A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Daughtry – Dearly Beloved

Chris Daughtry (and as a byproduct Daughtry) had a decision to make after “Break The Spell”.

Should they stay with the same sound?

Should they change their sound completely?

Should they stay with the same sound but experiment with a few songs by bringing in different sounds?

“Baptized” came out in in November 2013 on RCA Records and it was an electro synth pop sounding album, a significant departure from the group’s hard rock sound from their first three albums.

Like the previous albums, RCA farmed Chris Daughtry out to work with different writers and to record with those different writers like the debut album. But while the writers previously had some rock pedigree, the writers on “Baptized” album specialized in other styles.

There is a song called “Long Live Rock N Roll” and it doesn’t even rock, as it’s more in the vein of “I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker”, an acoustic folk story telling song of growing up with a certain type of music.

But lead single “Waiting For Superman” did stick around and is at 83.7 million streams at the moment on Spotify.

Then came a “Greatest Hits” album in 2016 with two new songs called “Torches” and “Go Down.

“Torches” is actually a good bridge between the old sound and the “Baptized” sound,

The song “Go Down” has your typical catchy Daughtry vocal melody but it’s instrument sounds are routed in synth pop and electronica. Think of the band “Garbage”.

Most artists who found success playing a hard modern rock style in the 2000’s started to experiment and bring in sounds from Adele, Maroon 5, The Fray, Train, OneRepublic and Imagine Dragons.

Shinedown was in a similar predicament as Daughtry but I believe they did a better job at bringing in those new sounds, while still staying true to their old sound.

“Cage To Rattle” came out in 2018. 10 songs that total 38 minutes. RCA again was spending a lot of money for Chris Daughtry to write with so many outside writers in the quest to find hits.

But what the record executives failed to understand is that Daughtry’s audience is predominantly made up of rockers.

And there is a saying, when your chasing hits it don’t mean the hits would come.

Then Daughtry and RCA parted ways.

And a new look was in play for a dystopian story called “Dearly Beloved”, released in 2021.

Plus the hard rock distorted guitars are back with a vengeance, something which Daughtry hinted to in 2016 when the “Greatest Hits” album came out but then the label got in the way.

The band for the album is Chris Daughtry, Josh Steely and Brian Craddock on guitars, Josh Paul on bass, Elvio Fernandes on keyboards and Brandon Maclin on drums.

Desperation

Written by Chris Daughtry.

It simmers in the verses, with Daughtry singing in the lower registers as he blends his voice with the synth and guitars.

It’s a slow rocker before soaring in the Chorus.

And the heaviness of the guitars definitely captures my attention.

It also sets the lead in for the next track “World On Fire”.

World On Fire

Written by Daughtry and producers Scott Stevens and Marti Frederiksen.

The film clip for this and “Heavy Is The Crown” is set in a dystopian future while Chris Daughtry looks like an “Assassin’s Creed” character.

Heavy Is The Crown

Written by Daughtry, John Cummings, Elvis Fernandezs, Scott Stevens and Marti Frederiksen.

It’s a song writing committee. John Cummings is from the band Mogwai, who is accomplished on guitar, as well as keyboards.

The guitars dominate here along with Daughtry’s voice. Check out the Chorus.

Changes Are Coming

Written by Daughtry, Stevens and Frederiksen.

More of the same 120bpm, guitar heavy modern Arena Rock.

Dearly Beloved

Written by Daughtry, Brian Craddock and Mark Holman.

It’s a ballad and Daughtry knows how to deliver em.

The guitars are load and so is the electronica and keyboards.

Cry For Help

Written by Daughtry, Stevens and Frederiksen.

Acoustics and piano give way to loud distorted guitars and another hooky Chorus.

Asylum

Written by Daughtry, Cummings, Fernandezs, Stevens and Frederiksen.

Its sort of gospel heavy rock cut and why wouldn’t it be, with lyrics like “the lunatics have taken the asylum.”

Evil

Written by Daughtry, Stevens and Frederiksen.

Check out the bridge.

The Victim

Written by Daughtry, Stevens and Frederiksen.

If you like hard rock you will like this.

Somebody

Chris Daughtry is the songwriter and he delivers vocally on this while the guitars get loud in the Chorus.

Call You Mine

Written by Chris Daughtry in and his wife Deanna.

The Intro with the palm muted chugging acoustic guitar is the best.

Lioness

Written by Chris Daughtry.

Check out the Outro.

Break Into My Heart

Written by Daughtry, Stevens and Frederiksen.

A piano and a voice to close the album.

“Dearly Beloved” is a return to form which shows the world that Daughtry still knows how to rock!!

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The Record Vault: Daughtry – Break The Spell

“Break the Spell” is the third album by Daughtry, released on November 21, 2011, by RCA Records.

It follows the sound of the previous album’s and it’s more of a band album this time around with Chris Daughtry writing all of the songs with band guitarists Josh Steely and Brian Craddock, bassist Josh Paul, and in collaboration with Marti Frederiksen, Busbee and Brett James.

The band for the album is Chris Daughtry on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Josh Steely on lead guitar, Brian Craddock on rhythm guitar, Josh Paul on bass and Robin Diaz on drums.

The album was produced again by Howard Benson and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge.

And the certification trend in the U.S continued, this time a Gold certification.

Renegade

When I saw the title, Styx came to mind along with Tommy Shaw’s voice.

