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

Guess What: Not A Lot Has Changed

“In 1981, there was a crackdown after the big payola scandal of the late 70s. Right at the beginning of the 80s, the record companies were being safe. They were not handing out advances. They would advance your recording budget, but that was it.”
Brian Forsythe – Kix

So what has changed in 2015.

The record labels are still being safe and with recording costs so low, the recording budget is even lower.

Yeah, of course, we all know that the record labels had a massive boom that started with “Thriller” in 1984 and that allowed them to take more risks. And for some reason it looks like musicians and the labels are only looking at the boom when they compare now vs then. Typical revisionist history.

“None of us knew what we were doing. We were just so excited to have a record deal. There are writer’s royalties, and the mechanical royalties that go to the band. The record company gets paid back through the mechanical until the bill (advancement) is paid off. Donnie was the main songwriter, so he was still getting his (writers) money. By the time we got to “Blow My Fuse” – our biggest selling record – we were two million dollars in debt.” 
Brian Forsythe – Kix

Even in the era of information, with everything is at our fingertips, artists are still unaware of their entitlements. And when they do find out, it is the crux of every argument. Especially between band members because every band has a person that just writes better songs than the others at certain points of time, or in some cases always. Kix’s bass player Donnie Purdell, was another Nikki Sixx. He was crucial to Kix.

It should act as no surprise to anyone that bands in the Seventies, Eighties or Nineties, ended up with such large debts to the label. That is the label creative accounting machine at its best. And the shameful part of it all is that current musicians still look at the past to gauge what success means in 2015.

“Go pull up the sales for 1985, 1986 for heavy metal bands. I guarantee you it’s ten times what it is now. That doesn’t mean there’s ten times less fans — in fact, I think there’s more heavy metal fans now than possibly there ever was. But the bottom line is the numbers show that metal bands are not selling what they did back in the day, and that’s because of Internet piracy. I don’t wanna get on that subject, because it always turns into a depressing, negative subject, but it is a fact. So the answer to the question, ‘Would that record sell more in 1985?’ I would say the answer would be yes.”
Shawn Drover – Act of Defiance

Shawn Drover, wishes it was 1985 and 1986 because for some reason, he believes that he will have more money in his pocket and if his new band “Act Of Defiance” sold a million copies of an album, they would be mega rich and popular. Brian Forsythe from Kix, lived that period and ended up with a $2 million debt, even though they had albums that sold in excess of a million.

And guess what venues they are playing right now?

Clubs and theaters.

Dokken albums achieved Platinum awards and the band today plays clubs and theaters. Stryper and Ratt albums achieved Platinum awards and the bands today play clubs and theaters.

A sale of a record never equaled a fan. It’s the usual comparison between;

  • a person that purchased a record, heard it once and hated it
    vs
  • a person that purchased a record, heard it, loved it and listened to it every day
    vs
  • a person that purchased a record, heard the popular songs and then moved on to whatever else was popular

So why do artists still see sales as important today?

Metal and rock artists still sell. There is no doubt about that. Especially the ones that connect with audiences. But sales is not the only stat that artists should be basing their careers on.

With all of the streaming services out there, the most important stat is how many listens an artist is getting and in which cities they are getting those listens.

The second most important stat is how many illegal P2P downloads an artist is getting and in which cities they are getting these illegal downloads. These listeners/downloaders need to be monetized in different ways.

Otherwise if you are an artist and you are waiting for profits to come in from recorded music sales, then you need to change your business model.

“I’ve never seen a check. Donnie probably still gets writer’s royalty checks. The rest of the money is going back to the record company. Donnie was such a better songwriter. For every 20 songs he would write, I would write one. We were working on his songs all the time and we never even had time to write our own stuff. Back in the early days I may have gotten a couple checks. The biggest one was maybe $350. One time I remember getting one for $1.99. I could count the amount of checks I’ve received on one hand.”
Brian Forsythe – Kix

Remember all of the stories that have come out over the last five years from artists complaining about their low royalty payouts from streaming services. Guess that in 30 years nothing much has really changed. For the small amount of 1% artists that have broken through to mega status, it’s all good.

For the rest, it is still the same story.

“The standard stat given is that 90% of major label deals “fail.” That does not mean they are not profitable for the label. The way RIAA accounting works, the labels can make out like a bandit on many of those record deals, while the artist gets hung out to dry.”
Mike Masnick, Techdirt

Nothing has changed on that front, even with the rise of the internet, Napster, P2P illegal downloading and so forth. The 90% stat was relevant even in the golden years of recorded music sales and it is still relevant now.

“We never expected to get rich, but we certainly didn’t expect to be millions of dollars in debt.”
Jared Leto – Thirty Seconds To Mars

No artist expects to get rich. The need to create is the calling card. However, when they start making money and they see the recording executives living it up while the actual creators are not, then money becomes an important conversation point.

The recording industry has always been known for its creative accounting.

Remember when Tom Petty declared himself bankrupt to get out of a recording contract because he had no money to show after two very successful albums in the seventies.

It all goes against what Gene Simmons said about rock music in general being murdered due to internet piracy. It’s a very narrow-minded and hostile view to have to all of the change that has happened in music. It also mimics, the view that the record labels have held.

A hostile one.

However as Tim Westergren, the Chief Strategy Officer – Pandora (until last year) states;

“I think we’re moving out of an era where the music industry is looking for enemies and into one where it’s now looking for allies.”

The record labels have been dragged kicking and screaming into cassettes, mp3’s and then streaming. Guess what happened. It increased their bottom line on all occassions. Guess that not much has changed in the era of change when it comes to record label abuses.

