Music is an incredibly personal form of expression. It’s like you’re opening up your soul to your listeners… So when someone says they don’t like a certain part of your music, it can feel like a personal attack that cuts quite deeply.
The good news is, most of the time that’s not how it’s intended, unless the person saying those things is a hater.
But for the mass majority of people giving you feedback, the ones who aren’t haters, they likely have your best interests at heart. Responding kindly to them will help you seem more reasonable, and give them a positive interaction with you – which you can grow into a long-term relationship with them as your fan.
So how can you harness criticism to create better music and grow your fanbase at the same time? Listen now to learn more!
What you’ll learn:
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Welcome to Episode 54 of the Bandhive Podcast.
It is time for another episode of the Bandhive podcast. My name is James Cross, and here with me today is Matt Hoos of Alive in Barcelona. How are you doing today, Matt?
I'm doing pretty awesome, James. How's everything over there on the East Side? That is great to hear. Things were good here. We had snow last night, but unfortunately, it's all gone by now, even though it's still really cold. And, uh, it was in the seventies last week, so welcome to Vermont. If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. It'll change. How about over by you in Colorado? Is it snowing yet? You know we don't have any snow. We had one little fluke day last week where we had a little light dusting.
But that's you know, Colorado Mountain weather is like It's the same thing We have, like 300 days of sunshine a year and 150 days of snow. So it's like this weird, uh, again. You know, it's always beautiful and I'm lucky because we'll get the snow and we look outside and we're like, Oh, it's cold. It assumes that snow melts. You're like, man, it looks so gorgeous. The sunshine and blue skies and you go outside and you're like, Oh, it's 20 degrees. This is awful well for us. I don't know how cold it typically gets out where you are, but for us, the coldest days of winter, it'll be negative, 20 sometimes very rarely at night.
It will get down to the negative thirties, but then, when it's like 20 degrees in, you know March, it's like it's so warm out. This is amazing. I always tell the story. 11 years ago, when I moved out of Colorado for the first time, the week before we left, it was like we had a record number of days in a row, like in the negative teens. It was like, you know, minus 17 whatever. And then the week that I left it had warm up to like 25 degrees and everybody in town was walking around in shorts and T shirts.
It just felt like a heat wave. That's awesome. Yeah, it zits. Amazing how once you acclimate to whether you're so used to it Oh, yeah, you know, it's it's the same thing. Looking at work tour when I was on work tour those three years, it could be 100 degrees Adam book. Yeah, it's a little hot. Then we went to Arizona. It was 114 or something one year, and that was hot that I was not happy with that. But now, having been in San Diego for a couple of years and Eureka in Northern California, where, like it's 70 is hot because that's just North California.
And I think it was 75 everyone was complaining how hot it is now, here in Vermont, 75 is like a good temperature, but if it gets up to $85. 0 it's hot. This is terrible. And I'm like I could survive another 30 degrees of this five years ago. What is wrong with me? Why can't I do this now? Yeah, I know it, man. I know it. So anyway, all that aside, by the time this episode comes out, we'll probably both have snow outside the window because this episode comes out in like mid December, I believe.
I think it's like December 8th or something. We can hope we can hope there will be snow. Yes, yes, indeed. I do wish for Snow just not too much. Just enough to go like sledding and snowboarding. That's right. All that aside, I know we always talk about the weather and we always joke about not talking about the weather anymore. Then we come right back to the weather were terrible. I know. But you know what? At least we can accept that we talk about the weather too much.
One might say we critique the weather, you could. And if somebody were to criticize us for talking about the weather all the time, that would be very understandable. And I would accept that fully I would not be upset with him for pointing that out because even I know it. So this episode, in case you haven't figured it out by all the hints were dropping, is all about dealing with criticism. Now, hopefully, it's constructive criticism. You never wanna have criticism. That's just mean spirited. That is no fun, but you're not alone.
Criticism is something that all artists face at some point in their career, and that is a good thing, because criticism, when it's constructive will help you grow. We're going to talk about criticism and what it means to you. But keep in mind throughout all of this, how you react to criticism is your choice. Your reaction could make a massive difference in your career, though. And Matt, I think you have some great thoughts here about this that you've put down on the outline. So if you want to take it away, go for it, man. Absolutely.