It was released as the album’s lead single and it rocks from the opening dropped D riff. It’s the most heaviest song, but the album doesn’t follow that path.

And the message of busting out of the comforts of your town like a renegade resonates with the ones who desire that change.

Crawling Back to You

In 2019, 8 years after its release, it received a Platinum certification.

An acoustic guitar and a vocal melody starts the song. So simple and so effective.

Outta My Head

It’s a funk rock song. Sixx AM did something similar on their “Modern Vintage” album.

The groove is sleazy and it reminds me of Shinedown.

The Pre-Chorus is my favorite.

Start of Something Good

It’s “Home” Part 2.

And I like it.

Crazy

It’s a power ballad in the Bon Jovi vein.

Break the Spell

Faux Rocker 1.

It’s the title track, but by now all of the songs on the album are written so concisely for radio, that at 3 minutes and 30 seconds long, they feel stale and lifeless.

We’re Not Gonna Fall

Faux Rocker 2 at 3.18 long.

Gone Too Soon

Simple acoustic Intro and an emotive vocal melody.

That’s all you need.

Losing My Mind

Press play just to hear Daughtry sing, “Losing My Mind” and using his falsetto for “mind”.

Rescue Me

It’s like a Hoobastank song.

Think of “The Reason”.

Louder Than Ever

“Summer Of 69” and I like it. One of my favorites on the album.

Spaceship

Faux Rocker 3.

Now for the deluxe edition tracks.

Who’s They

I like this song. It percolates like “Bad Company”.

And at 1.38 it explodes into an angry Chorus.

Maybe We’re Already Gone

Press play for the Chorus.

Everything But Me

It’s “September” Part 2 and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Lullaby

Yeah.

There is quality on the album. The reviews weren’t kind to it, stating that Daughtry is suffering an identity crisis.

They criticized the 17 songs clocking in at 61 minutes, with an average of 3.30 for each song.

But who’s they.

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The Record Vault: Daughtry – Leave This Town (B Sides)

“Leave This Town: The B-Sides” is an EP released on March 15, 2010, to iTunes.

Listening to these six tracks, it’s hard to believe they were left off. The quality is there.

The personnel is Chris Daughtry on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Josh Steely on lead guitar,
Brian Craddock on rhythm guitar, Josh Paul on bass guitar and Robin Diaz on drums.

“Long Way”

Written by Chris Daughtry and Jason Wade from Lifehouse.

It’s got that Lifehouse vibe, but Daughtry’s voice is so unique.

Having a stable band behind Daughtry’s voice, makes all of the songs sound genuine and not over-produced, regardless of the money and time spent in studios to over produce em.

“One Last Chance”

Written by Daughtry, Mitch Allan and David Hodges.

Its too similar to “Life After You” in the verses and is probably a reason why it wasn’t included. But its still a worthy track, with a Chorus that reminds me of “Learn My Lesson” just a bit more aggressive.

And there is a harmony solo.

“Get Me Through”

Written by Daughtry and rhythm guitarist Brian Craddock and it’s in the alt-rock dropped D arena vibe.

Check out the Bridge vocal melody.

“What Have We Become”

Written by a songwriting committee of Daughtry, rhythm guitarist Craddock, ex-drummer Joey Barnes, bassist Josh Paul, guitiarist Josh Steely and songwriter/bassist Tommy Henriksen.

It’s basically a mid-tempo heavy rocker with a Chorus riff that reminds me of “Pour Some Sugar To Me” and a worthy guitar lead.

“On the Inside”

Another mid-tempo rocker written by Daughtry, Richard Marx and Chad Kroeger.

Flip a coin and let it land in your hand
Heads you gonna stay but its tails

Taking a chance is easier said than done. Writing out a plan is easy, actioning the plan is a different story altogether.

“Traffic Light”

Written by Daughtry and rhtynm guitarist Craddock.

This one is a favourite, another mid-tempo rocker which is a cross between “September”, “Tennesse Line” and “Supernatural”.

Man that Chorus.

Wow, so catchy for a B- Side.

“Back Again”

This is a great rock track, written by Daughtry and Adam Gontier from Three Days Grace at the time and two of the greatest hard rock voices to come out in the 2000’s.

The Chorus is Arena rock.

But you will be listening and saving this song because of the bridge, when Daughtry starts singing, “we’ve been down this road before”.

It’s that good it comes “back again” for the outro.

These B-sides are A-sides to me.

Their not on Spotify but YouTube has em so check em out.

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The Record Vault: Daughtry – Leave This Town

Chris Daughtry said that Daughtry is a band. The first album, has Chris Daughtry on the cover, plus a picture of him in the booklet and on the back cover there is a picture of a band. But all the songs were written by Chris Daughtry and outside writers and the music was played by session musicians.

So after getting some flak about his band, “Leave This Town” has a cover which shows a band, leaving town. And while the songs are written by Chris Daughtry, with outside writers, the music is played by the band members and some songs have the band members as co-writers. Of course contractual issues would come about with this band arrangement ideal, because the label deal with RCA Records is with Chris Daughtry only.

So.

“Leave This Town” was released on July 14, 2009, by RCA Records. I like it better than the debut as it’s a hard rock album done in a style I like.

I’m a big believer that quantity equals quality. 70 songs were written for this album, narrowed down to 19 for recording in the studio and 12 songs made the final cut, with the other tracks made available as bonus tracks for different digital stores.

