Haven't seen the show, imagine it's stupid and reductive, but won't comment for sure without seeing an episode. However...
Originally Posted by JRA
First of all, what the fuck is wrong with catering to what your fans want musically?
Everything. It defies the nature of art. If everyone did what was expected of them, there would never be any innovation. It's true that the only intrinsic value of a record lies in how it's received, and cultural studies as a discipline has been pretty consistent in saying it's up to the consumer to decide what they take away from a work, but they don't know what to ask for
because the stuff that's consistently engaging is the stuff we haven't heard. I'm sure when Black Sabbath was called Earth and playing the blues circuit in Birmingham, their fans (a small number, but for argument's sake, let's say they were all passionately in agreement on this) probably wanted to hear more blues albums, because they were good at the blues. Then they recorded Black Sabbath
. Then they recorded Paranoid
. They lost their blues-loving locals by Master of Reality
, I'm sure. But that doesn't matter
. What matters is they got an entirely new fanbase by conjuring up sonic demons and down-tuning. Eventually, they recorded the Dio and Tony Martin albums and the same thing happened. Lose some doom nuts, pick up a whole new group of people who like what they had moved on to. Is this a perfect analogy for, say, Metallica? I suppose not, since what they did was unarguably to become more mainstream, but there's people who loved "Enter Sandman" who would have hated "Metal Militia," and that's okay. We don't have to be those people, but Metallica is allowed to make them exist. A band owes you nothing. If anything, they owe you the freedom to do their own shit, ad infinitum, to help move music as an idea forward. In any given year, most of the albums I truly love are the ones that surprise me the most, the ones that defy my expectations – even (or especially) when they come from artists who I'd expect something different from. Write the album you want to write. Not the one you're pressured to by some people who have trouble envisioning anything better than what you've already done. Fuck them.