My Stories, Stupidity

Hacked

I’m not sure if any of the stories of Australian companies getting hacked have made it to the U.S.

Optus is the second largest telco in Australia. I have my mobile plans and internet plans with them. They got hacked about six weeks ago and I’ve been told my details got swiped.

Then I was told the information that got swiped is not enough for any person to steal my identity so I don’t need to do anything.

Then VINOMOFO got hacked, an online site i buy wine from. It was a test database that had all the information of their customers. And I’ve heard nothing from them since.

Then the big one.

Medibank.

Yep, the private medical insurer got hacked and all of their customer data, past and present members was taken along with medical histories. At the moment I’m a current member.

I would like to say “sucked in” to Medibank. About six weeks before the hack they wouldn’t allow me to get a report on how much dollars my 17 year old son had left on his physiotherapy.

Their response was “due to privacy and because he is over the age of 16, he needs to access this information himself”. And they kept re-iterating that they take “privacy seriously”.

But, I’m the one paying the insurance premiums, plus the gap payments and he’s under my policy but they told me I have no rights to ask questions about him.

Where is the privacy now?

The privacy they take so seriously.

The hackers then asked Medibank to pay $1USD for each member record which totaled about $9.2 million.

Medibank refused.

The data started to get released.

Then the text messages started.

Hi Dad, I lost my phone and I’m using this phone. Call me on this number?

And then the phone calls started from mobile numbers which are not masked so when I answered them I was greeted by silence and then they would hang up.

I’m pretty sure the text messages and phone calls are from previous hacks as the Medibank hack is too recent.

Police enforcement doesn’t care because the hackers are not in Australia and while the politicians say they are doing something about it, they actually do nothing except talk about it and try to get voting points.

Once upon a time I felt like hackers kept governments, companies and politicians honest, by leaking information which showed these institutions abusing their power. But leaking information from innocent citizens for profit is not cool.

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Music, Stupidity

1996 – Part 5.2: Manowar – Louder Than Hell

If the style of the artwork looks familiar, it should. Its Ken Kelly doing the cover. If you have “Destroyer” and “Love Gun” from Kiss, “Rising” by Rainbow, “Space Invader” by Ace and other albums by Manowar like “Fighting The World” and “The Triumph Of Steel”, then you would have been exposed to Ken Kelly.

Should be called “Duller Than Hell” and Motley Crue also want their title back. Or they should have used their war cry “Death To False Metal” as the album title as the songs themselves are too derivative of earlier Manowar and could be classed as false.

It’s their eighth album, released on October 1, 1996. After the expiration of their contract with Atlantic, the band did a big money move to Geffen Records and this is their first offering. For an album on Geffen Records, the production is lifeless. Stale. Which is strange as the album was anticipated. And it was a running joke, if the album would ever get released as they approached four years from the previous studio album. Back then four years was a long time. These days bands go decades without releasing anything new.

Formed in 1980, Joey DeMaio on bass, keyboards is still the head honcho and main songwriter. Eric Adams is still the vocalist. It is the first album to feature guitarist Karl Logan, as well as the return of drummer Scott Columbus.

Dee Snider once posted on Twitter, if people should listen to an artist if they did a crime that doesn’t sit well with you.

Guitarist Karl Logan was arrested in 2019 for child pornography offenses. I questioned myself if I should review this album or not review it. I decided to review it, since all the songs are written by kingpin DeMaio.

My opinion of the album still hasn’t changed.

It’s a parody of their former albums, like “Fighting The World”. The guitar playing is boring.

While former guitarist Ross The Boss played riffs, the new guy plays chords. They might as well have gotten Richie Sambora to play chords. He would have done a more livelier job. And maybe introduced a talk box into their sound.

I was always a Ross The Boss fan anyway and was pretty bummed when he was asked to leave the band he formed with Joey DeMaio by DeMaio himself circa 1988. At first, Ross the Boss was replaced by David Shankle, who left in ’94 after playing on “The Triumph of Steel”. I didn’t want to even listen to the album, but my cousin is a massive fan and he kept playing their new albums for me to check out.

