Or how young is not old? However you care to pose it, the point is there comes a time when you stop being a young band. Are you then simply: a band, before you make the final step to becoming a mature or an old band? And does it matter?
Well, if you still have ambitions to 'make it' ("whatever that means?" -thanks young Mr Turner), then it does. Record companies tend to only really be interested in signing up-and-coming young bands. Sure, occasionally a 30-something unknown gets a deal, often it's a singer/songwriter-type; the first that come to mind are BabyBird and Seasick Steve - I'm sure there are more. But generally speaking they want young, attractive, edgey and rebellious types; sexy, moody, unattached, irresponsible, unpredictable. They want headline-makers not home-makers.
Being a budding rock-star myself, I know I was not pleased about turning 30. I didn't want a party or to party. I didn't feel like celebrating. I just wanted to stay in. It felt like the beginning of the end. Okay, there were a few other factors that contributed to this negativity but the major one was the feeling that I was running out of time to realise my dream.
I am now 41 so I have had plenty of time to get over it, but have I gotten over it? For budding rock-stars like myself, turning thirty has this added stigma. One's chances of 'making it' have narrowed again. So what is one to do? Well, you have to keep on rocking because of course it's in your heart, it's what drives you, it is you. If, like me, you sacrificed a normal career to pursue your dream job, you will not be giving up easily. But slowly and surely it begins to sink in. You begin to realise the dream of commercial success is over. The dream is then kept alive, and success is achieved by maintaining the passion. Keeping the real you alive. And that is where a lot of us are at. Am I wrong?
One thing that has struck me about putting the Rock-Til-You-Drop website together is the lack of bands that have come forward to be included. This is probably because it takes a while for them to come to terms with the fact that they are indeed mature. Some never do. According to Bev who works at our rehearsal studios she has grown men weeping in front of her about coming to terms with getting old! Once a budding rock-star who hasn't realised his dream turns 30, I think he spends most of the next ten years letting himself down as gently as possible from the dizzy heights of his rock 'n' roll dream. Or was that just me?
Famous or not, a lot of musicians and bands make some of their best music in their 30s. They play and perform with more confidence and they have learnt more about the recording process and how to craft a good song. I know I wrote some of my best songs in my early 30s. They don't need revamping or rewiting, they're not embarassing to sing or naively written; there's nothing immature about them. So if this theory is correct, there should be a lot of very good unknown bands in their 30s, even 40s, out there. If you feel you are one of them, please get in touch