitation have split up. You’re not gonna cry, are you?” Instead, I called up their record company and blagged an interview with Dave Francolini, which formed the first issue of my fanzine. The word “inspire” is related to breathing: I breathed in music and breathed out words:
I’m a bit like the rabbity thing from Sam & Max, so I tend to be noticed. When I left school, I found a music industry job pretty quickly and took on some writing on the side. It went well for a few years, but then I wound up making the one mistake that you should never, ever make:
Never write for a publication you wouldn’t read.
I’d written myself into a niche where I was only being sent one type of music and when that scene died a slow and painful death, it bled out of me all the enthusiasm I’d ever felt for music. There’s nothing like listening to 10 really shit albums a day to put you off music for life. The bands sucked and the albums sucked and the gigs sucked and I felt sick at the thought of listening to one more tired mess of embarrassing cliches. I remember hearing Sophie Ellis-Bextor and thinking that it was better than anything I’d heard all year. You take in poison, what you produce will be toxic, too. I wrote my resignation letter: fuck this, I’d rather listen to Kylie:
I didn’t go to many gigs at all in the 00s. I moved to the country. I can count the albums I bought, and most of those were by Disturbed. I hit rock bottom (if you’ll pardon the pun) when I bought Korn’s greatest hits because I liked ‘Here To Stay’ and that was the only good thing on it:
I pretty much stopped listening to music after that. There was nothing out there, was there? After all, I had MTV. I’d glance at the covers of NME and Kerrang and the bands I’d heard of I hated. I just assumed that nobody in the world was making good music any more. But that’s the way it goes, isn’t it? It’s just called growing up. Leave music to the kids with their new-fangled emo clothes, I’ll take my nostalgia and Best of the 90s compilations and get drunk on cheap wine in front of the TV. I wasn’t exposed to good music any more. As a kid we’d had Mark Goodier and John Peel on the radio, there were magazines and TV shows and clubs and gigs where you could just hear anything and it would probably be good. Now it was just insipid, pallid shite that was either recycled from the 70s or sung by some autotuned harpy with an Oompa Loompa tan and a stupid rap bit in the middle.