I'm a songwriter. Criticism is hard. I you know, I think a lot of songwriters tend to put their heart on their sleeve, and so you know, when you're writing songs that are emotional or that stem from a certain event in your life, and you're trying really, really hard to be emotionally transparent. If somebody comes in and rips that apart, it feels like they're ripping you apart. You know it really, it does. Dealing with criticism is hard. It doesn't matter who you are. It doesn't matter what the criticism is.
Nobody likes to be told that what they are doing is wrong or is not good enough or could be better. Nobody wants that. Everybody always wants to hear. Wow, this is perfect. Unfortunately, with art, it's very, very rare occasion that your first draft is a perfect draft. So how do you as an artist, a determine if it's a good enough draft or be, you know, put it out or see deal with the criticism that comes from that process? How do you do that? Well, it's all in your reaction.
You know, we've all heard the cliche before. It's like, you know, it's not about what happens to you. It's about what you do with what you're given, and that's very true. Criticism is the defining factor that makes you a professional or an amateur. If you are critiqued and you instantly wall up, you instantly go on the defensive. That's an amateur move. The reason is, is because it's subject to other people's opinions. Other people's life experiences the people that are coming to you with criticism, while their words may sting.
There is a little bit of truth in all of it. You know, people are only going to tell you what's important to them because they're listening to your product and they want what appeals most to them. Now we all have the crappy critics. You know, the people that get on there and say like, Oh, this is garbage. There's nothing constructive about it. Their sole purpose is to tear you down and Teoh, you know, they think they could do a better job or or whatever is going on in their life.
Maybe they're just miserable people. Sometimes that happens. But what happens when you're a professional about this? Well, maybe you take that criticism to heart. Maybe you ask that critic more questions because a pro a pro seeks out a critique, a pro actively pursues constructive criticism. Ah, Pro listens and learns and applies what they're told versus an amateur will rush to defend their decisions. James you mentioned earlier about an artist. This is before we were rolling about an artist who put out a product, and they ended up not having a good mix.
And on top of that, when they mastered it. It wasn't mastered for Bluetooth speakers. Is that what you were saying? Yeah, for smart speakers. So, like Google home or the Amazon thing, which I can't say more mind will wake up. In most cases, the base models, the cheapest models, some tomato so the two stereo channels air combined. And if you're mix isn't mono compatible. When that happens, things will disappear and it's no good. Like you could lose half your mix, you could lose all the guitars, all the vocals, all kinds of stuff.
So this is obviously a mistake. So a criticism would be very, very beneficial to you because, you know, if you are, if you're following our advice and putting your best foot forward, if you're taking your time, you're formulating release plans. The last thing you want to do is, you know, make a simple mistake and right out of the gate, fall on your face. What if the first person that you send that to place it on a smart speaker there instantly gonna go? Wow, this was an oversight.
They're not going to think Wow, this was super artistic. So how can you as a professional, then take this criticism and turn it into something good. In this particular scenario, you would double triple, check your work and obviously make sure that it's mastered appropriately. But what does that look like for song writing? Well, you can either write a song, have it mixed, mastered, release it and then your fans will be the one to tear you apart, and you will be putting not your best foot forward and you'll be building a preconceived notion in their mind about your music, and it might turn them off from the rest of the album.
What should you dio? You should seek out people before you release your music. These would be listening panels. These We're gonna be peer reviews thes. We're gonna be people in the music industry when it comes to music. If it's people in the production side of the music industry, it's gonna be producers. It's gonna be audio engineers. If it's a release plan, then it's gonna be marketers. If it's your album art, then it's gonna be designers. It's gonna be artist. It's gonna be other people in your life who you might be able to say, you know, I'll use Mama's an example if your mom has a good eye for art, go ask your mom what it looks like.
You ask your mom if it looks good and then take her advice and change things. You wanna build a group of people around you that have your best interests at heart that aren't afraid to tell you the things that you don't want to hear because a true critic has your best interests at heart. That's something that's incredibly that needs to be at the forefront of your mind. When you're going through this. While a critique is hard, it grows you. If somebody says, Hey, you've done this in two or three of your songs I don't think that's very good.
That's not very helpful, but at least they can point you to a spot like then then it's on you. You can then say, Hey, you know what? This person didn't listen to this and immediately have their ears perk up. So how can I make this better? That's what a pro does. A pro approaches it and says, How can I grow? How can I change? How can I be better on amateur says Well, you just don't understand my art. You don't understand what I was going for. You don't understand where I was when I wrote that.