Return of the Warlord

It’s very Judas Priest like. Think “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” and “Heading Out The Highway”. Each song has a dedication in the CD liner notes, and this one is dedicated to Mary Hooton for all the years and all the tears.

Lyrically, its dumb and simple. While the musical climate in the 90’s started to get more introspective and introverted, Manowar was the opposite. They stayed big, bombast, epic and aloof.

Check-out lines like, “I got no money or big house just got life, I don’t like to save it’s more fun to spend, If you like metal you’re my friend, And that bike out in the yard well that’s my wife”.

Yep, I know the 90’s were hard on 80’s metal, yet Manowar survived writing stuff like this.

Brothers of Metal Pt. 1

It’s from 1986, so they must have had writers block. The lyrical themes of “Fighting for metal, that is real, brothers of metal standing together with hands in the air” was a running joke in 1996. The song is dedicated to Jeff Bova.

More lyrical Shakespeare with “Our hearts are filled with metal and masters we have none, and we will die for metal, metal heals, my son

The Gods Made Heavy Metal

Judas Priest again comes to mind, circa “Screaming For Vengeance” era. With lyrics that will either make you take up the fight for Heavy Metal or laugh at the parody of Heavy Metal.

We are treated to biblical lines like “the gods made heavy metal and they saw that is was good, they said to play it louder than Hell, we promised that we would”.

It’s dedicated to a person called Rainer Haensel, for always being ready for anything crazy and for never letting the band down.

Courage

Another song that was demoed in 1986, it’s a piano ballad in a major key. Very Queen like and on this album it is in memory of Anthony John Columbus III.

But it’s a skip for me.

Number 1

One more song that was demoed in 1986 which is dedicated to Tom Miller for believing in the band no matter how crazy it seemed.

And Sylvester Stallone should of used lines like these in a “Rocky” or “Creed” movie. “Today is the day all the training through, we have come for the number one not the number two, let the contest begin play hard fight to win, immortality victory and fame”.

Outlaw

More of the same like the previous songs, the song is for the Manowar fans around the world who stand, shout, live and breathe MANOWAR METAL. I wouldn’t be surprised if “Manowar Metal” becomes a new genre in the years to come.

King

It’s another piano major key ballad for the first 90 seconds before it kicks in to more of the same. “Fighting The World” comes to mind here.

It’s dedicated to John Kalodner, their friend, brother and King. And they do him proud, with the lyrics, “Fight for the crown, fight for the ring, We’re fighting the world, we fight for the king”.

And if you grew up in the 80s you would have seen John

Today Is a Good Day to Die

A 9 minute instrumental that could belong in a Clint Eastwood Western.

They pull no punches in the CD notes when they say this song is dedicated to all the losers in the world who have tried to put Manowar and the Manowar fans down. As the Indians fought and died for their way of life, so shall Manowar. Great Spirit, they only wish to live long enough to urinate on the graves of their enemies.

The Power

Probably the best song on the album as it’s pace is frantic. And the Power is dedicated to artist Ken Kelly.

Manowar’s style is 80bpm chugging along rhythms. Most of their music is the key of Em. They celebrate heavy metal the way we knew it in the early 80’s, before it splintered into so many different categories. They make no apologies for it either. They do it their way, they have their core audience who are devoted to them and sustain them.

“Back In Black” from AC/DC is simple and it keeps you interested. “Louder Than Hell” is simple but it doesn’t keep me interested. Not like the earlier albums from Manowar.

Eric Adams on vocals is underrated and never spoken about when it comes to great vocalists. But they should talk about him a bit more. If you talk about Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillian, Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford, then Eric Adams should be in the same conversation. This album doesn’t do him justice, but check out the 80’s material.

Check it out if you want to hear a band carrying on the flag of 80’s Heavy Metal in the wastelands of Grunge, Alternative and Industrial.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

THE COPYRIGHT SWINDLE

WILL IT EVER BE FIXED TO REWARD THE CREATOR MORE THAN THE ORGANISATION?

