Music, My Stories

The Record Vault – Anthrax

I purchased “Persistence Of Time” many years after it came out, from a second hand record shop, because I remembered the “Got The Time” video. I guess it was still ticking in my head for the over playing it got on MTV.

And it’s the best song on the album. And it’s a cover.

Hearing it today, I think the album was a bit ahead of its time, sound wise, but I struggled with it back then. And vocally, I wasn’t sure how to take the melodies.

But i do remember some cool lyrical lines. So here we go with some Anthrax truth.

Life and death as words they don’t mean shit
It’s what you do with it
And how you live with it

From Time

Our life span on Earth is limited and really short. It’s easy to complain and blame others, it’s easy to procrastinate and say you have no time, and it’s hard to make a change and build new habits.

As Steve Jobs said in a speech, death is a destination we all share and how it’s life’s best invention, because it clears out the old to make way for the new. Our time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition because your heart and intuition already know what you truly want to become.

I also dig the riff before the solo break, as it reminds me of “Natural Science” from Rush.

“Blood” kicks off with a cool groovy intro.

Misery can be so attractive
When making yourself happy is the only alternative
At the expense of someone else’s life
Do it for yourself, damn it, do what’s right!

From Blood

Even though it was written back in 89/90, it’s so relevant today. The majority of people in social media want to be friends and liked by a huge circle or network of people, when the truth is, if your circle is smaller, you will be more happier because you won’t be disappointed and you will not disappoint others, as you would have the time to make to keep the friendships going.

For “Keep It In The Family”, James Hetfield was obviously listening because you can hear “Sad But True” in the intro of the song.

The public enemy’s not the man who speaks his mind
The public enemy’s the man that goes and acts blind
Searching for an answer that he’ll never find

From Keep It In The Family

We have fake news all over the net, and people don’t like it. We have fake news on tv stations because the owners of said stations are pushing their own agenda. In Australia, you will never get a positive article on the Labor Party by a Rupert Murdoch owned news site or TV station.

And while our ancestors went to war against dictatorships that spy on their citizens and suppress free speech, it’s really concerning how those things are happening in countries with democratically elected leaders.

Keep it in the family
Don’t even try to tell me what you think is right
When to you blacks are niggers and jews are kikes
And you expect to be taken seriously

From Keep It In The Family

Racism is more prevalent today than I remember growing up. Maybe it’s due to the internet, our connections online and how information spreads fast.

And we have so many laws that prevent racial abuse and discrimination, but hate is still there, lurking in the undertow.

I just want my life
To do whatever I like
Yeah, it’s a selfish need
To have no responsibility
So I’ll say what I’m gonna say
‘Cause I’m going to hell anyway
I’d rather be alone
In my world

From In My World

We want attachments, we want to live in society and we want to be off the grid. Mmmm. It sounds like my week so far. Regardless as we get older, the things that bothered us, don’t matter anymore. Other issues take their spot. And when you have a duty to others, to provide and to keep them safe, you start to lose a little bit of you. So what do you do?

You think it’s so easy?
Put yourself on trial everyday
Against a hung jury
You don’t know a thing about me

From Gridlock

People want success, but when they get it, they are not happy with the judgements, the scrutiny, the lack of privacy and all of the other changes that come with it.

Trust in hope is to trust in pain
From Belly Of The Beast

So much truth. Plan for disappointment to experience happiness instead of the other way around.

You may not know this
We may be different
Different but equal
Different and free

From H8 Red

In the end we all bleed the same and our blood colour is the same.

If a racist person needs life saving blood, they will not have a clue if that blood came from a race they hate. And you know what, I’m pretty sure, people have been given blood donated by races they hate, because blood doesn’t discriminate.

And the wall, cracks, and the walls come crumbling
Down with old ideals that could never work in modern times
Free choice, religious freedom, basic rights are on the bottom line
Down with all the icons of the past cold war and detente
The flock no longer fears the wolf, the flock is taking what it wants

From One Man Stands

The fall of the Berlin Wall is one of the biggest moments of change without any bloodshed. It changed Eastern Europe to this day. And this song sums it all up.

While people might be oppressed for years, the next generation coming through will not have the same fears and obedience of their parents.

In other words, the children of the revolution no longer fear the wolf and are ready to take what they want.