And that all may be true, but at the end of the day, you're selling a product. And if the people who buy the product are listening to it and saying X, y and Z aren't good enough, do you think they're gonna buy album number two? No, they're not. You're basically cutting off future business. And on top of that, like, potentially a true fan. Now what happens if that same fan says, Hey, like I noticed, you know, every single one of your songs that I listened to starts off with a drum fill and you're like, Wow, I never noticed that.
And then you're like, Well, I'm gonna go back and I'm gonna change two or three of those. And that makes your album better. Those drum fills may have been awesome. They may have been the perfect way to start that song. But when you take a step back and look at the entire picture, maybe you're overlooking things. Maybe you're a little bit desensitized to the music that you've listened to 5000 times and you need somebody else to come in and go, Hey, you should, like, throw a little bit of this in there.
That's good advice. That is constructive criticism. And if a critique is warranted, then you should learn from it. If a critique is not warranted, don't worry about it, because your fans, the people who love you, the people who are invested into your music mark my words, they will defend you. We one time put on a cover song, and I literally had a fan. Give me a letter grade. Oh, yeah, it was It was and it cut me deep, man. It did. She went through every single part of it, and his main critique was that the vocals weren't good enough, which was my job.
And so and for me, I spent a whole bunch of time rearranging the song. We took a pop song and we tried to make it our own. We weren't trying to recreate the exact copy of the song, and so I changed the melody lines. We actually did the whole song and the relative minor key rather than in the major key, like there was a lot of things that we changed that. This kid will never know. You'll never know. But you know what? He was still the person that I was making the music for, And so he gave me this letter grade and my fans jumped in there and rip this guy apart.
Now I'm not advocating anybody to rip other, and you know anybody else apart. I think that that sucks. The whole point of this is constructive criticism. You know, the things that stuck with me or the fact that, like I will always remember that kid who gave me a letter grade on my song because it could have been better. Now maybe there were a couple things where his critique was off because he didn't understand a couple of things. Maybe that is true, but that doesn't matter. It's not for me to come back and say like, Oh, well, you just don't understand that we actually changes from relative blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
No. What is important is for me to say thank you so much for taking the time to dissect my music, to tell me what you liked about it And what you didn't thank you for giving me the opportunity to be better, so that next time I put out a song I have a better chance of appealing to. You have a better chance of it. And it's not just them. How many of you guys found songs on your own? None of you found songs on your and they're all your friends.
Your friends show you music. That's where you hear stuff. Occasionally you know, Spotify pops a good song in your algorithm or whatever, but for the most part it's like you find a song and you're like, Dude, this song is awesome Distract slaps. I need to get this to my friends. They need to hear this. So when you're appealing to that one person's critique, you're appealing to an entire circle of friends. Music travels by word of mouth. You don't believe me. Go toe warp tour, go to any music festival.
What you need to dio its appeal to that constructive criticism appeal to that person who cares enough about your product to dissect it and tell you what's good and tell you what's bad and then you know what If you were to then turn to that kid and say, Would you be willing to listen to our music before it comes out? That's a really hard thing for an artist to dio, It's really hard to go to your critic and say, Hey, will you critique me? But you know what?
Read any story about any great person in any industry, ever. And one of the most unique identifiers of the's great people is the ability to learn, like a sponge, to absorb the criticisms, the encouragement as well. You want to take all of it. You wanna know the things that you do well know the things that you do bad and adjust accordingly. If you can get these people into your inner circle that's so powerful, if I could have somebody who would literally write me a paragraph about every single one of my songs before I released it, and so I actually had the opportunity to tweak things that would be incredibly beneficial, and a soon as you see that is beneficial.
That's when you'll start to grow. And that's when you'll start to understand what it means to create art not just for yourself but also for your listening base for the people who are literally pulling their wallets out and buying it. Yes, absolutely. And I love what you said there about opening up and just learning because, you know, Albert Einstein, I know you love quotes, So I put this in here just for you. You're the man. Albert Einstein said, Once you stop learning, you start dying. And if you never started learning, then I guess you're already dying.
But it's really important to learn how to separate yourself from your art. Constructive criticism does not mean you're a bad artist. You are not just your art. You are more than your art. Your art comes from you, but you do not come from your art. So if somebody says that they think you could improve in your art, that's no different than you know. If you're working at a job and your boss says, Hey, you know what, thank you so much for doing this, but I think you could do better.
