The GRAMMY Quiz: Are You Indie?

Take our indie quiz challenge and read all other things indie in the latest issue of GRAMMY
August 19, 2010 -- 9:40 am PDT

You think you might be indie, but you're not sure. Calculate your score below to find out. To read about all other things indie, including a week in the life of an indie band, how indie acts are cooking and The Recording Academy's "Indie Initiative," view the latest issue of GRAMMY.

(Select the best answer for you, then add up your points)

1) Describe your relationship to your label.
A: I own my label (10)
B: I'm on a small label that doubles as a commune (7)
C: Small label, small staff, but great distribution deal (3)
D: Indentured servitude (0)

2) Who typically pays you?
A: Nobody (10)
B: Fans who buy T-shirts and CDs at gigs (7)
C: Royalty checks and tour promoters (3)
D: A huge corporate conglomerate via advances (0)

3) How would you describe your job?
A: Flipping burgers (10)
B: 60% promotion, 15% stamp-licking, 15% tour manager, 10% music (9)
C: Making music for a living (7)
D: Yelling at my manager and writing tour riders (0)

4) If Rick Rubin showed up with a checkbook you would?
A: Lament the loss of your hard-earned indie cred (10)
B: Ask him how he maintains his facial hair (7)
C: Invite him to sit in on the next set (4)
D: Weep with joy (0)

5) Which websites do you visit regularly?
A: Obscure Sound, HereYa, Indie Music Blog, Shepizzle (10)
B: Stereogum, Pitchfork (6)
C: Spin, Rolling Stone (2)
D: Idol Blog (0)

6) What are your most recent lyrics about?
A: A disintegrating, soul-sucking relationship (10)
B: Suffering, generally (8)
C: Daisy dukes, bikini tops and popsicles (1)
D: Your relationship with the paparazzi (0)

7) Where was your most recent recording session held?
A: My little sister's bedroom closet (10)
B: A place in the woods in upstate New York — we pooled our construction-job money together to rent it for a month (8)
C: The drummer's dad's business partner's studio (4)
D: 16th-century castle in France with running Perrier (0)

8) Where are your songs most likely to be heard?
A: MySpace or SXSW mixtapes (10)
B: An AARP ad campaign (7)
C: The Apple Retail Store in the mall (5)
D: Fox's "Glee" (0)

9) What's your main professional goal?
A: Free studio time (10)
B: Replace our 1981 Volkswagen Vanagon "tour bus" (7)
C: Avoid sophomore slump (2)
D: Recover lost fortune from former business manager (0)

Answer Key
More than 75 points: You may be the next Sonic Youth, or at least some future hipster's idea of a band that never broke despite its genius
40–74 points: You're indie, but you might be on the verge of people hearing about you
20–40 points: Admit it, you never really were indie
Less than 20 points: You are not indie, and you are about to get a call to replace Simon Cowell on next season's "American Idol"


Email Newsletter