Yoko Ono, Miley Cyrus, John Mayer, Justin Bieber, Nickleback and Courtney Love.
These wildly successful musicians are also some of the most hated creators of recent memory.
If you make money as an artist, you will still probably encounter someone who will hate you or your art. You don’t even have to Miley famous.
People have said some terrible things about me online and to my face. Last week, a guy said, “I’m a better piano player than you.”
Congrats, dude. You’re also a bigger asshole, clearly.
Yesterday, I received an email from the editor of a popular online magazine. He informed me he was pulling our review and firing the writer because the write-up on our record was so nasty. Fortunately, I hadn’t read the review.
I accept not everyone is going to get our music, or what I am trying to convey as a songwriter. People may take issue with a big old homo like me charging into their genre, guns blazing. Many people don’t like change.
The band has received some pretty homophobic messages. Some have been a little frightening.
So why do we open ourselves up to this? Is it really worth it?
We all have different motivations, so I can really only answer for myself. Though I return to the question often, I’ve never really been good at articulating a definitive answer. All I can come up with is: what else am I going to do? There’s nothing else that would make me happy.
I love making music. So that’s it. The good days still outweigh the bad days by far.
I’ve never been a middle of the road type of person. If I’m in something, I’m in. I pour my soul into every lyric and every note and every show.
If what you are doing is good, it’s going to sound/look/feel different. It’s going to be unusual, and some people are going to think it’s pure shit. Some people are going to hate it. Some people are going to hate you.
People don’t like what they can’t understand. Haters gonna hate. Ignore them. You’re not doing this for them.
You’re doing it because it’s what you love, and you’re doing it for those weirdos like you that do get it. The most rewarding thing is finding those weirdos who connect with you and your art, whatever it is. And these weirdos, well they fucking love what you do.
Creating music for a living can be heartbreaking. But I still get to wake up every day and do what I love. It’s more than what a lot of people can say. I am grateful for that, and I am grateful for every new weirdo my music brings into my life.