It's a little more personal when it's something you put your heart and soul into. But think of your fans as your boss. If your fans are saying Hey, you know what? We don't really like this. They may be on to something. And Matt a couple things that you reminded me of. You know, the mono something thing. Ah, few weeks ago or by the time this comes out Two months ago or so, flow bots re released their first epi platypus, and the vocals were completely gone on any mono device they had somehow, inadvertently, when they bounced, the final one of the vocal bus channels had been inverted, so they just canceled each other out.
And to oversimplify it in audio, you have zero, which is no sound. And then you have plus one and negative one. And normally you would want both channels if they're positive to be positive and negative to be negative. But in this case, one channel was positive, while the other channel was negative. That doesn't naturally happen. Something was messed up there. And so on any speaker that's mono and sums tomato. There were no vehicles at all. All you heard was faint reverb in the distance, and a bunch of people are complaining about it.
I went and message them and said, Hey, you know what? I'm super stoked. You guys would be released This I'm happy. It's on Spotify now because it wasn't previously. But what's up with the vocals being gone? It's when it's some tomato, they're gone. The band ended up messaging me back and said, Yeah, we're not sure what's going on. Um, we can't replicate it And I said, Well, it's It has to be on a smart speaker that sums to mono or, if you have, you know, studio monitors with a mono switch on your controller.
They didn't quite understand it. So I just went into pro tools and did a quick video for them and send it to them. And they were like, Oh, my God, you know what? We sent this out to our engineers, and it's exactly what you said. Thank you so much for letting us know we'll have it fixed next week. And then Not only that, but once they had re uploaded it to Spotify, whoever it was in the band, I forget which member it was. But he sent me a message saying, Hey, thank you so much for doing this.
Would you mind checking Spotify again just to let us know if it's working? And so I checked hit the mono switch on my monitors and it was working, and, um, they were super chill about it. They accepted like, Hey, something's messed up And that just goes to show they didn't realize this. So an artist could do something without realizing. And I see this a lot with stereo widening, which causes sometimes this exact issue, not typically that disappears entirely in mono, but that it sounds a little weird in mono.
And a lot of artists who don't really know about Mexican mastering just go. Oh, this artificial widening sounds so cool. Let me do this. And I've seen artists flip out about being criticized for that. It's like, Ah, lot of people aren't gonna be able to listen to your song and mono. But another example is, last year I was hanging out with the guys from new politics, and I've you know, been acquainted with them. I'm not friends with them or anything. I'm not gonna name drop like that, but we know of each other for, uh since 2010, when they were first breaking here in the States and we were talking about the first albums.
This is 2019 and Sauron goes, Yeah, you know, I just realized a couple months ago that almost all the songs on our first album half the same exact chord progression. And I'm just like, Dude, I noticed that, like a week after it came out. You didn't know that. I thought that was intentional and he cracked up. He's like, No way, like you knew. I'm like Yeah, of course I knew That's hilarious. So we were just cracking up over the fact that it took him nine years to realize, or probably 10, because they've been writing it for a while before it was released that I can remember the count.
There's 10 tracks on the album, and either six or seven of them have that same chord progression. It's great, you know. All three of their singles that were released had that progression. One of the songs was even rerecorded for their next album, Same chord progression. So it was a fun moment, and you know, he had noticed that. And then when I called him out, it was like, Dude, I noticed that within the first week of the album, coming out like how did it take you? Nine years? He just cracked up, and we had a laugh about it, you know, and that shows like, First of all, that band has grown incredibly from one album to the next.
Like their first album. I Love It because it was raw. It was energetic. It was pop punk. It was political. It was everything that they now are not. They are now very much a pop band, but I still appreciate what they do because I can see how far they've come from, you know, writing six or seven songs for the same exact chord progression, which were still a great songs. But they were very simple to now. They have amazing harmonies with great production and soaring himself is becoming more and more of a songwriter and producer.
It's amazing, you know, and like, you know what? I don't listen to a ton of pop, but I can appreciate their music. It's just crazy to see how much they've grown in 10 years in a decade. That, to me, is I've seen local bands that sound the same as they did 10 years ago. Like What are you doing? You sound the same. Did you not grow it all? You're still trying to rip off Green Day like Come on, right, something new, be original. People love the journey exactly. And, you know, for a new politics.
