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

Then And Now: Changes In Music

THEN
Music was all about achieving LIBERATION.

NOW
Music is all about the tyranny of MONEY.

THEN
Money served a purpose and it was a by-product of music

NOW
Money is the primary marker of status and success.

THEN
Music greats led the way in breaking down barriers and enhancing culture

NOW
We inhabit the world that The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Jim Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Free, Bad Company, Van Halen, Thin Lizzy, Aerosmith, Doobie Brothers, Electric Light Orchestra, Kiss, Metallica, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi and AC/DC created.

THEN
We lied about what we earned.

NOW
We still lie about what we earn as the ability to make money is seen as a primary marker of acceptance. The shame of failing financially is so great that a number of people every year commit suicide because of it.

THEN
Bands/Artists needed to be busy to make it or stay relevant.

NOW
Bands/Artists still need to be busy to make it or stay relevant. Look at George Lynch and the amount of releases since 2008. Look at Mark Tremonti or Myles Kennedy and their involvement in various projects. Avenged Sevenfold are out on the road promoting the “Hail To The King” album, working on the “Deathbat” game and an anniversary re-issue for “Waking The Fallen”.

THEN
The challenge was getting your music heard

NOW
The challenge is still about getting heard.

THEN
No one toured South and Central America.

NOW
Touring dollars are in South and Central America. If you are an established band and are not touring South/Central America, then you are leaving money on the table. M Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold summed it up nicely in a recent Loudwire interview.

THEN
Platinum selling bands/artists were told that they owed the label millions. Check out Van Halen’s story during the Van Halen II era. “We went platinum. We toured for a year, we came back, and Warner Bros. told us that we owed them $2 million,” said drummer Alex Van Halen. “And on top of that, we owed them another record,” added guitarist Eddie Van Halen. “It was the end of the year. We had three weeks to deliver another record…then boom, we went straight out on tour again. The first record took about a week, seven days to do. The second record took about three weeks.”

NOW
Platinum selling bands/artists are still told that they owe the label millions.

THEN
Bands/Artists covered songs as a career choice and made them unique. They made those cover songs their own. Van Halen did it with “You Really Got Me” and again with “You’re No Good”, which Linda Ronstadt also covered.

NOW
Bands/Artists do cover songs as a tribute to their influence.

THEN
Bands/Artists borrowed heavily from other artists and styles without the fear of being sued. It was a cultural thing. Led Zeppelin comes to mind immediately. Jake Holmes played “Dazed and Confused” at a show in 1967 when he was opening up for The Yardbirds who had Jimmy Page on guitar. “Stairway To Heaven” had its whole intro lifted from a song called “Taurus” by Spirit. Again Led Zeppelin opened for Spirit once upon a time. In both cases, the artists didn’t sue.

NOW
Borrow anything, expect a lawsuit. Kudos to Avenged Sevenfold for having the balls to do so. They borrowed heavily and in turn they created an album that works brilliant live. And that is what it is all about. In addition it is one of the best metal sellers for 2013 and it is still selling in 2014.

THEN
The Record Labels didn’t know what would succeed or what would fail. Look at Metallica. “Kill Em All” was independently financed. Look at Motely Crue. “Too Fast For Love” was independently financed. Look at Twisted Sister. “Under The Blade” came out on a small independent label. “You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll” came out on Atlantic UK. The US arm didn’t want to touch the band. It was after the imported version of “You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll” started selling like hot cakes that Atlantic US became interested.

NOW
The Record Labels still don’t know what would succeed or what would fail. Five Finger Death Punch is a big seller in the world of metal and hard rock. Their first album was financed by themselves and issued on a small subsidiary label. Volbeat was a supergroup of Death/Extreme metal bands signed to a small sub label of a larger independent label.

THEN
Music was a risk business.

NOW
Music is still a risk business.

THEN
Labels invested in a lot of projects because they didn’t know what would connect.

NOW
Labels invest in fewer projects and blame piracy because they still don’t know what will connect.

THEN
Metal and rock labels signed the act first and then they figured out how to market them and sell them.

NOW
Labels sign an act based on how they decide to market them.

THEN
Recording was expensive.

NOW
Recording is cheap.

THEN
Distribution was expensive and controlled by gatekeepers.

NOW
Distribution is cheap.

THEN
Marketing was all about radio and record shops.

NOW
It is about Spotify, YouTube, social media and virality.

THEN
Labels had executive boards/owners that were music fans.

NOW
Labels have executive boards that are actual business executives with the exception of a few.

THEN
Universality is the key to success.

NOW
We have endless niches.