Well, that’s it for my Anthrax collection. I had friends who had other albums which I heard plus I had whatever clip came on music TV, recorded on VHS.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

1984 – IV – The Warning

It’s time for another 1984 post. Part 1 can be found here, Part 2 can be found here and Part 3 can be found here.

And here is the Spotify playlist.

Quiet Riot – Condition Critical

This album was always going to be a hard sell. Kevin DuBrow had troubles controlling his ego. He slagged off other LA bands who got signed to major labels post Quiet Riots success.

He said Ozzy sings like a frog, then Nikki Sixx and Rudy Sarzo got in a slanging match, with Rudy winning the day, with his quote of “the only difference between Quiet Riot and Motley Crue is that QR had a hit with somebody else’s song and Crue didn’t. But Nikki Sixx won everything else after that. And Peter Mensch who was managing Def Leppard at the time, said that QR had already peaked. If you don’t believe me, check out the article over at LouderSound.

So how do you follow up a number 1 album that had a cover song which also went to number 1?

You release an album with a different cover song but from the same band the first cover song came from.

All Quiet Riot did was make a shitload of money for the original writers of the songs from the band Slade.

The rewards go to those testing the limits. And Slade got the rewards, while Quiet Riot got their 15 minutes of fame, because apart from Bang You Head, Quiet Riot (the 80s version) really struggled in the songwriting department.

On this album, “Mama, Were All Crazee Know” and “Condition Critical” are worth a mention.

Actually what came first “Condition Critical” or Motley Crue’s “Louder Than Hell” (as it was called “Hotter Than Hell”) for the “Shout At The Devil” demos. Even the drum feel reminds me of “Too Young To Fall In Love”. And I dig the “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” Bridge/Solo section.

In the end, the audience might like where you’ve been, but if you stay where you are, others pass you by. That’s the Quiet Riot story.

And according to Wikipedia, this album is famous for a two word review: “Prognosis: Terminal”.

Strangeways – Strangeways

Not sure when this was released 1984 or 1986. Regardless, I’ll take the earlier date.

Tony Liddell is on vocals on this one and he would be replaced by Terry Brock who would be known as fronting the “classic” line up.

When I heard the debut, the following three tracks rock hard.

“Hold Back Your Love”, “Power Play” and “More Than Promises”.

Helix – Walking The Razors Edge

My cousin Mega likes the whole album, but for me, it’s these four songs; “Young and Restless”, “Animal House”, “When The Hammer Falls” and “My Kind Of Rock”.

Actually I dig the typical head banging riff, in “My Kind Of Rock” as it’s in the vein of Y&T.

Anthrax – Fistful Of Metal

The definitive story is over at loudersound.

Give it a read, but be warned, you just need to survive all the ads.

“Deathrider”, “Metal Thrashing Mad” and “Death From Above” are the standouts for me. And vocalist Neil Turbin is a bit over the shop, but hey, it’s energetic and trashy and that’s exactly what we wanted.

Hanoi Rocks – All Those Wasted Years

I don’t know what to make of this band or album. During my reefer days, “Up Around The Bend” always got me laughing and I thought “I Can’t Get It” was a Rolling Stones song.

Alcatrazz – Live Sentence

I picked this up on vinyl at a record fair in the 90s. I enjoyed listening to it and hearing Malmsteen before he became the fury.

Hiroshima Mon Amour has got the dumbest lyrics about a serious subject matter, but musically Malmsteen brings it.

There are a lot of Rainbow songs like “Since You’ve Been Gone”, “All Night Long” and “Lost In Hollywood” plus a cool cover of Michael Shenker’s “Desert Song”. The last two mentioned songs are not on the vinyl version.

And of course, Malmsteen is the star here, so he gets to introduce “Evil Eye” an instrumental song which would appear on his debut album.

Queensryche – The Warning

It was a game changer. Fates Warning built a career on this style. Mike Portnoy made the decision he wanted a Geoff Tate like vocalist for a band he was about to start up called Majesty after hearing this album.

“The Warning had a prophetic tinge, with an apocalyptic element. I suppose you could say it was a mystical look into the future.” Chris DeGarmo, Raw, November 1988

The Warning

“The song was about this gifted child who could see everything and knew what was coming, and it wasn’t a very good picture. A warning was being issued.” Chris DeGarmo, RIP, October 1991

Now see the hands of the working man
He’s leaning back against the wall
Once busy hands are idle.
Standing ready for the fall

We attach our status to the money we earn, the job we have and the life we portray to others. Unemployment is real and scary. And in the times of today, nothing is certain, not even employment.

