It's been more than six years since I released my first album, and in that time I've shown my music to quite a lot of people: family members, friends, classmates, coworkers, etc. It often comes up in conversation that I'm a musician and that I have albums, and people are curious to hear what my music sounds like. So I give them a copy of a CD, or pull up a YouTube link in front of them. While some people are very impressed, I've gotten one response more than any other:
"I like the music, but I don't like the screaming."
I've heard this line so many times that I could write it down on a piece of paper before showing my music to someone and reveal it after they've given me their feedback. I know the deal. A lot of people are turned off immediately by harsh vocals. So don't sugar coat it for my sake. Just come out and say, "I don't like it." or "I don't like this type of music." I won't be offended.
"So why do you write music you know most people won't like?"
I've heard this question before, and I know some of you are thinking it. It's a pretty ignorant question. First of all, every artist and musician knows that their work is about expressing themselves. I'm not writing music for other people, I'm writing it for myself. Making music has always been about processing the thoughts and emotions that result from my experience with life. If you could see inside my head, you'd understand instantly why I write the music I do. In fact, you'd probably be surprised I'm not writing music that sounds like Brand of Sacrifice instead.
Second of all, I don't always write music with screaming. Each of my first three albums has at least one all-singing song. Some of them have been collaborations intended to feature a particular singer, and others are entirely my own creation. I do what I feel is appropriate for the song; in some songs screaming doesn't belong, and in others singing doesn't belong. In fact, the first demo of Off the Hook was written with a breakdown and screams, but I scrapped them when I recorded it for real because I didn't think it fit the song.
The one thing I don't like to do is stick to a particular style or genre for every song on an album. I enjoy a large range of music genres, and I love to experiment with as many styles as I can. This can lead to some very sudden, drastic changes between songs, or what I like to call "musical whiplash." I do this on purpose; it's part of the reason why I release albums instead of singles. If it's off-putting for some people, then so be it.