Music, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

One Less Reason Treat Fans Like Shit Continues on…

I thought I would do a follow-up to how One Less Reason treat their fans.  Verdict; SHIT.

Here are some recent comments taken from their Facebook page after my original post.

Ordered your CD from your website a while ago and still have yet to receive it, what does it take to get your cd? several attempts to contact you and no response yet.
I scroll thru others posts and see a lot of the same situations, you guys make great music, but if you really want to make it, you need to treat your fans better than this, you aren’t shy about taking the money.

Artists today have a lot more competition from other artists, all striving for the same thing, people’s attention.  This band One Less Reason or OLR as they like to call themselves, clearly have one thing going for them, they create music that finds a connection with people.  So these people become fans and spend money on the band.  Or course the CD is almost obsolete, and if the band doesn’t have any CD’s to ship, they should take them off their website store as selling items.  Its fraud.

I’m glad you made it this far guys without these frauds called labels, you deserve it, a great band, great music!

A happy fan.  I wonder who the frauds are when there is no label involved.  I will admit, i heard their songs and i am impressed.  However, the way they are treating their fans, is leaving a bad taste.

Blueprints for Writhing just arriveeeeeeeeeeeed!!

Another happy fan.  From the length of arriveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed, it looks like they waited a long time.  At least the band can say they are posting some out.

Do you think it’s normal to buy an album on 11/15/2012 and still waiting for receiving it ?  I live in France, 4 months passed by ! I CAN’T believe it ! Tell me what’s wrong !?

Sorry buddy, you live too far, and if OLR get back to you, they will say they shipped it, however France’s postal service loses heaps of packages and that they will re-ship again and will then ignore your emails.

Just bought 3 of your cds from Itunes! Awesome!

Smart way to deal with the band, deal with iTunes.  You know you will get what you paid for from them.

Big fan!!! Just started listening to your music last year. I found it on last.fm on xboxlive and have loved your music ever since. “A Day To Be Alone” is my favorite song. I have looked in stores for your CDs but had no luck. How can I purchase one of your CDs??

Use iTunes if you want to receive it. 

When do the pre ordered CDs ship?

According to the band, they have shipped (remember that the album came out in August last year) and the postal service has lost them all, so the band will re-ship as a good will gesture, but never do.

Hi My husband ordered all of your CD’s back on the 28 Dec 2012. I sent you a message as well with all the details of the order. I have read all the comments about the band not posting CD’s and taking the money, about the passing of a loved one, about its the USPS’s fault and to CD’s just arriving late. Whatever the reasons and explanations (good song title by the way) are, 2 months waiting is not good business. In addition my husband has sent three messages via the contact us page on your website, plus three email replies to the confirmation order email address and one post via Twitter.   

Should have used iTunes.  $50 wasted for nothing.

Final verdict, One Less Reason are still treating fans like shit.  They even fail to address the issue of the CD’s not being posted, instead focusing on lies and ignorance.  For a band that has done it all on their own, you would think they would have a better focus on band to fan relationships as that is what has sustained them these last 10 years or so.

However, it will come to a head eventually.  I am sure some promoter is just around the corner waiting to rip them off as well.

 

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories

Classic Songs To Be Discovered – Tesla, Machine Head, Thousand Foot Krutch, Trapt, Since October, Three Doors Down, Daughtry

It looks like my playlist shuffle is stuck in the song titles that begin with B.  Here is the list of songs driving in to work today.

Breakin Free – Tesla
Be Somebody – Thousand Foot Krutch
Beautiful – Since October
Back Again – Daughtry
Believer – Three Doors Down
Black Rose – Trapt
Beautiful Mourning – Machine Head

Breakin Free is from the rock band Tesla and it is from their hardly heard 2008 album, Forever More.  It is the Brave New World from Iron Maiden, meets Tool intro that hooks me, and the spiteful lyrics resonate with me.  Even though the song deals with a relationship break up, it could mean any situation where a person that you trust and liked ends up making life a living hell.  

