A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Unsung Heroes

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – February 28 to March 6

2018 (4 Years Ago)

IDEAS

All ideas or If you use the words “intellectual property” for the Copyright maximalists, have an influence from something that came before. We learn to write music by learning the music from others. We learn to write stories by reading the stories of others.

It’s probably why people shouldn’t get all emotional over ideas/intellectual property.

People like familiarity.

Derek Thompson in his book “Hit Makers” mentioned how people are drawn to music that might be new, yet familiar enough to be recognizable.

In other words, that new song we all like has enough variation in it to make it not a carbon copy of its source influence.

And people still like to claim that their song is so original and free from influence and when people have that fixed mindset, well, the courts are busy and the lawyers are making money.

Check out my recent Google alerts on the word Copyright.

A lot of delusional people who believe that their works are so original and free from influence.

Guess what.

All of our ideas have already been stolen. Because there is no such thing as the genius loner. It’s a myth. We are all social people and our creativity is fuelled by our social environments. Every single day, we take in our surroundings, we set meaningful and important goals and we are always thinking of solutions to problems.

A neuroscientist and a psychologist broke down creativity into three main buckets;

  • Bending means you take a previous work and re-model it in some way. “The Walking Dead” and “Night Of The Living Dead”.
  • Blending means merging previous works together so you have multiple melodies and re-cutting it to suit what you want to write. Jimmy Page was great at doing this with Led Zeppelin’s music. Metallica did that with “Sanitarium”.
  • Breaking is taking a short and important musical idea otherwise known as a musical fragment and building on it. Think of my post on “One Riff To Rule Them All”, which covers the A pedal point riff used in songs like “Two Minutes To Midnight”.

The differences between humans and computers is how we store information and how we retrieve information. For the computer, the riff stored on the hard drive will sound exactly the same three years later, however that same riff stored in our head would be different.

Why.

Our brain breaks it down, blends it and bends it with other information. This massive mash up of ideas in our brains is our creativity. And when we play that riff three years later, it has a different feel, different phrasing or something else. Some of them stink and sometimes we create something that breaks through into society.

LIVE ALBUMS

A funny thing started to happen when streaming became the main source of income for the labels.

Live albums started to come out.

You see, streaming services like new content. And since bands like to take their time or need to make time to record new original music, they filled the void for new content by releasing live albums.

Suddenly getting new product out yearly instead of every two to three years became the norm. But it still didn’t solve the problem of people not buying albums.

Whitesnake is a band which keeps firing out live recordings year after year. “Made In Japan”, “Made In England”, “Bad To The Bone 84”, “Castle Donnington 90”, “Live In The Heart Of The City” and “The Purple Tour” have been released as stand-alone albums over the last 10 years.

And David Coverdale knows the value of his super fans.

2014 (8 Years Ago)

AVENGED SEVENFOLD and FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Live

I attended the Five Finger Death Punch and Avenged Sevenfold gig on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 at the Big Top in Luna Park. It was my first time seeing them both live so I didn’t know what to expect.

Read the review here.

And if you get a chance to watch em live, do it.

INNOVATION FROM LABELS (Cough, Cough)

Each week, the sites that enable copyrights to be infringed innovate at a rapid rate to stay ahead of the curve. They are competing against each other for people to use them to illegally access entertainment.

Read the post to see how these sites innovate. Instead of shutting em down, the labels and movie studios should be employing these people.

TRENDS IN ROCK AND METAL

I played Nostradamus and looked into my crystal glass full of whiskey in the jar-o to make some predictions.

ON A DOWN SLOPE

DAUGHTRY

The band leader, Chris Daughtry messed up big time chasing the crowds of “Train” and “Imagine Dragons”.

He is a hard rocker from day dot and rock gave him his legion of fans. For the ill-fated and recent “Baptized” album, he committed career suicide, throwing his lot with the hit songwriters.

The songs are good, however they are not Daughtry songs. It would have been better for him as an artist to have given those songs to other artists that are more electronic pop rock minded. That way he would have been the songwriter, the way Bryan Adams gave songs away to other artists that wouldn’t suit the Adams sound back in the 80’s.

HYPE

We can see through the hype and we hate it.

So much hype was around Dream Theater’s self titled release and it disappeared from the conversation within six weeks.

Megadeth’s brand new album “Super Collider” was being outsold by the Black album.

THE ALBUM FORMAT

Making money is hard. Just because a band releases an album, it doesn’t mean that people would pay for it or would want it.

And when we are inundated with product we tune out, however, it turns out we have time for Metallica’s “Black” album. At this point in time it was still moving two to three thousand units a week and it was expected to pass 16 million by May 2014.

GOING GOING – ALMOST GONE

CLASSIC ROCK

Classic Rock bands have another 10 years left.

ON THE UPSTORYTELLING

That is why TV shows are the most downloaded torrents of all time. Tell a good story and the world will be at your door step.

THE LABELS WANT TO BE THE GOOD GUYS

Read the financial reports on Universal Music Group.

Spotify has propped up their bottom line and that bottom line will get better each year for Universal. And they keep spreading the bull shit that they are out there fighting for the artists. The good guys.

Frontiers has become a major player in the classic rock, melodic rock and hard rock scene. They kept the flag of melodic rock flying high since 1996, when all of the other major labels abandoned the style and put their monies into grunge first and then industrial rock/metal and then nu-metal.

And their business model is all about locking up copyrights for a long time.

