For Jon Fine, all roads lead back to indie rock. The executive editor of Inc. magazine and author of the memoir Your Band Sucks has played in bands for half of his life. Writing the book, for which he's currently on tour, felt akin to recording a solo album; collaborating with his team at Inc. can feel as soul-satisfying as a solid band practice.
The marriage of music and metaphor pervades Your Band Sucks, in which Jon writes about his band, Bitch Magnet, and other so-unskilled-they-just-might-be-effing-amazing musicians. If that sounds like a backhanded compliment, it’s not. To Jon, the juxtaposition of technical inadequacy and desire to communicate through a cacophony of sound produces something that is – if not subjectively better – infinitely more interesting. To his point, he’d rather listen to Vomit Launch (YouTube them) than Eric Clapton any day.
Music’s demanding physicality and relentless hustle has serviced his writing and journalism. He often walks for inspiration, writes and edits on paper, and is unafraid to pursue the truth even if it means making a few enemies. In Jon’s words, any creative endeavor sucks until it doesn’t. With enough repetition and tinkering, anything can be refined. So, with judgment suspended, one might as well put pencil to paper. Or fingertips to guitar strings.
Interviewed by Alexis Cheung