No-one ever knows what people will like musically. Not even Simon Cowell, who forces it down our throats and says "You will LOVE this band"! Er...sorry Simon. I won't. But loads will of course and that's absolutely fine.
When I sit down and write a song I never think - "What sort of song would other people like to hear?". You can never tell what folks will think of your music so it's not worth worrying about. Songs that I've written that I consider to be bad or didn't turn out like I'd hoped, can often be the most popular or most listened to! Others that I believe are the dogs bollocks, and really kick ass, hardly get any interest whatsoever.
The Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman famously wrote "Nobody (in Hollywood) knows anything" - meaning that you can never tell what will be a hit. It's for this very reason, that the film industry's wheels keep on turning - you never know what will hit big and be popular. And it's the same for the music industry. I remember the first time I heard The Beatles "Let it Be" album. I loved it. Still do. But then a few years later McCartney stated how he loathed what the producer Phil Spector had done to it - plastering choirs and orchestra all over the place like spray paint. This was Spectre's signature dish - his "wall of sound" that he was famed for. But Macca hated it and organised the remix and release of "Let it Be.. NAKED" 43 years later, stripped of all its "Spectorism." Personally, I wasn't really interested because I had fallen in love with the original album. But it taught me a lesson.
Don't ever stress about reaching perfection, because one man's perfection is another mans flaw. I often listen back to material I've written and think 'Oooh...I wish I'd raised the level here" or "added another bit there" - but you have to let it go. When you press "Upload" to SoundCloud or wherever, that's what the track will be. Forever! So I'm a great believer in allowing the Gods of Music to shape my finished work and to accept it's time to move on. What you did at that moment in time in the Universe, is what the track is. Why change it?
There are moments of course when I believe I've hit the bullseye in terms of personal fulfilment. When I wrote "Delusions" I didn't think "Shit! No-one is going to bother listening to this because it's 12 minutes long", I knew it would be a big ask to get anyone to hear it. But it didn't stop me writing it, because this "mini rock opera" had been flying around my head for years and it was time to get it down on tape (so to speak!). How could I weave in and out of different tempos and styles? How would each piece join together? It'd be a huge challenge, but I knew I could do it. The end result is something, musically, I am most proud of.
When it was finished I was scared of playing it to anyone. It was long and deeply personal and I thought stupidly that there was no point in ever sharing it. Eventually of course, I did decide to "get it out there" and I was dumbstruck when I heard it played on Enfield.org "Lost Broadcast" show. In fact, I nearly burst into tears I was so moved! Someone had liked it enough to play it on their show, despite my own misgivings about it being ridiculously complicated.
It just goes to show. With music, there's something for everyone.
Thanks for reading.