"People have sent me some off the wall shit"
Memes have proven themselves to be a vital part of the entertainment economy since the rise of social media platforms. They have evolved over time like other forms of media, from ‘Bad Luck Brian‘ formats to the complex and niche formats, or lack of, we see today.
Niche is what attracts people as often assumed knowledge is required to dissect the modern art of meme-ing, or meme-ism as the well-versed art snobs don’t refer to it as. So when a meme page pops up that is so oddly tailored to your interests with a large comedic element, you’re going to jump on it right?
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More than 28 thousand people seem to think so with the page ‘Studios with threatening auras‘ which posts, well, just that. In under two years and through a pandemic, the page has garnered such a strong following and being a favourite in the Mixdown office, we thought we’d reach out to the person behind the page to get a glimpse into the life of a music meme page operator at work!
Firstly, why ‘Studios with threatening auras’?
There’s so many “… with threatening auras” pages. My favourite being “toilets with threatening auras”, “dildos with threatening auras”, and “gaming setups with threatening auras”. I didn’t see any about music, and had a bunch of photos of weird music setups, so I created one.
Some of your content is that wild and niche, how do you find content? Has this changed as the page’s popularity has risen?
I find content from anywhere and everywhere. Discord, 4chan, reddit, Facebook, you name it. Most of the stuff I posted in the first few months I would literally google stuff like “music studio on fire” or “piano underwater” or dive through hundreds of twitter posts just to see what comes up.
The holy grail of this kind of content to me is when I can find OC, people who are uploading their setup or photos they took themselves and finding their original post. Then I can see the full context of the photo, and I know that it probably hasn’t been shared much elsewhere.
My very first post, which is my cover photo with person in fishnets holding a knife, I found on 4chan. Then the person who made that 4chan post, got tagged in my post of their photo on Facebook, and I learned that they’re like an Ottawa-based noise musician who liked to take those sort of off the wall photos. I like that kind of stuff. The submissions have been cool for the same reason.
People have sent me some off the wall shit. But I like hearing the story behind their uncommon music setups or what situations led to their weird photos. The saddest has been someone who sent me a video of their, really really nice, studio which burnt down through no fault of their own.
The funniest has been probably either people using their instruments to cook with or when I asked for my followers to send me pictures of guns in the studio and I got photos of dudes pointing a shotgun or pistol at their like four thousand dollar studio setup. As my page has gotten more popular I’ve gotten sent a lot more stuff and I like posting them.
What about your posts do you think people enjoy? And how about more broadly in music meme pages?
If you have a hobby, any hobby, it’s fun to see the wacky places people take it. If you like guns it’s funny to see a photo of a gun painted up with anime characters or modified to the point of being unrecognisable, if you like cars it’s funny to see people stick big engines in tiny cars or weld together two vehicles, and if you like music its funny to see whacky or destroyed or very different music set ups.
I will make a point here that I try not to punch down. I get sent a lot of photos of people’s beginner setups with just like a MIDI keyboard and an audio interface on whatever desk they could find and they’re like “is this threatening?”. Nah, it looks like a starter setup that plenty of us have had. I never want anyone to look at a post, and see a bunch of comments roasting it, and think it looks just like their own and possibly be studio shamed or feel like they need all nice equipment to make good music or feel discouraged from continuing in this hobby.
For the majority of my posts, if your studio looks exactly like one I posted you got some problems lol. Ive also rejected a lot of submissions of DJs/Live performers/producers from less wealthy parts of the world where it looks like they’re just making the best use of what they can get for the same reason. There’s no right or wrong way to make music, we all try to make our setups work in the way we think best and I think that’s the kind of thing I like showcasing.
Could you foresee the page taking off like it has?
If I keep putting the effort into the page that I did in the first six months I can see it blowing up just like most meme pages that have consistent, creative, not-overshared content. But my job is very seasonal and in the middle of summer and winter I don’t always have the energy to go dive for more content to post. The past month I’ve been working so much that I really have only been sharing content from other pages that I’ve scrolled past.
Why do you think this might have happened?
I posted relatively unseen photos to a new audience, as in from other places onto Facebook. The majority of the stuff I’ve posted I haven’t seen shared in the multitudes of music meme pages or music meme Facebook groups I’m in until after I share them on my page.
The page is also very taggable and sums up what content I post in the title. I enjoy seeing people using the page name as a tag on their friends photos and that helps the spread.
My most popular posts have been the compilation posts. “Pianos on fire”, “Bathroom studios”, “Car studios”, “guns in the studio”. I put some real effort into finding content for those.
Do yourself a favour and like Studios with threatening auras on Facebook now.