Interesting topic… I’ve dealt with it both in terms of telling people I produce electronic music, and also that I play in a band.
The majority of people who don’t produce in my experience don’t really inquire that much other than “that’s cool, what kind of music?” and if you tell them, uhmm… ElEcTroNiC MuSiC - they generally write it off because they don’t really know what that means, or know a lot of people who know people that do it.
“yeah, I have a cousin that does that.”
“oh, you mean like Skrillex? cool!”
“Where do you DJ? When is your next show?”
Most people that ask about what production I do with my band… I’ll usually first ask “do you know what black metal is?” 99% of the time is no, so I’ll just state its niche european influenced evil “stuff”. uhmm… walks away
But to the major topic at hand… dealing with people close to me that know I produce, but do not, is always a bit of a struggle. I was lucky enough to grow up with my dad being in bands his whole life, so I always had his jam space to play around and grow up in… playing on every instrument and recording equipment he had. It was easy for my immediate small family to understand why I got interested and stuck with it at such an early age.
For others, including my wife, she’s been friends with metalheads forever… so she gets the “band” mentality… but maybe not so much the importance of home-producing for solo projects. Trying to get her to understand the importance of multiple hours a week can sometimes translate into her probably thinking I just want to be alone, or am almost using it as escapism.
Trying to get people to understand why I can easily justify spending $1000+ for artwork, printing, and other services related to music… is really hard to portray.
Sometimes I just want to grab them and be like
“ThIs Is My LIFEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” drools fervently
But yeah. it’s hard to navigate. I get dismissed a lot by immediate people I know because I’m always chasing new projects, music experiences and other things that sometimes don’t come to fruition… so I get discredited a lot and it’s rather frustrating. I can’t force myself to make certain music, to guarantee I’ll stick with band members over years time, but I always get excited and impulsive at the prospects - so I’ve heard a lot of “weren’t you doing X a year ago, what happened to that?” or “I’m sure you’ll just change your mind again”.
I effectively deal with it by not giving a fuck what other people think, and just going for what I want. Music to me has always been my prerogative and consistent sense of fulfillment and enjoyment… It’s one of the only things I consider myself decent at, and have spent so many god damn years of researching, practicing, and perfecting that I really can’t afford the time to give two fucks what anyone else says about my endeavors.
All this being said, the majority of people who don’t produce just throw out unconditional support, and I’m often met with a “that’s crazy, I could never do that” opinion.
But people sell themselves short. Anyone can produce music if they really put their time and effort into it. I like to turn these conversations into encouragement. I’ve spent months with tons of people trying to teach them, giving them access to my instruments, plugs, sample libraries… but music production is just one of those things that is inside you, or it isnt.
From a non-producer stand point, it seems like a lot of people look at it as a respected position. Not really true… I do it because I don’t have a choice, my mind without expression through music makes me an irritable cunt. Even moreso than when non-producers have judgemental or shitty opinions of why I do it, and how I spend my time doing it.
For every day I spend diddling in the studio, there’s someone else out there draining days away on video games… or netflix… or whatever… so fuck it. Everyone has their vices.