A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories

Copyright KW

I’m not a Kanye West fan, but here are seven tweets he put out there a week ago that would ruffle some feathers.

  1. The artist owns the copyright in the recordings and songs and leases them to the record label / publisher for a limited term. 1 year deals

This is the big one.

The record labels have a powerful seat at the negotiation table because they have the copyrights to valuable songs locked up for a very long time. Even investment companies are now buying out these valuable assets because they realised the return on investment on these popular songs is huge.

Music scales.

  1. The record label / publisher is a service provider that receives a share of the income for a limited term. The split can be 80/20 in the artists favour.

The record labels believed that it was all about them, and that in order to get a person to the top, it was the label that did all the hard work by outlaying money. And they got pretty pissed when they didn’t get the recognition.

Well, that’s not really true is it. The artist had to write the songs and people had to connect with the song for the artist to rise to the top. It didn’t really matter what the label did in relation to marketing. If people connected, then word of mouth would have been enough.

And in today’s reality, no established artist needs a label. They can write music and release to digital service providers immediately. The physical aspect might be a bit challenging, but if you have an established fanbase, well you don’t need a label in between. The artist should go direct to the fan.

  1. DEPENDANTS – Artists must be dependent on no one but themselves to manage their catalogue. You should need NO ONE else to understand the business you’re in.

Imagine being told that the songs you wrote in your bedroom or on the floor at the place you were staying while broke and almost homeless is now under the control of someone else, like an investment firm or a label. All because you signed a contract to record and release music and you never really knew what you signed.

  1. LAWYERS – the first thing that changes about Record Deals is actually lawyers. We need Plain English contracts. A Lawyers role is to IMPROVE deals…. not charge for contracts we cannot understand or track. Re-write deals to be understandable from FIRST READ.

I remember when the Breaking Benjamin contract was put out onto the internet about a decade ago. It had a lot of pages as to what the label owned the rights to and the powers the labels had.

Then there was ONE page on the money. It showed the advance payments for each album and when each album is expected to be delivered and the royalty split.

But the contract was only with Ben Burnley. And Breaking Benjamin is a band. So Burnley then needs to engage a lawyer to draw up a band agreement, so they have some payment system in place with the other members of the band. And those members would also need lawyers to read the band agreement and make sure they do not get ripped off.

  1. ADVANCES ARE JUST LOANS!! – On Artists re-signing, these stop. Advances are Loans with 75% interest rates (or worse). NO other business in the world takes a look at the business, buys shares, starts to profit, when it profits. Record Companies have to buy into you, not loan you.

Be careful about that advance payment. It might feel like you are rich, but that advance payment is just buying you out at the rate you are worth now. You might be worth a lot more later on, and there’s a high chance that you are still paying back the advance payment you got two decades ago.

  1. ROYALTIES – Again back to dependents. You need a business manager to read how you did? So you pay to see your money!!! NO MORE. Royalty portals need to show (and do not now) Every song you delivered, Every store you are in, How many streams per song, Income per song.

Umm, this is happening right now Kanye.

Artists can see what is happening with their songs, the streams and in which store. The only thing missing is the income per song because Streaming services don’t work that way.

  1. PORTALS – Are not just for royalties. They are for your entire business. Every audio file, every asset, every deal stored WITH the money. Money and Music must stay together. When your term ends, download it all. Leave. This is a call for all artist to unify … I will get my masters , I got the most powerful lawyer in music and I can afford them but every artist must be freed and treated fairly.

And who is in charge of this portal and in which country are the servers stored and how secure are the servers and what do artists need to pay to have access to this portal, because in tech, nothing is free.

It’s already old news because the PR machine behind the labels likes to kill news like this.

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Unto The Locust

9 years old yesterday.

I was a first day buyer and I got the CD/DVD deluxe version.

7 original tracks and two covers for the deluxe, which had a kick ass version of “The Sentinel” from Judas Priest and “Witch Hunt” from Rush. In addition, there is an acoustic track of “Darkness Within”.

The DVD has a making of documentary which I watched once and I don’t really remember much of except for a debate they had about a song.