Daughtry co-wrote the songs on the album with Richard Marx, Chad Kroeger from Nickelback, Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic, Jason Wade from Lifehouse, Adam Gontier from Three Days Grace, Eric Dill from The Click Five, and Mitch Allan from SR-71 and Tommy Henriksen, along with the usual suspects of Brian Howes, Ben Moody and David Hodges. No Max Martin or Dr Luke this time around.

The songs written with Marx, Tedder, Gontier and Wade didn’t even make the standard edition of the album, but were released as bonus tracks in the various markets and then as an EP called “Leave This Town B-Sides”.

The band for the album is Chris Daughtry on lead vocals and rhythm guitars, Josh Steely on lead guitars, Brian Craddock on rhythm guitars, Josh Paul on bass guitars and drums were handled by Joey Barnes on tracks 1 to 6 and Robin Diaz on tracks 7 to 12.

Howard Benson is back producing and Chris Lord-Alge is mixing. Session guru, Phil X also made an appearance to do some additional guitars. Again, RCA spent a lot of money to make this album a success, but only three singles were released from this album compared to the seven singles from the debut. Regardless it still was a success.

Certified platinum in Canada and the U.S and Certified Silver in the U.K.

For the charts (although the Charts were become irrelevant at this point in time), it was a Top 10 album in Canada, New Zealand and the U.S (also going to Number 1). It was a Top 20 album in Australia, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

“You Don’t Belong”

It’s listed as a Chris Daughtry track and it blasts out of the gate with its heavy metal like intro before it moves into a Nu-Metal like riff.

The verses are more relaxed with clean tone guitars and a vocal melody dominating while the Chorus is loud and angry.

“No Surprise”

The song writing committees begin, with Daughtry, Chad Kroeger, Eric Dill, Rune Westburg and Joey Moi listed as writers.

This was the lead single for the album. As a single it is certified Platinum for sales in the U.S.

Lyrically, it’s about a break up that both sides saw coming.

An acoustic guitar starts it off with a catchy vocal melody. It reminds me of the songs that Mutt Lange was doing in the 90’s with Bryan Adams and Shania Twain.

The physical single had the Adam Gontier co-write “Back Again” as the B-side. This track is excellent and hard to believe that it was left off the album.

“Every Time You Turn Around”

Written by Daughtry and Andy Waldeck. Loud drums and grungy like guitars kick it off, but the verses remind me of the Classic Rock era.

The bridge vocal melody, although brief is my favourite part of the song. And like all the songs on the album, there isn’t a verse or chorus or bridge, which isn’t catchy.

And yes, finally we get some melodic leads and outro leads in the songs.

“Life After You”

The second single, which also has a certification from the RIAA for sales in the U.S, this time its at Gold and closing in to Platinum.

Chris Daughtry wrote the song with Nickelback vocalist Chad Kroeger, producer Joey Moi and Brett James.

It was actually Kroeger who offered “Life After You” to Chris Daughtry.

Daughtry wasn’t sure if the song would fit with the band, but the melody was that good and once he wrote the bridge, the song could not be denied.

“What I Meant to Say”

Daughtry and Brian Howes proved to be a good song writing team on the first album, so they are back again on this one.

A rocker, reminding me of Jovi and “Have A Nice Day” album. And a guitar lead is heard, although its less than 10 seconds.

“Open Up Your Eyes”

Written by Daughtry, Ben Moody and David Hodges.

It’s got a Chorus built for the arena.

“September”

My favourite song on the album, written by Daughtry and guitarist Josh Steely.

It’s got this Coldplay “Fix You” section in the middle of it. Check it out.

It’s also the third single, inspired by Daightry’s childhood memories growing up with his brother in Lasker, North Carolina.

“Ghost of Me”

Daughtry and Howes are back with a track that sounds like “Bounce” from Jovi.

For me, it’s the back half of the album which really connects.

Check out the Chorus.

Its massive.

“Learn My Lesson”

Written by Daughtry, Mitch Allan and Chris Tompkins.

A ballad which is another favourite with a good melodic lead.

“Supernatural”

A rocker and another favourite, in the vein of Jovi’s “Bounce” album.

This one is written by Daughtry, Josh Paul and David Hodges.

The lead break echoes Richie Sambora.

“Tennessee Line”

Written by Daughtry and guitarist Brian Craddock, this country song is also another favourite.

Country superstar (albeit a very reluctant one) Vince Gill guests. And for Gill to perform is a real coup as he doesn’t just appear as a guest at every invite.

I thought that this would be a single, as it would crossover into the Country charts, but it never was released.

“Call Your Name”

The official closer, written by Daughtry and drummer Joey Barnes. It percolates on acoustic guitar until the 2.38 mark, when the whole band kicks in for the guitar solo moment and the Bridge to Chorus to come.

A perfect way to close the album out.

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The Record Vault – Daughtry Debut

Daughtry dropped a new album recently and it’s great to hear the hard rock side kick back in after a couple of albums that lived in a popular rock/beats area. Even the metal sites are reviewing the new album.

A review of the new Daughtry will come soon, but it did get me in the mood to listen to earlier Daughtry and so let’s kick off the next Record Vault series with the debut album.