En Force

The battered remains of a world gone insane

What’s happening to the world?

Money rules the day while all sides of religion are trying to keep their control. In the end, the ones who control the money will get a win in the short term but in the process there will be long term pain.

Deliverance

It’s the embryo of “Speak” from the “Operation Mindcrime” album.

This one is about a king who will die, to be reborn, so he can deliver them from the wrongs.

No Sanctuary

Oh, can’t you see the lies in front of you

A lot of us try, and the rest surround them selves with people who hold the same point of view as them.

Until the end I’ll fight and die to be free

No you won’t. You’ll do what you need to do to remain comfortable. No one likes to operate without a safety net these days and the ones who do, end up changing the world.

NM 156

It could have been on a Megadeth album about a dystopian Orwellian future.

Now social control requires population termination

When social control is needed, a war is just around the corner. Anyone seen the movie “The Purge”. For a 12 hour period, all murder and crimes are legal, so basically you have the poor and homeless who can’t afford security systems get eradicated.

Is that future closer to becoming a reality?

Microchip logic
Have we no more thought

I see people everyday spend forever on their Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat feeds. Just aimlessly scrolling without any thought, squandering their potential and power by clicking and following instead of innovating and leading. It’s exactly like they have no more thought and the microchips are the social tools who make billions from our personal data.

Take Hold Of The Flame

You can hear the embryo of the ‘Operation Mindcrime” album in this song.

“The song is about people who have missed opportunities. The opening line is, “We see the line of those who find the world has passed them by / Too late to save a dream that’s gone cold.” It’s about people who have missed their chance; they didn’t capitalize on their potential for whatever reason. The light just seemed to pass them by. We felt that we had ahold of the light, and when Geoff wrote the chorus, he rewrote it as, “Take hold of the flame.”
Chris DeGarmo, RIP, October 1991

So take hold of the flame
You’ve got nothing to lose but everything to gain

People don’t realize how much power they actually have. Our data made Facebook, Google, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram billions. We watch YouTube videos instead of making them.

But it’s uncomfortable to take hold of the flame and the majority of people don’t like this responsibility.

Child Of Fire

It’s like “Children Of The Damned” from about the 2 minute mark.

Conquering masses in wonton deception
Blood red your black flag waves high

Any leader in a democracy who does the bidding of the Corporations instead of the people.

Road To Madness

Most of this is memory now
I’ve gone too far to turn back now
I’m Not quite what I thought I was but
Then again I’m maybe more

You know those times when people tell ya “trash is all your worth”. But it’s not the case. No one is special but everyone is worth so much more.

Foreigner – Agent Provocateur

Yeah, everyone knows the story about how “I Want To Know What Love Is” sold this album, but man, I was really surprised by the other songs, which are more or less ignored and “Tooth And Nail” became a staple for me.

Tooth And Nail

It sounds over produced on the album but I used to cover this song in one of my bands and that opening riff on my 5150 amp sounded heavy as fuck. People even thought it was an original.

Other tracks outside the mega ballad worthy of a listen are “That Was Yesterday”, “Growing Up The Hardway” and “Reaction To Action”.

That’s it for Part 4, stay tuned for Part 5.

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

Scott (Stealing) Ian

Piracy, Copyright Infringement, Plagiarism, Website Blocking, Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and on and on it goes.

Why would anyone create music?

The record labels via the RIAA have screamed black and blue that piracy is decimating the business. They fought tooth and nail against every digital service and start-up. Yet year after year, it was digital music that was making a fortune for them, because all digital monies are pure profit. There are no manufacturing costs (like vinyl and CD’s), there are no warehousing and distribution costs and there is no breakage.

Remember Napster. It showed the recording industry what the majority of customers want. Access to cherry pick the song they want and access to listen to whatever they want. 17 years later, you can say that what Napster started has almost become a reality. The only outlier is that people still want to download mp3’s for free.

Which brings me to Scott Ian!

Can someone please explain to him what stealing really means because he is making metal heads look stupid and uninformed?

Downloading a copy of an mp3 is not stealing because the mp3 is still up on the web for streaming, purchase or downloading. If anything, it is copyright infringement.