I’m done with swallowing my pride
And the truth in the end denied
You know it makes me sick how you’re so quick to always criticize
You never find fault in yourself
You’re always blamin’ someone else

Breakin Free is written by the band, along with classic rock producer Terry Thomas.  If anyone remembers the 1991 album from Foreigner (the one with Johnny Edwards on vocals), Terry co-wrote most of those songs as well, along with the Bad Company albums released between 1988 and 1992.  That is why the song sounds classic but modern.

Be Somebody is from Thousand Foot Krutch.  It’s from the fan funded The End is Where We Begin album, released in 2011.  

We all wanna be somebody, we just need a taste of who we are
We all wanna be somebody, we’re willing to go but not that far

Isn’t that so true.  We all want to be recognised for something.  In order to get there, we end up changing who we are.  We sell our souls for money and fame.  We betray the most important person, ourselves.  The lyrics bring it all home, we are willing to do what we need to do to be somebody, but we have boundaries as to who far we will go.

Beautiful is from Since October.  It is from their debut 2006 album Gasping For Hope, that they released as an unsigned band relying completely on Myspace to push it and sell it.  In the end it got them signed to Christian label Tooth and Nail, and so far they have released another two more albums after that.

It is the Duran Duran – Come Undone similarities that grab me.  For some reason derivative works in pop and rock work, however in metal, if they are too similar they are decried.  

You’re completely perfect but perfectly incomplete
You’re lacking only me but you acted like you didn’t want to know me

Unrequited love.  The lyrics are nothing earth shattering, and very adolescent like, and that is what works with the song.  Of course the guys in the band were in their early twenties when they wrote this song.

Back Again is from Daughtry.  It is the bonus track or b-side to the No Surprise single, that comes from the Leave This Town album released in 2009.  It is a classic rock song.  It deserved to be on the album.

We’ve all been down this road before,
I give it all, you wanted more
I’ve only got myself to blame

That is the best part of the song.  It is where Chris Daughtry really shines on the vocals.  It is a song Chris wrote with Adam Gontier from Three Days Grace, well ex Three Days Grace now and produced by Howard Benson, who is the mainstream go to producer for metal and rock music these days.

Believer is from Three Doors Down.  It is from the 2011, Time Of My Life album.  It is very different to what Three Doors Down are renowned for and it works.  The intro rocks, and the melodic lead kicks things off nicely.

I would have been in doubt
When this started out
That everything would turn out this way
First it was a phone call
Then it was another
From a mother who was ready to play

It’s written by the band, and at 2.57 it’s short and sweet, but hectic just the same.  Of course the sound is very modern like, thanks to Howard Benson again.  Sometimes, we need music to have a laugh with, and in this case, I get that from the lyrics, about a married lady who wants to play, only for her affair to be busted up by her husband.

Howard Benson’s story is interesting, going from being a keyboard player, to a producer, to the Vice President of Giant Records, to an A&R rep for Elektra and now Warners Music.  This is proof that you don’t go to 0-Riches in an instant.  It takes time and a lot of work.

Black Rose is from Trapt.  It is from the 2008 album, Only through The Pain.  It is a ballad with a killer chorus and a killer ending.  

Black rose your thorns are cutting into me for the last time
Black rose I watched your petals wilt away I couldn’t bring you back to life
You were always where the sun could never go,
I never wanted you to have to be alone

But I couldn’t find a way to help you grow,
Black Rose

It’s written by vocalist Chris Brown and songwriter, Adam Malka.  It’s produced by Garth Richardson from Chevelle/Atreyu fame.  These lyrics found a connection within me, due to my struggles dealing with my cousins fall into mental illness.  I had to cut loose, as if i stayed he would have dragged me along with him.

Beautiful Mourning is from Machine Head and it is from the best metal album of the two thousands, the mighty Blackening album released in 2007.  The song has been said to be about Rob Flynn, tripping on acid and taking a razor to his wrists.  It is the most depressing  words every put to paper.