Daughtry is the debut album, released in 2006 by RCA Records. He came to fame by competing in American Idol, but he didn’t win Idol, however he’s had a bigger career then the actual winner Taylor Hicks. I guess the kiddies voting don’t really purchase records.

It’s Not Over

The Bm to A to G chord progression is familiar (think “Kryptonite” from Three Doors Down) but it’s the tone of Chris Daughtry’s voice which hooks me in.

Chris Daughtry, Gregg Wattenberg, Mark Wilkerson and Brett Young are listed as the songwriters and what a song they wrote, sitting at 90.325 million streams on Spotify. But it’s not the most streamed from Daughtry. That goes to “Over You”.

And if the songwriter names are familiar, well, if you own a Train or John Legend or Goo Goo Dolls album, you will see Gregg Wattenberg listed as a producer and writer. Mark Wilkerson was the lead singer and guitarist for Course Of Nature, a rock band which was also known as COG. The Chorus was written by Brett Young, a singer in the same season of American Idol as Daughtry.

It’s also certified 2x Platinum as a single in the U.S. Back in 2007, it got a Gold certification for CD physical sales of the single in the U.S.

Used To

Daughtry, Howard Benson and Zac Maloy are listed as the songwriters.

A simple drum and bass groove start the song, but it’s the repeating guitar arpeggios in the verse which moves the song along.

Another infectious chorus.

We used to have this figured out / We used to breathe without a doubt

So what changes as we get older. As we learn more, do we fear more.

Home

Sitting at 76.8 million streams on Spotify. Certified 3x Platinum in the U.S as a digital single, with its most recent certification happening in September 2019. Back in 2008, it got a Gold certification for CD physical sales of the single in the U.S.

And as an artist, this is exactly what you want. People still consuming your songs, many years after they’ve been released.

It’s written by Chris Daughtry.

My favourite song on the album. It crosses over to so many different styles and genres. If you like Southern Rock, you’ll like this. If you like Country Rock, you’ll like this. If you like Hard Rock, you’ll like this.

And the message of returning home after been away for a while is a message that everyone can understand and relate to.

Over You

This is the most streamed Daughtry track, at 116.8 million streams. And it also has a 2x Platinum in September 2019, for digital sales in the U.S.

Written by Daughtry and Brian Howes it could have appeared on a Jovi album at the time.

It’s a mid-tempo rocker and Daughtry’s vocals are excellent.

And Brian Howes is a Canadian songwriter who has written songs with Adelitas Way, Airbourne, Caleb Johnson, Halestorm, Hedley, Hinder, Nickelback, Rev Theory and Skillet to name a few. A lot of chart cred right there. So if the song sounds familiar, I’m sure some of the melodies from Howes would have been reused.

Crashed

Written by Daughtry, Nina Ossoff, Dana Calitri and Kathy Sommer and the Chorus is catchy.

Feels Like Tonight

Max Martin, Luke Gottwald and Shep Solomon are the writers. These guys wouldn’t come cheap. I would be surprised if Daughtry is listed as re-couped for this album. I am sure the record label creative accountants still have him in debt, even though its 6x Platinum in the U.S.

It starts off like “Chasing Cars”. That’s what writers of hits do. Take what came before and tweak it.

And of course, a Max Martin /Dr Luke song, isn’t a song without a massive Chorus.

What I Want

Written by Daughtry and Howes and features Slash.

Just by featuring Slash, the song already has a hard rock swagger to it more like the “Velvet Revolver” swagger. But it’s short. Just over 2 minutes long.

Breakdown

The songs which are solely written by Chris Daughtry highlight his skills and style as a writer. “Home” showcases his story telling and use of simple chords to deliver an emotive vocal melody.

“Breakdown” is also written by Chris Daughtry.

It’s actually a rewrite and combination of two songs “Conviction” and “Break Down” previously recorded by Daughtry’s former hard rock/alternative metal band, “Absent Element”.

This one percolates, living in the grey area between soft rock and hard rock.

Check out the head banging riff at 2.30.

Gone

Written by Chris Daughtry, it starts off slow, ballad like but by the end of it, it becomes a great melodic rock song.

There and Back Again

Written by Daughtry and Brent Smith from Shinedown who also plays guitar on it.

It feels like a track that would appear on “The Sound Of Madness”. It’s heavy and it rocks hard.

All These Lives

Written by Daughtry and Mitch Allan, it’s in the soft rock domain moving between acoustic verses and distorted choruses.

What About Now

Written by Ben Moody, David Hodges and Joshua Hartzler.

Moody and Hodges had a certain style of writing. They both came to fame via the “Fallen” album from Evanescence and when Moody left the band mid tour, he became a songwriter for other artists. Kelly Clarkson recorded a few of their songs, I think, “Because Of You” was written by Moody and Hodges.

Well this one follows in that vein. It has a piano riff which at the start reminds me of “Alone” from Heart.

Sorry

Written by Daughtry, Alexander Rethwisch, Christopher Langton, Konstantin Rethwisch and Matthias Weber. A lot of writers.

It lives in this acoustic Fuel/Alice In Chains space because it reminds me of Fuel’s “Something Like Human” album and “Sap” from Alice In Chains.

For a debut album from an American Idol contestant who came 5th, every cent was spent by the label on getting the correct songs as evidenced by the different songwriters on each song.

