Machina are competing in a packed Modern Rock/Metal environment. To stand out, the songs need to be special. They’re not. Former “Evanescence” members John LeCompt and Rocky Gray, along with “Future Leaders of the World” members make up the group.
A brilliant heavy metal release from 2012. This album should be in everyone’s collection. While the previous album “Miracle” suffered with the Mudvayne/vocal style comparison to Chad Gray, this one doesn’t. It’s a stand out in a saturated metal marketplace.
If you want to hear where Korn should have progressed after “Untouchables”, then this is the album you need to hear. Brian “Head” Welch is great on vocals.
There is a post over at Music Think Tank called “12 Powerful Quotes That Could Change The Way You’re Promoting Your Music” that was written Lukas Camenzind.
You can read the quotes in the link. All the quotes are great.
Here are 10 of my favorite quotes that have the potential to change the way artists think (with a rock and metal flavor):
“Unless you find another way of making money besides controlling copying, you will not last in the digital age.” – Ram Samudrala (in an article on the first “MP3 Summit” that appeared in the July 18, 1998 issue of Billboard.)
This quote forms part of a speech that was directed at the Record Labels in 1998. 15 years ago. The labels ignored the advice and went to war in 1999 against Napster and innovation.
Do you think they won? If anything they failed the artists that they claim to serve.
“Some people get into this business for the attention, they want the babes or the money or the Porsche, but when we first got together we didn’t know that this was going to become a business. We were just friends who wanted to jam.” – Chris DeGarmo (Queensryche founder, ex guitarist and main songwriter)
Be in it for the right reasons.
“Our web site is extremely interactive right now. We worked very hard on it in order to make it very fan orientated. There is so much stuff that you can do on our web site. We want to talk to fans. We want video blogs. Sell streams on there. You can talk to us personally.” – Brent Smith (Vocalist, Shinedown)
Your fans are your everything. Treat them with the respect they deserve. They are the only ones you are accountable too. Not managers, agents, labels or the press.
“We owe everything we have to those of you that follow us and give us your love and devotion.” – Brent Walsh (I The Mighty band)
This is from a newer band in the scene. They get it. Fans are the only people bands and artist have to answer.
“When I started, I decided to devote my life to it and not get sidetracked by all the other bullshit life has to offer.” – Cliff Burton (RIP) Bassist
There is no plan B for musicians. There is no safety net. Are you ready to fly?
“The hell with the rules. If it sounds right, then it is.” – Eddie Van Halen
Songs don’t have to be Verse – Pre – Chorus. You don’t need to have the same verse riff each time the verse is played. Let your ears guide you. Those bands that have had a long career broke the rules.
“One must feel strongly to make others feel strongly”
If you don’t believe in what you are doing, how will others believe in you.
“We view making it like it’s a finish line. It’s not. You never know what it’s going to be. You never know if you need to keep climbing or it’s a sheer drop down the other side. Sometimes it’s a plateau. Few of us have the Ozzy, Clapton, Billy Joel, Elton John careers, that go on for a lifetime. Most of ’em are a few years and thank you, you’re done.” Dee Snider, Vocalist, Twisted Sister
Making it is the start of the chase. That is when you need to keep on climbing in order to stay at the top. Vito Bratta struggled with this. Dee Snider struggled with it.
“A band is a dysfunctional family. A brotherhood, a family business, and a renaissance-era-court. You’re room-mates in studio-apartment-on-wheels for years-at-a-time, 24-hours-a-day. Plus you’re in the pressure cooker of the spotlight, every move analyzed, read into, or attacked. Everybody wants something from you, everybody wants to be your friend, everybody loves you, everybody can do so-much-better-for-you-than-the-people-you-have-now. Some people try and turn you against each other, and everyone wants to take credit for your success.” – Robb Flynn (Machine Head)
The music industry is tough. Are you ready for it? Your best friend in the band will become your enemy, especially if you are the main songwriter.
“To this day I don’t have a guitar idol. I have people who are my favorites.”– Randy Rhoads (RIP) Guitarist
Be influenced. Progress is derivative.
Another weird and interesting band from Sweden. Tap Dancers playing hard/melodic rock. Expect to hear certain bits in songs were they can break out the tap ala “Riverdance”. It’s got a fun feel and well worth a listen.
