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What’s the Indie Music Scene Like in Your Town?

musicinyourtownWe all know there’s a huge, bubbling, shimmering, mustering independent music scene online. And that’s just magnificent. But an indie band can’t live off web-o-fumes alone. To thrive, musicians need a strong local community, not just of fans, but of other artists, producers, designers, music store owners, engineers, sound and light experts, caterers, used book sellers, all-night pizza delivery joints…


Point being, we want to know what the independent music community is like in your town. Supportive? Competitive? Blasé? Intense? If you’d like to chime in, comment here, or email thoughts to anne(at)gighive(dot)com.

To whet your appetite, here are a few thoughts from some indie artists who have already chimed in:

“I think that there are very different scenes in Paris. You have the rock scene, the folk scene and the electro scene. These are very distinct. I don’t have the impression that people really meld. Here everything is very ‘coded.’ You have to wear slims if you do rock, have a beard if you do folk and be fluo if you do electro…it’s kind of cliché but it’s not that far from reality. I don’t really like that…

Anyway, I don’t feel like the indie scene I know is competitive. Maybe it’s because people I know are more 30 years old than 18. So, at this age, you realize that the most important part is not to be famous, it’s just to take pleasure doing the music you like. And with all the music industry mutations, lots of people don’t care for having a label anymore. Besides, in Paris, we don’t have a rock/pop/folk culture for a long time like in the US or in the UK. It’s really new and it does not interest a lot of people for now.”

–       Mathieu Persan, Paris

“There is a very vital live music scene in the Netherlands. I think that, regarding the Memphis Maniacs, people like the fact that we bring a total entertainment package: recognizable tunes served with a hugely energetic performance and lots of attention to detail. After a show we often hear that people have never experienced anything like it, which is exactly the kind of experience we want to get across.”

–       Remco, Memphis Maniacs, Amsterdam

“We’re really lucky to be in Seattle at this moment in time, where momentum is building for music that defies a generic sound or style, and where hip hop artists are focusing more on the musicianship than on the marketing or the posturing.”

–       Hollis, CanarySing, Seattle

“Vibrant, diverse, and really exciting. I see amazing talent in hip hop and Reggae artists, jazz and blues artists, indie rock bands, punk and metal bands, and other roots and new folk music. I see a lot of indies making bold musical statements by blending odd instruments and textures together, doing their own thing and pushing boundaries. I can’t think of a better place on earth for indie music than Toronto, although I’m kind of biased about that I must admit.”

–       James Pew, Toronto

“I am very proud of where I come from. This is the boiling pot for good music! Lets take a look – Motown, Prince, Ohio Players, Roger Troutman & Zapp, Eminem, Nelly – I could go on and all these names have influenced the music scene tremendously. Getting a national audience is a lot of work and sacrificing from where we are! I’m not going to lie to you, my attorney suggested not to even try to make it from here because its too much work but I love where I’m from and obviously I love too much work!”

–       DJ N.K., Milwaukee

“The attention you get for being in a band (in Baltimore, at least) goes in phases. Phase 1 was, ‘Holy shit these guys are new and doing something completely different!’ Phase 2 was like, ‘Ho-hum, these guys are doing their whole shtick again.’ Phase 3 seems to be, ‘Oh, okay, I guess these guys are serious!’ Each phase has its own perks, but the bottom line is that over time, local papers can’t help but recognize you. That being said, I think there are some dynamite music writers in this area who are into exploring the richness of the scene. There’s alot of value in that.”

–       The Dirty Marmaduke Flute Squad, Baltimore

Are you from Baltimore? Amsterdam? Hong Kong? Agree with what these artists have to say? Disagree? We’d love to hear reports on the indie scene from every town and city in the U.S., Europe, the world! So get in touch, and let us know: what’s the indie music scene like where you come from?



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