And he had a lot of musicians on the debut album. Phil

X who performs with Bon Jovi now, is on lead and rhythm guitars. The excellent Josh Freese is on drums. Paul Bushnell plays bass except on “What About Now” which is Chris Chaney. Producer Howard Benson also plays keyboards on the album and Chris Lord-Alge is mixing. These guys and production team don’t come cheap.

In an era of low sales, Daughtry also showed that great music can still sell. In Australia and New Zealand it went Gold. In the UK its certified Silver. In Canada its certified 2x Platinum and in the U.S, its certified 6x Platinum.

The album produced 7 singles. Yep, 7, but then again, every song on the album could be a single, hence the different writers.

And Daughtry sings for most of the album so his voice is left, front and right.

Critics did write, what is the point of having Slash appear on a 2 minute track. Or what would have happened if music took the lead in a song instead of Daughtry singing over everything.

But then again, critics don’t normally sell 6 million albums in the U.S.

Crank it folks.

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World On Fire

Welcome back to the world of hard rock, Mr Chris Daughtry.

It’s so good to hear you rocking out again, with heavy distorted guitars and one of your best vocal melodies over the last 7 years.

In case you are not aware, Daughtry just dropped “World On Fire” and I’ve racked up some time streaming it.

It’s a perfect example of how we fall in and out with the artists we support. I was all in between 2006 and 2012. Then “Baptized” came out in 2013 and I wasn’t really a fan of it and “Cage To Rattle” in 2018 also proved disappointing to me.

But I stuck around, because the artists we support need to mature and they need to grow and try different sounds.

Then certain events happen.

Unfortunate events.

And it makes them angry.

If you watched George Floyd scream “I can’t breathe” while a Police Officer kept the pressure on his neck and didn’t get angry, then you are part of the problem.

Can you hear the crowd like a thousand sirens?
In the night like thunder striking
The sickness is rising
The angels are crying
That’s the sound of a world on fire

Every single person has a right to live to old age. The fact that brutality still exists in societies which are meant to be “civilised” and “understanding” is frightening, especially when the brutality comes from the people who swore to protect society. Instead of protecting, they are inflaming the situation and causing a revolution.

I saw photos and videos of the protests in Belarus. The Belarus Police are protecting a corrupt dictatorship hiding behind fake/rigged elections and the Police answer the protests for change with tear gas, stun grenades, water canons and batons.

And the same response happened when people protested against police brutality in democratic societies.

That’s the sound of a world on fire.

Put it on and listen.

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Coming Home

The song “Home” from Daughtry came on via Spotify’s Family Mix. Actually, it’s a pretty cool concept/algorithm which organizes a playlist based on tracks the family members listen to.

“Home” is courtesy of my wife. I introduced her to Daughtry’s music and then she became a bigger fan than I. The more he moved away from the rock roots, the more I moved away.

And I thought Daughtry changed his sound because he wrote with too many different writers and producers, but that wasn’t it, because Daughtry had always written with different writers. But he had an ability to still make the songs sound dirty, raw and full of attitude and emotion, with a touch of modern rock and pop.

But “Baptized” released in 2013 sounded too sterile, too polished. It was lacking the grit of earlier albums. And when you have a song called “Long Live Rock and Roll” on the album, it needs to rock. But it didn’t. It was electro pop at best. A greatest hits package came afterwards and then in 2018, “Cage To Rattle” came out.

And again, I wasn’t sure what the intention was. While an improvement over “Baptized” it was still missing the special Daughtry ability to take whatever pop trend was in and make it rock hard.

And this kind of relationship cycle continues. We fall in and out with the artists we like, hoping that eventually they will return home to that rock and roll store and order up another serve.

Or the way Nikki Sixx wrote on Motley Crue’s “New Tattoo” album.

“I promise you this. One day you’ll walk into the tattoo shop of life and say “I’m back”. I’m ready for my new tattoo and her name is rock and roll. Now it’s time to make it permanent.

You will have been thru all the temporary 15 minutes of flash, you’ll have come to realize that you’ve been served fast food music and disposable heroes for so long. You’ve somehow forgotten what is real and what is not. And you know what the man behind the counter will say;

“We knew you’d be back.”

Amen.

I’m going home, back to the place where I belong.

And that home for me is rock and roll.

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Songs Based On Inspiration Rather Than Logic

That is the difference between everlasting music and throwaway crap. You wanna know why Shinedown had a lot of success with “The Sound of Madness” in 2008. It’s because the songs were inspired and genuine. The audience loved the throwbacks to the classic rock of the Seventies. The fan base connected with the lyrical themes. Look at Spotify and YouTube and you will see that one of the most streamed/viewed songs from the album is “Call Me” and it wasn’t even a single.

You see, when fans get behind a band there are so many reasons why they do it. It could be a lifestyle choice. It could be a song connection. There is no exact formula, however the labels will still try to re-create those successes by signing many other bands in an attempt to emulate what Shinedown achieved with “The Sound Of Madness”.

Sort of like how Daughtry and James Durbin went off into the sunset to chase the pop trends of Coldplay, Casting Crowns and Train. Logic will tell you that if you write a song that is of similar calibre it will connect with an audience. But for both of those artists, it failed to pay off. “Baptism” and “Celebrate” both took a long time to complete and they more or less disappeared from the conversation within a week.

Why is “The End Of Heartache” from Killswitch Engage seen as an important album?