A brilliant three piece band from France that blends heavy/hard rock with a Tool/Isis groove. Formed in 2006. Issued an EP called Venus in 2008. I have rewritten my top 10 for 2012 to include this release
The band is no more. What a shame. Another good band from Sweden. They were in a competitive modern rock market. Worth a listen. Pop songwriter Max Martin co-wrote “Cause I Am” and guitarist John 5 co-wrote “First Time”.
I have had some music laying around that I earmarked once upon a time for a re-listen in a proper way. Proper to me in this day and age means headphones.
Burning Yesterday is the first band and their album from 2009, “We Create Monsters Not Machines.” Burning Yesterday is based in Nashville. The sound is polished and for an independent band, they sure sound like a major label act. All the songs are pretty solid.
If you like bands like Red, Papa Roach, Breaking Benjamin, Skillet and Disciple then you would rate this album very highly. If you don’t mind those bands, then you will not mind this album. If you don’t like those bands, then you will not like this album.
From all the bashing that the album format has gotten, one thing I do like are the connections. For example, on this album Robert Venable was the producer. For those that do not know, Robert Venable has worked on the following albums;
- Megadeth – The System Has Failed
- Spoken – Illusion
- Love and Death – Between Here & Lost
- Disciple – Horseshoes And Handgrenades
- Disciple – O God Save Us All
- Seventh Day Slumber – Love and Worship
- Seventh Day Slumber – Anthem Of Angels
A point of interest is that in their electronic bio, it states the following;
“We Create Monsters Not Machines” was produced by Travis Wyrick (P.O.D., Disciple, Pillar, Since October, 10 Years).”
CD Baby also states the above comments, while Allmusic and Wikipedia has the producer as Robert Venable. My interpretation is that Travis Wyrick was used in a songwriter/executive producer role, while the actual album was produced by Robert Venable.
So if the album is good (and it is that good that it made my Top 20 for the year) why didn’t it set the world on fire? The answer is simple. COMPETITION IN THE MARKETPLACE and TIME.
2009 was a tough year for any new artist releasing music. Actually every year is a tough year for any new band. For the fan base that Burning Yesterday is trying to appeal to, they had to compete against the following bands and their releases for that year;
- Red – Innocence and Instinct
- Pillar – Confessions
- Breaking Benjamin – Dear Agony
- Casting Crowns – Until The Whole World Hears
- Thirty Seconds To Mars – This Is War
- Seether – Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces
- Daughtry – Leave This Town
- Stryper – Murder By Pride
- Chevelle – SciFi Crimes
- Veer Union – Against The Grain
- Adelitas Way – Adelitas Way
- Three Days Grace – Life Starts Now
- Skillet – Awake
- Madina Lake – Attics To Eden
- Halestorm – Halestorm
- Thousand Foot Krutch – Welcome To The Masquerade
- Smile Empty Soul – Consciousness
- Decyfer Down – Crash Love
- Ten Second Epic – Hometown
- Cavo – Bright Nights, Dark Days
- Papa Roach – Metamorphosis
- Muse – The Resistance
- Burn Halo – Burn Halo
The thing is I could go on forever about similar sounding bands and styles that had reasonably good albums released in 2009. For any artist that is starting out, piracy should not be their biggest concern. Their biggest concern should be competition. How do they compete in the market place in this day and age. Piracy should be used as a metric of demand.
So Burning Yesterday spend their time and money on getting a good production team and recording an album of good tunes. They actually entered the studio with producer Travis Wyrick in 2007. The album came out at the start of 2009. So they release it into a market place, that is saturated with hundreds of new releases on a daily basis. Apart from the core audience who are aware of the band, it doesn’t spread.
My view has always been the same. Musicians are entrepreneurs. They are people who organize and operate a business, taking on the financial risk to do so. They have to give people a reason to buy their product against all the other competing products. The Michael Jackson superstar business model created by the record labels in the early Eighties is dead and buried. It is never coming back. Different superstars will rise within different genres and communities, however they are the ones that will need to create the buzz.
The days of record labels breaking really great bands to the public are over. It is the bands that need to break themselves. Sure, Record Labels can be useful as distribution agents, however the final marketing starts and ends with the band.
A brilliant hard rock covers album of pop songs. Songs that I originally dismissed as terrible suddenly have a new lease of life thanks to Within Temptation’s reinterpretation and Sharon’s wonderful voice.
This album is more or less “B” grade Sevendust except for the last track “Sleeping Awake” which sounds like an “A” grade cut that should have been on Red’s “Release The Panic” album.