I thought Stallone owned the “Rocky” franchises. Otherwise why would he be involved (by writing, directing and acting) in six movies and three spin offs. He did get paid to write the script but the power balance equation back in the 70’s meant Stallone had to keep his mouth shut or never work again. MGM created movies, and when they did so, it also created work for agents, lawyers and managers. No one wanted to upset anybody.

But today, everyone is upset and litigation is an all-time high. That hit song, has a writ. That hit movie, has a writ. Artists are even putting in bogus copyright claims against rival artists.

And just like that, a song from an artist is taken down on Spotify without any repercussions to the person making the false claim. And there is no counter notice. As the Torrentfreak article states; “The problem with Spotify’s system is that it’s relatively easy to flag a track and have it removed. However, there is no official option for the accused party to appeal the takedown. Instead, they have to resolve the matter with the accuser directly. If the accuser doesn’t respond, the artist is simply out of luck”.

And this puts the power back into the big labels who would find it easier to address wrongful takedowns than smaller independent artists, which creates an unfair situation.

I’m not sure if people remember Hipgnosis Songs Fund. They had a pretty big acquisition period in the first six months of 2021, which led them to acquire a lot of music catalogues. Well, by the end of March 2022, their 65000 song catalogue was worth almost $2.7bn. In one year, their revenues grew by $200m, on the back of streaming revenues.

While the artists cashed in once when they sold their rights, Hipgnosis is cashing in, over and over and over again. And since the Copyright Term in the U.S, lasts for the life of the creator plus 70 years after their death, this will be a long time return as long as the music is still listened to. And our neighbours New Zealand just extended their terms by 20 years to make it 70 years from release date otherwise their free trade agreement with the EU couldn’t happen.

One artist who still controls their copyright is Kate Bush. And if you have watched “Stranger Things”, you will know that her song “Running Up That Hill” is back in the charts and getting streamed a lot, earning her over $2.3 million in music streaming royalties alone. And that number will keep on rising.

And of course, Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” is also enjoying a nice wave of streaming revenue, courtesy of “Stranger Things”. And they also own their copyrights.

Those who own valuable copyrights will be banking.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Order Me Up Another Slice Of Copyright

There is always someone who contributes nothing to culture who wants to be paid.

A magazine article from 1983, inspired the original “Top Gun” movie.

The author, Ehud Yonay, transferred the copyright to Paramount for a fee. There is a Copyright law that allows him to terminate this transfer after 35 years.

But he died in 2012, so his widow and son filed a termination notice in 2018 which was approved and in effect from 2020.

I don’t agree with Copyrights lasting 70 to 90 years after the death of the creator, but it’s a law that’s in effect and it will not change anytime soon. This law was designed to benefit the Corporations originally as they are the ones who lobbied hard to get it passed, but as a by product, it also benefited the heirs of very valuable works. Much to the hatred of the movie studios and labels.

So “Top Gun: Maverick” comes out and it starts making some serious coin, the author’s heirs sued Paramount Pictures. They claim that the sequel never should have been made as the Movie Studio does not hold the rights to the magazine story.

Expect a decent settlement before it gets to the courts. Because all the heirs want is a payday.

Poor Mariah.

Her 1994 song “All I Want For Christmas Is You” has been streamed over a billion times earning Carey over $60 million in royalties.

And now an artist is suing for Copyright Infringement because they had a song with the same title out a few years before that.

Yep, they are suing because of the song title which has been used 177 times in the U.S by different artists. It’s no so original is it.

Imagine Judas Priest suing Def Leppard and Halestorm for “Love Bites”.

But the mind boggling Copyright action at the moment comes from Mary Bono, the widow of Sonny Bono and a former Republican U.S. Representative. She was instrumental in getting a law passed called “The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act” in 1998 which extending the terms of copyrights for another 20 years for any works created in 1923 and after. This meant the Public Domain in the US got nothing from 1998, until 1 January 2019.

And now she has filed termination notices to several corporations to get back the rights to Sonny’s works (as he was the writer) and remove Cher from those rights as well which Cher is suing for.

Because Cher’s royalties came because of the divorce agreement she had with Sonny when they agreed to split the royalties equally. I never knew that dead people still had to pay monies post divorce.

