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A Musician’s Expectations of Their Fan Base by James Murphy

What do fans expect out of their favorite musicians? The basics are obvious; quality recordings, an unforgettable live performance, maybe a bit of charm and charisma. But what about on an emotional level? Do we expect too much of the people that dedicate their time and effort into bringing us something we enjoy so much that we can literally become addicted to it? The best answer might lie within another simple question – what do musicians expect out of their fans?

It’s a common misconception, especially in the world of DJs, that many musicians don’t care about their fans. But a recent post by James Murphy, also a DJ, and the face of LCD Soundsystem, reveals otherwise. In it, Murphy references the band’s recent announcement of new music and tours, and how our response as fans wasn’t what he expected.

“There are people who don’t hate us at all, in fact who feel very attached to the band, and have put a lot of themselves into their care of us, who feel betrayed by us coming back and playing. Who had traveled for, or tried to go to, the MSG show, and who found it to be an important moment for them, which now to them feels cheapened. I just hadn’t considered that.” – James Murphy, LCD Soundsystem

While it’s clear Murphy expected something different of his fans, it doesn’t surprise us as to why he had those thoughts to begin with. People tend to hold grudges, especially when it comes to something as pivotal as a bands final show. So after almost a five-year hiatus when it was announced that the group would be making new music and returning to life on the road, James Murphy started to prepare himself for the onslaught of “oh fuck that guy” he expected to receive.

More Reading: James Murphy's Post

If the fans of a group as big as LCD Soundsystem went above and beyond Murphy’s expectations, then it’s safe to say the same could be said about most fans. As fans, we expect a certain level of personality that comes with watching someone on stage. We want to be able to feel the human connection with our favorite artists. We trust our favorite musicians to reflect their life in their art. It’s how we’re able to relate.

In the end, personal expectations aren’t all that different between musicians and their fans. Our goals and ambitions may be in different worlds, but the expectation of a fan helps feed the creativity of an artist. It always has, and it always will. And while we may disregard what they take from us as fans, we play a larger role than we’re aware in helping shape them as an artist. After all, it’s what they expect out of us.

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Part man, part buffalo, part maple syrup. Pretty much the Canadian version of Grizzly Adams.

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