Can’t we all just get along?

Tomas Juto, aka Barba. Photo: Christopher Anderzon.

I’ve always been fascinated by music scenes.
Seattle and grunge, New York and hiphop, L.A. and 80’s rock, Laurel canyon and singer/songwriters, San Fransisco and the flower power scene and so on.
Those are all American of course. But England had Bristol and trip hop, Norway had black metal and Swedens Umeå had the hardcore scene in the 90’s with Refused and similar bands. I’ve never been a part of a scene like that. I think I would love it. I get super inspired when people I know get a break and make it big or make a super obscure but amazing album that gets good reviews in underground blogs or whatever. It pushes me to try harder at whatever I’m doing at the moment.

But these days it’s really hard to reach through the noice with your music. And whenever people manage to carve out a spot in the limelight for themselves they don’t want to share the space.

I can understand that ’cause I know how much work it takes to get ahead. I can see why people tend to be a bit defencive of their spot. But it’s still a drag. I’m not saying I’m not a part of the problem. I’m probably just the same as any other musician. I just wish that I could somehow change the attitude in the business to a more collective kind of focus. Let’s make something really cool, together. Even though we’re not in the same band or whatever.
Let’s do a tour, a collaboration on a track, cameos in videos. Not because it’s a career move or looks good on the CV. Let’s do it ’cause we all love this thing. It’s fun!
Maybe by writing this I can remind myself to be more open to it. And at least that’s a start, ey?


Published by


Swedish 7 piece urban folk band. Tomas Juto: keyboard/lead vocals | Oskar Hovell: acoustic guitar/banjo/lead vocals | Tony Lind: drums/vocals | Oscar Harryson: guitar | Christopher Anderzon: bass/vocals | Mårten Forssman: harmonica | Andreas Prybil: percussion/vocals

2 thoughts on “Can’t we all just get along?”

  1. I believe War touched on this subject in the ’70’s with their song “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”. A little side note trivia on the song: each band member sang a verse of “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” The harmonica player, Lee Oskar from Denmark, who was supposedly learning to speak English at the time, sang “I may not speak right, but I know what I’m talking about.”

    So much has changed since the 1970’s, but then many things haven’t changed when it comes to people being friends and getting along. The Internet has made the world more open, yet the spaces we try to occupy in the various cyberspheres can be very limited, narrow and lonely places, indeed.

    I remember when I first started uploading my photos to the Internet, I was quite worried about how I would handle all the feedback from putting my photos out for millions of people to see and comment on. As it turns out, I had little to worry about, because among the millions of photographers uploading gizzillians of photographs to the internet, my photos are almost invisible. Being somewhat of a hermit, and just too darn lazy to promote myself on the Internet, I remain fairly anonymous in the various spheres that make up the world wide web.

    As for people getting along and collaborating in music and art, I think all the arts have a big problem with egos, eccentrics and popularism. Artists and musicians who are, or think they are, “somebody” often won’t collaborate with artists and musicians who they consider “nobody”. The “nobodies” usually have work very hard, and fight their way to earn some kind of recognition before they become enough of a “somebody” to be considered worth collaborating with. Even then, most people are reluctant to share whatever space they have managed to carve out in the vast, open world of arts and entertainment. And even I, as one who subsists in the realm of nobodies, am guilty of not wanting to share my meager piece of cyberspace.

    If I could add a verse to “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” I would sing “I may not make much sense, but I know what I’m thinking about.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I got started playing shows in LA in the mid-80s. Definitely, there was no shortage of the ego maniacs who only cared about themselves. My most fond members are of those bands where we’d cross-promote, do shows together, or even try to build a community.

    Although none of my bands were a part of the “Kiss or Kill” community, I would go to their shows as a fan of music. Their movement was a response to the “pay-to-play” scene on the Sunset Strip, which I think is sadly still going. A documentary was made about the movement, called “In Heaven There Is No Beer” (2012).

    These days, the Sunset Strip is still all about those bands paying big money to “try to make it.” Spend $550, and they’ll give you 25 minutes on the stage and a bunch of tickets to sell.

    I don’t care about any of that anymore, as I’m beyond the expiration date for “making it.” Instead, I’m all about finding a community of musicians or bands that want to make music and enjoy this one shot we get at life.

    If bands work together, then they can possibly benefit from gaining fans from the other bands. I think the risk of losing fans is minimal to none. Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s