In my last 14 years in TV I have worked with a lot of celebrities and musicians. It is my least favorite part of the job because most of the time they are assholes, difficult or both.
One of my first experiences was with the band Weezer - a group whose music I freakin' love. They came on MTV's Alternative Nation. I show I worked on and would later produce.
They were an incredibly difficult interview. In fact, Rivers Cuomo basically refused to speak. Before we rolled tape he turned to Kennedy and said, "You can ask me questions, but I won't answer." Maybe you think that is cool, where I come it's called ASSHOLE.
Here is my two cents. I call it "sell out syndrome" and working at MTV I have seen it a million times:
- Kids form a band. Why? To be rock stars. Anyone who says they formed a band and never enterained the idea, "Wouldn't it be cool if..." is BULLSHITTING. Plus Rivers has been very vocal in regards to his love of KISS. KISS is not an "indy band." They're fucking rock stars. I don't know a starving artist that listens to KISS.
- They get popular. They start filling local clubs and become mini-celebrities. Egos start to inflate.
- They get a record deal. Dream come true! This is what they have wished for since they sang into a hair brush in their bedroom mirror.
- Local kids and fellow local bands get jealous. "Why not us?" This manifests itself with claims of "selling out." "Man, I used to like (insert local band here), but now they are too big. They sold out." Even the Beatles experienced it. Liverpool fans felt the Beatles weren't "theirs" anymore and got pissed.
- The band's egos get bruised. They are no longer mini-celebrities. They go to the local diner and someone yells "asshole" or their old friends tell them, "Man, you've changed."
- Bands want to rebel against the "man." I've got it! If we treat all the media (print, TV, Radio) like dicks then we will prove we are not sell outs. Lets try to convice ourselves we don't need these people. Lets pretend we don't need the people that will HELP ME BE A ROCKSTAR WHICH IS WHAT I SECRETLY WANT TO BE.
- So the band goes on shows and thinks they are being "indy" and proving they are above all this. Above what? Helping your own career and making yourselves more money?
It goes somethng like this...
Assholes in my book.
But their music still rocks.