And that’s what Mary Bono is arguing. That copyright law supersedes divorce agreements.

And the RIAA and MPAA still argue that we need longer Copyright terms to benefit the creators.

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

The Record Vault: Eric Clapton – Slowhand

“Slowhand” is the fifth full-length studio album by Eric Clapton, released on 25 November 1977 by RSO Records.

Clapton is in the news these days for the wrong reasons. I was even called a racist at my place of work for listening to his music.

I suppose it’s the age old question.

Do you stop listening to an artists for things they’ve said or done that you don’t agree with?

I have three vaccines in me so I don’t really care if artists I enjoy listening to sprout anti vaccine bullshit. The racist rant he went on in a 1976 concert was bizarre to say the least, especially how he is influenced by black musicians. And I’m a foreigners son but I didn’t care much either way.

It gave rise a Rock Against Racism movement back then and then he dropped “Slowhand” which became a massive seller for him.

And coincidence or not his band is white.

Eric Clapton is on lead vocals and guitars. Dick Sims is on keyboards, George Terry on guitars, Carl Radle on bass, Jamie Oldaker on drums/percussion and Mel Collins is on saxophones. Yvonne Elliman does the excellent harmony and backing vocals. Marcy Levy is also on the harmony and backing vocals, and duets with Clapton on “The Core”.

Glyn Johns expertely captures the sounds as engineer and producer. Clapton really wanted to work with Johns, because of his work with The Rolling Stones and The Eagles, however while in the studio, Johns ran a disciplined ship which discouraged jamming. According to Johns, why take away precious time from recording to jam. Since Clapton and his band were drunk most of the time, Johns had no other choice but to run a tight recording schedule.

Cocaine

Written by J.J. Cale who it seems like was getting covered by everyone. The riff is straight from the songbook of “Sunshine Of Your Love”.

At 333.6 million streams on Spotify, it’s one of his most played. And I don’t care how Clapton spins it, the song is about taking the drug,

Lay Down Sally

Written by Eric Clapton, George Terry and Marcy Levy, I like the 12 bar bluegrass shuffle on this. It reminds me of Dire Straits even though this was written before.

Wonderful Tonight

On Spotify it has 309 million streams but press play for the lead breaks which make up for the lyrics which could be classed as silly.

A live song written by Eric Clapton for his then wife.

Next Time You See Her

Another track written by Eric Clapton which could pass for the embryo of the Hootie And The Blowfish sound.

There is anger here at losing his lover.

We’re All the Way

Written by country artist Don Williams. It’s a slower song with shimmering acoustic lines, a soft brush drum beat and baritone vocals.

And it is this style which dominates the album.

The Core

Written by Eric Clapton and Marcy Levy. At almost 9 minutes long, Clapton is trying to re-create “Crossroads” from Robert Johnson in certain sections however there are lot of riffs to unpack here and all of them are a fun to play.

May You Never

Written by John Martyn.

Clapton breaks out the acoustic guitar here, with a kind of Eagles-style tune that doesn’t disappoint and is one that I enjoyed quite a bit.

Mean Old Frisco

Written by Arthur Crudup

Clapton brings a gangster attitude to this as the song reminds me of something that The Black Crowes would do in the 90’s.

Peaches and Diesel

Written by Eric Clapton and Albhy Galuten.

It’s an instrumental with a guitar hero like solo. Musically it shares elements to “Wonderful Tonight”.

And the album did great business all around the world with various certifications from different regions.

The thing I like about Clapton is that he takes on covers and re-invent those songs for the modern market. In a way, making em his songs.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity

Copyright Stupid 101

Copyright is a constant in the news cycle.

Investment funds are purchasing licenses to music catalogues that make money. Streaming services have shown how much money they pay to the copyright holders which in most cases are the labels, the publishers, the few artists who own their rights and now, Hedge Funds and Investment Funds.

The three major music labels jointly brought in over $25 billion in revenue last year, with $12.5 billion coming from streaming recorded revenue alone. Spotify payments represent around a third of that streaming total. Major label profits combined in 2021 exceeded $4 billion.

