Unless you were an Indie Rock geek in the ‘90s, obsessed with chasing down the obscure non-commercial bands that could only be found in photocopied zines, you likely have never heard of guitarist Jon Fine. That doesn’t matter; co-founding and playing with Bitch Magnet, Vineland and a handful of other somewhat obscure indie noise bands, Fine is in a unique position so many decades later to tell about what it was like playing in a music scene that didn’t matter to most, but meant everything to a few.
Your Band Sucks is a compelling read thanks to Fine’s anecdotal insider knowledge and his self-effacing attitude about the role his own bands played in the world of music. With every hair metal one hit wonder now being offered a book deal, it’s refreshing to read a memoir from someone who didn’t think his band was the second coming of Led Zeppelin. Fine’s post band career as a reporter for publications like Advertising Age and BusinessWeek serves him well as the his writing style is as impressive as the stories he tells (he currently serves as the executive editor of Inc. magazine).
Like any conversation with a self-identifying indie rock nerd, there is a bit of shitting on just about any band that could even remotely be labeled as famous here, but those instances are easy to ignore as Fine is refreshingly honest about his own band’s limited appeal.
Your Band Sucks is a great read for anyone who isleft feeling cold by the music that is coming out nowadays.
Your Band Sucks: What I Saw at Indie Rock’s Failed Revolution (But Can No Longer Hear) by Jon Fine/Hardcover, 297 pages/Penguin Random House/2015