Coming into this the album, the thrash tour de force “The Blackening” came out in 2007 and the band went on a three year victory lap with it. That’s right, a three year tour.

And then they dropped this album.

“I Am Hell” kicks it off.

Its a 3 part classical movement, consisting of the main thrash part, the classical outro, and the Latin intro of which Robb recorded 24 separate voices to create it. The Latin words chanted are “Sagre Sani” = Blood saint”, and “Bellator Inferni” = “Hell warrior”.

And I wasn’t all in.

But the last two minutes when the acoustic kicks in for the classical outro had me loosening up to it.

Then the finger tapped intro to track 2 begins and I was really in.

“Be Still And Know” is one of my favourite Machine Head songs.

In this struggle / Are we dead or alive?

What’s the saying, “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept” or something like that.

And life is a struggle, there’s no doubt about that. But it’s all down to the standard we accept. The one that brings change is uncomfortable and the other is comfortable.

And there’s heartache / As we search to connect

We like to say that we know what we are doing but in reality we don’t. We are just working and living off our best guess. So we have heartache and we keep on connecting.

Because relationships are not easy. They need work and sometimes they need downtime.

There is love / Know that we are one / We are all in this together / Weather the storm

If I have my best day or my worst day, that feeling will pass. And in time I’ll forget it because it doesn’t matter. And I’ll experience other days of highs and lows and those feelings will be forgotten as well.

And the fast double kick drum in the solo harmony section is so fast it makes me wonder how all the modern drummers do it so easily.

Glaciers will melt and the oceans rise / Waves will come crashing ashore

Maybe global warming will not pass and we’ll need to deal with the fallout.

And the sun will rise
Dawn will break through the blackest night
Distant in its glow
This shall pass be still and know

And if this was the only good song on the album it was worth it.

But then “Locust” started.

Viewed by many critics at the time as a disappointing follow up to 2007’s “The Blackening”, “Locust” went on to become Machine Head’s #1 streamed song of the digital-era, racking up 25 million streams to date plus 11 million and counting YouTube views.

The clean tone dropped D (but in C#) arpeggio riff is now iconic. It’s a singalong riff in the live arena.

And the lyrical theme is different.

Behind an angel’s disguise, an insect preys
Mandibles cut like a knife, the reckoning

The Locust is an analogy for bad people in human relationships who come and rip you off, rob you off your affection and then leave you stripped and destroyed, the same way a swarm of locusts leave a crop stripped and destroyed.

And if these two tracks proved the best I was happy with the follow up.

But Robb Flynn had been practicing classical guitar and the classical intro to “This Is The End” starts. And I was all in over and over again.

When the harmony guitars come in, the 220bpm riff-a-thon begins.

But the centerpiece is “Darkness Within”. Just listen to it and you will know why. It’s a heavy hard rock song and the lead break from Phil Demmel is Randy Rhoads worthy, a song within a song moment.

Could this album get any better?

It does with the last two originals “Pearls Before The Swine” (think Metallica “Ride The Lightning” era) and “Who We Are” (think Judas Priest Classic album era).

And the cover songs.

Blistering and recorded live in the studio.

Happy 9th birthday.

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, Unsung Heroes

September 2020 – Part 1

Protest The Hero

From Canada.

They just dropped an album a few months ago and now they dropped a 2 song single of tracks that didn’t appear on the album.

If you like technical progressive metal, with vocals ranging from clean tone to death metal, then Protest The Hero is a band you need to check out.

My favourite album is “Volition”. This is the album after they got dropped by their label and they went the fan funded route, which we (the fans) had no problem helping with. But that was almost 7 years ago. In between they did an innovative Bandcamp project.

“Gift Horse” has some serious playing, with clean melodic vocals while “The Duelling Cavalier” continues the technical playing with a memorable guitar intro and corny lyrics, but hey, these dudes write songs about dog laws, Star Trek vs Star Wars, artists ripping fans off at the merchandise stand while they mime on stage, playing a bar in Newfoundland and getting drunk there with the locals plus topics on philosophical and stoic viewpoints on life.

