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I’m Your Biggest Fan (Part 3)

November 8, 2011

Part 1 “Being a hardcore fan”

Part 2 “Music, Concerts, and Merch”

Do you participate in your artist’s social networking efforts? What do you like/not like about this? What is your favorite way to stay informed about them? Are you active or a passive/lurker type? Does your artist communicate back to you?

“I use Twitter, facebook, YouTube and forums. I have received communications back from them through social media. I post my own live videos from their shows on YouTube and have met a number of fans of my videos from there. Myspace was one of the easier ways to connect with Muse, but that is rarely used by them these days. Muse does not communicate much through facebook. They don’t find it very easy to use and use it primarily as a news feed. They were much more active and messaged people directly through MySpace. My current favorite way to communicate with the band is twitter. It is quicker and easier to communicate with them and a wide variety of topics are discussed. I am a very active member of their message board and I am currently a moderator there.”

“I follow their twitters, I am friends with or have liked the pages on facebook run by Nikki and Tommy. I follow Nikki and Tommy’s tumblrs. I don’t go to the message board anymore, haven’t in a long time. Tommy, whom I’ve met in person, is the only one thus far who has responded to me online via these platforms. I definitely am not a lurker, but I also don’t respond to every single tweet they make. I’m not the type who tweets them crap like “GOOD MORNING! How’s YOUR day?” I only respond when they ask questions or if I have a contribution to the discussion. Or if I have a question to ask.”

“I follow their FB and Twitter, but they don’t use it as much as I’d like. I was pretty spoiled by the intense social networking of NIN and they definitely don’t do that. I find the forum section of the website to be the most useful to catch what’s going on with them and discuss stuff. I used to lurk, but began posting in the last year more. It’s a much smaller community of fans than what I’m used to with NIN, so it’s a bit more intimidating/awkward. I was most excited when I saw BRMC tweet one of my videos of them one day – that was pretty cool. They do post fans’ videos and photos a lot.” (BRMC)

“The main way I get information is through the 10club (the band’s fan club). They have a website and message board that I have been a member of since 1999. Pearl Jam has not really embraced technology the way some bands have. They are still old school.” (PJ)

“Well, I belong to a private forum through Third Man, but I rarely use it. Mostly I joined to obtain the limited edition release packages through the company. I def watch a large number of their videos on youtube, but mostly of live performances opposed to their (commercial) music videos.” (TDW)

“Yes- I definitely stay posted with their Internet presence- it keeps me entertained. And I always try to put a good word in for them and help get the word out. If I happen to get something good on video, I gladly share it to help spread the word. My Sebastian Bach/ Steel Panther video from May has almost 40,000 hits. I figured a couple people would enjoy it, but it turned out good and actually got a little press by being posted on their fan site and a few metal websites, so I’m sure they picked up a few fans from it. It was the 130th most watched video in the U.K. on June 1 (I cracked up when I saw that).”

“I do follow them on almost every media platform they are a part of. I do post pics and reviews when I get a chance. I am subscribed to many music news outlets so that keeps me informed. As well as regularly checking all their posts and following whatever is updated on deftonesworld.com”

“I love NIN’s online presence! Given that there are often long lulls between shows/new material, the social networking helps fill the gaps. I’ve been dismayed that the large amount of haters/trolls caused Trent to stop tweeting about happy mundane life stuff — I enjoyed seeing that side of him very much, but since he’s kept his personal life under wraps for so long, it seemed to upset other fans who ragged on him unrelentingly about it until he quit. I stay informed largely through Twitter, where I follow band/crew members and official/unofficial news sources. I have some of those set to notify me immediately via a pop-up on my phone anytime they tweet so that I can stay in the loop. I also use a notification service that informs me immediately of new articles on the official RSS feed.”

The Internet has completely revolutionized the artist/fan relationship. In the past few years alone, fans are able to experience their favorite artists in a different way than every possible before. Some artists have really embraced this, others have rejected it. You can read my thoughts on bands and social media here.

