This is the nightmare of the music business—the part of my industry I hate knowing about.
I see news from artists all over the world come through my Facebook and Twitter feeds all day long. I see posts about new tours dates, new song releases, new music videos, and sometimes just funky entertaining things. These are the the things that fans love, and that shrink the divide between an artist an the people who love and support them.
And then there are the other kind of posts—the kind you just wish you could forget seeing.
This afternoon I saw one of these posts, and it saddens me that it’s the topic for my post today. But these darker corners of the music business need to be acknowledged, and the people who get caught in them need to be rallied around.
Early this morning, a tour bus carrying members from metal bands Khaotika and Wormreich was involved in a serious crash—three people were pronounced dead at the scene, and three more are in critical condition. That’s enough to stop anyone’s heart.
Part of what you learn in the music industry is that the term “family” is redefined. Your family isn’t just your mom and dad at home, or your sister in college. Your family expands to include your bandmates, your touring crew, your fans, and the other artists you meet along the way. So when you hear about something like this, it affects you on a visceral level.
It’s important to remember that this job ins’t without its hazards. We work in an industry that’s waved the banner of alcohol and drugs for decades. But what kills most of all is when you see something like this—just a freak accident that claims the lives of talented people who spent their lives chasing their love of music. Sometimes when you step on that tour bus, you don’t come back. It’s a sobering reality.
I’ve known Atlanta band Almost Kings for a long time; it was through their feed that I saw the posted the article. All I can do as part of their support circle is support them even as they support the family and friends of those who have experienced loss today. That’s all any of us can do. These things do happen, and I hate that it’s something I’ve become somewhat accustomed to seeing. No, it doesn’t always turn out ok. No, not every tour ends in people becoming rockstars.
But we do it anyway—we make our way in this business through all the shit and challenges—because we love music. It’s how we breathe; how we interact with the world. We are all a family in this—keep supporting each other and we might make it to the next show.
My thoughts go out to those who have experienced loss this morning. We’re around for you all. We rally for you.