Smith & Myers

I’m a fan of this acoustic side project. If you don’t know, it’s Brent Smith and Zach Myers from Shinedown.

“Not Mad Enough” is a song of the times, living with lockdown, police brutality and protests.

I can’t forgive what I can’t forget
And I can’t forget

It resonates straight away. I can’t forgive what I still remember. It’s a scar, but I move on and I learn from what happened, because it’s easy to blame the moment when things go bad, but really it’s the system that needs to be overhauled. The system that got me to that place in the beginning.

Face down, I can taste the blood
It’s hard to breathe, someone let me up

Whoever lived and saw the footage of George Floyd face down on the pavement, screaming “help me please, I can’t breathe” will never forget it. Because the person who held him down was a Police Officer, a person meant to protect him. And the other police officers just watched on, without doing anything to stop it.

In Flames

They remastered their brilliant “Clayman” album. Musically they are a heavy rock and metal band and the riffs are so catchy and memorable.

Vocally they move between clean tone and death metal, hence the term melodic death metal.

“Bullet Ride” and “Pinball Map”, musically, will not be out of place on a Judas Priest album.

“Only For The Weak” is a doom metal cut. Think of the album “Draconian Times” by Paradise Lost.

“Square Nothing” has this clean tone arpeggio riff with harmony guitars that remind me of Scorpions pre 80’s.

“Clayman” musically is brilliant and at first, the crackled growl vocals didn’t capture me, but the music is that good, that the song became a favourite.

“Satellites And Astronauts” musically could have come from an Iron Maiden album.

“Swim” just makes me pick up the guitar to learn it and “Another Day In Quicksand” has this “The Fire Still Burns” from Twisted Sister groove and riff.

Corey Taylor

He’s one of the better vocalists to have come out in the last 20 years. He can destroy his voice with Slipknot and he can bring the melody, the attitude and the AC/DC barroom brawl whenever he wants to other projects like Stone Sour, various cover songs and now to his own name as a solo act.

“Black Eyes Blue” is basically a hard rock track and I’m interested to hear more.


Tom Englund from Evergrey is on vocals for this live recording and as an Evergrey fan I’m all in to the music Englund puts out, but Redemption came on my radar in the early 2000’s because Ray Adler from Fates Warning was on vocals.

The self-titled debut was released in 2003, “The Fullness Of Time” in 2005, “The Origins Of Ruin” in 2007, “Snowfall On Judgement Day” in 2009 and “This Mortal Coil” in 2011. Then a five year gap, and “The Art Of Loss” was released, the last album with Ray Adler on vocals and in 2018 a “Long Nights Journey Into Day” came out with Tom Englund on vocals.

But the band isn’t built around vocalists.

It’s built around guitarist and songwriter Nick Van Dyk, who has Chris Quirarte on drums, Sean Andrews on bass, Simone Mularoni on guitar and Vikram Shankar on keys.

There is a cover of Megadeth’s “Peace Sells” with drummer Chris Quirarte doing an unbelievable Dave Mustaine impression, all the way to the snarls and Chris Poland also guests on the guitar.

“The Echo Chamber” is still a favourite as it has an intro riff that reminds me of “Ytse Jam” from Dream Theater and lyrics so relevant of the time, because the echo chamber phenomenon is real in today’s world, as people expose themselves to information from like-minded individuals and they refuse to believe any other view-points or to research other view-points. The 5G Covid Conspiracy, the No Global Warming outcomes, the QAnon rabbit hole and whatever else that comes out around anti vaccinations and other conspiracies.

Stay tuned for part 2.

Copyright, Music, My Stories, Treating Fans Like Shit

Vinyl and CD’s

How misleading can the labels and the RIAA be?

You’ve seen the headlines about vinyl sales surpassing CD sales.

And how vinyl sales brought in $232.1 million and CDs brought in $129.9 million.

But the report also mentions that Physical Album Sales including vinyl is at 27.9 million units and that vinyl on its own has moved just 8.2 million units.