Does your artist have a ‘community’ for it’s fanbase? If so, what is it like?

“The Pearl Jam community is pretty intense. There is a lot of old fan/new fan conflict over some issues, mainly over tickets. There is a seniority system in place for tickets- the longer you have been in the fan club, the closer your seats are to the stage. A few years ago, they fan club began a system of randomly selecting people for rows 1-2 and 9-10, with the other rows still by seniority. My number never got me front row, so it didn’t bother me. There are people that used to have first row every time that are still bitter about the change. Other than that, it’s a great community. I have met so many people over the years because of the band. I have friends worldwide. It’s really hard to describe the camaraderie that exists among fans. When at a show, every person there is your friend, and you can easily talk to someone like you have known them forever. The PJ20 Destination Weekend at Alpine Valley over Labor Day weekend was so great for this reason. Everyone looked familiar…because I have probably seen them somewhere before.”

“The community is incredibly well-connected, self-policing, and occasionally insane. I have a theory that the way musicians treat their fans sets the tone for how their fans will treat each other, and that seems to be the case with NIN. Trent is a little moody when it comes to his relationship with fans, but any infractions violating his personal code of ethics will be swiftly and snarkily punished — which is pretty much what happens in the fan community as well. It sometimes comes together for charitable causes and large fandom projects as if we were all just one big happy family, but it also sometimes tears itself apart and eats its young if someone takes offense or feels that something was taken too far.”

“Steel Panther has a loyal and dedicated fan base. They call them the “Fanthers”. It’s a pretty corny community and is made up of people that are mostly trying to be funny or gain attention, but if you like their music and contribute, then you’re OK in my book, even if most of what is written is unintelligible or perhaps from fans in other countries. I feel sorry for the people that can’t go see them on a whim like I can. Sometimes, I decide around dinner time that I’ll go see them and 2 hours later, I’m watching their set.”

“They do. It’s where you can talk with like-minded fans and interact with those that enjoy the same music that you do. Like anything else, it all depends on how involved you want to be… I guess I’d be more on the lurker side of things, I like to know what others have to say but don’t always feel my opinion is needed.” (TDW)

“The community is the official Muse message board. There are other message boards and areas for Muse fans out there, but the message board is the one with the most traffic. People from all over the world use it. It is also the most cliquish Muse community and separated into currently active hardcore fans and formerly hardcore, non-active fans. There are occasional fights between the two sections. The former fans are a very tight group since they all live in the same general area as each other and they socialize off of the board frequently. Generally, the active fans only meet up when there is a live show in the area. But there are a small number that have had non-show meetups. I use the message board to keep up to date and discuss current news about the band.”

“The community is pretty small, but pretty international as well. They have fans ALL over the place and they’re pretty rabid fans too. The best way to describe it is that it’s small, but powerful.” (BRMC)

“There is definitely a hardcore base of fans. I’ve actually communicated with many on twitter and facebook without having anything else in common other than the band. Later to find out there are things we share and maybe why we love the band so much. I think deftones fans are a good mix of rock followers but definitely more open minded with other genres of music than other fan communities. I’ve kept in touch with fans as far as the UK and many out of state fans like from Philly and Texas.”

“Once upon a time, there was a fanclub call the “Ozzy Osbourne Appreciation Society” but its gone from what I know. There’s a fanclub but its nothing like what it should be.”

The community aspects of being a fan are often their favorite part. It’s interesting to see how different bands facilitate this, or if fans take the efforts into their own hands. A lot of the above fans’ experiences sound kind of like high school, but all in all, the bond between people who love the same music is the strongest I’ve ever seen.

Do you read/watch interviews with this artist? How about blog posts/features/live reviews? What are some of your favorites and why?