Furthermore, social media services like Facebook, Tik Tok, Snapchat and the like also pay a lot of license fees to the copyright holders. Even games like Roblox had to settle a $200 million suit around licensing fees to the publishers and labels. There is a lot of money going out to copyright holders which isn’t filtering to the actual people who make those copyrights valuable.

The artists.

Then again, a lot of those people are dead and their copyrights are unfortunately held by corporations (instead of being in the Public Domain) who might pay a few million or a few thousands to the artists heirs. Sort of like a lifetime pension that reverts to the spouse and then to the kids.

From a Metal point of view, investment fund, Tempo Music acquired a majority stake in some of Korn’s recordings and compositions. And another investment fund called, Round Hill Music did a deal with members of Supertramp.

David Bowie’s catalogue went for a lot and he’s not even alive to spend it. So did Bob Dylan to Universal Music Group, who is figuring out how to spend his $400 million at his age. And Neil Young sold 50% of his stake in his song to Hipgnosis for $150 million.

81 year old Tina Turner also sold her rights to BMG (a music publishing company) along with her image and likeness. “Chanisaw Charlie” from WASP comes to mind and how “Charlie” the label boss in the song, whores the image of the dead rock stars.

And the cases for plagiarism in music just keep coming.

You see, I find it hard to believe that an artist is so original and free from influence. And yes, some songs might sound the same or have similarities. Hell the whole Southern Rock genre sounded the same in the 70’s and so did the Blues Rock genre from the same period. They actually both sounded the same.

Listen to progressive music like Yes, ELP and Rush and you would start to hear a lot of similarities. It’s just how creativity works. Nothing is created in a vacuum, free from influences. Creativity is a sum of our influences and experiences.

Plagiarism cases don’t happen much in metal and hard rock circles these days, but if any of the artists have a hit song right now, well, where there is a hit, there is a writ.

Drake and Chris Brown are in court over copyright infringement. Kate Perry just won her suit. Bad Bunny is also sued for infringement. Ed Sheeran has a special team that constantly fights plagiarism court battles.

And Taylor Swift is almost done re-recording her old songs to get away from a restrictive contract in which her copyrights are owned by her original label and for some reason they had the right to sell those rights on to anyone, which they already did.

In other words, they used Taylor Swift as a bargaining chip, sold the copyrights they held in her music and took the money with no compensation to the artist.

Brilliant.

“Frontiers” from Italy is constantly putting money out there to get famous artists from the 80’s and 90’s to record new music for them and to re-record their old songs for the label.

From looking at the metal and rock genre, “Frontiers” have the highest releases from any label that I am aware off. I guess the Frontiers execs are aware that having assets like “copyright” under their control, makes good business sense.

Those copyright assets will never go down to zero. Because streaming pays those who hold the copyrights and the money is in holding the copyrights for the life of the artist plus 70 years after death. In some countries its 90 years after death.

In other words, music is a better investment than anything else. If you buy physical property, you would need to maintain it, renovate it and keep paying bills for utilities, however music just scales. And artists will keep on creating.

And get ready for the battle between AI created deepfake songs of dead pop stars and copyright.

AI can create new songs from Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra or Michael Jackson. A company called OpenAI can generate new pop songs in the style of these artists. It’s not studio quality, more like garage demo’s as the AI creates derivative versions of music they’ve already released and new lyrics based on the songs the artist previously released.

But the biggest issue always facing artists is payments.

The streaming services have secret licensing agreements with the music publishers and the labels. These black box deals are worth a lot to the labels and publishers.

But the music publishers and labels are in these positions of negotiating power because of the works that the artists have created, however those licensing monies do not filter down to the artists.

Then again, these kinds of black box creative accounting from the labels is engrained in their system. It’s nothing new.

But I’ll sign my contract baby, and I won’t you people to know
Every penny that I make, I’ve got to see where my money goes

From “Working For MCA” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

But artists don’t see where their money goes and they haven’t seen for a very long time.

And when the labels had the power and control of the distribution chain before Napster, they could sign artists to the most crappiest deals ever. Which they still enforce today.

