These days artists are expected to promote themselves. Be on Twitter, FB, Insta-this and that, pounding away at the Interwebs to establish their “presence” and “brand.” Not just artists – people in most fields are told they need to be their own brand, and to “sell themselves.” The best part about this is that the earth will eventually careen into the sun.
I hate it. Branding is the new death. It’s such a sad word, “brand.” It came from people burning logos into poor helpless cows’ hides with hot irons, didn’t it? So how nice can it be? But here we are, in the infinitely connected world, all of us trying to make sense of it, branding ourselves silly.
One way I cope is by writing songs. After The Uptones stopped playing regularly, I didn’t know what to do with my musical ideas for a while, so eventually started recording them on my own. One of the hardest things for me to get over, was just to decide what frikkin name to use! Yes, I’m that neurotic.
Eric Roy Dinwiddie is my given name and I thought about using it for my solo stuff. But I eventually went with my long-time stage name Eric Din because it just felt simple and right somehow. I actually spent a year wrestling with that question, after my dad died. I guess I wanted to use his name, to honor his memory. One of the songs on the EP is called “Dad,” and there’s a line about this, near the end. He would probably think my little identity crisis is perfectly hilarious. My dad was a brilliant musician, though a very private one. Far from self-promoting, he’s the only person I’ve ever known to ask friends and family to please NOT attend a public performance! Perhaps someday I’ll tell that story.
So yeah, I’m wrestling with these questions and I step back and laugh at myself. I had decided, that once I finished my wee record, I’d be diligent about promoting it, and try to be my own record label / promo dept. in the brave new digital world. I mean, one can do that now, and that’s amazing! World-wide distribution, at our fingertips? That didn’t exist until recently. But I have been remiss, just dumbfounded by current events, speechless.
I’m so impressed with artists who handle self-promotion gracefully. Seems to me that many brilliant artists are completely inept at self-promo, while some artists are full time self-promo machines. I dunno where I fall in that spectrum. But I am happy with the EP I made. It’s a love letter to rock and roll and humanity and all the creatures and plants of this sweet earth.
If you want to hear the record, read the lyrics, etc., it’s avail thru the links below. Part 2 to follow soon. Full album by the end of the year. It’s about as contrary to contemporary pop as anything could be. Guitars, bass, drums, vocals, 1st takes and no auto-tuned anything. This is me self-promoting it, apparently! Bye for now, and thank you.