“If we continue down this current path, the scene will be totally dead.”
In light of recent talk discussing Melbourne’s music industry, I decided to reach out to local Melbourne pop-punk band ‘Kids In Control’ and speak with lead singer Mike to discuss his view on the current state of the Melbourne music industry and get an insider’s look at the issues upcoming artists are facing within it.
How do you feel about the current state of the Melbourne music industry and the community within it? Would you change/alter anything about it?
Not too long ago, people went to shows, bands helped and supported other bands, people were excited for a new record to drop, there were a lot of different venues to play etc but lately that has all disappeared. People still like music obviously but just don’t want to spend the money and time checking out new bands. Within our current scene there seems to be a “boys club” style circle that stick to themselves rather than helping and supporting other artists. However, I think people are starting to get bored seeing these same bands all the time. In answer to the question, if we continue down this current path, the scene will be totally dead.
What struggles/problems have you had to face to get to the point where you are now?
The lowest point for us is playing numerous shows to absolutely nobody except the other bands on the bill. It really gets you down when you put in so much time and effort and people just don’t show up.
What do you wish for the future of the industry?
1. Unless you’re a big name, there is no money to be made from the likes of Spotify, Apple Music etc. they are a great platform to get our music out there however, continuing to make music becomes harder and harder. Come to a show!…get your friends along too! Make it a night out! Bands need the good, fun, solid shows to keep going.
2. Bands and artists need to come together and help each other. There are too many “rock stars” that are in it for themselves only or the whole “boys club” kind of thing. We all have one goal so why not help each other to reach it?
3. We need more live venues!!! They are all closing for some reason.
We grew up having the best nights out seeing different bands at different venues. A lot of the time we had to pick and choose which to attend as there was just an influx of shows on.
We need to get back to those times!
How hard do you feel upcoming artists have to work to reach a level of success in this industry?
It’s always very hard in the music industry to get any success. Artists have it super hard as there are so many factors that have to line up. Your entire band needs to want the same thing, keeping your band together, rather than ending whenever things get tough. Then you need to be constantly coming out with new material, videos to keep people interested etc. like I said many factors that make it incredibly tough.
Where do you see yourself heading and where would you LIKE to be? What factors do you think could hold you back?
We are heading to the USA end of June to record some new stuff with some reputable people. We’d really like to focus on the USA market as there is still a good music scene happening. The only thing that’ll hold us back is all our blood, sweat and tears going unnoticed by anyone after this record.
Do you have any advice for up and coming artists in any areas of the Melbourne music scene?
Stick at it. It can be so easy to just give up when things turn south. Make sure everyone in the group is on the same page and you’re all the best of friends. Resolve arguments fairly. We normally operate with a “majority rules” kind of tactic on decisions that need to be made. Have as much fun as possible along the way.