of Montreal is being featured in another commercial, and this time frontman Kevin Barnes is getting all defensive in advance of the inevitable backlash.
The term “sellout” only exists in the lexicon of the over-privileged. Almost every non-homeless person in America is over-privileged, at least in a global sense.
Obviously, I’ve struggled with the concept. I’ve struggled because of the backlash following my songs placement in TV commercials. That is, until I realized that the negative energy that was being directed towards me really began to inspire my creativity. It has given me a sense of, “well, I’ll show them who is a sellout, I’m going to make the freakiest, most interesting, record ever!!!” … “I’m going to prove to them that my shit is wild and unpolluted by the reach of some absurd connection to mainstream corporate America.”
I realized then that, for me, selling out is not possible. Selling out, in an artistic sense, is to change one’s creative output to fit in with the commercial world. To create phony and insincere art in the hopes of becoming commercially successful. I’ve never done this and I can’t imagine I ever will.
These are all good points and he makes a few more, so read the whole essay entitled “Selling Out Isn’t Possible” by Kevin Barnes. Percolator has the spot (YouTube).
Barnes also spoke recently to the Fork about exorcising demons, songwriting, and whatnot.
MP3: of Montreal – “Disconnect the Dots” from Satanic Panic in the Attic (review)
Previously: The Glorious Noise Interview with Kevin Barnes (2004).
YouTube: Of Montreal – “Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games”
YouTube: Sidekick LX spot
3 thoughts on “of Montreal Sells Out Again”
So, I read the essay. I actually made it through the whole thing. Bloody hell. Someone get me a lollipop. I suddenly feel the need to have a good suck on something.
The sad part is his somewhat circular rant leaves me thinking he’s uncomfortable with his decisions and confused about whether he made the right ones. I’ve never listend to Of Montreal but with this kind of passion I’ll assume he makes music he believes in. What he does on the business side to sell it is something he, ultimately, has to be comfortable with. If he isn’t he’ll never really have what he references the desire for:
“To me, the luckiest people are the ones who figure out a way to earn a living doing what they love and gain fulfillment from.”
I don’t know. He just doesn’t sound very fulfilled to me.
I’ve publicly professed my love for Outback’s Blue Cheese Chopped Salad, so I’m cool with it.
But yeah, his argument is a little defensive and it appears that he’s still uncomfortable with his decision if he needs to take the lengths he has to defend himself. And if yo’re that uncomfortable with it, then don’t do it.
I’m willing that a very small minority really takes issue with this and, out of those, they wouldn’t let it distract them from checking out oM’s work in the future.
I’d imagine the most vocal opponents were probably not even fans to begin with.
“I’m willing that a very small minority really takes issue with this and, out of those, they wouldn’t let it distract them from checking out oM’s work in the future.”
I agree. I owe TV and commercials in general for alot of awesome music. Plus, they would be so lame without the music in there anyway. Does that mean I want to associate my favourite tune with the latest upgrade in Pepto Bismal. No. But, I’m not going to stop buying from that artist because of it.
I think the media reporting of this sellout issue has simply amplified a minority belief.