“I usually read interviews and have recently begun watching a lot of old interviews from them. I definitely like reading anything online about them. I always seem to learn something new about them each time I read/watch something from them. This is my favorite.” (BRMC)

“For every show, there is a thread on the 10club message board where people post reviews. I usually read those. I will read/watch interviews when they are posted. At this point, I honestly feel like the band members are like distant relatives, so I can laugh at them if they say something silly. It always makes me smile, because whatever they are talking about, they are passionate about…one of the many reasons I respect them.” (PJ)

“Because OM is such an obscure band, I’ve literally read/watched everything there is to read/see of them on the Internet. Al has some great quotes in the documentary “Such Hawks Such Hounds”, and some great quotes in an interview with Metalkult. I must admit I think he’s an extremely intelligent man and has great things to say. I also love his normal speaking voice!”

“I do. I read most magazine interviews since most of us transcribe the articles for others to read online. I listen to the radio interviews and I watch the interviews on youtube. I love watching interviews the most because you get a good indicator of their personalities. (My favorite interviews: here and here) I don’t keep track of blogs and only read the occasional review if it’s posted on the message board. They have a large following on tumblr. I don’t actively pursue those blogs, but I am subscribed to some because they’re entertaining (http://irrationalmusefans.tumblr.com/ and http://muselulz.tumblr.com/)” (MUSE)

“Yes, I read and watch everything that I can. Including your blogs! The one that you used to reference your mom actually stands out a lot for me. I enjoy many of the old interviews they did during the White Pony era.” (Deftones)

“I read and watch all of the above. Back in NIN’s touring days, I enjoyed watching Twitter hashtags to essentially crowdsource concert reviews in realtime while people tweeted from shows. I especially enjoy video interviews that are unedited or that are done on Trent’s terms (watching uncomfortable interviews makes me uncomfortable).”

“I watch interviews but lately its more about his family then about him. The live reviews I stay away from, because most critics don’t appreciate the fact that he’s still doing what he loves to do and have nothing but negative things to say about his voice cracking. Its just aggravating to read. I don’t think there will ever be another Ozzy and people should steer away from reviews that aren’t written by fans.”

Interviews and articles have taken on a different role with the loads of information that we get through social media nowadays. It’s interesting to see that fans love to read old media pieces; nowadays interviews and features have to be really special to capture attention.

How much would you say you spend in a typical year on things related to this artist?

“Tickets to their shows are pretty cheap… so I probably spend more on merch and travel to shows. I’d say $400-$500 on a year when they are touring a lot.” (BRMC)

“It’s hard to say. I looked at my order history in my 10club account. Just merch and ticket purchases since 2003 have averaged $500 per year. Some years are slower than others. Some are crazy. This $$$ obviously doesn’t include travel costs. In 2005 we took an RV from Seattle to Toronto and saw like 10 shows in 2 weeks.” (PJ)

“If the opportunity were there to see them live, I would spend whatever is necessary. Simple as that. If that would be 500, 1000 or 2000 euro I would have no problem putting that kind of money down. Of course it ends somewhere, and I can’t spend money that I don’t have.” (Om)

“A few hundred probably. This year is an exception. I won’t be surprised if it added up to over a grand when you include travel expenses tix…and well they’re releasing a limited edition vinyl set this month that’s going to set me back 200.” (Deftones)

“Too much, but not enough-how’s that for an answer? Since nothing new has been released for a bit, it’s hard to say, but I’ve def spent my fair share on this band.” (TDW)

“Probably 400-500 depending if he tours.” (Ozzy)

“If I factored in the gas, parking, alcohol and tickets for the shows, it usually costs me somewhere around $100 in total to see their live show. With additional travel and being on vacations, I’ve spent a few thousand dollars going to see them last year. Probably about $500-600 this year for the 4 shows (the Foundation Room isn’t cheap to hang out at!). As far as merchandise and tickets alone (not including when I pay for my friends), maybe $500 total.” (Steel Panther)

“I’ve played this game with many NIN fans. It’s funny, we may boast about how many shows we’ve gone to, what rare memorabilia we’ve secured, or whether we’ve met the man in person, but we all seem a little shy about admitting just how much we spend to do all of those things. For me, I would say I’ve averaged a few hundred dollars a year since 2008.”

