A recent story about indie band Arcade Fire highlights some important points. Fame can be a rather odd thing for indie musicians. On one hand, the ultimate goal of any artist is to find an audience. But at the same time fame has a way of pushing people to a more consumer friendly style. For some musicians this isn’t really anything to worry about. The art and the profit are tied with each other in importance. But this is very different for indie musicians.
The term itself really showcases the reasons. Indie musicians are just that, independent. They chose their path so that they’d be able to hold tight to true artistic freedom. But this can make for a difficult balancing act when wider popularity enters into the picture. The desires of fans and the desire for freedom can be difficult to hold on to.
But there’s a strong lesson to be learned from Arcade Fire’s example. They’ve long been able to stay in touch with their reason for being by paying attention to their roots. Even if members change, the underlying history and purpose maintain. And as the article points out, this is exemplified by their recent trip to Dublin. Of course it’s not so much the trip as the reason for it. They came to pay their respects to the late Dolores O’Riordan. As part of the Cranberries, she was in many ways part of Arcade Fire’s foundation.
Arcade Fire’s style of music showcases a level of experimentation with music that did for the naughts what the Cranberries did for the 90s. And it’s little wonder that they did an amazing job covering one of the bands most beloved songs. The fact that they traveled such a long distance to pay their respects in such a big way says a lot about the band. And it showcases how indie musicians stay true to the craft.