My redemption is knowing
This will be over
My aggression,
I fear I’ve lost control
Who is this man I said?
Mirror reflects a stranger
Fist shatters the despair
Awake the pain to anger

The music was written by Robb and Phil Demmel, with lyrics by Robb.  This is real.  Life isn’t all about the highs and the laughs even though we take photographs showing that is the case.  Life has a darker side to everything.  We are fragile, we can snap at any minute.

Enjoy.

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Alternate Reality, Music

Trivium

Since they are working with David Draiman, lets get to the songs that will be appearing on the More Blacker Than Black album (that was going to be called Shark Sandwich)

Down With The Shogun
Entrance Of the Sickness
Voices Come In Waves
Stupified Martyr
A Gunshot to The Head of the Game
Perditions Prayer
Liberate As The World Burns
Remember The Calamity
Believe (As Chaos Reigns)
Ten Thousand Fists Anthem
Stricken In The Floods
Indestructible Hell
Into The Mouth of The Asylum
Tread Down From The Sky
Forsake All These Yesterdays

Ooo ooo aah aahh.

The lead single “Hellhole” was too good to be on the album and it will be released as a stand alone album of one song.
🙂

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Copyright, Music, My Stories

Living with unfairness

It’s late and I’m laying in bed. I can’t sleep so I reach over to the iPhone.

How things have changed? We are connected all the time. As I’m checking
my emails I’m thinking about the game of football my kids played on the
Saturday and the refereeing from the other teams coach. It got me a bit
upset at how the referee was coaching his team while refereeing. I started to think about how unfair it was that my boys team had to go back to half way when his team had a goal kick and when we had a goal kick he would make his players stay 5 meters away. It’s not fair is it.

The kids had a draw but they won the game in my heart and everyone else’s that watched it.

Why?

They rolled with the punches and kept on rising to the occasion. A game of football is the same as life.

We win, we lose. We feel good, we feel bad. However in football when something is not fair, the team unites and rises above and beyond their
abilities. In life, that feeling of unfairness can either cripple you or make you work harder or work differently.

How many times have I heard a person say, it’s not fair. It probably wasn’t fair to one person but it was fair to the other.

Don’t complain about it. Don’t forget about it. Learn from it and move on.

Music is a classic example when it comes to unfairness. The whole
industry is built with the cards stacked against fairness. Artist used to say how unfair the contract was that they signed or how unfair the label treated them. Then the Internet came along and now it’s the labels shouting how unfair it is. The favourite PR line, “the Internet spreads piracy and it needs to be controlled.”

Instead of rolling with it, learning from it just to rise above it, they want to control it, obliterate it as they are too lazy to innovate on their own. Spoil it for billions to protect the profits of a few. Maybe these label heads and their politician friends in their lobby group need to come and watch a junior football game, see how unfair the real world actually is.

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Music

Black Sabbath – the final word

When I was checking the stats of the page, I saw that a lot of people where referred to my site by typing “Brad Wilk drum solo Allphones Arena” in Google.

So people are going to watch Black Sabbath, but they don’t even know who the drummer is performing live with them, even after Ozzy mentioned that “on drums we have Tommy Clueftos”.

I am a big Black Sabbath fan. That is the beauty of music, I like a lot of bands and styles. I like Machine Head, Dream Theater, Motley Crue, Killswitch Engage and so on. I even saw the set list on http://www.setlist.fm from the New Zealand and Brisbane shows, so that I could do a play list of the songs they would be playing live. More importantly, I knew who was playing on the stage for them. Why would I want to know that? That is what fans do, we want to know everything about our heroes. When information was scarce in the seventies and eighties about our heroes, we seemed to know more. Now with the rise of the internet and information at our fingertips, we seem to know less.

How a person can spend $160 on a ticket and not know who the drummer is beyond me?