“I would say around ~ $2,000. Primarily travel expenses.” (MUSE)

These are not small numbers. The biggest fans are spending a lot of money on their bands…and they’re willing to spend more.

Are there any other ways not mentioned above that you show your support of this artist?

“I love telling people about BRMC and getting them hooked on them.”

“I like telling others about OM, and I love passing the music on.”

“I spin them in DJ sets, especially in places where you wouldn’t normally think to hear them (e.g. a clubby remix in a dance set, or a lesser-known quiet work in an ambient set).” (NIN)

“Turn friends on to new music.” (Ozzy)

“Each time when I’m drunk, I put lyrics on facebook, or when I’m out, I try to blast their music, wherever I can be!” (Iron Maiden)

“One of the ways I show support is to become educated about the charitable causes of the members of the band. The Pearl Jam community was overjoyed when the West Memphis Three were released. The band (Ed particularly) was so involved in the case and so many of the shows were fundraisers for their defense fund. I am not a blind follower of everything they support, but there have been many issues that I would have not even known about had it not been for the band bringing attention to them. When Mike spoke out about his lifelong struggle with Crohn’s disease, my circle of friends was stunned because a very good friend also has it. I attend many of the fundraisers for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation that Mike participates in. Some members of the fan community started a foundation called the Wishlist Foundation (http://wishlistfoundation.org/) that raises money throughout the year to give to different charitable organizations around the country. For every show, there is a pre-party fundraiser. They usually have it at a bar near the venue and try to get the establishment to donate a portion of the profits to their foundation. Also, fans donate merch to be raffled off to raise money. I can’t remember how much they said they had risen as of this year…but it is in the hundreds of thousands. This sort of thing really makes me proud to be a member of this community.”

“I have contributed to the One Love for Chi fundraising campaign.” (Deftones)

“I’ll post lyrics now and then or videos on my tumblr or twitter or facebook.” (Motley Crue)

“Word of mouth, kind posts about them and the videos I’ve uploaded for others to check out. I’ve brought dozens of friends to the show and not one of them has complained- not even my friend who strictly listens to jazz. He had a great time and would definitely check them out again.” (Steel Panther)

“I introduce Muse’s music to my friends, coworkers and family. Some have become devoted fans as well. I have an extensive amount of concert photos that I take and share on flickr and other photo communities.”

“I’ve always been an avid promo person… especially for smaller bands! Will gladly tweet and facebook or repost things and I like to share videos of them, in hopes that internet friends will click the button and hear something they might not have otherwise listened to. I think it’s important to share music with others and if you have a means to do it, which most of us do, then you should… Word of mouth is social networking nowadays, so why not promote the artists you’re most avid about? Seems worthwhile from every aspect.” (TDW)

“I have been planning on getting a Cure tattoo for years, just waiting for the right time. It will say “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea” because it changed my life, and it’s a song that will get me through anything. Everything changes, people come and go, but that song will always be with me in a special way.”

I love that word of mouth and charities were the two main answers to this question. There is no more powerful marketing tool than word of mouth, and you can’t pay for it. People trust their friends. Fans love to talk about their bands, and with social networking they are doing it a lot. As for charities, when an artist aligns with one that fans can tell they truly believe in, have some connection with, it gives them a reason to care.

What do others say about your fandom of this artist?

“Some laugh, some get it, and some just don’t. That’s what makes it special though, because when you run into another fan that’s as amped as you are about a band, the conversations can be grand and intense and in most cases a friendship will come from that shared experience. I’ve met some great people because we simply shared an insatiable love for the same band. There’s something unique that comes from that, that cannot otherwise be explained.” (TDW)

“The same things they said about my fandom of NIN… unless they are fans of BRMC or obsessed with another band, they just don’t get it. Many people don’t understand how I can see the same band multiple times. Or why I have to be in front. Most people don’t get it… But those who do, totally get it.”