So the other 19.7 units are CD sales. I guess vinyl hasn’t surpassed CD’s in sales, but it has surpassed it in revenue, which the headlines fail to mention.

$232.1 million divided by 8.2 million units is $28 per vinyl record. Which sounds about right on average.

$129.9 million divided by 19.7 million units is $6.60 per CD, which also sounds right.

What’s your preference?

I don’t really have one anymore, except the price being right. I will not pay more than $20 for a vinyl record unless it’s included in a deluxe box set. Then again, I’m happy paying less than $20 for a Family Streaming account.

Music, My Stories, Treating Fans Like Shit


When I started to buy records in the 80’s, I purchased a lot of records with “IMPORT” stickers and paid a premium for them.

So what did an IMPORT mean back in the day?

An album comes out in the U.S or in the U.K or in other parts of Europe first or Japan. And it gets some traction in those countries, but the Australian Release Window is months away or it doesn’t even exist at all. Since I was a consumer of UK and US Metal and Rock mags, I read the reviews and interviews of the album and the artist and I am interested in getting their music.

The only way to get it into Australia is via an IMPORT.

An import release would have a tariff between $20 to $50 added to the normal price.

So the album that would normally cost $20 to buy if it had a normal release window, would cost between $40 to $90 to get it into the country.

The debut solo album from John Sykes called “Out Of My Tree” released in 1995, was available to buy in Australia but it had a big IMPORT sticker and a price of $80 at Utopia Records.

Most of the record shops made a killing by charging extra for the IMPORT and so did the distributors.

Everyone was making money except the artist.

And the fan got the bill.

In the 90’s, most of the hard rock music I was after was not available in Australia as the overseas label didn’t organise a worldwide distribution deal.

But I wanted em and via IMPORTS, it was the only way I could get em.

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories

1977 – Part 6

Eagles – Hotel California
It was around 1994 when “Hell Freezes Over” was released that I purchased this album and listened to it in full.

18 years later.

Their first with Joe Walsh but it’s Don Felder who delivers the music for the iconic “Hotel California”.

Don Henley liked the chord progression, but it was in E minor, so a capo was added at the 7th fret and the song changed key to B minor.

But the reason why I liked the song is for the outro solos, when Walsh and Felder trade licks and then they kick into the harmony solo. It was these sections that made me pick up the guitar to learn the song.

At the moment it’s 8 times platinum in Australia. Now in relation to sales that’s 560,000 units moved, enough to earn a Gold accreditation in the U.S. Then again it’s sitting at 26 million in the U.S.

Apart from the title track, “Victim Of Love” is also a favourite, which also has a Felder contribution along with Glen Frey, J.D. Souther and Henley.

Seriously how good is that intro.

Then you get that stop start riffage in the verses with a simple Chorus line. When the Chorus rolls around, it feels like a song that David Coverdale would write in Whitesnake between 1978 and 1982.

And then there is “Life in the Fast Lane”, written by Henley, Frey and Joe Walsh.

How good is that intro riff?

And then in the verses, it’s like a funk blues jam, with Henley delivering a stellar vocal and Walsh doing his blues funk rock that he’s known for.

Rainbow – On Stage

It’s a powerful line-up.

Richie Blackmore on guitar, Ronnie James Dio on vocals, Cozy Powell on drums, Jimmy Bain on bass and Tony Carey on keys.

I heard this in the 90’s at my cousin’s place and I liked “Catch The Rainbow” because it was vastly different and extended compared to the studio cut. Like 15 minutes extended. It’s not a “wham bam, Amsterdam” song that you can just listen to. You need to put the headphones on, close your eyes and allow yourself to be taken on a journey.

And I always liked to hear Dio re-interpret songs by other vocalists, so “Mistreated” was covered here. This song was also extended to 14 minutes.

I’ve read some reviews which slam the extending of the songs, but to me, that is how live music should be. I get disheartened when bands just play the track live like the album.

If I wanted to hear the track exactly like the album I would just listen to the album.

One of the best shows I ever watched was “The Black Crowes” in Australia, because they just jammed out those songs and Rich Robinson was like the sheriff on stage, he would nod his head for when they would enter a jam and then nod his head when they would exit a jam. It was brilliant to watch.

