The music business is a dog eat dog business. No person that has made it or seems to have made it is an overnight sensation regardless of how their stories are trumped-up in the press.
I was listening to a band called “Blowsight” and another band called “Burning Rain”. While I was listening to these two bands, I started thinking about their careers.
Lets start with Blowsight. The album I was listening to is “Life And Death” that came out in 2012. I dig this band because they blow to bits that whole “artists need to be pigeon-hole into a genre” game. They hit every style/genre over a bed of distorted guitars. Of course they are from Sweden who to me is one of the greatest exporters of rock bands.
Their story goes back to 2003, when singer Nick Red met guitarist Serban and realised that they had the exact same influences. They started recording and teamed up with drummer Fabz and Flavia who was their first bass player.
Now think about the time frames here for a second. These guys are 12 years vets of the music business already. They have a catalogue of songs on Spotify to listen to. Have they made it, are they on the path to making it.
Now for Burning Rain. The album I am listening to is “Epic Obsession” that came out in 2013. The funny thing is that Keith St James and Doug Aldrich signed the deal with Frontiers Records back in 2003 to make this third album. Why Frontiers thought that “Burning Rain” needed a follow-up after the first two albums is beyond me.
There is no doubt that Doug Aldrich can play.
If he couldn’t play he wouldn’t have gotten the Dio and Whitesnake gigs. He also played with Hurricane and I’m being honest here, that band was a great rock n roll outfit and even though the original members of Robert Sarzo (that’s who Aldrich replaced) and Tony Cavazo had more famous older brothers in Rudy and Carlos, Hurricane holds a place higher up for my liking.
Aldrich got a lot of visibility in front of the masses with his Dio and Whitesnake gigs that began in the early two thousands and by then he was a 20 year veteran of the music business. But he is no star.
It all started off with the band Lion from 1986 to 1989. By 1990 he was the Guitar Doctor for hard rock bands, appearing with Hurricane and House Of Lords. By 1991 be formed Bad Moon Rising. This venture (along with solo album releases in between) went to 1999, when Burning Rain became a priority until he got the higher profile gigs with Dio and Whitesnake.
However as good as a guitarist that Aldrich is, you need to have great songs for people to be interested. For that to happen you need to have quality musicians behind you because you are only as strong as your weakest link.
And the dirty little secret is that being good just isn’t good enough you have to be great consistently, because while bands record albums, most music fans don’t even hear them.
When you compare both artists on Spotify stats you will see that one band is consistently listened too and another band is more or less ignored.
Blowsight’s “Bandit For Life” song has 1,506,964 streams. Their lowest streamed song in the Top 10 is “Things Will Never Change” and it has 91,708 streams.
Meanwhile Burning Rain’s best song “Our Time Is Gonna Come” is at 5,481 streams and I swear I must have a racked up at least half of those myself. Their most played song is at 11,000 plus streams and that is their worst song in my eyes. But it is the album opener. So what people are most probably doing is hearing that first song, hating it and not moving on the other songs. To be honest the first three songs are all crap on the Burning Rain album.
But Doug Aldrich gets all the press. Google his name and 529,000 search results come back. That means metal and rock websites have interviews with him and so forth.
Goolge the band Blowsight and you would get about 130,000 search results come back, which means that a lot of metal and rock websites are not giving the band any time of day.
Goes to show how out of touch the metal and rock news outlets are. They report on bands and artists that the fans don’t really give a shit about. Aldrich won the lottery getting the Dio and Whitesnake gigs however his Whitesnake output is more or less ignored although “Forevermore” is a brilliant song.
Same deal with his Dio “Killing The Dragon” output. Burning Rain as I have mentioned is also ignored. Aldrich’s first band Lion only has the Transformers theme song available (from the 1980’s cartoon movie) and Bad Moon Rising is non-existent.
So tell me, which artist has a real audience. The fans know and the news outlets will keep on reporting what the fans don’t give a shit about.