THEN
The release of music was controlled.

NOW
We have plenty. We are overloaded.

THEN
The song would sell the act.

NOW
The marketing hype sells the act with the exception of a few.

THEN
Rock music was liberating the masses.

NOW
It is known as Classic rock to the masses.

THEN
Acts wanted to lead. They challenged the paradigm.

NOW
No one wants to lead.

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Music, Treating Fans Like Shit

Stone Music Festival, Sydney – The people on Facebook have spoken

The Stone Music Festival could have, should have, would have been great.  It had the makings of a great event.  Taking its name from the cult followed Stone movie, one of the best pieces of Australian cinema, it had everything going for it.  From reading people’s reactions on social media, it is safe to say that organisers missed the mark on this one. They have suffered some serious brand damage on this one, so i don’t believe that another Stone festival will happen.

VH sound was the worst mix I’ve heard in 25 years of watching and playing in bands. Bloody disgrace. Flew up from Melbourne to hear them and walked out after 30 mins.  

Any chance of a free Van Halen concert for those who paid to see one of the greatest bands, and got the worse sounding gig ever?  But only after the sound guy is sacked & replaced with a capable one.

For those that are complaining about Van Halen’s performance last night take note that their music is always turned up loud! I remember the 1998 concert my ears were ringing for one week after seeing them. And being an outdoor arena there’s going to be a lot of echo which most times people may think is distortion. Personally I think their performance was great.  A couple of negatives is that Dave should stick to singing in a lower range as it suits his voice better, and they’ll refuse to play some Van Hagar songs like “Dreams, Right Now and Why Can’t This Be Love”.. They never played them in the ’07-’12 tours.. Overall I think they played great.

The Van Halen’s played great, Eddie is still the guitar God he always was. David Lee Roth had vocal issues, but it was still a great performance overall. Heard no sound issues where I was on the floor, and the set was a great selection of Roth era old and new.

Can someone explain to me how one of the largest bands in the world, have an incompetent sound engineer behind the desk?  Van Halen are getting paid $3 million for this performance, and it’s their only Australian performance, so i would expect some care and precision to be taken with the sound.  Does the band care?  EVH and AVH have not made one public appearance in Australia, nor have they done any interviews recently.  All of the PR is done by DLR.  I grew up on Van Halen, the 1984 and 5150 albums sit behind the Randy Rhoads tribute album as bibles in hard rock guitar playing (also need to add John Sykes playing on Whitenake’s 1987 album).

Aerosmith was the most amazing thing I have seen! Best night of my life by far! Seeing my sexy toxic twins up there blew me away! And Aerosmith shat all over van halen! FUCK YES!

Aerosmith – Amazing, possibly the best band on the day

Mind blowing performances today…. Sooooooo Goood.
Kings of Chaos and Aerosmith stole the showww…

OMG What a totally awesome day/night we had but WOW Aerosmith were fantastic!!! Kings of Chaos were brilliant as well as Noiseworks, Living End, Buck Cherry…. Thoroughly had the best time 🙂

Aerosmith still have it.  Like Kiss, they are seasoned and professional when it comes to performing live, plus Steve Tyler still has the vocal chops.

Just one question about today – why did the merchandise stand not open until 3.00pm? I waited in the queue for 3/4 hour missing Kings of Chaos to get t-shirts not good!

A lot of people expressed their frustration at the merchandise stores and they couldn’t understand why once inside the stadium, no merchandise could be purchased.

How do I go about officially complaining about this event or the promoters? Or whoever I can complain about/to.  Lifehouse was the ONLY reason I bought the $279 ticket and spent $300+ on accommodation and flights.What am I supposed to do now??!?  

Due to Lifehouse pulling out…Selling platinum ticket for tomorrow. $280 ONO.  Section A2 row L seat 6.  Lifehouse was the only reason I bought the ticket. Been waiting 8 years to see them. Won’t be able to get a refund on flights and accommodation already booked, but I can at least sell the ticket (for the price I bought it for) to someone who wants to be there. Inbox me if interested.

Lifehouse must have known that they were not going to do the show for a while, however they announced it on Friday via their Facebook page, with really a pretty shite post.  Fans want the truth, they want answers.  They don’t want stupid PR produced messages that mean nothing.  As mentioned above, fans purchased tickets to watch Lifehouse.  That is one part.  If they came from different states, they would have purchased flight tickets, hotel tickets and so much more.  I like Lifehouse.  I got into them because my wife like them.  However, they have let their fans down by not explaining properly why they pulled out.   The times have changed, however the Lifehouse PR team seems to have missed the memo.

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