“They think I’m either obsessed or just weird. A few do understand and even try and get me gifts or tix. I usually beat them to it but their intentions are good and appreciated.” (Deftones)

“Some people assume/accuse me of having affairs with certain members of the band. Some major arguments have even occurred over such assumptions. But for the most part, people are accepting and encouraging of my fandom. After talking about it to friends, some now realize why fans do travel for their favorite band and no longer view it as crazy.” (MUSE)

“My friends think I have an unhealthy obsession. But after bringing them to Ozzfest or some solo shows, they understand.”

“My wife is cool with it and just rolls her eyes and laughs when I tell her I’m going to see them. She’s very supportive of my concert habit because she knows how happy it makes me. I never hold back any details about the show and she doesn’t have a problem with it at all. And she trusts me, which is very cool. She almost went with me a few times, but she hates staying out late.” (Steel Panther)

“In high school, I got teased for listening to butt rock, but most people now seem to understand it, even if they don’t like it personally. That’s just something that comes with age though, general tolerance and understanding. I did have one friend though… who knew I loved Motley (and Nikki especially) so much… That he got me a cake for my 22nd birthday… that had an image of Nikki Sixx done in the frosting… with Red Hot candies sprinkled all around the outside of the cake because Red Hot is my favourite Motley Crue song. And I never ate one piece of it. I couldn’t bring myself to cut it.”

What’s the ‘craziest’ thing you’ve done in relation to this artist?

“Hands down it was attending the Vegas show at the Cosmopolitan in February. The announced two back to back days of free shows at the Cosmopolitan. I left early from work in the early afternoon the day of the show and drove to LAX and caught a plane to Vegas. I went straight to the hotel, changed my clothes and freshened up and then went to the Cosmo around 5ish for a show that began at 11. I left the Cosmo at about 2 that morning, slept for one hour and then left my hotel at 4 am to catch the first flight out of Vegas back to LA and went straight to work from the airport on an hour of sleep. And I didn’t have ONE SINGLE REGRET.” (BRMC)

“I spent the night in the parking lot of a dingy LA club the night before a show to keep my place in line. I slept the next night, after the show, on the floor of an airport terminal waiting for my 6 AM flight. I spent around $1000 in travel etc. just for this one show, and it was in a tiny club with no AC that they’d filled over capacity. The walls were dripping. I permanently injured a ligament in my back from defending my spot on rail. I thought I was going to pass out a dozen times during the show, and I got a terrible cold afterward. It was completely worth it.” (NIN)

“I went to a show 1 month after losing my father, being sick and depressed as death, and it put my mind back on track, back to being alive.” (Iron Maiden)

“I lived in Asheville, North Carolina during the 2000 tour. After seeing 8 shows during the summer, I decided I wanted to see them in Seattle at the end of the tour. I got a job at Delta so I could fly out for free. You had to be an employee for 90 days before you had flight privileges. We were waiting for my background check to come back so I could be processed as a new hire. I was a nervous wreck waiting for it to come back. I finally got hired 93 days before I need to fly out for the show.” (PJ)

“Well other than enduring a crazy moshpit with my 18 and 14 year old cousins for them…I skipped work and camped out all day at a venue in Silverlake all day hoping to get a ticket to their secret/benefit show. I failed and haven’t felt that bummed since. I also have to say that standing at the rail for the Smokeout Festival (Deftones/Cypress Hill/Slipknot) from 1pm til the end in over 100 degree heat was crazy but worth it. Even got a great picture! No booze, food or restroom break.” (Deftones)

“I went to Oslo by myself to see Al live for the first time, which was an amazing experience.” (Om)

“Traveling to New Orleans on my own to see them at Voodoo fest. It was the furthest I had ever traveled for a band. And it was worth it!” (MUSE)

“No crazy stories here… well, I’ll share this one, since it makes most people laugh and smile all at once. At the Prospect Park show, which was outdoors, there was this energy just crossing over the enormous field of people, it was nearly tangible and Alison was strutting her kick-assness across the stage and wandered to my end where she proceeded to look me directly in the eye and I felt this surge of electricity run all over me, and I screamed so bloody loud-it was like when those girls all fall apart and scream in those old Rolling Stones videos-and she smirked at me and wandered back to center stage, and I turned to my friend and said “who the hell was that screaming?!” because that was completely out of character for me, but I just had to let it out-you know, because the energy in the eye contact was that intense in that split second.” (TDW)

I loved reading these stories. I’ve done a lot of crazy things in the name of music, mostly recorded here, and it’s good to know that I’m not alone on this!

