I wanted to tell him to fuck off. And maybe I should have. But when I recently described my weekend in Paducah, KY mixing the new album to someone, a person I love, and their response came: “Are you actually gonna make any money off this one,” a certain shame crept in.
I offered up some bull crap bingo card of salesman-like lingo I’d heard before about “inbound marketing” and “a/b split tests” and “blah, blah, blah.” It was a concession, not a truth. See, the truth is I don’t know. The broader truth is no one does. And the ultimate truth is… I don’t give a shit one way or the other. Because when we treat art only as a vendible commodity and judge its worthiness in that context we drain it of its blood, embalm what is left, and experience it as a dead thing.
There is a lyric on the new record that goes:
I’ve been the failing kind, by degrees in decline;
Ventured long in the wrong direction for want of a sign…
But I am not looking for signs anymore. I can see my path clearly. And I’m not wanting for anyone else’s validation as a source of light. I am carrying the fire.