The reason why this album is seen as an important album and a classic is that it gave every guitar player hope for a future. The guitar playing on the album is phenomenal and it brought back metal to the masses in a major way. And with anything that is successful, people copy it and try to emulate that same success with other bands. The record labels saturated the market with copycat acts which more or less ensures that the metalcore movement suffers the same fate as the glam/rock movement. The media labelled it as metalcore. For Adam Dutkiewicz and crew, “The End Of Heartache” is basically a band that was refusing to dance to someone else’s tune.

“It’s almost like today’s songs are all written with the same formula – they have the same snare sound, the same bass sound and that generic heavy rock guitar tone.”
Jake E Lee said the above in an interview with Guitar World September 1991 issue.

Why do I mention it?

Because it is TRUTH.

Anyway remember the bands at the forefront of the New Wave Of American Heavy Metal. Bands like Bleeding Through, Shadows Fall and Chimaira. All gone. God Forbid is also gone. After 15 years plus in the game, they couldn’t work out how to stay relevant, how to find new fans, how to maintain existing fans and how to create new music that cuts through the noise.

On a personal level, I supported Chimaira and Shadows Fall. On their last couple of releases I was getting the feel that their songs started to focus on a more logical structure. Robb Flynn recently referred to this situation as “samey”.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit, Unsung Heroes

Music Trends in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal – What’s On The Up and What’s On The Down

ON A DOWN SLOPE

DAUGHTRY

The band leader, Chris Daughtry messed up big time chasing the crowds of “Train” and “Imagine Dragons”. He was a hard rocker from day dot and that is what 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. Daughtry needs more music right away and they need it to ROCK.

RECORD LABELS

The major metal and rock labels will continue to sign the bands and artists that had success in the Eighties and Nineties and get those bands to release forgeries of their greatest hits. It’s all about locking up the songs under copyright. “He who owns a lot of copyrights, will make a lot of money in the future, when said artists are dead and buried.”

In relation to new bands, they will sing fewer bands on even more shittier deals and shift their efforts to breaking them. It doesn’t mean that we will pay attention. It will be bands from certain niche’s that will break out and we will gravitate to them.

Also no one wants to pay. Look at the APP business. The highest downloaded APPS are all free ones. And they are still making money. We are happy to provide our private data to Apple and Google, as long as we get what we want, with no strings attached. If a record label has a business model that is dependent upon people paying, re-evaluate.

KIRK HAMMETT

He is out of touch. We live in a world right now that is connected 24/7. A lot of those connections happen because of social media. So his recent, “Ivory Tower” comments about social media show just how out of touch he is. Also from seeing him play live on three occasions, he has made a career on the coat tails of James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. Don’t believe me, watch the making of the Black album, especially the scene when Bob Rock tells him that the solo he just put down for “The Unforgiven” is garbage.

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 “Super Collider” is being outsold by the Black album. Daughtry’s “Baptized” took forever to record and it did nothing. You can’t have a song called “Long Live Rock N Roll” and not have it sounding anything like ROCK. It sounds like that one hit wonder song “I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker With A Flower In My Hair.”

RESPONSE SYSTEMS FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

NAPSTER showed the music business and the entertainment business at large, how fans of music, movies and books want to consume content. They want to download it easily, free of DRM, use it in any way they want and they want to do it for free.

For all of the talentless CEO’s that flew in private jets off the hard work by the artists, this was a big NO NO. So off they went to their lobby group arms, the RIAA and MPAA and they started to lobby hard the governments. The various sister associations around the world started to do the same thing. The best thing they could come up with is a graduated response system, financed by the ISP’s. It failed in France. It failed in New Zealand. In the U.S it is hard to tell, especially when you have a copyright troll like Rightscorp shaking down IP addresses. So if Rightscorp is sending shake down notices to ISP’s, then why does the US have a graduated response scheme?

The bottom line is this, the people who the RIAA and MPAA want to catch are years ahead of them in INNOVATION. And INNOVATION is what they should be focusing on.

THE ALBUM FORMAT

We are challenged with time and we only want the best. Since we are allowed to cherry pick, we will. Heavy Metal and Hard Rock artists need to understand they are in the hit business. It doesn’t matter if they are radio-friendly or not. Each band in each metal and rock genre, needs to create that song that hits us on the first listen.

That is why bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Avenged Sevenfold and Shinedown are so successful. They get the game. That is why Killswitch Engage is successful. Adam Dutkiewicz understands the power of a massive chorus. That is why Trivium is having a career. Over the course of all of their albums, they always had a song that had “hit potential” for the genre they are in.

Making money is hard. Just because a band releases an album, it doesn’t mean that we want to pay for it in its entirety, especially if it has got a couple of crap songs on it. It’s better to release 8 songs that a “certifiable smashes” instead of 12 songs that have four crap ones. However, it turns out the public still has time for Metallica’s “Black” album. It is still moving two to three thousand units a week and it is expected to pass 16 million by May.

Artists need to think about the no limits that digital offers them. We want the good stuff. Artists need to think about how they can provide us the good stuff, without resorting to the album format. Don’t base your career on dropping an album every two years. An artist needs to base their career on constant events.

GOING GOING ALMOST GONE

CLASSIC ROCK

The artists are on their last legs. Motley Crue is ceasing to tour, however stand alone shows, plus new music are still in the works. They have hit the same markets over and over again since their 2004 comeback and in between they have released 3 new songs on a “Greatest Hits” album, 13 new songs on “Saints of Los Angeles” and 1 new song in 2012. The train is slowly coming to a halt.

