On Sunday, Tom Fletcher announced a very exciting project that is the Children’s Book Club he is doing with WHSmith. In true Tom Fletcher style, his announcement video took form of a little musical number, with him creeping around a WHSmith after closing time and drawing glasses on Zoella and Richard & Judy.
Scrolling down to the comments, the general consensus was positive. Everyone loved Tom’s creative way of revealing this news, and found the song funny and catchy.
However, a very small minority of commenters had another thing on their minds.
These people were relentlessly bringing up McFly and asking when were they releasing new music. One commenter even went out of their way to reply to every single comment in reference to McFly, adamantly insisting that the guys ‘didn’t give a fuck about making music anymore’ and they were ‘taking the piss out of their fans when they said McFly is forever.’ What tipped me over the edge was when this particular person made a standalone comment that read: There used to be this band I liked. They were called McFly. I don’t think they bother making music anymore. Entitled or what?!
Let me get one thing straight right now:
ARTISTS DON’T OWE YOU ANYTHING
Authors don’t owe you more books. YouTubers don’t owe you weekly videos. Actors don’t owe you a greeting at stage door. Musicians don’t owe you a new album every year.
These people we look up to are humans, with thoughts and feelings and pressures and stresses. And I think a lot so-called ‘fans’ forget this. They view creators on social media as ‘other’, something to put up on a pedestal, yet within seconds, ready to tear them down when they’re not delivering what is expected of them.
I want to reiterate that most of the comments on Tom’s video were overwhelmingly positive. And a lot of people shared my views about being bored with those complaining about McFly’s lack of music. And, of course, I would love to see new music from McFly. I have been a fan since day one, and have religiously bought every album on the day of release.
But, each of the boys — Tom, Harry, Dougie, Danny — are on separate journeys. Dougie’s rubbing shoulders with celebs, walking down runways at Fashion Week, and campaigning for environmental issues. Danny is writing and producing music for other artists, and of course, doing The Voice Kids. Tom and Harry are both writing books and spending time with their relatively new families — I doubt they want to spend years on end touring at the moment.
Sometimes, life just gets in the way. And sometimes, dreams change. Danny recently said in an interview that he’s not sure where McFly would fit in the charts right now, and maybe he’s right. Music in 2017 is different to what it was in 2007. A new McFly album would be welcomed by die-hard fans with open arms, but how well-received would it be amongst new ears?
I’m not saying that McFly should never make music again. I’m saying to let them make music when they’re ready, and in their own time. It’s clear that the boys respect their fans enough to not want to churn out an album just for the sake of it. And why on earth would they have done The Anthology Tour last year, where they played every song from every single album, if they didn’t care about the fans?
I think we should pay back that respect in kind by letting them continue on the paths that they’re on right now.
Because, at the end of the day, artists don’t owe us anything. They create for the sake of creating, to inspire, to say something. And sometimes, their mediums change, and that’s completely okay. It’s not on us to dictate what they should and shouldn’t do.