Just over a week ago one of the interns for the company I share office space with was handing out the new demo (CD-R) tape of his band. He was asking everyone for their opinions about it. He walked over to my desk and asked me if I wanted one. I clearly told him that I would give it a listen BUT I would be extremely honest in my review of it. I even told him I'd be super blunt about my findings. He went on an on about how that is what he was looking for (although he looked a bit nervous) and he would never grow if everyone lied to him about how great it was.
I got home and even though I did not want to listen to it... I put the CD on the stereo. Two words: Not good. One word: Awful. Ten more words: Sounds like a bad slow jam Stained (the band) wanna-be. That evening I had to go pick up the Aussie so bought the demo to play in the car. I made the Aussie listen to the three very painful songs. At first the Aussie was trying to be nice, but once I explained that this was an intern, not a close friend, the truth came out. Wow. Bad. I can understand someone wanting to sound like bad corporate rock (bruthas got get paid), so that is not the point of my disdain. The point is (there are two)... people in their younger twenties should not be making boring ass music (you should be angry with the world, not willing to sell out), and his vocals were unlistenable. Really. The boy cannot sing.
So what to say? Well the next time the intern was in the office he came over to my desk and wanted my thoughts. I told him point blank that it was boring and the vocals are awful. His expression resembled a tiny bit like the expression one would give if I shot his puppy. I did let him know the good points (it sounded like they could play their instruments), and I made sure not to come across as elitist or pompous. He tried to argue his case saying it was just an 8-track recording... blah blah blah. I ended our little conversation by giving him a copy of Mark Kozelek's (from the Red House Painters) amazing versions of AC/DC songs so maybe that would help him think differently about how to approach music. He went into the bathroom for ten minutes.
I don't think what I did was wrong, but some people in the office seem to think that I was a little too harsh. Sure I thought it was funny… but I was trying to help too. I don't think anyone else took the time to talk to the intern about it. And the last time I saw him he was determined to give me the next demo he records.