Aerosmith released a DUD. The train is not a rolling anymore for them. All up, Classic Rock bands have maybe have another 10 years left.

A transition is happening. The younger acts are generating touring dollars, playing smaller venues and at affordable prices. It’s happening.

ON THE UP

STORYTELLING

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.

RICHIE SAMBORA

Seeing him in Australia, he is invigorated and he is having a blast. Not having to play second fiddle to Jon Bon Jovi, he is branching out again and this time, his roots are strong enough to balance his branches. The “Aftermath Of The Lowdown” is the best hard rock record from 2012 that went unnoticed because it was released so close to his Bon Jovi work.

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Music Isn’t Just About Record Sales

Change is hard and in the end it is always worthwhile. There is a cliché that goes that after being fired or rejected or dumped one door closes and a million other doors open that will lead to a better place. It is true, however the main part that nobody talks about is how long it’s going to take to get to that better place.

The highs of success and fame are brief. It begins to fade and then what are you going to do next?

Vince Neil

On July 6, 2013, Vince Neil played a solo show in Mexico City. The venue was Jose Cuervo Salon. The capacity of the venue is 1,500. The attendance was 64 people. That’s right, less than 5% of the total venue size. Total Gross sales for the night was $2,286. There was only one ticket price at $35.72. So does anyone really care about Vince Neil outside of Motley Crue? Based on the ticket sales, Mexico sure don’t.

What a hard truth that is? Music is a tough business and this is what happens when you go out every night with Motley Crue and sing out of tune. Also why is he touring. He hasn’t released anything new recently. Also when he does tour, all he does is play Motley Crue songs. No one wants to hear Vince Neil do Motley again. I don’t know why, as there are some great songs in the Vince Neil catalogue that fans would love to hear live.

His debut album “Exposed” celebrated 20 years this year. He should have commemorated that release? It is a great album and there is an audience for it. It might mean he plays smaller venues that fit a couple of hundred. However he needs to sing in tune to get people to come back time and time again.

It is a good thing he is getting into the restaurant business and the Tequila/Wine business.

Classic Rock and Southern Rock Rule in Gilford, New Hampshire

On July 3, 2013, the Gigantour tour hit Gilford, New Hampshire. The venue was Meadowbrook. The capacity of the venue is 6,657. The attendance was 1,308. That’s right, 1,308 people turned up to watch Megadeth, Black Label Society, Device and Hellyeah. Total Gross sales for the night was $49,860. There was three tiers of ticket prices ranging from $42, $33 and $23.75.

My first opinion was that the low attendance is due to the poor recent albums put out by the bands involved. Don’t get me wrong, all of those albums are worthy of a listen, but there is nothing really engaging to go back for seconds.

This show should have been a sell-out. The Gigantour tour has never hit Gilford, New Hampshire before. So it is not a market that has seen the Gigantour tour before. However, if you take just the town of Gilford and its population of 7000, then you see it is a small market and the attendance of 1,308 people is not a bad result. Add to the mix that other rock shows are playing the same venue in the weeks leading up to the Gigantour show and in the weeks after, you start to form a different viewpoint.

With most shows a lot of people come from surrounding towns as well. I know in Australia that Sydney is the place that most bands play, however the audience is derived from places in NSW that are a decent hour or three or five away from Sydney.

On July 9, 2013, Daughtry, 3 Doors Down, Halestorm and Bad Seed Rising also played the Meadowbrook at Gilford, New Hampshire. The attendance was 2,718 in a venue that fits 6,219 (for this shows the capacity was reduced due to the stage size). Total Gross sales for the night was $142,431. There was four tiers of ticket prices ranging from $59.50, $49.50, $39.50 and $29.50.

Again not even half full. Daughtry is a platinum selling major label backed super star. 3 Doors Down are also in the same league, although they haven’t reached the same heights as the early two thousands and Halestorm are Grammy award winners. So what’s gone wrong. Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company is what went wrong.

On July 26, 2013, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bad Company also played the Meadowbrook at Gilford, New Hampshire. The attendance was 6,671 in a venue that fits 6,671 (that’s right people, classic rock and southern rock sold out the venue). Total Gross sales for the night was $407,641. There was three tiers of ticket prices ranging from $79, $59 and $33.25.

Classic rock and southern rock trumped everyone. Lynyrd Skynyrd released “Last of a Dyin’ Breed” in August 2012 however that album was dead and buried by the July 2013. Bad Company on the other hand haven’t released anything worthwhile for a long time. However when you combine the two acts, put a 40th Anniversary name to the tour and you have people from that era interested. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s first album release and Bad Company’s formation happened 40 years ago. To prove my point, I am going to watch Bon Jovi in Sydney, because I want my kids to experience it.

Classic Rock Rules Part II

On July 19, 2013, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band played a show in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The venue was the MTS Centre. The capacity of the venue is 8,397. The attendance was 8,397. Total Gross sales for the night was $724,948. There was two tiers of ticket prices ranging from $107.15 and $63.31.

Talk about turning the page. What a comeback from the man with the golden voice? Thank Metallica for their cover of “Turn The Page” in 1998. The Metallica version made Bob Seger cool with the metal community and who can forget the Metallica clip with Ginger Lynn.