Black Sabbath is an institution. The name of the band is now bigger than the individuals in it, I heard a person say. Sort of like Pink Floyd. Roger Waters thought he was Pink Floyd, and then when he left, he thought the band would end. Dave Gilmour had other ideas.

Will Black Sabbath fans care if Zakk Wylde fills in for Tony Iommi on certain dates of the North American tour? I’m not saying that Tony is ill or is pulling out, I am just getting that thought out there. All you need to do is glance back a year and see the Ozzy and friends shows played when Tony was undergoing cancer treatment.

Basically if Ozzy goes out on the road with his solo band and calls the tour Black Sabbath, I don’t believe people will care that it is not the original line up anymore. It has already happened. Remember, that Tony Iommi did the same with the Dio and Tony Martin versions of Black Sabbath. You can say the Dio version of Sabbath is the real deal as it featured three of the original members, however the Tony Martin era, was all new musicians and if anything should have been called Iommi.

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Music, My Stories

Black Sabbath – Are They Still Relevant?

I watched Black Sabbath at the Allphones Arena, in Sydney last night and i was wondering, if they are still relevant.

Black Sabbath owned the beginning of the 70’s.  Towards the end of that era the band was bleeding and Ozzy was fired.  The beginning of the 80’s, saw Black Sabbath have the Heaven and Hell period, with Ronnie James Dio on vocals.  After that, you can say the band didn’t really set the world of fire, however i must admit that i have a soft spot for the Eternal Idol and Headless Cross albums with Tony Martin on vocals.  The Dehumanizer album in 1992 with Dio was an attempt to make both Dio and Sabbath relevant in the 90’s, however it didn’t really hit the mark.  

In the crowd around me, there was an audience of young and old.  Fan T-Shirts of the younger generation showed a lot of Ozzy colours (especially the Diary/Blizzard era), so it is safe to say, that Ozzy’s solo career has played a big part in Sabbath finding a new audience.   That is how i got into Sabbath, from Ozzy’s solo career.

Then I saw Machine Head, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Rob Zombie and Metallica t-shirts on fans.  These concertgoers are fans of those bands, checking out Black Sabbath, as all of those bands have mentioned Sabbath as an influence.  Rob Zombie is one person who speaks very highly of Sabbath.

One thing that really irks me, is Rick Rubin.  He was an extraordinary producer once upon a time.  Not anymore.  Black Sabbath did wrong taking him on board for the new album.  From what I have heard so far, it is a dead set joke.  It is basically Black Sabbath 2013, covering Black Sabbath 1969 – 1972.

Black Sabbath of the 70’s questioned authority, challenged institutions and preyed on people’s fears of heaven and hell.  They don’t do that anymore.  Why is why the current music they are releasing sucks.

What happened to the two new tracks Psycho Man and Selling My Soul from the Reunion CD?   They are better than the two songs they have released so far from 13.  I was re-listening to God Is Dead! again.  I have given this song a few go’s now, trying to find something to like about it, as all the celebrity metal / rock musicians have spoken what a great song it is.  

It is still mediocre.  Then I came across a song called In Due Time from Killswitch Engage.  It got me interested.  It hit a nerve inside of me, and I needed to know more.  The melody in the music is captivating and heavy, the chorus is unbelievable melodic and catchy, the screaming in the verses borders on insanity… SHADOWS GIVE WAY TO LIGHT…  

Listening to In Due Time brought back memories of Live In Love from Times of Grace, which is more or less Adam and Jesse from Killswitch.  After listening to Live in Love, I went back to the 2009 Killswitch album and cranked The Forgotten, hearing Howard Jones singing it and if he is reading this, he will never be forgotten.

When i listen to Sabbath, i think of Randy Rhoads and the unbelievable version he did of Children of the Grave on the Tribute album.  When i listen to Sabbath, i think of Ronnie James Dio.  When i listen to Sabbath, i think of Ozzy.   To me Ozzy is more relevant than what Sabbath is.  Ozzy really didn’t have to go back to Sabbath for a new album, he didn’t need it.

