Here’s the Guy Who’s Slagging the Canadian Music Industry

You may have heard/read about Slagging Off, a formerly anonymous Tumblr bog that takes on certain aspects of the Canadian music industry including FACTOR, CMW, the Polaris Music Prize and CBC Radio 3.

Vice found the author of this blog.  His name is Paul Lawton and he’s a member of the Ketamines, a Lethbridge band that I saw at Sled Island in Calgary last year.  

So what’s Lawton’s problem?  Let’s go to the Vice article:

VICE: Who are you and where did you come from?
Paul Lawton:
 I was teaching at the University of Lethbridge for five years and I really hated it. I was teaching media and digital culture, like the “Facebook class,” and I found the level of engagement with undergrads in Lethbridge really lacking. Now I work as a spokesperson for a non-profit and live in Toronto. I’ve been doing music for almost 20 years. I’m 35, I’ve toured Canada a lot and have my own record label, and was the go to punk/indie promoter for a long time in Alberta.

How did you get the idea for “Slagging Off?”
Well, I started it when they first announced CMW, it’s really only a month old. They had posted all the bands for CMW and I was making fun of them on my real Twitter account. But then my band got asked to play, and the guy that asked us was Dan Burke from the Silver Dollar. It’s a bit weird for a musician to be making fun of other bands. It happens all the time, just not publically.

Some people would say that you’re just bitter.
I’ve had a lot of really good experiences in Canadian music. One of the reasons I’m so critical and hard on it is because I love it so much and I think it could be so much better. I think I’m bitter that so many people are willing to subject themselves to a system that hates them. I just want to be an eye opener to other bands in Canada who think they’re fighting on an even playing field when they’re really not.

Oh, you want to read more.  Trust me.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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