But the question that he fails to ask is why are fans of Anthrax downloading their music illegally?

Is it because;

  • They download music and have no intention to pay for anything, not even a concert ticket of the said artist?
  • They download music because they have no other way to get it?
  • They download music because they have no other way to get it and they will purchase the CD eventually and even a concert ticket
  • They download music because they don’t want to pay Apple to download it, but they want it on their phone, and have every intention to purchase a concert ticket when Anthrax hits their town?

I can go on and on with different types of viewpoints of fans.

The value of music was originally inflated, because we, the customers had to buy an album worth of songs for the three, maybe five good songs. The hard-core super fans will always purchase, however the rest will do what they want to do, when they want to do.

As a collector, I still pick up CD’s of bands when they are super cheap like $5, years after the album was released and after I’ve streamed the album to death. And they are still in the plastic wrapping which I am sure once I have joined the afterlife, my heirs will commit them to a second-hand store or just toss them. The value of music is different from person to person.

But how many artists can safely say they know who their hard-core fans are.

I bet you there are always fans who purchase deluxe bundles, every time the said artist releases an album.

Is that buyer information getting filtered back to the artist?

It’s these fans, Scott Ian should be caring about. Are they getting any bonus offer, a loyalty card, a discount to a concert or a simple personalised thank you that makes the fan feel special for supporting the artists with every release?

Imagine the fan getting a hand written letter sent to their address that thanks them for purchasing the last four super deluxe bundles of the said band, and here is a bonus mp3 album for you to download plus a special VIP pass for their upcoming concert.

Instead, the fans are made to feel like criminals, for streaming an album instead of buying,  for cherry picking a few songs instead of paying for all of them or for downloading the album illegally.

That’s not the way it’s done anymore.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

Thrash Incorporated with Metallica, Anthrax And Raven

In August 1984 Metallica, Anthrax and Raven played New York’s Roseland Ballroom. Anthrax opened the show, then came Metallica and the headliners were Raven. Jon Zazula was the promoter of the show, forming Megaforce Records to sign and promote all three bands. He sure did his homework/promotions and over 3,000 people attended the show, along with a lot of major label executives.

For Raven, it was an accumulation of ten years hard work to get to this point. They built up their career by playing all the tough and confrontational workingman clubs in Northern England.

As was the norm for bands of that era, early albums on smaller independent labels led to major label contracts. Raven was no exception and a major label deal with Atlantic Records followed after. The pressures to deliver a more commercial sounding album that could cross over, alienated the original fans and didn’t really gain any new fans.

Today, Raven is more or less forgotten. Spotify stats are under 20,000 streams. YouTube has the song “On And On” at 211,697 views and “Lay Down The Law” has 171,772 views. No one is listening to them.

For Metallica, that show was the biggest show for the band up to that point. Michael Alago former A&R, at Elektra Records was there in attendance and he wanted to sign to Metallica to the label.

Today, “Enter Sandman” has 31,205,811 streams on Spotify and the official video on YouTube has 40,758,247 views, while a live version has 72,499,306 views. “Nothing Else Matters” has 27,925,987 streams on Spotify and the official video on YouTube has 62,987,299 views while a live version has 40,884,893 views. “One” has 86,077,668 views on YouTube and 13,304,900 streams on Spotify.

For Anthrax the show was a combination of three years hard work to that point for the band. The band wouldn’t get a major label deal until after “Persistence Of Time” when Elektra came knocking. On Spotify, “Madhouse” has been streamed 1,716,342 times. On YouTube the same song has been viewed 6,986,320 times. “Indians” has 4,279,543 views on YouTube and 732,107 streams on Spotify. “Got The Time” has 3,606,042 views on YouTube and 1,442.115 streams on Spotify.

Clearly the opening bands went on to great achievements compared to the headliners. The record labels that signed them would be flush with cash from the sales of records.

Elektra struck big with Metallica.With each album release Metallica kept on getting bigger and bigger.

Megaforce kept Anthrax up for about 8 years before Elektra came in circa 1992 (for the John Bush-era)

Meanwhile Atlantic didn’t get the results they wanted from Raven. After three disappointing albums (the first one was the strongest of all three), Atlantic dropped them.

It’s funny how the music business works.

