It has been said that money is antithetical to indie rock. Well, its been observed than when an indie band becomes even mildly successful, the band's coolness factor degrades in direct proportion to the number of noontime-show appearances. So there’s probably some truth to that.
Then there's the proposition that indie rockers are supposed to be clever cynics with little regard for hair hygiene and authority figures. I know a few who are like that, only their cynicism is more from stupidity than cleverness and their unruly hair only appears so by meticulous minutes of styling in front of the mirror. Which makes them not just poseurs but stupid poseurs. The worst type. Which probably explains their disdain for authority being obvious targets of their contempt what with their attitude and issues.
Its also been said that indie rockers are musical snobs. I know a few people who are like that. The more obscure the bands they claim to worship the cooler they think they are. The more useless trivia they can blabber about bands with the weirdest names like Hüsker Dü
or The Elephant 6 Collective
or The Flower Fish Syndicate
(okay, that last one I made up), the more impressive they think they are.
The way these perverted musical elitists talk, you’d think that the coolest indie band is the one you’ve never heard of. If such where true, maybe Sheila and the Insects
should move to Alaska. Nobody’s ever heard of us there. Would that make us the coolest? Probably the coldest, yes, especially this time of the year.
When I joined the band, indie wasn’t the cool word then. I think back then it was post-punk. I never really understood the rationale behind such a label. I keep mistaking post-punk for outgrowing Mohawks, leather pants and metal studs.
Later on, the cool name became alternative. Alternative to the pop drone we were getting from the radio, that was the idea then but when alternative became mainstream – blame it on Nirvana’s Nevermind – indie sprang to life.
Indie - a label borne of the need to label music that doesn't sell as much as R&B.
To hell with R&B. We’re R&R – Rock ‘n Roll. The third element in the sacrosanct triumvirate next to sex and drugs. Ok, so I exaggerate sometimes – we’re hardly the stereotype perennially stoned-out junkies much less S & M sex maniacs. In fact we’re pretty normal. And we look normal. Most indie rockers actually do blend in the crowd as much as the nerd who frequents the library. In fact, some bands do actually take pains to look like nerds, but that’s another story.
Okay, so what is indie but just another name that will run its course and become passé with the eventual coming of an indie band breaking into the mainstream? Hey, it is bound to happen. History reminds us of that and statistical probability makes sure that it does.
So if us indie bands want to keep the ‘indie’ name cool, we best avoid getting hot. The day indie becomes ‘in’ is the day indie dies. But don’t despair on my morose predictions. We can always invent another name to call ourselves.