Another turning point for Bob Seger’s comeback was 3 Doors Down and heir song “Landing In London” that Bob Seger sang on.

Once “Landing In London” came out in 2005, interest in Bob Seger was renewed. It was followed by a new album in 2006 and a few Greatest Hits / Live packages in between.

Guess what else is happening in the world of Bob Seger? A new album is on its way. Isn’t that like the old guard. He is hot at the moment so let’s release a new album. Why don’t the people that advise Seger release a new song first and see how it resonates with the public before dropping a slab of them.

Classic Rock III

On July 2, 2013, Alice Cooper played a show at South Bend, Indiana. The venue was Morris Performing Arts Center. The capacity of the venue is 2,552. The attendance was 1,662. Total Gross sales for the night was $77,967. There was two tiers of ticket prices ranging from $69.50 and $39.50.

This is Alice Cooper fresh from his run with Marilyn Manson that ended in June. This show was billed as “An Evening With Alice Cooper” and it was his first show in South Bend in 4 years. There is still juice in the tank of a cultural icon.

On July 28, 2013, Ted Nugent and Laura Wilde played a show in Nashville, Tennessee. The venue was the Ryman Auditorium. The capacity of the venue is 2,037. The attendance was 1,254. Total Gross sales for the night was $67,893. There was two tiers of ticket prices ranging from $59.50 and $39.50.

Just like Alice Cooper, Ted was coming off a Classic Rock run with REO Speedwagon and Styx. As with Alice, there is still life left in our favourite gun toting / wildlife hunter.

Wish they would take a leaf out of the Black Star Riders playbook? Their album, “All Hell Breaks Loose” is a great slab of classic rock songs. I was always a fan of Rick Warwick from The Almighty days so it was great to hear him rocking out again with a Phil Lynott swagger this time around, instead of a Brian Johnson swagger.

What Does A Grammy Award or Nomination Mean in 2013?

Halestorm (along with Age Of Days) played a show on June 26, 2013 at Edmonton, Alberta. The venue was the Starlite Room. The capacity of the venue was 700. The attendance was 492 and the total gross sales for the night was $12,778. There was two tiers of ticket prices ranging from $27.61 and $24.76.

Halestorm are still paying their dues. The Grammy win means nothing to today’s music public. The record labels that pay the entry fee are the ones that can compete. It’s got nothing to do with public opinion.

Hell, Dream Theater and Megadeth were nominated for Grammies last year and their current albums can’t move past the 100,000 mark in sales. If the music is great it will sell itself.

Both Dream Theater and Megadeth should look up the Wikipedia entry of “Instant Karma” from John Lennon.
“It ranks as one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history, recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios the same day it was written, and arriving in stores only ten days later. Lennon remarked to the press, he “wrote it for breakfast, recorded it for lunch, and we’re putting it out for dinner.”

This is what both bands need to be doing. Writing some new material ASAP. Forgot about the next album or the tour coming up and go back into the studio and churn a couple of songs out. Surprise us for Christmas.

Alice In Chains is still powerful

On July 11, 2013, Alice In Chains played a show in London, Ontario, Canada. The venue was Budweiser Gardens. The capacity of the venue is 5,248. The attendance was 4,801. Total Gross sales for the night was $237,558. There was two tiers of ticket prices ranging from $56.57 and $30.90.

I can’t say I am a fan of the new Alice In Chains album. It’s pedestrian. However the fans are there. If they are there because of the old or the new or both, it doesn’t matter. The band is a quarter of a million per show band.

Power Metal Rules In Europe

On April 18, 2013, Helloween, Gamma Ray and Shadowside played a Power Metal feast in Hamburg, Germany. The venue was the Docks. The capacity of the venue is 1,500. The attendance was 1,171. Total Gross sales for the night was $51,299. There was two tiers of ticket prices ranging from $52.52 and $43.33.

You have German bands playing in Germany. Enough said. The thing with power metal bands is that they know the size of their audience. You won’t see them playing venues larger than the above size. Maybe 3000 max. it is a niche and it has a hard core and devoted fan base. They even have power metal outdoor festivals where fans even get dressed up in medieval clothing and enact sword fights and so forth.

This is a good indication of bands still carving out a living in a time where they have no promotion in the large US market. This is a good indication of bands still carving out a living in a time where people download music illegally or stream it legally.

The Black Crowes still do good business

On July 19, 2013, The Black Crowes, Tedeschi Trucks Band and The London Souls played a show in Nashville, Tennesse. The venue was the Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel. The capacity of the venue is 4,056. The attendance was 3,273. Total Gross sales for the night was $215,641. There was two tiers of ticket prices ranging from $115 and $49.50.

I watched The Black Crowes at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre on April 1, 2008. The venue had less than a thousand people in attendance in a venue that has a capacity of around 10,000, so the stage was moved heaps forward to accommodate for the smaller audience.

It was the best show I saw. They jammed, they extended songs and just had fun. Rich Robinson was the sheriff. He was the one they all looked too for when the jam starts and when the jam ends.

That is a sign of a true champion. The night before, they played to a sold out Sydney audience 70 minutes away. They could have chucked a hissy fit at the small turn out for the Wollongong show, however they didn’t. They came out and they rocked.

There is plenty of money available in music and the more people that have access to your recorded music means more fans that could turn into customers.

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