We have existed for a relatively short period of time as a band, but a lot happened during this time. Zone of Alienation was some kind of experiment, to see if we could really do things the way we wanted to, as artists, without having to comply with the strict limits imposed by the music industry and the capitalist system. We wanted to see if we would be able to drum up enough support from audiences, internationally, to make it possible to tour, take our music much further away than the boundaries of our studio, record and release albums, and do anything else a band would want to do, without having to compromise our art to make it more "market-friendly". We wanted to create art that doesn't abide by marketing principles. We wanted no middle-men. We wanted to create art and bring it directly to the people, fresh, alive, and not molested by the capitalist market. To a certain extent we did just that. We toured, and we recorded and released an album that sounds just like we wanted it to sound.
But, this is where the good news end. The bad news, is that we really had to go through hell and back several times during our short existence. The world is unfortunately depending on capitalism much more than we previously thought. You cannot do things that need money, without money. You can do different things, that don't need as much money, but then you're up against another brick wall. People are used to the things that need money, and they are not yet ready to accept, or understand, different methods of working, on a large scale. So while it is definitely possible to play music and have no money, it is almost impossible to tour without money. It is impossible to maintain high-fidelity audio equipment without money. It is impossible to maintain traditional concert venues without money. The same goes for recorded music and releasing albums. If you like your music coming directly from the artist, and not from the bureaucratic suits in an A&R office of a capitalist record company, you need to enable artists to do it themselves. If you like being able to afford albums from your favorite artists, even when you're having a bad break at work, you need to really support donations-based experiments when you are comfortable enough to do so. If everyone with some extra pennies donated them to donations-based concerts and record stalls, there would be enough money made to cater for the people who aren't so lucky at the moment, and still keep the bands and concert venues going. We also tried the groundbreaking idea of trying to tour without handling money, but asking for fuel, motor oil, food, drumsticks and guitar strings instead. Needless to say, it failed epically.
On top of that, we also repeatedly get attacked, injured, detained, molested and insulted, by the several enforcers, supporters and continuators of capitalism, such as border guards, highway cops, customs officials, alcoholics, drug addicts, thieves, fascist gangs, paramilitary organizations, greedy promoters, and so on and so forth...
To some extent, this has always been the reality of the independent artist. We have made it in the past against all odds, we have managed to keep on doing it as individuals and with other bands. In this world, nowadays, it is expected that artists will suffer for their art. This is what people are used to seeing, or comfortably ignoring. The only reason artists still manage to survive is support. Mutual aid. Helping each other. The audience and art appreciators in general helping out as much as they can.
With Zone of Alienation, for some reason, since the very beginning we have been getting the shit end of the stick from everywhere and everything. Much more so than with any other band we've ever been in or met. Because of this tension and other personal problems, we are no longer as close as we used to be with each other. We are no longer able to support each other as much as is necessary to keep such a project going. This was a venture that also relied heavily in audience participation and strong DIY principles. The participation was unfortunately below the threshold. The DIY scene in Europe at the moment is in quite a sad state. It has definitely seen better days in the past, and it definitely has a lot to learn from the DIY scene in the USA.
Therefore, in true DIY fashion, you should all go and make your own music now.
We've had enough. We would like to thank everyone who has helped us during our short-lived attempt at being a band, everyone who encouraged us and supported us, all the wonderful people that came to our shows, the few daring and death-defying people who organized and promoted our shows without exploiting us. Without you, it wouldn't have even started. But unfortunately, this effort was not enough to keep it going. It wasn't sustainable. Not only financially, but also psychologically and physically. We are quite literally sick and tired. We cannot keep Zone of Alienation going.
We hope that what we did manage to do so far will act as an inspiration for some of you. We will still remain active as artists individually and with other bands or collective projects. We hope that to those of you that this announcement comes as a shock, or as unexpected in any way, shape or form, it will also act as an eye-opener.
Support the DIY scene if you want it to still be there tomorrow.
Not just in words. REALLY support it! Like, cook a healthy warm meal for DIY bands that come to your town. Offer them a comfy place to sleep. Give them a cup of tea. Donate as much as you can for their albums and concerts. Donate whatever you can to your favorite DIY concert space. Tell your friends in the next town that they should check out the band you just discovered. Blog about them. Make your own zine. Build up your own concert space. Convince your local squat or social center to put on a gig of the next DIY band that is playing anywhere near you. What do you mean there is no local squat? Fucking squat it yourself then, what are you waiting for? Gather all your friends in town and go to the next DIY gig together. If your town has a problem with violent gangs, organize a defence group to protect the band and concert space. Make sandwiches for the band to take with them on the road. Give them a tape of your band. Offer to help them change the oil in their tour-bus. Offer them a clean bathroom and toilet to use. Offer them toilet paper. Basic things that most people take for granted are not at all for granted for DIY touring bands. The more you get involved and help out, the more awesome DIY bands you're going to be seeing. The easier you make it for the bands to tour, the better the show you're going to be getting that night. Tired and sick bands don't put on awesome shows. Well, ok, sometimes they do. But healthy bands that have had enough rest really go apeshit.
So, we walk away now and leave it up to you.. The future of DIY music and art in general is in your hands. Choose your side.
Thanks again to everyone who was there for us, we really appreciate it. Fuck you very god-damn much to all the squares who made our lives harder than they need to be, you suck so much it's beyond belief.
We give up. We quit. We won't be entertaining you again. We hope you enjoyed it while it lasted.