And some bands can’t do that with their songs, like Maiden or Metallica, so they compensate with the lights and the props, while Bon Jovi, still likes to draw out a jam on stage and every time I have watched em live, there is a jam. While Kiss and Motley Crue just play to script.

The Angels – The Angels

In Australia they are known as “The Angels”.

In order to break into the international market, they had to compromise with their band name to avoid legal problems so there are albums under the name of “Angel City” and “The Angels From Angel City”.

Yep, that didn’t really work out for them.

This is the debut album.

The Angels supported AC/DC in early 1976 and were signed by Malcolm and Angus Young’s older brother George Young and his songwriting partner Harry Vanda to Albert Productions.

For those that don’t know, George Young and Harry Vanda are from The Easybeats and the main songwriters from that band. When that band splintered they became producers and songwriters, writing the soundtrack to the Australian sound.

The Angels at this point in time had Rick Brewster on lead guitar, his brother John Brewster on rhythm guitar, Doc Neeson on vocals, Chris Bailey on bass and Buzz Throckman on drums.

The album was produced by Harry Vanda & George Young from The Easybeats at Sydney’s Albert Studios.

And the star is “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again”.

Originally recorded as an acoustic ballad about the grief felt after a friend of the band died in a motorcycle accident and the conversation of the incident led to the lyrics.

It did nothing for them at this point in time, until the audience started to respond with the “No Way, Get Fucked, Fuck Off” line after Neeson sang the title.

And it’s one of our most iconic songs.

Electric Light Orchestra – Out Of The Blue

There’s a lot of fluff on this album for me, and just a few songs which get me interested.

The instrumental “Believe Me Now” sounds like it was composed by Hans Zimmer for the “Interstellar” soundtrack.

“Summer And Lightning” has an acoustic intro which reminds me of so many other songs from the 70’s. Styx comes to mind immediately and The Beatles sounding “Mr Blue Sky” is the star of this album and on their Spotify account with 300m plus streams

Back to the year 2000 for part 7.

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault – Belinda Carlisle

Belinda Carlisle’s debut album got some traction in Australia. It for the ball rolling.

For album number 2, “Heaven On Earth” a roster of songwriters was on hand again to deliver the songs and stellar musicians to record.

Dan Huff and John McCurry did most of the guitars.

Huff was well known as a session player and then he got a recoding contract with Giant. Huff even appeared on “Here I Go Again” from Whitesnake as John Kalodner wanted a radio friendly version as well.

For those who don’t know, McCurry wrote and played on a few songs on “Trash” with Alice Copper, played on albums for Cher, Bonnie Tyler, Michael Bolton, Cyndi Lauper, Billy Joel and Taylor Dayne. And Kenny Aronoff did most of the drums. Many more contributed who also appeared on albums from other artists.

The Jovi like “You Give Love A Bad Name” renamed as “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” kicks off the album. And this song was huge in Australia. I guess we like to hear the same thing over and over and over again, with some subtle changes.

It’s written by Rick Nowels and Ellen Shipley and there is a chance you’ve heard there songs before if you’ve listened to Santana, Stevie Nicks, Kim Wilde, Celine Dion, Madonna and Lana Del Rey. And you know how I said that “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” sounds like a Jovi cut, well, Rick Nowels is married to Maria Vidal who was with Desmond Child in The Rouge and remained friends with Desmond long after. Connections everywhere.

“Circle In The Sand” is also written by Nowels and Shipley and it has this Police “King Of Pain” vibe which Gotye would use to great affect many years later with “Somebody That I Used To Know”.

“World Without You” and “I Get Weak” are written by Diane Warren.

“Fool For Love” has this “Dancing In The Dark” vibe and its written by Robbie Seidman who would write the song “Summer Rain” for her next album, with Maria Vidal.

