Great, great points.
As someone who slogged (and continues to slog) it out as a career and touring / recording / performing musician… yes. Jealousy is a major factor in any bad-mouthing that goes on.
All most musicians know is: "those hacks are making money… and I just played soul-changing, challenging, world-saving music from 9pm - 1am at The Cranky Buffalo to 3 drunk guys for free drinks and an empty tip jar. It is rough on the soul, and jealousy and a deep seeded feeling of “this is not fair” is very understandable.
Identity is huge too. People build their identity around bands the same way sport fans do with teams. If you like the Giants, then you hate the Dodgers. If you like Mayhem, you hate Nickelback. What you hate on can be just as identity and peer-group identifying as what you love.
Not defending this, but it’s a massive part of what fuels the ire.
A desire to educate and cure ignorance is the best and most noble source of the vitriol. It can be brutal to the music teacher (ahem, me) when a slick, beautiful, photogenic and charismatic - yet musically banal and imitative - band starts to make waves, and money, and soaks up the glory and limelight. My way to explain this is by analogy. And, as most of my analogies go, this one has to do with food.
Imagine if you were a gourmet chef. Or even a very dedicated, idealistic farmer or cook at home.
And then McDonalds happens. It becomes the worlds most beloved food. Food magazines start writing about it because it is so popular. Followed by interviews with photogenic, beautiful actors in McDonald’s uniforms, talking about why their food is so good, and how hard they worked to make their food, and how great it is that so many people just love their food…
The more reactionary chef/farmer/cook would start shaking random passers-by and yelling “McDonald’s sucks! It’s all fake!! They’re not any good at cooking!!!”
I understand this.
It is, however, a terrible way to affect change. Because the root of this problem doesn’t lie in yelling the truth at people to their faces loudly and rudely. It lies in the response the McDonald’s loving public has to this yelling barrage of truth.
“But I like it,” they say. And well they should. Because that’s the honest truth.
So. How do you get someone to not like fatty, sugary, delicious tasting protein/organic matter that’s been scientifically engineered to make your mouth water?
It will always be delicious.
In the same way that beautiful people singing un-challenging, effective songs will always sound good to the ear.
Appreciation is the exercise that starts to broaden palettes (both musical and culinary) and moves from merely accepting the most un-challenging, easily accessible option, and starts to activate the inquisitive, thoughtful, creative part of the brain that likes to explore.
This happens over time through bang-up musical education, and through a broader cultural shift from Franchise Culture ( “I want the same thing every time no matter where in the world I am”) to Local-Mom-and-Pop-Culture (“I’m interested in experiencing something unique in this unique time and place”).
I believe that creativity is something that has to be fostered at every level, and needs to be the primary focus of education at every level.
And then there’s world peace.
Wyld Stallions 4 Lyfe.