[Core Conviction # 8] “Between a fan and a hard place…” by Gaser El Safty
Published on December 13th, 2011 | by Caesar (Kuwait Music)
Our 8th conviction from “Depth” band member Gaser El Safty, who believes that the answer to a healthier muss scene in Kuwait is “smarter” participation rather than venting frustration at each other. A lot of sense made in this one, must read!
“Between a fan and a hard place…” by Gaser El Safty
I remember when I first found out Kuwait had a music scene. I must’ve been 13 at the time. I hadn’t even started playing guitar yet but I had just started using Guitar Pro and getting into the software end of making music. I remember it was Terminus playing on the rock hour on 99.7 that was hosted by Kitsune. From then onwards I learned about a battle of the bands gig, and then several different shows in Sha’ab Park and Green Island. I used to see bands like Terminus, Infernal Age and Silent Scream. I think many who read this can identify the period I’m talking, and I wanna say that’s probably when the music “scene” in Kuwait went from difficult to intolerable.
So yeah it’s been blamed on the authorities, it’s been blamed on the posers and it’s been blamed on the musicians too somehow. I think people should stop blaming it on other people and start pitching in to make the “scene” active again.
One of the simplest things to do is use the internet. Web forums need more members, more discussions. A much MUCH needed element in Kuwait is a studio for rent where musicians can rehearse and there would be boards where other musicians can put up ads to buy or sell equipment, advertise needing or offering a member and put up posters of shows.
Guitar lessons and other instruments could be a regular thing at the studio or booked from the studio, it could be done through contributions through the older musicians.
The change has to first start with the scene itself, promote participating and taking part, so you’re not dealing with difficult authority on one side and passiveness on the other.
Even if playing a live show is difficult, while they are a huge aspect, they’re still not everything there is to it. Bands need more support than what they receive in Kuwait. Being a musician in Kuwait makes no money at all, takes a whole lot of effort and time, and more often than not goes to waste when the show gets cancelled.
While this is frustrating for musicians and fans alike, it’s wrong to channel that frustration at each other.
It’s much better to buy merchandise from your local bands than it is to spend more money buying a t-shirt that has a picture of an international band you like on it, but the money doesn’t actually go to that band. Small things like that can make a hell of a difference because well, recording isn’t cheap, and remember I said you make no money?
Like the bands’ pages on Facebook, promote them, participate in forums, have get togethers like the old days when you’d see a crowd of musicians you recognize hanging around the same spot. It’s a great way to connect with other fans and musicians. And it makes it a hell lot easier to get anything done.
From there you can then make a big deal about authorities making shows. There is an international eye on the entire region and if there was ever a time to make a fuss, it’s now. I’m not suggesting it has to involve protesting, but when push comes to shove, it shouldn’t be this difficult to let two guys play acoustic guitars on a stage. I swear that’s the kind of shows that got cancelled before I moved out of Kuwait. It’s absurd. Totally fucking ridiculous. It’s getting easier for older bands to pick up their gear and go to Dubai where there’s MUCH better exposure. We shouldn’t have to pack our shit and go anywhere.
I’d LOVE to play a show in Kuwait again.