“Nobody Owns Me” is a hard melodic rock song to rival Lita Ford and as a fan, I would have liked if Carlisle explored this style a little bit more. This one is written by Charlotte Caffey who played guitar in The Go Go’s and was one of the bands songwriters, along with Aussie, Mark Holden and Clyde Lieberman. In Hard Rock circles, Lieberman would write the song “Shout” on Hurricane’s “Over The Edge” album plus a range of other artists outside of hard rock and he also managed Rock Star Supernova, which had Tommy Lee on drums, Gilby Clarke on guitar, Jason Newsted / Johnny Colt on bass and Lukas Rossi on vocals.

The next album, “Summers Rain” also went crazy in sales in Australia and around the world and then Carlisle disappeared. She got no more promo in Australia and that was that.

“The Collection” released in 2002 and not to be confused with the other releases known as “The Collection” which came after, more or less, has all of the songs that charted and like all of her albums a who’s who of songwriters.

If you own this, there is no need to own anything else.

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault – Choirboys

“Big Bad Noise” was released in 1988. 

They had a break through with their self-titled debut in 1983 and then vocalist Mark Gable’s vocal cords ruptured and the band were in hiatus during 1984 and 1985, waiting for Gable to recover. The momentum gained was lost but it also gave the band time to write a lot of songs. 

Guitarist Brad Carr left the band, to be replaced by Brett Williams as they supported Bon Jovi on their 87 Aussie tour but his song contributions would live on forever.  

The single “Run To Paradise” (written by Gable and Carr) came out in December 1987.

And the song revived the pub rock movement just as it was dying. Suddenly DJ’s were out and live bands were in again. This lasted for another 5 or so years and the movement started to die off again.

For me, I couldn’t resist the A, E, D, E chord progression. 

Then the album dropped in February 1988 and by then the band had a lot of momentum. The Jovi September 87 shows went into the “Run To Paradise” single release in the December summer and now the album.

“Struggle Town” captured the regional areas as these thriving cities of the past, struggled to survive in the 80’s when the work went away. And no one wanted to go back to Struggle Town, but in the end we never really left it, living from pay to pay.

“Boys Will Be Boys” is up next. I guess we don’t have a choice, boys will be boys, and get up to fighting and what not.

Then you have tracks like “Guilty” and “Like Fire” which won’t set the charts alight, but that AC/DC like vibe in the intro/verses rocks hard and the choruses are melodic and catchy.

“Big Bad Noise” sounds like it came from a Def Leppard album.

And the rest of the album just rolls along while beers get downed, with “Fireworks”, “Gasoline” and the perfect summer cut, “One Hot Day”.

And this album gave them a three year victory lap. “Midnight Sun” came out in 1991 and it was rockier and better, but commercially it didn’t do the same business as “Big Bad Noise”. More band members came and went, with vocalist and guitarist Mark Gable and bassist Ian Hulme the mainstays from 1979 to the current day. 

Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault – Conception

“In Your Multitude” is the first album I heard from Conception but it’s their third album.

It’s not on Spotify Australia, but YouTube has it.

And the CD had an insert with advertising of those previous albums called “Parallel Minds” and “The Last Sunset” along with some other artists on the “NOISE” label. 

Conception is from Norway and they started off as a power metal band.

Record after record, the band slowly incorporated progressive elements to their music. But it’s not progressive like a thousand notes per minute progressive. Its progressive in its poly rhythms and the atmospheric song structures. It’s the progressive style I like. Even bands like Styx and Toto had these kind of progressive moments albeit more Rock than Metal.

“In Your Multitude” is a fine progressive metal album. And if a person was new to the progressive metal genre, this album is a good entry point.

“Under a Mourning Star” kicks off the album with a syncopated guitar riff which reminds me of the “Metropolis, Pt: 1” verse riff from Dream Theater. Guitarist Tore Ostby takes centre stage here and vocalist Roy Kahn delivers a great melody in the verses and the Chorus.

“Missionary Man” has a heavy palm muted riff under a Kashmir style drum beat. And the Zeppelin influences continue with the vocal delivery and the exotic scales used. It’s perfect.

“Retrospect” starts off with a progressive riff, before it moves into a Queensryche “I Don’t Believe In Love” verse.

