JORDAN RUDESS: “Artists are Sensitive People”

JORDAN RUDESS on Prog Metal: "It's the Last Thing That I Want to Listen to"

Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess talked about the struggles of being an artist in the wake of recent suicides in the rock realm, telling Metal Wani:

Artists are interesting people. Being a creative spirit might mean you are open in some ways to more things that are around you. Being an artist kind of involves almost having antennas to the outside world and allowing things to flow through you so they can be expressed outwardly.

And I think it’s that process of being a more sensitive kind of open individual that sometimes makes it more challenging to just kind of have an ordinary life. And whether that involves… in no way do I endorse any kind of drug use per se, but artists are looking for creative ways to create a feeling to get to different vibes. Sometimes in a negative way that will lead to drug abuse.

An artist is being kind of this free, glowing character. And it’s not the easiest role in the world. Yes, we all want artists to be really together and just responsible and all that kind of stuff. But when you have personalities that are like beautiful paintings or whatever… In a lot of cases it’s like a delicate flower and we have to be careful.

And the other issue – and it’s an interesting one – in today’s climate of the internet and the way people interact and create an abuse… People are so rude to artists over the internet. The internet’s like a forum for people to sit in hiding and say whatever they want, just to cause trouble. And they don’t realize that a lot of times the artist is also on the same pages, and it can be very hurtful.

I have a lot of friends who are artists who in varying degrees have been affected by this and people don’t understand what they say. Even though they might be in their little hiding place behind their computer in their house. What they say has an effect. You can’t put stuff out into the world without it having some kind of an effect on everybody else.

So I guess a message to anybody who might be listening is – be careful when you’re out there. Artists are, as I said, sensitive people. We’re trying to create whether it be music or something visual, and we’re human beings. It’s a wonderful thing to be an artist, so be careful about how you’re attacking artists. It’s had a lot of negative results on our artistic community.

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