Have you discovered other bands through being a fan of this artist?

“OM got me into Sleep, High On Fire, and I ‘evolved’ from a Progmetal kinda dude to a Sludge/Drone/Stoner kinda guy, but mainly Doom.”

“I didn’t know about Brian Jonestown Massacre before, and Peter is associated with them… that’s how I found out about them. I haven’t been a fan of many of their openers…” (BRMC)

“Absolutely. Aside from their side projects, there have been bands they signed, bands they toured with and bands they raved about!” (Motley Crue)

“I have discovered many bands that I liked after seeing them open for Pearl Jam, from side projects featuring members of the band, and from recommendations by fans on the message board.”

“Yes. Taproot, Soulfly, Team Sleep, and currently ††† (Crosses) [which I can’t get enough of right now. Probably band of 2011 for me]” (Deftones)

“Yes – Kasabian and Justice. Other than that, they share much of the same interests in bands as I do.” (MUSE)

“Yes! I got into the Pumpkins more and Crystal Castles through The Cure!”

“Yes, but only one. I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed hardly any of their openers, but my friend is buddies with the singer for Rock Sugar, who opened for them last year before Steel Panther briefly moved their residency to The Key Club. . We got there early so as to not miss their set. They are phenomenal with their heavy metal mash-ups. Everyone there was in agreement that they are something quite special. Beyond that, I haven’t really taken a liking to anyone else associated with their live shows.”

“Yes! Most of the bands I’m into now come from my interest in NIN, in one way or another. I’m a huge fan of Alessandro Cortini, who I learned about when he was NIN’s former keyboardist, and have followed him around on his solo tours. Some of NIN’s opening acts are now obsessions for me, too. Trent also has made some extensive playlists of his public, which have led to many more discoveries.”

Watching openers for bands I like has probably been the second way, after word of mouth, that I’ve discovered new bands. Like when our friends tell us about a band we might like, we seem to trust the bands we love to turn us on to new music as well.

What would you like to see more of from your artist?

“I’d love to see more special edition releases and new music. I can never get enough new music. Also a different setlist. As much as I love the classics, I’d love to hear some b-sides.” (Ozzy)

“Books.” (Iron Maiden)

“More interactions online. For a while they were posting photos from the recording studio and that was awesome, and then it stopped abruptly. I wish they’d use the social networking to “let us in” a bit more.” (BRMC)

“More merchandise, really. A European tour and a new record (that is scheduled for 20120) would obviously be great!” (Om)

“I can’t really think of anything that I would want the band itself to do different. The fan club needs an overhaul. It still wants to be like a mail order club, while trying to also be an online entity. The system crashes during ticket/merchandise sales are legendary.” (PJ)

“I would like to see more of a fan community and special things done like nin.com and the nin community. With apps, shows, screenings…etc. But I’m realistic and know it is not easy for a band to achieve that since their market appeal seems to have died down. I would like their documentary “Entertain Me: A Film About Deftones” to be released. I’m not even sure if its legit or not but it would be nice to see something like it.” (Deftones)

“Live shows, and more (good) albums. The last album didn’t do it for me sadly.” (The Cure)

“More live DVDs! And more shows, of course.” (MUSE)

“Whatever inspires him next. I’m not particularly attached to any one thing I’d like to see more of — part of what I really enjoy is seeing what turns his head as he evolves as an artist, so I’m just excited for whatever’s next.” (NIN)

Have you ever met your artist before? What were the circumstances?

