Do You Want To Know What Being In A Band Was Really Like?
It was a lifestyle of round ’em up from whatever place or establishment they were in, go on the road, and see what happens. In between trips they will write songs, try em out live, and then go and record the tracks that worked the best in a live setting. Some people got rich in the process and the others get rich from the lifestyle.
“Highway Star” from Deep Purple was written in 1971 during the day while the band was travelling to a gig and performed that same night. In 1972, it was the lead off track on the excellent “Machine Head” album.
Towards the end of the seventies, artists ceased doing it this way.
Because of the “Blockbuster” record label business model.
In the music business, the Blockbuster Business Model refers to a method of spending large amounts of money on recording and marketing, with the hope that the music will become a blockbuster, generating high returns. If a band had some traction, then they were perfect candidates for the “Blockbuster Record”. Plus it also helped that before the Soundscan era, the record labels found a loophole in the certification process that was based on distribution numbers instead of sales numbers.
That is why bands started to spend 12 months in a studio. That is why albums started to cost millions.
The record labels knew what they were doing. Spend millions recording it, then print up a million copies of it and you have a platinum record to give to the band.
It as an accepted fact that there are a low amount of blockbusters each year. And it those blockbusters that prop up the rest.
Let’s look at last year. The blockbuster albums for the rock and metal genre’s could be broken down to the following releases;
Five Finger Death Punch
Thirty Seconds To Mars
A Day To Remember
Bring Me The Horizon
Black Veil Brides
Bullet for My Valentine
Coheed and Cambria
But what are the songs that people are cranking. If you go to Spotify and check the top ten songs for each band, you will see that following;
Five Finger Death Punch have no song from “The Wrong Side Of Heaven” albums in the Top 10, however they have the sales on the board.
Avenged Sevenfold are streaming stars with “Hail To The King”, “Shepherd Of Fire”, “This Is War” and “Doin Time” leading the charge. They are also selling stars.
Volbeat are super streaming stars. “Lola Montez”, “Cape Of Our Hero”, “Pearl Hart” and “The Nameless One” are leading the way. And the album is still selling, 12 months after it was released.
Thirty Seconds To Mars are also streaming stars. “Up In The Air” and “City Of Angels” are the stars from the new album, with “Do Or Die” slowly rising as a serious challenger. And after the Oscars, the album got a new lease of life in the sales department.
Black Sabbath have “Loner”, “God Is Dead” and “End Of The Beginning” as the songs that people decided are worthy of their attention. The album also had a three-month run in the sales department.
A Day To Remember have no real star songs to remember from their “Common Courtesy” album but they do have the sales.
Bring Me The Horizon have their whole album in the Spotify Top 10 and man, the streaming numbers are good. “Can You Feel My Heart” has 7.2 million streams, “Sleepwalking” has 7.5 million streams. Plus they have the sales.
Skillet has nothing from “Rise” in the Top 10 songs for Spotify, however their album is still selling.
Black Veil Brides have “In The End” leading the charge for them and also had a good run in the sales department.
Bullet for My Valentine have “Tears Don’t Fall (Part 2)”, “Breaking Point”, “Riot” and “Temper Temper” leading the way.
Killswitch Engage have “In Due Time” leading the charge with four of other songs also in the Top 10.
Stone Sour have “Do Me A Favour” leading the charge from the 2013, House Of Gold and Bones release.
Trivium have “Strife” leading the way.
Dream Theater have “The Enemy Inside” with 800,000 streams but it’s pretty clear that compared to the other bands, Dream Theater fans purchased the album and are listening to it that way.
Coheed and Cambria really pushed the sale deluxe editions of the “The Afterman” releases to their fans and it paid off for them very handsomely. Which is probably why they have no songs in the Top 10 for their Spotify account. It’s because we, the fans have the mp3’s due to the way Coheed and Cambria packaged it.
So do you want to know what being in a band is really like now?
It is a lifestyle of writing and releasing songs, connecting with fans and being as human as possible. Some people will make money in the process, some people will walkaway and complain that piracy is killing everything and then others will still get rich from the lifestyle. Then when the great song turns into great songs, the band will hit the road.