There's a reason it's called "playing" music. It's supposed to be fun. We're going to have fun. No. We're not going to watch the entire set of every band we play with. No. We're not going to stay until the end of the show every time we play. If someone in our band is into a band we're playing with, they'll show that by watching. If we don't watch or if we take off after we play, don't take it personally. We're not going to bullshit anyone. We're not going to pretend to dig what you're playing if we don't. And we wouldn't want anyone else to patronize or humor us by doing anything similar.
I've come to realize that striving for a unified brotherhood of musicians is not the way to go about it. I think these things arise in a natural way when they do happen to congeal into something cohesive, but not by the concerted efforts of people standing around and watching bands they aren't into and talking to people they don't feel compelled to talk to.
It's tough to get this across without sounding like a prick, and if you think I'm a prick for my sentiments here, that's fine. You are entitled to that. Believe me, I would love a big merry band of friends to go hang out with every time we play, but I don't believe this band has found it's niche yet. We aren't a hardcore band. We're not cock rock. We're not metal. We're kind of post-hardcore-ish. I don't know. We're weird. People leave the room when we play. Not all of them, but I guess you like us or you don't. And those who don't like us... again, I wouldn't want them to stand there and watch just because they're our buddies or because they feel some responsibility to do so. If you keep playing long enough and you're persistent, you'll find your little following. Maybe it will turn into a big following. But I don't desire a fake following.
It's easier to be energetic and really bring it when there's a crowded room of people who are also bouncing off the walls. It's easy to feed off that. But you should never play and feel like that has to be there for you to get it up musically. Reliance on a supportive crowd is a form of impotence where the packed house and the enthusiastic audience become a sort of inspirational Viagra. Learn to cultivate your own heat and bring it every fucking time you hit the stage. Play the same way for three people that you would for a thousand; out of your own center.
Don't pay attention to who stayed and watched and who didn't. If they didn't show up or they left early, consider it their freedom, but also their loss.