The New York Times Magazine had an interesting article last week about the rise of one man bands. It began with a profile of Owen Pallett, the sole member of Final Fantasy. I’ve been listening to his album He Poos Clouds a bit over the past month, and I’m impressed by his juxtaposition of chamber music sensibilities with pop music. I don’t like everything on the album, but there are a couple of tracks that really stand out.
Half way through the article, though, my attitude towards Owen changed considerably. When asked about the absence of drums in his music, he responded with the following:
“Drummers ruin bands,” he said simply, as if the fact were common knowledge. “There are probably about 10 people in indie rock who know how to play the drums. If you’re in a mediocre band, just fire the drummer, and chances are you’ll have the best band in the world.”
Suddenly it became clear why Owen is a one-man band – he’s an asshole.
Seriously, if you want to point the finger at what’s wrong with indie music, I hardly think the drummer is the place to start. When I listen to indie music, it’s usually indecipherable lyrics and singers who appear unfamiliar with the concept of pitch that turn me off.
I understand that a lot of musicians are indifferent about other instruments. For example, I could never imagine playing the oboe – too much fussing with reeds, a total lack of sex appeal – but I would never denigrate an entire category of musicians in a national publication with such a stupid comment.
Fortunately for Owen, drummers are a forgiving lot. We’ve had to endure thoughtless comments and endless drummer jokes over the years, so we’re used to these kinds of little jabs. I’ll chalk it up to a feeble attempt at comedy by an insecure composer / string player and move on.
Oh yeah, violinist / composer / singer / songwriter / pianists suck. Touché, mon ami.