Mike Zito's Letter From America

Harry Zito
(Image credit: Harry Herd / Getty Images)

It used to be that real music came from real people. They had hard times and they wrote music to soothe their souls. Real music came about from suffering and experience. Then young kids copied that music and couldn’t get the right feel for it, as they had no real suffering to put into their performances, so they drank and did drugs. This brought about their own suffering and they were able to muster up enough pain to bring about real music. The blues had a baby and they called it rock‘n’roll.

Rock‘n’roll used to be fun, excess, partying and debauchery. Today it’s so frowned upon for anyone to do anything in excess. Unfortunately, it seems our music and art has somewhat suffered. Now, I am a recovering addict and I certainly don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea. I am not suggesting young people get out there and hurt themselves so we can get some good music… but damn. The music kinda sucks these days, with notable exceptions.

What I am suggesting is that young artists get back to the basics. Learn to play your instruments, and start writing some real songs about real shit. Don’t hold back and certainly don’t try and write music that will “sell”, that’s crap. I realise that real music exists and so do real artists: but they are just not in the mainstream any more. They are hidden in the internet wasteland somewhere, and it’s our job to seek them out. I will do my best to be proactive and positive. This is just my opinion, but God help us all.

Our newest columnist, Mike Zito is an award-winning guitarist, songwriter, vocalist, producer and co-founder of the Royal Southern Brotherhood. For more visit www.mikezito.com. His new album Gone To Texas is out now from Ruf Records.