“Guilt” is one of the heavy songs, with a groove straight from a Pantera album and melodic vocals.

“Sanctuary” is a short acoustic song, that gives Ostby a chance to play some nice arpeggios and flamenco styled licks, while Roy Kahn delivers a haunting vocal line.

“A Million Gods’’ is the most progressive track on the album. At 7.45 minutes, it doesn’t feel like it’s that long. And the chorus is memorable. Also check out the bass playing in the verse. It takes centre stage, the way Ostby took centre stage on “Under A Mourning Star”. 

“Some Wounds” has a heavy verse and an arena rock chorus. 

“Carnal Comprehension” is a hard rock song with some nice guitar hero moments. This would become the sound on the next album which alienated a lot of fans.

“Solar Serpent” has a great bass riff in the verse and a melodic chorus. It reminds me of Accept and Judas Priest, with acoustic guitars, fast bass and drums and fast electric guitar solos.

“In Your Multitude” closes the album with its Pink Floyd influences in the intro before the full band kicks in after a minute, sort of like Black Sabbath’s “Sign Of The Southern Cross”. Make sure you check out the guitar solo that goes on and on after 4 minutes.

And they did one more album in the 90’s called “Flow” and then disappeared for a long time. Members went into the band’s Kamelot, Ark and Royal Hunt.

And in the last 4 years they have re-appeared.

Music, My Stories

It’s All Rock To Me

I looked at Spotify’s Global Top 50 and I didn’t see a rock artist listed. It was all hip hop and collaborations of other hip hop artists. The Global Viral Top 50 also presented with a list of unknown artists to me. Artists like WhoHeem, Salem Ilese, Ritt Momney, JVKE and I could go on and list so many names and not one of them would be known to me.

And then Spotify releases data reports and tells everyone that hard rock and heavy metal artists are the most listened to. But the Top 50 and Viral lists doesn’t support that.

So people listen to what is popular and they listen a lot while the song is popular and then move on to the next big thing. But in rock and metal, people listen and they keep on listening for years and years.

So the streaming money is in rock. But the labels and the media that supports the labels like to report that hip hop is dominant.

It’s not.

Even in the live arena, rock bands dominate, in ticket sales and merch. And COVID19 has hurt these artists, that’s for sure, but it’s also given these artists an opportunity to get new music done, or a new book, or a new collaboration, or a new side project or something else.

Because music will keep paying forever. Streaming makes that a reality. It scales. As long as you hold the copyrights for your songs, they will pay you and your kids and your grandkids for a long time, because copyright takes a long time to expire these days. And the labels are pushing for never.

And going to a rock and roll show, it’s not all oldsters. There is a whole new audience there, its cyclical and if the kids can’t pay the high prices for the tickets, their parents will.

Remember in the pre-streaming era, a sale was a sale. And if you listened to a record or not was irrelevant. It was still a sale to the label and the artist thought they had a fan. But that was never certain.

But rock is not seen as rock anymore. There is pop rock, classic rock, post rock, hard rock, melodic rock, heavy rock, progressive rock, folk rock, stoner rock, sludge rock, punk rock and I can keep going with the different terms. In other words, there are so many niches and artist are playing to these niches and sustaining.

Hard Rock never went away when grunge came. It was still there albeit at a reduced release schedule and fans of the genre still purchased the albums that got released. And that niche is still there.

For artists, they need to realise it’s about subscriptions. Adobe went to monthly subscriptions and so did Microsoft. Apple is bundling all of their wares into a nice subscription. Netflix is subscription based. So is Amazon. For a small monthly fee, you get a lot of content and in music, you almost get the history of recorded music at your fingertips.

If you still want to create a CD, remember that CD sales thrived because people were rebuying their previous vinyl and cassette albums on CD and people who had computers with CD drives were purchasing CD’s. Computers don’t even come with CD drives anymore.

And for those who are upset that Daniel Ek is a billionaire, remember that without Spotify, Universal and Warner Music would be worth a lot less.

Streaming was gonna happen, because it’s on demand distribution. And people like that.