Compared to today’s social networks, MySpace was kind of a paradise. Unlike Facebook or Twitter you could effectively become “friends” with a celebrity, whacking them in your Top Eight—a homepage leaderboard that allowed users to rank their best pals, or MTV hosts, or favorite bands. And it was the latter inclusion of musicians and artists that really anchored the social network as the place to be.
Before the Swedes invented Spotify and long before Soundcloud was a twinkle in some nerds cornea, MySpace was home to all the new music. Famously it helped break the careers of Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen, and Adele. Their huge success, coupled with the influx of bottom feeding A&Rs who headed to the social network to sign any vaguely attractive three-piece meant that scores of teenagers across the world uploaded their own music to MySpace in the hope of also becoming cool and famous or at least getting a sync on Skins.
As a result, MySpace became a dumping ground for the sort of demo tapes that would once have been unceremoniously chucked into the bin at NME Towers. If you had a copy of Audacity or Garageband and an internet connection in the year 2007, there’s a good chance you were uploading something crap onto MySpace. Thankfully, however, that’s all been deleted forever, since MySpace lost everything uploaded to the site between 2003-2015—a collection to the tune of 50 million tracks by over 11 million artists, most of whom were probably called [Something] and The [Something].
In light of this golden news, we asked people to tell us about the stuff they uploaded back then, so this creatively depraved era can be immortalized forever.
“We made it to Vogue”
When I was 13, me and my best mate were in a "synth duo" called "Colour Me In." And by ‘synth duo’ I mean we made three tracks on Garageband then uploaded them to MySpace. Our greatest achievement by far was when we graffiti-ed our band name on a wall in Hackney somewhere. A few months later, my best mate rings me up and shouts down the phone: “We’re in Vogue magazine!” But what she meant was that our graffiti was in the background of one of their shoots. Our parents bought multiple copies. The band dissolved. And now our music is lost forever. RIP MySpace 2003-2015. — Daisy
Hangovers and C-list indie bands
To date I reckon I’ve probably been in eight bands that uploaded a handful of songs to MySpace then imploded due to the miasma of being hormonal teenagers. The best (or worst) though is probably the four-piece indie band, where we managed to get it together enough to professionally record an EP (track names: “There’s A Lad,” “Stoner Ramona,” “I Don’t Watch The News”, which in retrospect, lol). This involved lots of “whoa whoa whoaaaaa whoa” vocals and choruses that went on far too long, so of course were booked to play all the toilet venues across the country.
Our biggest coup though was probably supporting the original bassist from The Kooks new band at a railway pub in Hampshire, the closest thing anyone from our area had got to Making It. Or the time we got a gig at a community centre in Ladbroke Grove, carried a whole drum kit on the tube (not recommended) only to find out our singer couldn’t make it because he was “too hungover.” Shortly after that we broke up, went to university, and the dream was dead. The original frontman and guitarist still message me periodically about “getting the band back together”. Reader: I have left them on read for almost a decade now. —Ryan
When I was 15, I coerced my then-boyfriend and two of his mates to be in a band with me. Our main influences were Bright Eyes and basically everything else Seth Cohen listened to, and we were named after a dead dog in a Milan Kundera novel. Unsurprisingly, our vibe was a little too sensitive for mid-noughties Peterborough, which was very deep into its Pigeon Detectives phase at this point.
Our MySpace presence was similarly pretentious. I made our logo using a typewriter I found in a charity shop (to my credit, this was years before the Bukowski-wannabe fuckbois were doing it) and deliberately left the About section blank to create an air of artistic mystery. Our hit song—if you class “going down quite well at the Peterborough Met Lounge” a hit—was called “Window, Vitebsk.” It featured a Yamaha keyboard strings solo and the line “When you ask me if I like the colour mauve, I say … yes.”
We never got more than a couple of hundred song plays, but it didn’t stop me from obsessively checking our MySpace after school every day to see if we’d been scouted by someone at Saddle Creek Records. Conor Oberst’s people: if you’re reading this and like what you hear, I’ve still got the MP3s. Hit me up! — Phoebe
Big fringes and even bigger egos
First things first, any trace of me awkwardly screaming into a tangled microphone connected to a PC in my mate's bedroom is probably better off dead. But now those countless teenage evenings spent uploading music to various band Myspace accounts and adding page after page of random people to get more 'fans' are now completely in vain—or at least more in vain than they were anyway—so what the hell.
My pop-punk-meets-screamo band's big Myspace presence got us a few support slots with various bands touring the midlands (Zebrahead, Attack! Attack!, and other long forgotten scene big guns) as well as a few mentions in the gig listing section of Kerrang! magazine. We even got a record label meeting out of it, albeit one which later turned out to be a narrowly avoided scam.
The band eventually fell apart when the singer wanted to take it more seriously and I wanted to do A-levels and go to university. It turned out to be the drummer who eventually made it and he now plays in a successful touring rock band.
All in all, I lost two bands worth of material and a horrible emotronica project on the day Myspace music died—none of which were remotely close to setting the world alight, but I'll miss listening back to them anyway. — Jack
Cross country rail travel
I was in a pop-punk band in a town full of math-core bands, meaning everyone local absolutely fucking hated us and everything we did. We played a few battle of the bands and would routinely place lower than, like, one-man Steely Dan tribute acts who couldn’t sing because the judges were all so much more Fall of Troy than Fall Out Boy.
Anyway, Myspace was nice because having our songs up there meant we got booked to play shows in locations as far-flung as “Guildford” and “King’s Cross”, where people could appreciate a semi-decent fake American accent and a sub-par Ataris knock-off. RIP, music of Myspace. — Jamie
A poppers-themed grindcore band
MySpace played host to a few of my finest (read: questionable) music projects. In Year 9 there was the most hyped rap syndicate in Brighton suburbia—The Fiveways Cartel. Then as my taste grew heavier, (as did my appetite for H&M women’s jeans, home cut fringes and sassy noise)—a Blood Brothers / The Locust inspired band called Easy Hips.
But the most bizarre musical endeavor was a poppers-themed grindcore band called Nose Burn. We recorded such hits as “Headache’s a’comin!” and “Poppers can’t stop us” in garage band, in my bandmate’s (very christian parents') garage.
Eventually news spread and we were invited to play a Camberwell illustration student’s night called ‘Pen15’ in a rundown pub, in the backstreets of Camberwell in 2009 with a band called Sex Dungeon, where I remember sporting a big fur coat, short shorts and a Slipknot dick nose mask on stage.
I remember the climax of the gig was when a regular mistook us singing “Poppers up ya nose!” for “Cocaine up your nose!” He immediately could relate and got into it, hijacking the mic in a sweaty, aggressive substance-fueled frenzy and lit up the stage while my band mates were left bemused writhing around the floor. He didn’t stop yelling “Cocaine up your nose!” into that poor microphone for another 10 minutes after, until he had to be dragged off.
We never played again, but bless that black hole in cyber-space where many mp3’s with “rawwwr” and sampling the music class “DJ!” button now live. It was a great time to be alive. —James
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This article originally appeared on Noisey UK.