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Copyright, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Stupidity

The Week In Destroyer Of Harmony History – March 14 to March 20

4 Years Ago (2018)

Nothing was posted during this period back then.

8 Years Ago (2014)

DEMO DAYS

Machine Head had been leading up to a demo release for the song “Killers and Kings” since February. In the lead up, Robb Flynn talked about his youth, the San Francisco thrash scene and how bands used to release demo’s of songs before the album and how the fans would go away and debate it.

Then the marketing started. Machine Head (along with Nuclear Blast) started releasing the different single covers on a weekly basis (which look great by the way) and they got into partnership with the Record Store Day event.

To put it in simply pseudocode;

Where an audience exists and if an artist has new material, release it.

As a collector I got all 4 covers.

FAKTION

They are no more and according to the internet, they barely existed.

Faktion’s self-titled release hit the streets in 2006. I came across it in 2014. It was up against some stiff competition for listener’s attention. The audience that could have gravitated towards Faktion had already devoted their ears to other bands.

Like Breaking Benjamin released “Phobia”, Skillet released “Comatose”, Stone Sour released “Come What(ever) May”, Daughtry released his self-titled debut, 10 Years released “Autumn’s Dream”, Crossfade released “Falling Away”, Pillar released “The Reckoning”, Red released “End Of Silence” and Papa Roach released “The Paramour Sessions”. Already it is a pretty crowded marketplace.

BUT it gets worse.

They had a deal with Roadrunner Records who didn’t know how to promote them in a crowded modern rock scene.

Anyway check out my review.

THINGS THAT BUG ME WITH ROCK AND METAL

RNR Hall Of Fame

Should Dave Mustaine been inducted with Metallica into the RNR Hall of Fame?

Jason Newsted and Rob Trujilio got inducted however there contribution pales to what Mustaine brought to the band. If you make an assessment of early Metallica, the evidence is there for Dave Mustaine to be inducted. The style of technical thrash that Mustaine brought to Metallica would end up influencing their first four albums. Otherwise they were just another NWOBHM copycat.

The induction criteria does state that the committee looks “at the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll” on an official recording, but as you know, the first album was written while Mustaine was in the band. He just didn’t play on it.

Niches

Metal and hard rock are niches. Accept it and focus on it. It can be a lucrative business for you if you do. It will not bring back the glory days of the Seventies and Eighties, however it will give you a career.

Virality

A song takes off because fans start to spread the word. They share links to it, they talk about it, they blog about it. A marketing campaign can never achieve this. Only great music can.

Queensryche

Back in 2014 I wrote, “when are the people involved going to realise that Queensryhce is no more. Move on, forge a new career and a new identity.”

And I still stand by that.

Vinyl, CD’s, Digital Downloads

Streaming has won. The rest of us that actually purchase any music in physical form do it because we are collectors.

I listen to most of my music on Spotify however I still purchase physical product of bands that I like. BUT I haven’t even opened the shrink wrapping as yet. I have no need to.

MONEY IN MUSIC

Back in 2014, I wrote that “there is still a lot of money in the business. Streaming pays the labels well. It’s just doesn’t filter down to the artists. Revenues from streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora and YouTube surpassed the $1bn mark.”

Streaming Revenue is at $22bn in 2022.

ENTERTAINMENT LOBBY GROUPS ASKING GOOGLE TO DO MORE TO PROTECT THEIR BUSINESS MODELS

23 years post Napster we are still hearing about this. It is the usual b.s. about how Google “could do so much more” or that Google has “not been effective” in preventing illegal music downloading.

HELLO, Google is a search engine.

It is not a protector of business models.

2012 ALBUMS THAT NEED TO BE HEARD

The Night Flight Orchestra – Internal Affairs

If you never experienced the Seventies, then this album from a super group of melodic death metal bands recaptures it all.

From the “Immigrant Song/Achilles Last Stand” references in “Siberian Queen” to the “I Was Made For Loving You” references in “West Ruth Avenue” or the “Play That Funky Music/ Stevie Wonder’s Superstitious in “Internal Affairs”.

Play it loud.

