Well, I can’t say that I love Katy Perry – In fact I don’t love her at all – but I have gone through my Stevie Nicks phase and I’m mildly pleased by what I’m hearing about a chat these two icons from different times had. Turns out the Fleetwood Mac singer told a confused Perry that, in the 70s and 80s, she and the band had no rivals. No rivals?! Nicks said, “You don’t have rivals. All of those girls? Friends. You’ll probably work with all of them at some point.”
Sounds like a peachy dream huh. That Perry even brought up the topic of rivalries in the first place points to a much more combative reality; rivalries seem to be music’s constant companion. But why, and what do these rivalries do for music?
As Perry pointed out, a lot of feuds are created and fueled by fans – not by artists. Think Stevie Nicks had to deal with that? Doubtful. If you’re slow on the uptake, here’s why: a major difference between Nicks and Perry (aside from musical… taste) is that the majority of Nicks’ career basically missed the Internet.
Unless artists live under a rock – my kind of musician – they’re way more in tune with what fans are saying now. And fans love stupid drama! Petty fights and ridiculous rumors are always going to trend more than artists being buddy buddy. Rivalries are in demand!
I, probably more than most, like telling artists how truly vomit inspiring they are. If you send me a mix tape and it reminds me of that smell Intern 2 left behind, I’m going to tell you. However, what I don’t like is that this rival loving culture creates barriers to possibly fruitful collaborations – music suffers for temporary entertainment. Maybe if some of these god-awful artists felt compelled to try new things with other artists, they’d produce something semi-decent. Probably not, but maybe.