Yep, that is a photograph of Lingua Luna having a mud fight in a goat pen. It’s from a great photo shoot we had with Athena Pelton on Rhiannon’s father’s farm in Wisconsin. That was a really fun day — it was cool and brisk, but we had so much fun and laughed and smiled and got some really great photos out of it. We got to act like kids for a day (no pun intended).
As musicians, we get to see a lot of people behave like children — and more often than not it’s not as delightful as playing with mud in a goat pen. We’ve come across a lot of instances in which we are asked to prove our worth in some way, shape, or form. Booking agents and venues ask us why they should allow us to perform on their stage, or how we plan on bringing in people to their establishment — which is all fine and dandy. They have a business to run and we have a product to sell: music. However, on several instances these exchanges have not been entirely amicable. The root of the problem seems to be communication. With the rapid growth of technology, and the majority of our conversations being electronic, I think we have failed to evolve our abilities to communicate tactfully as quickly, in order to keep up the evolution of the tools with which we use to communicate. It’s something that we are aware of, as a band, and we do our best to not take it personally, but it still has an effect on who we choose to do business with.
For example, let’s say we are trying to book a show at a place we’ve never played at before, and we send nearly identical inquiries to two different venues. The first booking agent responds to us with something like, “I’ve never heard of you and I’m not sure about having you play here. Do you actually have any fans that will come out and see you? Let me know how you plan to fill the place.” And the second booking agent responds with, “Thank you for inquiring about playing at our venue. I am unfamiliar with your music, but I’d like to know a little more about your band and the audience you bring in. Could you please provide a little more information? I look forward to hearing from you!” (These are both incredibly similar examples of the types of responses we have received from booking agents in the past). Both responses pretty much say the same thing, but in very different ways. In this scenario, we would be ten times more likely to work with the second venue — even if it was smaller and paid less. We are always more apt to work with people who are courteous and professional. Furthermore, once we play at a venue, we are almost always asked to return, so we want to build relationships with people that will last past bar close.
We understand that the music industry is a little competitive. Every one is trying to succeed as best they can, and we all need to make a living. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to be mindful of how we relate to other human beings — and that goes for all other encounters in life. Be kind, be joyful, and save the mud-slinging for the goat pen.
See you soon,