Adrenaline Mob – Omerta

It is a balls to the wall metal classic in the style of Accept, Scorpions, Dio merged with the metal stylings of Disturbed and Godsmack. “Undaunted”, “All On The Line”, “Angel Sky”, “Indifferent” and “Hit The Wall” are worthy additions to any metal bands setlist.

The cover of Duran Duran’s “Come Undone” is also a fitting metal tribute to a pop number one hit.

So put aside all of your views on the members that make up the band and from what bands they come from and embrace a great balls to the wall metal project.

Digital Summer – Breaking Point

DIY band from Phonenix, Arizona, getting stronger with each release. “Breaking Point” was a Kickstarter funded project and it didn’t disappoint. The lead single “Forget You” has racked up 1,027,533 views on YouTube. They are great numbers for an independent band, that also manage themselves, record and release their own music and hold down day jobs.

If you like modern rock, then you will like this band.

Richie Sambora – Aftermath Of The Lowdown

The good old Richie Sambora released a great modern rock album that didn’t get the recognition it deserved because at that point in time he was still in Bon Jovi and Bon Jovi (the band) needed him to start the promotional interviews for the “What About Now” album.

Check out “Seven Years Gone”, “Nowadays”, “Every Road Leads Home To You”. Hell, the whole album is good. Give it your time.

Lizzard – Out Of Reach

This band is definitely under the radar for what they do. Think of Earshot meets Tool meets 10 Years meets modern rock. Vocalist, Mathieu Ricou has a voice that crosses between Chad Kroeger, Aaron Lewis and Maynard James Keenan.

There is a feel of Progressive Metal, TOOL, Hard Rock, Trance & hypnotic music, DEFTONES, YES and PINK FLOYD. It’s a potent mix.

Vaudeville – Vendetta

Vaudeville is one band that deserves more recognition for what they do. They merge the styles of Muse and Radiohead with Hard Rock. It sounds beautiful and original.

Check out the song “Restless Souls”.

Hell Or Highwater – Begin Again

The new band from Atreyu drummer Brandon Saller. Hell or Highwater finds Saller stepping away from his drum kit and taking the mic to be the band’s lead vocalist. It’s hard rock people and it rocks real good and it doesn’t sound generic.

One Less Reason – A Blueprint For Writhing

This EP was my first introduction to One Less Reason. I knew nothing about them and when I heard “All Beauty Fades”, I was left speechless. And they are another DIY band. It’s six songs and there is no filler. A very smart decision to release the best.

Corroded – State Of Disgrace

Corroded have a decent following in their own country of Sweden. They are a skilful band that create groove based hard rock. Stand out songs are “Let them Hate As Long As They Fear”, “I Will Not”, and “Believe In Me”.

COPYRIGHT INNOVATION (YEAH RIGHT)

You know Copyright is all wrong, when you have a composer of several Motown hits combining copyright law with divorce law. Seriously, how much more distorted can copyright get.

Smokey Robinson is seeking a declaratory judgement against his ex-wife. You see, Robinson is reclaiming the rights to his pre-1978 songs from Jobete Music Co. Robinson’s main problem is that his ex-wife (since 1985) believes she should be entitled to 50% of whatever income these songs generate and she has filed suit to ensure that happens.

The labels claim that all pre-1978 songs are “works of hire”.

Smokey Robinson claims that his ex-wife isn’t entitled to his profits but his heirs are.

Remember Copyright’s meaning. To give the creator a monopoly on their works for a limited period of time, so they could create more works. Something looks a miss here.

1991 – YEAR OF DISRUPTION

1991.

The smarter acts started building their Ark’s. They saw the warnings while the rest all drowned in the flood. Castle Donnington in August had AC/DC, Metallica, Queensryche, Motley Crue and Black Crowes. All of those bands survived the flood, however Queensryche managed to commit hara-kiri many years after.

But from a hard rock point of view, 1991 had a lot of guitar heroes looking for work.

Jimmy Page announced that he was working with David Coverdale. The media reported it as White Zeppelin and Led Snake. The band was filled out with Denny Carmassi (Heart) on drums, Ricky Phillips (Bad English) on bass with Johnny and Joe Gioeli from the band Brunette rounding out the band. Fast forward to March 1993, “Coverdale/Page” finally came out. The wheels of motion in the recording business travel slowly.

