I took to the epithet “Independent Musician” with gusto. I like the rank of “Weekend Warrior” less. Still, if the cap fits…
Each term can have a slight air of the derogatory about it, depending on context, and both are used with a perceptible virtual sneer by some professionals – particularly in online engineering and production circles. I care not a whit. We independent musos and weekend warriors do what we can and what we must – sometimes with grim determination, admittedly – but the rewards can be sweeter because they are won without the aid of corporate marketing machinery (chicanery?) and we can be forgiven for preceiving them as ours through merit alone.
It’s not as if full-time signed artists and bands are flooding the record stores and iTunes with great music and our independent status alone is no criterion for making judgements on the quality of ours. Admittedly, our lesser experience in areas of production, packaging and marketing, coupled with, very often, limited budgets can combine to make it very difficult for us to achieve the sheer commercial professionalism of the major record labels and their ilk. But our homespun efforts will, more often than not, compete musically with the big guns for all that. Certainly, I admire more of the music of my independent peers than what comes into earshot from the TV and radio.
Would I sign up with a major? See my earlier ramblings on day jobs.