So is Black Sabbath still relevant.  For their influence and legacy, YES.  As a band writing new music, NO.  It is great that they are attempting to release a new album, however as i have mentioned previously, if it is not great, people will move on.  Our time is short these days.

Life has its highs and it’s lows.  Careers are the same.  I don’t want to waste time listening to lame music anymore, I’m ready for great.  Black Sabbath have been away for a while now.  The Ozzfest shows gave them some leverage again.  People saw them, appreciated it, but no one was eagerly waiting for them to reform and do a new album.

The new Black Sabbath album will be a hit.  It will sell at least a million in my view.  These days, it’s not about the hit record anymore, it’s about sustaining the buzz.  In my mind, 13 is already in the rearview mirror and it hasn’t been released yet.     

 

 

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Music

Black Sabbath – Allphones Arena, Sydney, 27 April 2013

Black Sabbath are legends of metal. Black Sabbath are legends of stoner rock.  Black Sabbath are the forefathers of metal.  The accolades go on and on.

I was just walking into the venue when the band kicked off their set at 8.30pm.  That is by far the earliest i have ever seen a headlining band start.  Usually it’s 9pm or later.  Leading off with the classic War Pigs from the Paranoid album.   Tommy Clueftos on the drums, is a great metal drummer.  He was bashing that kit, like it is the last show he is ever going to play.  But he is no Bill Ward.  He doesn’t have the jazz swing feel of Bill Ward.

CONSPIRACY THEORY fact 1; Bill Ward’s initials are BW.  Brad Wilk, the drummer from Rage Against The Machine that replaced him in the studio for the 13 album also has the same initials, BW.

CONSPIRACY THEORY fact 2; Bill Ward is born on the 5th May.  Brad Wilk is born on the 5th September.  (okay i am grasping at straws here).

CONSPIRACY THEORY fact 3; Black Sabbath was formed in 1968 as a heavy blues rock band named Earth.  Brad Wilk was born in 1968.

Coming off War Pigs, Into the Void and Under the Sun where let downs to me.  Snowblind and Electric Funeral dragged it out even more.  To use a phrase from Bill Ward, it was downer rock.  Why they played those songs, instead of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Sweet Leaf, or a vocal version of Symptom Of The Universe is beyond me.  You could see the energy in the crowd lift when they went into the first minute of Symptom, just before the drum solo and again the same for the first minute of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, just before Paranoid.

End of the Beginning is laughable.  Rick Rubin got them to recreate the song, Black Sabbath.  The two songs are identical.  I looked around at the audience, and everyone was laughing it off as some sort of joke.

Ozzy has said that 13 is the best album he has ever done.  From the two songs i have heard so far, Ozzy seems to be forgetting that he has already done those songs.

God Is Dead! sounded better live, however the vocal melodies are weak, the song is too long and Ozzy was reading the lyrics off the teleprompter for the two new songs, so he was stumbling around a little bit with that.

Geezer Butler is the star for me.  His bass work is unbelievable.  He is not just a bass player, he is a back up guitar player as well.  Ozzy is a walking miracle.  People have taken lesser drugs and have overdosed.  Ozzy still keeps on going.  For the state he is in, he gave 100%.  Clueftos on drums gave 500% and Iommi on guitar was the Sheriff in town.

I can tick Black Sabbath with Ozzy off my childhood list of bands i needed to see.  Would i recommend them at $160 a ticket? No.

 

Complete Set List:

War Pigs, Into The Void, Under The Gun, Snowblind, Electric Funeral, Black Sabbath, Behind the Wall of Sleep which ended with a Geezer Butler bass solo, N.I.B., End of the Beginning (new song from 13), Fairies Wear Boots, Symptom of the Universe (for 1 minute and then the drum solo), Iron Man, God Is Dead?, Dirty Women, Children of the Grave and the encore started with the intro to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, before they went into Paranoid.

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