“Yes! I finally got to meet the boys properly after the show in Vegas. They were both so very nice and kind, very happy to chat for a bit after playing an amazing show and happy to take pictures. They always seem so grateful to talk to their fans and appreciate them as much as we appreciate them.” (BRMC)

“I have met most of the band several times. The first time I met Eddie Vedder was at a Voter’s for Choice show in Washington, DC in 1998. His then wife’s band, Hovercraft, was opening, and he was standing right next to me in the audience. I talked to him for a few minutes before others noticed him and started crowding him and blinding him with flashes. I also saw him in Nashville during the 2000 tour and got a picture with him. The first time I met Mike McCready was in Memphis 2000 (the tattoo story). Since them, I have talked to him many times. We know a lot of the same people in Seattle and seeing him now isn’t a big deal other than he is very nice. I’ve talked to Stone Gossard. I was in an elevator with him in DC 1998 (I asked for an autograph and he said no- lame). I met Jeff Ament at a David Garza show and then literally ran into him after the Benaroya Hall show in 2003. I’ve never met Matt Cameron.”

“Yes. I first met Chris (the bass player) in New Orleans. We met at a soccer game put on by him and a few of us were invited to hang out afterwards at a local bar with him and the rest of the crew.” (MUSE)

“Meet and greet they offered for the show. I also met the singer while in line for his Team Sleep show at the El Rey. Both times I managed to shake hands and mention how big of fan I was.” (Deftones)

“I’ve met Ozzy 3 times. Once in 2005 in West Palm Beach. This was during the Ozzfest. My friends and family pooled together and came up with the $1000 for the backstage experience. It was incredible and very intimate. I was able to have a conversation with him and after signing my leg, I asked him if he was ever really going to retire. His reply was the ultimate compliment, “It’s fans like you that keep me coming back, thank you.” The other 2 were book signings.”

“I’ve met Tommy. He was on a solo tour, I worked at a recordstore and got to meet him during a signing. He was VERY gracious to ALL his fans, really impressed me with how much he cares about his fans considering he is SO famous. He’s a big kid and just… there were several things I witnessed that day TOTALLY outside of MY moment that blew me away about how great he is.” (Motley Crue)

If this artist disappeared tomorrow, what would you miss?

“The show, the link it put between all of us, it’s rare to be out in paris and having a total stranger giving you the horns just because you wear your maiden shirt” (Iron Maiden)

“Everything. I would honestly be heartbroken if I found out there was no more BRMC. They are truly one of my absolute favorite bands in the world. I’d miss all of it… most of all, the thought of not seeing them live anymore or getting to hear new music.”

“The thing I would miss the most would be seeing my friends at the shows. I love running into people I haven’t seen in years and it being like no time has passed. I would actually miss everything about the live shows.” (PJ)

“Wow, tough question. I would of course honor them by listening to their records, but that will happen regardless of their whereabouts ;). I would be extremely sad that I never saw them live, never spoke to Al or never got to shake his hand. Of course I would miss further records as well, which will, undoubtedly be great.” (Om)

“I’m not sure. I guess I could consider myself happy with what they’ve done and meant for me. I would certainly hate the fact that they would not make new music.” (Deftones)

“The power, the soul, the combination of the musicians that works so artfully together.”

“All of it. The music, the cocky attitudes, the tweets, the trainwrecks, the triumphs… just, all of it.” (Motley Crue)

“Too many things to list, but primarily I would miss the sense that someone is out there pushing the limits of his creativity and finding greater and greater things every time he does. It’s a huge inspiration to me as a writer.” (NIN)

“I’d be sad, because they are my only real link to the scene that died in the late 80s, so I think I’d miss that aspect of it the most.” (Steel Panther)

“The live shows. The friendships that have formed because of the band.” (MUSE)

“The anticipation of a new record and tour. And frankly just him in general. I think that he’s a great person and would be missed by many.” (Ozzy)

The bands that we are the biggest fans of have become part of our lives. Reading what these bands mean to their biggest fans caused me to really reflect on why I write my site. The below statements are so heartfelt and sentimental…this is what it means to be a fan.

