what is the appropriate and tactful reply when a friend wants to know what you think of their band and they’re really not your thing? i’m not the arbiter of all that’s cool and hip and i’m not aiming for “constructive criticism”, just a polite and encouraging response. thanks.
Actually, your self deprecating remark is already a good place to start. Just add a noncommittal thumbs up, and you’re good to go.
Try something like, “I’m not the arbiter of all that’s cool and hip, but I think you guys have a really unique sound, and it’s clear you have a lot of passion.”
That should do it. It’s polite and encouraging, but it doesn’t mean a fucking thing.
If he keeps squeezing you for approval to the point where it gets annoying, it’s not at all rude to go ahead and let him know that you’re not really into them.
You’d actually be doing him a favor. Sometimes you just gotta train emotionally needy artists not to beg for validation.