Throughout the ‘80s and into the ‘90s, selling out for indie rock musicians could be considered anything from having a video on MTV to charging more than a $5.00 cover fee for a show. Henry Rollins got shit back then for doing ads for Macbooks and the Gap. Rollins’ business acumen was dead on though, because seeking revenue streams other than album sales and touring is the model all modern musicians use to sustain themselves today. And seriously, everyone has a fucking Mac now.
Brands know this, which is why the February 23, 2015 issue of New York Magazine had an exclusive look into The Patch: a four-bedroom house in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn owned by Sour Patch Kids and operated by an advertising agency. No, that’s not a cool new real estate company, we’re talking about the actual shitty candy Sour Patch Kids.
“Indie” bands–including Deer Tick who are featured in the piece–stay at The Patch for free, provided they create content for the brand based on the length of their stay. Anything they #do on #socialmedia needs to use the #BrooklynPatch official hashtag, and their stay is #free.
Obviously, this is about Sour Patch Kids tapping into a “cool” and “authentic” conversation and social, and not helping out musicians–especially in a neighborhood with a median rent of almost $2,500 for a 1 bedroom apartment. So instead of doing something for Brooklyn’s music community, Sour Patch Kids gives successful bands a place to stay for free. Deer Tick aren’t struggling up-and-comers–the band is in town to play six sold out shows at Brooklyn Bowl.
Maybe Deer Tick are getting the last laugh, as it’s obvious by reading the piece that the whole thing is a goof, but what’s confusing is the lead quote in the piece from the band’s frontman John McCauley. He says, “We turned down a million dollars to make a song for one of theTwilight movies” with the band’s keyboardist adding: “Those movies are terrible.”
So wait a second here. A band would rather Instagram for free about candy, rather than have enough money to own a building or apartment in Brooklyn or where ever, and actually have assets and make revenue? And all they have to do is write a song for a fucking popular movie? Oh wait, depending on the publishing deal, they could also make more money than that initial mil too, but whatever.
Makes more sense to save a few hundred dollars a night to avoid finding a spot on AirBNB and be a shill for a shitty candy that’s bad for you.
That’s the tricky flip on what’s considered “selling out “ these days, as guitarist Ian O’Neil says in the piece when asked about it, “But back to this selling-out thing. The only people I care about what they think are my peers,” he says. “And even then, fuck it. When I was like 15, I didn’t eat meat for a while. But then I realized that was more white privilege than anything else.
So yeah, there you have it.
In conclusion, Deer Tick would rather work for free for Sour Patch Kids than make money writing music, and their guitarist is too white to not eat meat, or something.
Mr. Rollins, are you reading this shit?