How has being a fan of this artist changed your life?

“It taught me to speak english (and that’s a big point here in france), it gave me the true love for music.” (Iron Maiden)

“It’s simple as this – I love the way that they make me feel. When people are baffled by the crazy things I do for bands, like BRMC, I tell them that people have their vices – booze, drugs, smoking… THIS is my vice. Music is how I deal with my issues, it’s what helps me through hard times, it’s what makes me feel better. Finding a band that feeds that need for me changes everything, and that’s how I felt when I first saw BRMC and it’s only gotten stronger as time goes on.”

“It has changed my life in that the people that I am closest to (other than family members), I met because of this band. My closest friends are people I met during the 2000 and 2003 tours (none of us lived in Seattle at the time, but we all ended up here together). Also, I would never have visited and then moved to Seattle if I hadn’t come here for the shows in 2000. In 2001, when I moved to Seattle, a group of fans from all over the country travelled to Seattle to hang out together for a weekend. There was no show or event, we just all wanted to be together. I was searching for a hotel to host the get together (called the “Jammer Convergence”) and ended up getting a job at a hotel in Seattle. I am still working for the company today.” (PJ)

“I’ve discovered OM’s music a year and a half ago, and I INSTANTLY knew nothing would ever be the same. Imagine doing a long journey and finally arriving at your destination, that’s what it felt like. My whole outlook on art and music has changed drastically. I see it now. I would like to end this with an Al Cisneros quote. “The music happens because it has to, and that’s essential.””

“It has widened my circle of friends, and their music has become the soundtrack to my life. It has also given my sister, brother, and I a hobby to bond over since we share this fandom and travel together whenever possible to see the live shows.” (MUSE)

“It has helped me let out some of the frustrations and feelings. I think it is important for everybody to find something to identify with to help keep some sanity. Music is exactly that for me and Deftones are the band that make it possible. I can post a cryptic lyric online, I can play a song full blast, or I can let out some frustration in the pit. It might not be the perfect way to go about it but it works for me!”

“Well, I can say being a fan of Ozzy’s has introduced me to a world of new music. The Ozzfest was the greatest traveling festival at one point in time. Meeting him was probably one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had.”

“The Cure prompted me to explore more into ambient and meaningful music. They spurred a new musical era in my life which continues today.”

“I’d say being a fan has improved my life about 14%. Mondays have usually been a day for me to look forward to in the last few years. Anyone that complains about Mondays in LA is clueless. And I usually can’t hear very well for a day or two after their shows, but with kids, sometimes that’s a good thing…” (Steel Panther)

“I’m a better person because I know who I am and I accept who I am. Even if I fail sometimes or say stupid stuff… it doesn’t matter. I just gotta keep picking myself up and keep being me. For better or for worse.” (Motley Crue)

“Realizing that women can still be all about the rock n roll and own the stage as leads, not just back up singers or pretty faces, and have a voice that penetrates and speaks openly to audiences.” (TDW)

“I believe in “show magic” — you’re at an incredible show, and problems you’ve had or issues you’ve struggled with somehow sort themselves out before the lights come up. I’ve come out of NIN shows realizing I needed to quit jobs, end friendships, commit to lovers, reprioritize my life goals — it’s amazing. In my household, we talk about the week I spent following NIN around as my “shakabuku,” because I came home from that trip completely changed. I was done with old habits that held me back, and I was ready to change everything to get what I wanted out of life. Mostly, NIN reminds me that the wellspring of creativity is infinite, and all things are possible as an artist. This has been a crucial mindset for me to cultivate as a struggling author. And now, NIN reminds me that it is completely possible to be a fully satisfied artist and have a thoroughly complete, happy family, which is also a big deal for me. I’ve met friends (and enemies!) I never would have met if it weren’t for NIN. NIN’s indirectly responsible for me and my partner hooking up, and completely responsible for my current concert obsession. My first NIN show was my first rail experience, and ever since then I’ve been hooked. Music has become as important to me as eating or sleeping, and it all started right there.”

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