Neal Schon along with Deen Castronovo signed an unnamed band to MCA which also featured Johnny and Joe Gioeli (who apart from being in the band Brunette, had a gig with Coverdale/Page) whom Schon discovered when he started dating their sister. The bands line up was completed by Todd Jensen (DLR) on bass. And that project would become “Hardline”.

Vinnie Vincent was writing songs with Gene and Paul. Most of those songs would end up 1992’s “Revenge” including the excellent “Unholy”.

John Sykes was rumored that he joined Def Leppard to replace Steve Clark and those rumours started to earn some credibility when Carmine Appice and Tony Franklin quit Blue Murder.

Adrian Vandenberg was out of a gig after David Coverdale disbanded Whitesnake. Rumours started circulating that he was forming a project with John Waite as Bad English was done.

Then he had a solo deal with Victory Records. Then rumours persisted that he was tapped to join House Of Lords who also had a deal with Victory.

Adrian Vandenberg went on to be involved in the supergroup “Manic Eden” that had Rudy Sarzo, Tommy Aldridge as well as Little Caesar vocalist Ron Young. The House Of Lords connection was there in the early incarnation of the band, as James Christian was the original vocalist.

Steve Stevens was also between employers. He was also on the radar to fill the guitarist slot with House Of Lords and then he was working on a solo record and then he was announcing plans to work with Michael Monroe which became Jerusalem Slim. And a few years later he would be the guitarist on Vince Neil’s rocking debut album.

Randy Jackson spent 5 years working on the “China Rain” project, assembling a brilliant band that included Brian Tichy on Drums, Ronnie Snow supporting Randy on guitar and Teddy Cook on Bass. Then the label decided to not release it.

Vivian Campbell was in a new hard rock band called Shadow King, with Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Bruce Turgon on bass and Kevin Valentine on drums.

Vito Bratta at that point in time had a solo deal with Atlantic. And then nothing.

Jeff Watson was rumoured to be in a project with Carmine Appice, Bob Daisley and Derek St Holmes. That project ended up becoming “Mother’s Army” and the final line up consisted of vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, guitarist Jeff Watson, bassist Bob Daisley and drummer Carmine Appice.

Richie Sambora didn’t know if Bon Jovi would continue and released a solo album based on the blues infused with a little bit of pop and rock. He never achieved the platinum sales that he got with Bon Jovi, however he got to show a side of himself that could never have been shown in Bon Jovi.

And that’s a wrap for another week.

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Nikki Sixx and Martin Popoff

Back in November, 2021, a Crue fan posted their excitement to Nikki Sixx, when a book on Motley Crue called “Kick Start My Heart” by Martin Popoff arrived at their home.

Well, Nikki Sixx responded in a way that took a lot of people by surprise, when he said that Popoff was just “another person making money” off Motley Crue’s legacy, And if you have read books from Martin Popoff, most of us were like ‘WTF’.

It’s pretty obvious that emotional stability is something that the Crue guys struggle with.

And when other people mentioned the good work that Popoff has done for the hard rock and heavy metal industry with his books and reviews, Nikki Sixx replied by calling him a scumbag, a criminal, a leach.

I suppose every artist wants to control their own narrative (and then they hand over the narrative when they seek out interviews with publications to someone else).

But they cannot stop people from publishing works on them.

Is Nikki serious?

People are writing books on dead rock stars and making money in the process. People are writing unauthorized biographies on current rockstars and making money from it. I have seven books on Led Zeppelin from different writers. All of them unauthorized but written brilliantly.

If you want to be in the public eye, these kind of books are part of the territory. And writers like Popoff fill a void because the artists fail to satisfy it. There is demand and no supply.

From my understanding of this book, Popoff even makes mentions of the references he uses to produce this work. It’s just his take on various authorized books.

And while I don’t agree with Nikki Sixx on this, it doesn’t mean I’ll stop listening to his music, but he should step down from his ivory tower once in a while and actually see the body of work that Martin Popoff has produced.

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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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