Bloggers: Bands and their management owe you NOTHING

This time last year the alternative music world was embroiled in a number of controversy involving musicians and allegations of sexual misconduct made about them from young fans. The debate over whether or not these stories should be covered and how the allegations could be authenticated waged well into 2016, but now we face a new type of monster who is further threatening the way people feel when engaging with the modern music industry.

This is a story about a blogger, just like you or me or someone you know who dedicates way too much time to writing online, who found a way to piss off the entire alternative music community through a single interaction with one artist on one day that they will now never forget. At the request of the people involved I am not using any names or dates, but know the following story – which is posted as it was received – took place within the last two weeks somewhere in the United States:

‘…a TM (female) that unfortunately missed an interview for our client due to a simple time zone mistake. Instead of the interviewer cancelling or rescheduling, he took it upon himself to ask her for inappropriate photos of her in order to move forward with the interview.’

I reached out to the publicist in question to gain some clarity on this message. Apparently, the interview was scheduled for a specific time that was not met by the band. When the group finally reached the individual, he suggested the group’s female tour manager share nude photos of herself as an apology before he would proceed with the interview. I’m told the TM laughed the incident off in the moment, but the individual in question – a personality from an online radio show – pressed the issue further. The band completed the interview without incident and immediately phoned their publicists afterward to film them in on what had happened.

To be as clear as possible: You, a writer, are owed nothing by the bands you cover or the people they hire to represent them. Even if an artist is late or otherwise misses a prearranged event, you are owed nothing as a member of the press. Common courtesy is always nice, but again – it should not be anticipated.

Furthermore, there is no reason for anyone to treat anyone this way in any circumstance I can imagine. People do not owe you photos of their naked body just because they or someone they represent were unable to make good on a promise. They may owe you an apology, but to infer that you deserve more or that you may write something mean if a deal is not made only reveals your lack of professionalism and respect for other people.

If you think stories like this do not make their way around the industry, you’re wrong. Publicists, musicians, managers, and all other professionals constantly talk about the members of the press they interact with and what their experiences with those individuals is like. If word gets out that you or someone associated with you is behaving in a manner at all like what is describe in the above story then you will not be a part of this industry for long. There are more than enough to good and kindhearted people to fill the jobs we need filled. All others can find another line of work.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.