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Alternate Reality, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Unsung Heroes

June, 1993

It’s June 1993 and I am flicking through the new issue of Hot Metal Magazine, which at the time was Australia’s premier metal and rock magazine. For $3.50 it was an excellent alternative to the overpriced American and British magazines.

On the cover there was the John Bush fronted Anthrax. Three members are wearing white t-shirts with blue Jeans, and two members are wearing black t-shirts with blue jeans. It was a sign of the changing times as publicists and record labels pushed their artists to have a more grungy look.

“The Sound Of White Noise” got 5 skulls in the magazine review, which equates to ‘KILLER’. A few months after it’s release the album was certified GOLD. This is probably the album that Scott Ian was referring too when he made his comments that in the past they would sell a shitload of albums.

It was a hungry album. John Bush’s transition from a struggling band to a major label act was the catalyst. It was an album chock full of metal “hits”. “Only” comes to mind straight away. Even James Hetfield called it the perfect song. “Black Lodge” didn’t sit out-of-place with the current crop of chart toppers in Soundgarden and Alice In Chains. Credit producer Dave Jerden who produced both “Dirt” from Alice In Chains and “The Sound Of White Noise”. It was the last good Anthrax album and it is not even up on Spotify. Actually none of the John Bush-era of Anthrax is on Spotify which is a shame.

And the critics that said “Worship Music” is a great album cannot understand why it didn’t resonate with the audience. Look at the top ten songs on Spotify for Anthrax. Not one song from “Worhsip Music” is on the list. Same goes for YouTube.

Then you have the bloodbath from the Eighties scene.

Jani Lane (RIP) and Warrant had split and both acts had their contracts reduced to demo deals. So even though you had three albums that had moved 500,000 plus units each, they still ended up on the scrap-heap. Kik Tracee also split with vocalist Stephen Shareaux (bet he wished he tried harder for that Motley Crue vocalist spot) and both of them had been reduced to a demo deal. Looks like all the promo to sell the act just didn’t connect with the audience because in the end the songs where rubbish.

Meanwhile Rowan Robertson from “The Lock Up The Wolves” Dio era inked a deal with Atlantic Records for his new band that had Oni Logan from Lynch Mob on vocals. We all know that this didn’t end up going anywhere.

While, Roberston’s former employer, Dio (RIP) was working with WWIII guitarist Tracy G after his “Dehumanizer” venture with Black Sabbath went sour. These sessions would go on to create the “Strange Highways” album while Jake E.Lee was working with WWIII singer (and i use that term loosely) Mandy Lion.

Reports coming through at that time spoke about the new Bruce Dickinson solo album being an “updated, toughened up Santana vibe with a heavy leaning towards Peter Gabriel type atmospherics and experimentation.”  That album would become “Balls To Picasso” and apart from the song “Tears Of The Dragon” which sounds like an Iron Maiden song the rest of the album was a listen best avoided.

On the drug front we had David Lee Roth getting busted in New York after purchasing a $10 bag of weed. Seriously, for someone like his stature surely he could have done it more discreetly or gotten that $10 bag delivered to the studio. However, Roth is Roth and he decided that he should go out into the town and look for a dealer. On the other drug front, there was news that started coming out about Tim Kelly (RIP) from Slaughter who was alleged to have been involved in a major drug smuggling ring that was busted after a five-year investigation by the F.B.I.

Then we had the Motley Crue vs Vince Neil shenanigans.

The Vince Neil “Exposed” album got a good review in the magazine. I suppose it was inevitable that the solo album from Vince Neil would sound a lot like Motley Crue, even though NIkki Sixx insisted that Vince Neil had nothing to do with the creation of the songs in Motley Crue or the Motley sound. I think Nikki Sixx missed the memo that the actual voice plays a big part in the sound. Credit music business vet Phil Soussan for delivering a stellar performance in the songwriting department that helped kick-start Vince’s solo career.

Then on the other side you had “The Scream” with new singer Billy Scott battling to get their album done in time so that they can tour with Motley Crue as part of the singer transfer deal. For the uninitiated John Corabi from “The Scream” replaced Vince Neil in Motley Crue. However, the Crue’s album was REJECTED by Elektra Records. It wouldn’t be until the following year that the self-titled Motley Crue album saw the light of day. And within 6 months it disappeared from the public conversation and the tour got reduced from arena’s to theaters to getting cancelled.

