Thursday, March 19, 2009

Music, or something like it.

First off, I would like to state that I am well aware of the flack that I will get for writing this....but it must be said.
Music today is no longer about the creation of an impossible feeling through sound. Today, music consists of an industry template, or a fight against it. If you look at the many genres of music, you will see that there is one that insists upon fighting "the mold" only to create it's own. That genre is rock. Encompassed in that I will include all variations, metal, thrash, punk, alternative, etc. This genre has worked so hard to be "different" that all it's done is create legions of music snobs who will shun a band at the first sign of mainstream popularity. Basically, if you become a success, you become a sell-out. It's actually a humorous process to watch. Band plays small local venue, band gains fans, band plays larger local venue, band gains more fans, band records album, band gains more fans, band gets acknowledged by local radio media, band loses original fans, but gains a hell of a lot more. Like I said, humorous. It has become "cool" in rock to hate the radio friendly musician. But more often than not, the same people who publicly display their disgust for these bands, privately buy the albums and sing the songs. I will admit that I have been guilty of doing the same. Spouting out my hate of the "Theory of a Nickel Fault" bands. They may not be my favourite style of music, but when I stop to think of why I actually dislike them, I come up with nothing other than the fact that they are a radio friendly rock band. Seems a little ridiculous, don't you think.
If you consider rock music to be a rebellion against the classic mold of normality, wouldn't a rock band playing on the radio be the ultimate rebellion. To rebel against the rebellion....hmmm...I'll have to ponder that one more.
But really, when did we start turning our backs on the successful musician? The ones who did what it took to make their music heard by millions. I have to salute anyone who can put their personal issues aside and create a sound that will ensure success. Since when did we stop admiring people for accomplishing their goals? When did it become wrong to find a something that works and run with it?
I keep hearing that all these bands sound the same, that their all cheap knockoffs of Eddie Vedders famous sound. You don't hate tire companies who have improved on the primitive wheel, why hate a band who has improved on a primitive sound?
All creation is an imitation, inspired by a past event.
All bands create a sound inspired by someone before them, someone they admire. There is no longer a true original sound, only a Frankenstein creation of what has already been done. So who are we to judge where someone takes their inspiration from?
I have seen bands exclaim endlessly their dislike of what they are hearing in the radio, all the while working tirelessly to achieve the same goal. Shamelessly assuming that when they make it, they will be different from all the rest, I hate to tell you this, but you're not different. You too will succumb the demands of this "business". After all, that is what music is, a business. Supply and demand dictates who becomes heard and who is left unknown with only their ideals and opinions to keep them company.
Every band out there, no matter how hardcore or apparently original can be placed into a category of hundreds of other bands that all sound the same. The only reason that these musicians don't get any of the same negative attention is that they are not pushed in front of us on a regular basis. If you took the most original metal band you can think of, put them in the spotlight of radio media, I can guarantee you that within a month they would become a victim of the music snob too. This all happens because as soon as something different gains popularity it stops being different. Every other band with a similar sound will emerge and we will be bombarded endlessly by this "new" and "original" thing. Who knows, perhaps the next unoriginal, pop-rock band will be the one you admire today.
If you genuinely dislike the music that you hear, than stop listening. But stop spouting your disgust for someone who did what you couldn't. You know as well as I do, that given the opportunity, you too would break out the cookie cutter to create a sound that would be heard by millions, I know I would.


  1. I think that anyone who gives you any flack obviously doesnt listen to the radio. I agree with you in the things that you said.
    I wanted to add a comment though. I think the radio ends up being the killer for the local bands and their local fans. I mean most bands want to make it big like nickleback, so the radios help them in that sence. However the radios over play the songs so many times. A hit song from a band is probably play a least once every hour on the radio. I think people get sick of the repeated songs so much that they lose intrest in the band all together.
    I think a lot of bands are sincere about being original and not getting dragged into "business" when they start off. However if they enjoy their music they want to play it for as many people as they can. Then before they have any idea what happend, they are in. The "business" is like a black hole and no matter what you do you get sucked in. If people like you music you doomed.

  2. Then there's Flight of the Conchords who parody themselves but their parody makes them's a weird world. :)

  3. I agree with what you said aswell. But I do admit I, myself am a music snob...My main beef is that, when someone talks to someone in the industry they always say it's the songs that matter. By that they mean, does it fit the template of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, etc, with lots of hooks. If a band doesn't adhere to that template, they will be ignored. But if everyone follows the same path, does music get a chance to evolve? Or premutate into a new amalgamation of what's already been done?

    That's why I admire David Bowie. He has constantly changed his sound yet remarkably kept sounding like David Bowie...

    Alot of it falls on the producers in my opinion. Not every song needs triple tracked vocals throughout the whole song, or scores of guitars such Les Pauls, Strats, and PRS' run through different amps to create what is essentially a basic sound. Something that can be done with any good guitar and amp. Or using the same drum samples for every artist. What happened to miking up an instrument and getting a good sound? The advent of digital recording has stolen alot of personality from the artist by following such practices.