The questions that forms the title of this blog post is really a question that can be asked for any kind of band, regardless of the genre of music they play.
Let's get one thing clear, getting artists in one place is much like trying to herd cats. Have you ever tried to herd cats? It's not easy.
There's a lot of scratching, there's a lot of noises, there's a lot of complaining, and there's a lot of time, effort and energy wasted. At the end of the day, you probably would not have much to show for all your effort. Welcome to the world of individuals.
Make no mistake, when it comes to dealing with unpleasant and wild and unruly individuals, rock musicians are probably at the top of the list. These are people who cannot be counted on to wake up at the right time, much less to show up sober or free from drugs. You are dealing with individuals who basically march to the beat of their own drummer. That's the way it's supposed to work.
And believe it or not, doom rock band members are easier to keep together despite the fact that artists, by and large, are hard to manage. Why? Well, it all depends on the philosophy underlining doom rock.
Doom rock does not apologize for making music for money, okay? Let's get that out of the way. They know the profit motive and they are more than comfortable with it.
Unlike other musical forms where you're supposed to make a big show of the fact that you're anti establishment and that you want to stick it to the man because you want everything for free for the people, doom rock laughs at that stuff. In fact, it makes a big point of pointing out the hypocrisies of people who claim to be against profits and capitalism.
A lot of doom rock music is all about poking fun at the hypocrisy of artists who say that they don't have any money, but insist on driving around in limousines, taking expensive drugs, and living in big houses in the nice side of town.
What doom rock is, is really just an unpleasant wake up call for everything and anything artsy fartsy about the music scene. Whatever grandiose, over the top aspirations musicians may have had historically when it comes to the political, economic and philosophical landscape, doom rock takes a huge steaming pile of turd on it. It's a big middle finger to everything that's pretentious about rock music.
And that's why, given this context, it's actually fairly easy to keep a doom rock band together. They have nothing to prove. They have no ideological straightjacket they're wearing. Instead, they're perfectly comfortable about the fact that life, for the most part, is all about money. Money makes the world go round.
I know that makes a lot of people uncomfortable, especially idealistic young people. In fact, the more idealistic you are, the more disgusting and offensive that phrase may be. But the truth is, that phrase was true yesterday, is true today, and will be probably continue to be true long, long into the future.
Why? Because that phrase really boils down to human nature. Human beings are self interested. Human beings are looking for game.
We're selfish. We're self seeking. And until and unless you build a system that converts that self seeking into social gain, you're going to fall apart. Whatever system you put up will sooner or later be destroyed by its own internal seeds of contradiction.
That's what happened with communism. That's what's happening with socialism and welfare states throughout the world.
I didn't mean to make this as some sort of political statement, but this is true because it applies across the board. It applies to music.
And that's what's so awesome about doom rock band members. They see the value in conformity. They see the value in showing up to work on time. They see the value in actually keeping your word. Funny how that works, right?