Finally Pride and Glory was still on hold while Zakk Wylde worked with Ozzy Osbourne on the follow-up to “No More Tears”. Producers John Purdell and Duane Baron took over from Michael Wagener (who produced the first few songs and was then retained to mix the album until Micheal Beinhorn got involved). James Lomenzo was being used as a bass replacement for the recording sessions. The album that would become Ozzmosis would take another two more years before it saw the light of day and the style of the songs would be re-imagined into the modern sound of the day.

In the end the majority of artists mentioned above are still part of the music business in some way. And for the ones that aren’t, only death could separate them from the music world.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

Who Is the Real Star? The Band Name or the Personnel In The Band

There is an article doing the rounds at the Hollywood Reporter about how “The Walking Dead” is TV’s number 1 show and that the stars of the show are still largely unknown.

So it got me thinking. I was very interested to check out the show based on my love of the Horror genre. Once I checked it out, I was hooked. I didn’t start watching the show because they had certain actors in it. The only actor I was aware of was Daryl’s brother and that was from the movie Cliffhanger with Stallone and that was after watching a few episodes. So I got into the show because i was a fan of the horror genre.

However I got into “Sons Of Anarchy” because hard-core friends eventually got me to invest some time in it.

The point I am trying to make is that we get into certain TV shows, movies or artists based on a thousand different reasons. One thing is clear; we don’t get into these cultural icons because of the people in them.

For example, when Metallica started on the scene, no one was walking around saying that they got into Metallica because James Hetfield was such a cool cat or Lars Ulrich was the man. We got into Metallica for multiple reasons. For example, we were fans of the metal genre, the songs connected with us; we wanted to be part of the conversation and so on. From the outset, we become fans because of the music we hear.

That is what culture is all about. Sharing stories about the things we love.

Of course some outliers do exist and some artists have a cultural influence that transcends their music. They become institutions themselves. For example, Slash is now a cultural institution. Ozzy Osbourne is a cultural institution albeit with a lot of help from his “friends”. Nikki Sixx is a cultural institution. Robb Flynn is a cultural institution. Dee Snider is a cultural icon. These artists can all survive on their own. They are brand names themselves.

It’s taken Slash almost 14 years from when he left Gunners to re-establish and re-brand himself as a force to be reckoned with. That happened in 2010 with the release of his solo album and with a little help from his friends.

Randy Rhoads and Bob Daisley helped Ozzy Osbourne break the shackles of Black Sabbath. Jake E. Lee and Phil Soussan enhanced what Randy Rhoads and Bod Daisley created. Zakk Wylde turned it all into a blockbuster with “No More Tears” being the pinnacle.

Nikki Sixx re-invented himself and Motley Crue by first gaining control of Motley Crue’s back catalogue from Elektra Records. A task that no other artist had accomplished before. Then he pushed for the writing of “The Dirt”. Since then, he has become a solo artist with Sixx AM, a song writer for other artists, a social media junkie, a photographer, a literary writer and a radio personality.

Robb Flynn showed the world that he can survive. He really went out of his comfort zone recently and performed acoustically. He survived the “Through The Ashes of Empires” era and lived to tell the tale. Talk about Grit and Roll. It was music all the way, with no safety net. No plan B. His Journals are pure gold. Even if you don’t like Machine Head’s music, you can still appreciate the Journal Ramblings. For any artist starting off, there is information in there that is real. There is information there that is not sugar-coated by a mainstream writer.

Dee Snider, what else can be said. Read his bio.

These artists have all connected with us on different levels. They have become so large in people’s lives that they have become cultural institutions themselves. We then stick with these institutions through the good times and the bad times.

So what about all the other artists. Well for the remainder of the artists it is still about the music. They need to have the music pumping out and they need to make connections.

Dee Snider once said that there are no more rock stars in this day and age. I took that to mean, that in the internet age, there are no real recognizable faces to put to certain bands. While I agree with that comment in parts, I also disagree with it.

For example, Coheed and Cambria has Claudio Sanchez. Watch them live and you get to see the hair. Instantly recognizable.

Five Finger Death Punch has Zoltan Bathory with the dreadlocks and the UFC/mixed martial arts look. They have Ivan Moody and the Mohawk.

Shinedown has Brent Smith, who performs like an adrenaline injected Steve Tyler.

Black Veil Brides have, well they have the whole band.