Their first album was very original, but they've gone on to innovate again and again, with their sound being new every single time they released an album. I love that The ability for an artist to humble themselves in the face of their art is hard. After all, you're the artist, not them, right? That's a horrible mentality toe have. Everybody always knows that the more people you bring into something the Mawr opinions you're gonna have, the more you can objectively look at something, you know. This is why pop music is popular.
It's because they right chord progressions, that air. You know, the general population has already said they like the 153 chord progression. Like pretty much every song that exists is Packard Bell's canon. Okay, seriously, unless you're playing jazz, it's Every song is like one of the four chords in Paca bells cannon. And if you've never heard pocket bells cannon, I promise you, you have heard Pocket Bills Cannon, go listen to it and listen to the eight cords that that the bass note place and you'll be like, Oh, yeah, it's either the first four, the middle four or the last four or some variation and that's like most of music.
And so the general population has already decided that they love this. So then pop artists can come in and say, Oh, well, what's the popular? Uh, what's the popular topic of today? Ah, lot of you guys probably don't know the name Max Martin. You should. I know that I've mentioned him before, but yeah, you should know the name Max Martin because he actually has Mawr number one hit singles than anybody in history. I think with the exception of John Lennon now, if you've ever heard a song by, like the Backstreet Boys or Taylor Swift or Kesha or Kelly Clarkson or Justin Bieber or the weekend or pretty much any other major artist you've heard of Max Martin song, just go ahead and Google.
I'm not gonna even go through it. Just google Max Martin and look at his list of number ones. They include things like Hit me, baby one more time and try, Remember, uh, I want it that way. I believe he wrote for Backstreet Boys and for in sync. I'm pretty sure he wrote bye bye bye, and I mean, he has an incredibly impressive catalog. That's because every like, 10 years, he updates his writing content, and he sticks with same similar four chord progressions. He updates the tones, and so the tones are, you know, are a little bit more modern things like that.
That's one thing that's constantly upgrading is, uh, the fidelity of samples and sample rates. And so he updates his sample rates. He writes new songs and then whatever. Like that slightly edgy thing that's, you know, whatever society says it's slightly edgy. He writes about that. You know, initially, he actually wrote, Hit Me Baby one more time for one of the boy bands and they didn't want to do it because they didn't want to sing a song about domestic abuse. And Britney Spears was like, I'll do it.
Lo and behold, Britney Spears was one of the one of the greatest look up Max Martin. He he has found a way to separate himself a little bit from his art, which is why he's been able to be so successful at What he does is a songwriter, and I guarantee you that when he writes songs, they then go to, like, you know, probably 200 other people that all sit there and go Oh, you know, this song is good. This song is bad. I don't like this song. Maybe this will be great.
Maybe this won't. And you know what? They all sit there and they talk about him together, probably with label A and R reps and probably with music buyers and talent buyers and artists themselves. And they collaborate. They then criticize areas, and then they grow together. And then they figure out, you know who's gonna Who's this song gonna work best for now, if that takes a little bit of the magic out of the industry for you, you're in for a very sore surprise. If you go into McDonald's and ask Mr McDonald if he loves both of the chicken nuggets and the Big Mac, do you think he's going to say yes?
Do you think he loves both of them? Probably not. Maybe he loves the Big Mac. Maybe that was like his signature sandwich. You know, Mr McDonald, but lo and behold, He took criticism from other people on the outside and said, You know what? I don't care for chicken nuggets, but maybe somebody else does. So we're gonna do that anyway. Find the criticism. Grow from the criticism, bring people in from the outside, make them a part of your inner circle. I know that we keep talking about the network that you have to build, And I mean, in my opinion, this is the most important part of your network.
When we released Back Toe Life, our first single off of our self titled album, that song was probably heard by 100 industry people before anybody before any general population person heard it. You know, it was like we played the song for producers. We played the song. We actually had a panel of 40 people listen to it before we decided whether or not it was a good fit for radio. So we had a song. We literally had 40 people that we paid. We didn't know who they were, these of random people, and they all listen to our song and they gave us written feedback.
Now a bunch of that written feedback was great, and then there were people who said, Well, you know, like, not so sure about this part. Not so sure about this part. And then once we read all those and realized, Hey, look, 85% of the people that listen to this thought it was a killer song. We're going to run with it. We feel confident because you can't please everybody. And so that's why it's important to bring a bunch of people in. But I was also able to say, like, Hey, this person said like he thought the vocal performance was We are Okay, well, I'm really gonna focus on that when we re record it.
