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The Polarizing Effect

Over the past sixteen years as a musician I have witnessed, read and followed some of the most significant band break-ups and issues of leaving members including my own with Orange & Lemons that did not end well. I have learned that finding solutions, amicable settlements and establishing communication is the proper and most decent route to any misunderstanding or in-fighting in a band instead of promoting a continuous he-said-she-said playground that oftentimes produces a polarizing effect amongst the fan base.

Recently I find myself again in another situation involving my ex-drummer. After a sit-down and discussion of issues which I believe were amicably responded to, we shook hands to an irrevocable acceptance of his resignation. Only to find out after a couple of days he was posting false and malicious statements on facebook prompting our management to release an official statement.

Instances like this added up to my further disenchantment with how social networking sites like facebook and twitter are being used for posting wars. Practically a pointless issue to dwell upon, I resigned to the fact that a lot of people have this inkling desire to release tension, stress or anger over facebook finding out how many so-called-friends in their list will hit the like button, or comment and sympathize. Bad vibes after bad vibes.

Nevertheless what pains me more than the break-up and strained relationships is how some artists carelessly out of pride, prejudice and self-interest creates ripples that engages and affects common friends especially music fans. A detrimental effect to whatever great beginnings and sure-fire way of causing misery and upset to music fans and sometimes can also be unknowingly self-deprecating.

I have no wish to engage in such issues but when a fan goes up to me in a manner which I feel I have to at least give light to the situation, the following exchanges in our facebook page happened:

What can you say about what Ian’s saying about you? Will we ever hear you defend yourself from what he’s saying? I was kinda hoping you would say something…and say that what he was saying isn’t true…blimey… I don’t even know why… I know it has nothing to do with the music since it’s all about the music… But i don’t know… It’s just that i’ve put you on this pedestal… And adored you like some form of god… and i just don’t know what to believe now…so there… – Kristine (a fan)

To which I replied with:

I really appreciate your concern. But i hope you understand that the way I see it, acknowledging the petty issues being raised against me will give it existence and credibility. I have gone a long way with these people who are making derogatory remarks against me and to retaliate is not an option since I still care for them and value the friendship we created over the years.

A lot of things untrue and unfair has been said about me and my label out of bitterness and spite. And the unwillingness to communicate issues personally and verify convictions may have resulted in an inconsiderate option to hang me thru public opinion. For whatever reason (to gain attention/sympathy or promote a new act), I think it is not within the boundaries of decency.

As sad as it may seem, over the years, I have learned that friends may betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy, becoming spoiled and tyrannical. Just like you I’m just a regular person, very human, so please do not put me on any pedestal. I feel honored already when people appreciate the music I make. Little joys that can’t be bought and little joys that makes every difference in the life I lead. To you Kristine and to all who continue to support and believe in me, I sincerely thank you and assure you that people may come and go, but the music will stay. – Clementine

As I pondered on the situation, I can cite the lack of managerial figure and business problems as the reason of the split. I figured it must be hard on a member’s perspective to separate me as a band member/leader and at the same time as the acting artist/label manager. When we started the band, money doesn’t really come into it. It was all about the musical passion we all shared and it was bound to be a fantastic journey. I didn’t feel we should end it so Law and I will continue on. I feel I have worked so hard after the demise of Orange & Lemons to even consider.

It’s a bright time to work on a new album. Now that is something worth looking forward to.