Avenged Sevenfold have Eighties rock star stage names with instantly recognisable faces.

However if any of the band members in the above mentioned bands, decide to go on their own, it will be a tough slog for them as the bands they are in have all become cultural institutions. Then you have a band like Protest The Hero who look like normal guys going to University.

So going back to “The Walking Dead”. The show is the rock star. That is the cultural institution.

So for any wannabe rock stars, think about all of the above for a second. No one is going to wake up tomorrow morning and think to themselves, “damn, I want to hear some music from Zoltan Bathory, or “Insert New Artist name here””.

We wake up in the morning and think to ourselves, “damn, we want to hear some Five Finger Death Punch. We wake up and go “damn its “The Walking Dead” tonight.”

That is what a lot of misguided artists fail to grasp when they leave a certain cultural institution citing musical differences. They (meaning the person) were never the stars. The band name is the star and it always will be.

That is why Guns N Roses is still rolling along, playing to large audiences.

That is why Tommy Lee returned to Motley Crue.

That is why James Hetfield returned to Metallica after rehab. That is why Lars Ulrich never contemplated anything else except Metallica during this period.

That is why Dave Mustaine resurrected Megadeth after he disbanded the band.

That is why Dimebag didn’t want Pantera to end. He knew that Pantera was the star.

That is why David Lee Roth worked with Van Halen again. That is why Sammy Hagar wants to work with Van Halen again.

That is why Alex Skolnick returned to Testament.

That is why there is a fight over who owns the right to the Queensryche name.

That is why Benjamin Burnley went all legal for the right to use the Breaking Benjamin name.

That is why Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith returned to Iron Maiden.

That is why Rob Halford returned to Judas Priest.

That is why Black Sabbath reformed with three of the original members and released ’13’.

That is why bands like Ratt, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Poison and Skid Row are still continuing.

That is why Joey Belladonna returned to Anthrax and why Scott Ian is still continuing the band.

That is why Slayer is continuing without Jeff Hanneman.

To finish off with the immortal words of Ronnie James Dio “And on and on and on and on it goes….”

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

The Good Way and The Bad Way

So if I pay $120 for a Spotify Premium account, it means that i can listen to a lot of songs. If I pay $120 worth of songs from iTunes in Australia, I can only listen to 70 songs. In Australia, we are charged $1.69 for a track. As a fan of music what is the better option.

However, for the artists that were doing well under the old record label controlled system, then Spotify and iTunes is probably not for them and they should retire.

For the larger group of artists that didn’t have the six winning lotto numbers in the record label lottery, then Spotify is the leveller. Spotify is changing the distribution of wealth within the music business. 

For the artists that don’t like the new way they can then go back to releasing their albums with the following advertising from the Nineties;

 

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Scott Ian from Anthrax can get his fans to go to all of the stores mentioned above. I trust that none of them are around anymore. It wasn’t piracy that killed them off, it was new technologies and bad business models.

The major chains all could have innovated, however they didn’t. Steve Jobs and Apple did. Daniel Ek and Spotify did.

In relation to the record labels. Imagine all the poor artists that were on Geffen Records in 1992. Talk about Geffen hedging their bets. That flyer is promoting Guns N Roses and Roxy Blue (Hard Rock) vs Nirvana (Grunge) vs White Zombie (Industrial Groove Metal). Guess we know who was the loser overall. Hard Rock.

The internet has enabled artists to reach out to wider and different communities than they could in the past. Previously, artists had to connect with people nearby and wait on the record label to spread the word.

However in 2013, many more artists are able to connect and build a fan base by finding and bringing together a unique fan base that is right for them and them alone.

Protest The Hero just did it with “Volition” and their Indiegogo campaign.

Coheed and Cambria did a great job with “The Afterman” releases.

Digital Summer is doing a great job at it as a DIY artist.

Marillion started it off in 2001. With everything there has to be a leader and for fan funding, that leader was Marillion.

The purpose of music is not to make people rich. It was always about the social bonding. If an artist can accomplish the bonding part, then the artist is giving the fan a reason to buy. It is human nature to reciprocate, to acknowledge value.

All those artists complaining, that they are losing, is because they are obsessed with the money they are losing. They have no one to blame but themselves. They are losing money because they no longer are making connections. They are just offering a piece of music up for sale without any connections and relationships. That is the bad way.

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