And I did so the first version that we put out was like, Ah, high quality rough demo and that's what people listen, Thio. And then we got the critiques, and then when we re recorded it, we made things a little bit better. When we re mastered it, we went to somebody who had a little bit more outboard gear. And then when we put it out, the response that we had was great and that was, you know, that's still E. That was the first song that we released and it's still out streams every other song on our record, not because it's the best song or you know, but honestly, I believe that the reason it streams better is because we took the time and we sent it out to a panel.
We didn't do that with every one of our songs, and we probably should have. But we did. With every one of our singles and every one of our singles. We were able to then taken extra level of criticism and a new extra level of tweaking to put out a product that would appeal to the broadest audience possible. Yeah, that's so incredibly important. And for those of you wondering, I looked up Max Martin Thean Sink song. You Are so Close You nailed the Britney Spears song and the Backstreet Boys song.
But the Instinct song is actually, I would argue, the most popular instinct song ever. It's the one that gets maimed every May. It's gonna be May or it's gonna be me if you want to say it properly. But Justin Timberlake didn't say it properly, so who cares? But anyway, that is Max Martin. Those are three of his biggest hits I'm sure you will surpass the Beatles with number one hits because the Beatles aren't writing hits anymore. I mean, John Lennon is dead. Paul McCartney is, you know, a dinosaur act is what they call acts like him and the Rolling Stones and all those bands who are held together by the tight pants they wear.
Yes, exactly the dinosaur acts or Legacy act, or what they're called now to wrap things up for this episode, in case you aren't already convinced that you should take feedback constructively, especially if someone gives you detailed feedback. You know, if somebody saying, like you said Matt, it's trash, you can ignore that. But if somebody is specifically pointing out what they don't like, it doesn't matter if they are right or wrong. You should not lash out at them. It will affect your relationships with those people, and you never know who that person might be connected. Thio.
Now this is something that doesn't directly relate to criticism. But years ago I booked on artist great band love their music, and there was a small issue, and the guitarist flipped out at the person running the venue. Now this is a small venue. So Okay, no big deal. Except that the person sitting there used to tour, manage major level arena and amphitheater acts and knows Everyone who is anyone in the music business that banned entirely shot themselves in the foot. And they went on to do work tour.
Ah, the next year. And I saw them and it was just like, Oh, hey, guys, how's it going? And we chat. And I was like, Yeah, so about that, you know, like it was awesome to have you there, but, you know, they told me you can't come back. And the guy, he was great about it. He said, You know what? As soon as I opened my mouth, I realized I had already lost that battle. And then I just dug myself deeper and he accepted that. You know, I was being straight with him and said, Hey, you know, it's good to see you.
We'd love to have you come back, but we can't. I thought that was great, you know, And it shows that he realized his mistake. This was almost a year after the fact, but I still wanted to be open with him and let him know And be honest, say, Look, you guys were awesome, but you're not coming back. He accepted it, you know, he'd had the time to think about it, and he realized. And then I told him who that person had worked for. And he was just like, Oh, boy.
And I'm like, Yeah, watched his jaw drop. Yeah, long story short. That band went on to do Warped Tour again in later years under a different name with a different lineup and did some very controversial things. But that guitarist was no longer in the band. I truly think he's a great guy who just was frustrated and let that get the best of him. He was the one I was really in touch with. I don't know about the other guys, but anyway, remember with criticism, most of the time people are trying to help you.
That is the type of criticism that you should not just ignore. Sometimes you need to take that to heart. Sometimes it's just a matter of opinions, you know, it's like if somebody is telling you, you know, I think the vocals could use more work. I think the mix could use more work. Okay, take that to heart. But if they're saying well, you know, it's not really my style, like I just don't like it because it's not my style. That's fine. That's their opinion. Now, if everyone's saying that, okay, maybe there's an issue.
But if only a handful of people are saying that, okay, that's probably just their opinion. And as long as other people enjoy the song, you're gonna be okay with that. Do not take it personally because it's not a personal attack. That's like saying if I like lettuce, But you tell me you don't like lettuce. Oh my God, I'm offended that you don't like lettuce. That's ridiculous. It's lettuce. Who cares? Yeah. One thing I just want to add in real quick is that never downplay the power of thanking someone.
