Sunday, November 9, 2014

Condition Critical Parts Ways with Vocalist

CONDITION CRITICALWell, there are certainly no shortage of these types of stories nowadays. I'm a victim of a similar situation... you know, the constant internal struggle that lives within most musicians where they are forced to continually weigh their passion for performing with their ability to survive and have a roof over your head or provide for your family. As in, most of us can't usually have it both ways.

Unless you're a personal friend or relation to either a filthy rich offshoot of former royalty or a member of a band who's done well in the age before internet (back when the only way you could hear music when and where you wanted it by buying their records or CDs), like Trent Reznor has hinted at in the past, chances are you are struggling. This struggle doesn't just apply to the starving artists who can barely scrape by in a world where companies and corporations demand you swear total fealty to them in exchange for employment, where the only hope for those musicians not fortunate enough to get a well-paying job at a place that respects their workers is to be content with working in drudgery for minimum wage. This applies to any and every musician in a genre unendorsed by the E! Channel or Top 40 radio.

Even prominent metal bands share in this struggle, for they typically either fund their work out of their own pocket or play slave to whatever label has scooped them up to wring these musicians for profit. Many started as local bands, but the failure rate for those at the local level is depressingly high - although considering that these warriors have to sacrifice so much in order to even have a chance to be compensated for their tireless work in addition to fighting an army of overfunded pop/rock and country, it's not surprising.

Many of us, sooner or later, are faced with the painful decision whether to continue fighting these empirical forces stacked against them in their quest to make something of their talents... or to throw in the towel and submit to the idea that feeding yourself and your family takes precedence over following your dream.

Such was the decision that Alonso Maguino of New Jersey's Condition Critical has now made.

As of yesterday, Condition Critical has posted that Alonso is no longer serving as the band's vocalist in this post from Facebook:

"Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to our vocalist Alonso today. It has been a great run with him, and it can no longer continue. Work has taken the better side of things, and the full time position can no longer work out for him. He has been here since 2010 with me, and it has been such an amazing time throughout recording, touring, and hanging out. We wish him the best of luck, and we will soon be announcing our new vocalist/guitarist who will fit right in, and will be participating in the cover we are recording! Ohhhh you just waitttt!
- Mike
"While I truly enjoyed playing in the band, doing the shows, tours, and recordings. I feel like my time in the band has ended. This was my own decision in regards on looking out for the band and my own future. I couldn't keep working like a slave saving up money while still paying my monthly bills to just tour for a month or two. That balance for me just didn't work so I had to make a decision. I wish I didn't have to worry about anything but the band but that's not the case. The type of music that we play or listen to or support isn't really the best to make a career out of and that's the honest truth. I'm in my mid 20s now and I simply can't keep working ten months out of the year to enjoy two. I want to apologize all the fans and anyone else that I might of disappointed by my decision. The crit guys and myself are still and will always be friends. This decision was nothing personal. I wish the band the best of luck and I'll be here if they ever need my help with anything."

It always sucks to hear this, but we're hearing more of it every day, and we're going to keep hearing it until us musicians learn to adapt to this new era of digital downloads and pay-to-play booking. The system we had doesn't work for us anymore, and it's up to us to change it.

If only I had a plan as to how, I would implement it in a heartbeat. It'll take much more than just one person, however, to reshape the way music is played and distributed. It's going to take all of us. I urge you brilliant thinkers out there to ponder some solutions... just as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have done. That's an excellent starting point, in my opinion, and we'd do well to explore these as means to a better way for all of us to perform and enjoy music.

Here's hoping Alonso finds some success in his future endeavors, and that he'll always try to make music even if a big crowd isn't around to watch.

We must keep it going, no matter what.

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