They have realised it’s not about sales anymore, and while steaming numbers and revenue are still tiny, in the long term the labels will be able to reap the benefits.

Why?

Because streaming is a regular recurring revenue business. And these Copyrights are valuable?

Let’s put it this way, if Metallica is on Spotify, then the rates paid back to the COPYRIGHT HOLDERS (which in this case is Metallica as they do own their Copyright) must be good, because Lars Ulrich and their manager Cliff Burnstein would not allow Metallica to enter a business arrangement that is not in their favour.

And back in 2014, Tool or AC/DC or Def Leppard were not on Spotify. They all are now.

The real truth is that there is much more music out there than there has ever been, so the issues that are present to artist and labels is how do they get people’s attention directed towards that new music.

Personally, I don’t even know anybody who pirates music anymore. There is no reason to pirate and legitimate customers/fans would always turn to legal alternatives.

Add “Recording Sales Revenue” plus “Streaming Revenue” plus “YouTube Ad Revenue” plus “Ticket Revenue” plus “Merchandise Revenue” plus “Corporate Deals Revenue” plus “Sponsorship Revenue” plus “Publishing Revenue” plus “Licensing Revenue” and then decide if you are winning or not.

Again, if you are not seeing a lot of revenue, then you need to be speaking to your label, because if you have numbers in all of the above Revenue streams then something is a-miss contractually.

SPOTIFY

You know the drill. A new technology comes out and eventually it will start to get some traction. Then the word will spread about and more people would flock to it. It’s new, it’s cool, it’s hip and its innovative. Then when it is at its peak, the people who testified for the new tech, will abandon it, looking for something new and better.

MySpace, Facebook, Twitter are three such platforms that came, peaked and right now are suffering an identity crisis.

MySpace is finished.

Facebook got traction because it connected people in a way that MySpace couldn’t. Now, all of these connected people need to deal with the marketing of products, advertisers, like requests, fake friend requests and spam.

Twitter is well, Twitter. With so many people tweeting or having their tweets connected to their Facebook Posts or their blog posts, everything is getting lost in the mix. When a big news item hits, Twitter is the platform to go to, because people who are directly involved in these big events are the ones that are tweeting.

Spotify has been around for a while now and in the last 3 years it set up base in a number of large music markets like Australia, Canada and of course the US.

The people tried it. Some have stuck to it. Some have abandoned it. The ones that speak out against it have never used it.

Spotify however needs a game changer. Sort of like how the move to APPS changed the iTunes store. And it’s all about the FREE. Fans of music showed the world that they want FREE music to listen to. And don’t say that FREE doesn’t work. How the hell did Free To Air TV exist and grow over the last 60 years.

I am all over the shop when it comes to music. I still purchase product from the bands I like and I stream as well.

And the funny thing is that I don’t use iTunes anymore.

Who would have thought that day would have come?

And that is what Spotify needs to think about it. Once the newness has rubbed off, what’s next. Consolidation. How can you consolidate when the modern paradigm is DISRUPTION?

P.S.

I wrote this in 2014 and since then Spotify has innovated a lot to keep people interested. Putting their lot in with PODCASTS and it looks like they will be moving to Audio Books as well based on a recent survey I undertook with them.

But their algorithms have turned to shite.

COPYRIGHT

It’s all about stopping copyright infringement. It’s all about shaking down internet users. It’s all about a ridiculous and “out of touch with reality” penalty system. For example, if a user downloads one song, the RIAA have argued that the copyright holders are out of pocket between $20 to $10,000. Seriously.

When discussions are had on Copyright, it’s all about the enforcement. It’s all about creating a monopoly. The ones that sit on the innovation fence are shouted down to from the ones that control/hold the Copyrights.

The thing is, people have been “copyright infringers” since day dot. Anyone that remembers cassette tapes, will tell you how they used to copy songs from recordings onto a cassette tape. James Hetfield used to copy Lars Ulrich’s record collection onto cassettes.

We used to copy songs from the radio onto cassettes. We used to copy movies from TV onto VHS cassettes. Then we got even more creative and hooked up two videos at once to make copies of the latest releases. With the advent of the CD and blank discs, we started making mixed CD’s. When Napster exploded, people flocked to it. Because we had been copyright infringing forever.

It is easy to lay the blame on others. However it is the record labels that need to take responsibility. They still don’t get it. People want FREE music. Spotify provides a service that is free, however it is still seen as restrictive and people still go to other torrent sites to download content. YouTube also provides a service that is free.

And then the recording industry claims that these sites make so much money from running ads on their site. If that is the case, then why isn’t the recording industry offering the same service and making that same money.

They don’t want to, because that would mean they would have spent dollars in Information Technology. And they don’t want to do that.

And most artists have never made a living from royalties. The record labels always have.

Well I hope you enjoyed another wrap up of Destroyerofharmony history?

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5 thoughts on “The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – February 28 to March 6

  1. I stream Apple and I like the try before ya buy feature. Like you I used iTunes lots back in the day as I could purchase albums for 9 bucks as I had a young family at the time and I could not afford it any other way…
    iTunes I have no use now that I stream. But it served its purpose at the time.

  2. Dang, you are absolutely right! People love free stuff. Back in high school, I used to listen to albums on YouTube while I did homework because it was available and it was free. Now that I’m leaving for Florida tomorrow, I have to part with my CDs and rely on Spotify and YouTube for a bit.

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