You know, If somebody comes in with a critique and it's a good, constructive critique, then you say, Thank you so much for taking the time to critique my music. You, as an artist, are trying to write the music that your fans will love. And so if your fans are sitting there telling you what they love, this is an eye into their world, so saying thank you there is incredibly powerful and you know where it's even more powerful. It's when somebody comes in and they're just being mean and you turn and you say, Hey, thank you so much for taking the time to write this critique.
We will take it to heart and try to write better music in the future. And you know what happens. That person feels like a jerk, and honestly, they dio you don't need to be mean to people. I mean, you just kill it with kindness. You be ago giver. You know, you win friends, you influence people. And so then, you know, imagine if somebody critiqued your music horribly, and then you thank them. And then the next time one of your songs came out, you re reached back out to that person and asked if they would critique your next song.
How do you think that paradigm shift is gonna look like in their mind? Instantly they went from like, Oh, I was being a jerk to these people, trying to basically shame them out of playing music. And now they're reaching out to me directly for me. I see that as an opportunity to turn somebody into a really true fan. And so like, don't be afraid of the criticism. You know, like you gotta have thick skin. You're in the entertainment industry. If you don't have thick skin, you're not gonna compete.
The bottom line is you have to be tough as nails in the music industry. Or you need to have a manager who's tough as nails, who's willing to fight your battles for you. But the biggest thing is you have toe be humble. You have to be teachable. Be that sponge. You know, all of Michael Jordan's coaches used to say that he listened to everything that anybody told him whether they were better than him or not, and the most amazing part was that he would apply it. And it's literally unanimous.
You could go read any story where somebody who was close with Michael Jordan, who worked with Michael Jordan where they would critique him, and he would always take what they said to heart and lo and behold, even whatever 20 years after he's not playing anymore, people still are saying he is the greatest of all time, and whether or not this skill is actually there. The impression that he left on people will last a lifetime. Yeah, absolutely. That's so important to note that if you lash out and do the opposite of what Mattis saying, you will burn bridges so quickly, not on Lee, with the people that you lash out against, but against other people.
This brings me to another quick story, and then I promise I will shut up. When I was living in San Diego, I was friends with, Ah, lot of busters in Balboa Park. And there are some amazing musicians, artists, magicians, all kinds of creative people there. And it was a great community. I loved it and there were two people who did their art. But we're kind of separate from everyone else, but they made beautiful music. So I thought, OK, you know what? I'll support it. They make good music.
They're not actively being mean. But then, about a year later, they ended up moving to Europe and posted this massive rant on Facebook about how all their fans had abandoned them and no one was willing to help them because they were getting kicked out of certain locations in whatever city in Spain, where busting was not allowed, and they chose not to perform at the places where it waas, and they were blaming their fans online for not standing up to the city. It's like so you want your fans from San Diego to email people in Spain and tell them to change their laws?
You do not blame your fans for that. And because I saw that I was like, No, I'm never supporting this band again. Peace, Yeah, since then I have not kept up with them. I have not. You know, I unfollowed them on everything, so that kind of behavior just makes you look bad. And if you lash out at someone about their criticism, that's going to make you look bad. I don't care if it's in a D M or whatever, because that person can share that around that'll get out.
You just want to say thank you. We appreciate it, we'll consider it, and that's it. It doesn't matter how bad it makes you feel. If you burn those bridges with anyone, there's the potential that it will have a domino effect on anyone else who sees that you set a bridge on fire that might catch your whole city. Exactly that does it for another episode of the Bandhive podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I really hope that for everyone listening, dealing with criticism is not an issue for you, but that if it is, this episode helps you cope with dealing with other people's thoughts.
Just one thing to keep in mind is that music is subjective. You are never going to please everyone like Matt was saying, You know what? Their song. 85% of people liked it, so they said, Good, that's good enough for us. Let's roll with it. As long as somebody likes your music, you can make music. That's fine. You could make music for yourself, even if you're the only person who enjoys it. But what you don't want to happen is that you have unrealistic goals where you think, Hey, I'm gonna be famous with this and you put out music that no one likes.
Unfortunately, that's not how it works. It all comes down to your goals. If you want to be famous, make music that will make you famous. If you want to write music that you love and you don't care what people think of it, then do that. It's all up to you. But whatever you do, make sure you keep realistic expectations. Thanks again for listening. I hope you have an awesome week. We'll be back with another episode of the podcast next Tuesday at 6 a.m. Until then, I hope you all have an awesome week.
Stay well and, of course, as always, keep rocking.
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