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Recovering with The Eagles, Thirty Seconds To Mars, AC/DC and Iron Maiden

I had my ACL Reconstruction on my left leg on Tuesday 1 September. So I have been at home recovering since then. And I am thinking about what the surgeon said before the operation.

The surgeon said that I would walk out of the hospital the next day after the surgery. Well that was complete bullshit.

On day one I was so drugged up on morphine and other painkillers that my head was spinning every time I tried get up. Plus the fact that I probably won’t shit for a month due to all of the painkillers. So how the fuck would I be able to walk out the hospital if the Earth can’t stop spinning.

So I was wheeled out on a wheelchair.

But not before the Physio girls tried to make me walk with crutches on a straight line and up and down stairs. With my head spinning. Some would say I have managed to walk up stairs before with a spinning head.

So I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix and other TV shows. And the following documentaries are still stuck in my head.

  • The History of the Eagles Part 1.
  • Artifact – The Thirty Seconds To Mars documentary about the label lawsuit against them for $30 million dollars.
  • Blood and Thunder Documentary about Ted Albert’s search for the Australian sound with a focus on “The Easybeats”, “AC/DC”, “Rose Tattoo”, “The Angels” and the songwriting/production of “Young/Vanda”.

All three documentaries have four common threads.

  • The path to stardom isn’t overnight.

Let’s not kid around when we talk about “The Eagles”. The main drivers and creative forces of the band are Don Henley and Glenn Frey. Their journey started in different parts of America. It took some time paying their dues with different acts, until they ended up as backing musicians to Linda Ronstandt and then finally into their own act.

And when “The Eagles” formed, the band was rounded out by seasoned and well rehearsed musicians.

Success is dependent upon education and hard work. Henley and Frey educated themselves by working with different artists, learning different traits and building on their skills.

Thirty Seconds To Mars main driver is Jared Leto. AC/DC’s main driver in the early days was Malcolm Young. Jared would go and do movies, educating himself a little bit more. Malcolm Young and Angus Young would do session work for songs his older brother wrote for other artists.

The difference between successful artists and not successful artists is recognition always came LAST! The music and the show came first.

Since the rise of MTV, a certain belief came over the mindsets of musicians that if they are not famous on their first track, cut moments after they picked up an instrument, then someone else is to blame. It wasn’t always that way.

  • Keeping that stardom is not easy.

You’ve got to want it. And you’ve got to be willing to do the work.

How many bands have failed to reach the lofty heights of a previous album again?

Metallica will never top the “Black” album. AC/DC will never top the “Back In Black” album. Twisted Sister will never top the “Stay Hungry” album.

And the successful never stop working. Those classics on other albums didn’t come by accident.

  • The middlemen who make more than the acts.

All of the bands mentioned in the documentaries built their audience with a dependence on middlemen. The labels had it rigged that whatever they produced from their studios would get radio airplay and in stores. They would put the band on tour. All of this label love to the acts would mean that all monies received from the sales of recorded music would end up on the labels profit and loss, with very little given back to the artists.

There is a conversation in the “Artifact” documentary between Jared Leto and Irving Azoff, which Azoff abruptly ends. Leto questions how much that call is going to cost him. He questions how he could be millions in debt to his label when the “A Beautiful Lie” album moved over 3.5 million units in the U.S.

And the guys in Thirty Seconds To Mars, they are financing the recording of the album that would become “This Is War”. If you think this is common, it’s not. Again, due to some creative propaganda by the labels, musicians believe they need someone else to pay. Independent artists normally finance their own recordings.

Are you willing to do this?

Now, more than ever in the modern era, no one else is gonna pay.

 

  • Belief

The Eagles wanted to be a rock band. Their producer of choice “Glyn Johns” who worked with Led Zeppelin and Cream, didn’t think so. This is why people hate The Eagles. Their desire to do it their way. They didn’t allow other people to drag them down into a hole.

The Eagles didn’t want to be pigeonholed as a folk rock act, the same way Led Zeppelin didn’t want to be pigeonholed as a blues rock act.

To truly be king you have to believe in yourself and play by your own rules. You’ve got to stick it out.

Sort of like Iron Maiden. They just kept at it and believed in what they did. A massive corporate empire has been formed around that belief.

So I am getting into “The Book Of Souls” album. It is my bedtime music. At the moment I last to track five before I dose off to sleep.

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

Billion Dollar Music Streaming Market

There’s billions of dollars to be made in the music streaming market. Apple, Google, and Amazon’s recent moves into digital music will provide a major “revenue boost” to major labels. And do you know what a crowded marketplace of streaming services means to the record labels?

It means competition and that competition is good for the record companies, who charge the streaming outlets substantial licensing fees to use their songs. So in other words, these tech giants are cash rich and they are willing to offer labels high royalties in exchange for exclusive content. Add to that mix the rivalry between the tech companies and what you have is billions of dollars that are paid to the content owners. Now since the record labels are the content owners of a large amount of songs, how much of those monies are filtering down to the actual artists. Because in the end for the record label to license out their catalog it does not require any additional spending. In addition, the record labels use this “content ownership” bargaining chip to also take a part stake in the ownership of the streaming service.

Why do you think that the record labels are really pushing for Spotify to go public?

Yep, it means more dollars for them as part owners. Hell, even Jared Leto, who has battled music label “greed” with Thirty Seconds to Mars, invests in Spotify. As an actor he gets paid for his work however as a musician he has seen the labels take all the money and not share it with them. Seen the film called “Artifact”. After Thirty Seconds To Mars sold millions of albums, EMI/Virgin sued the band for $30 million because according to the label the band was still millions in debt.

That is what happens when the secret deal involves the label giving some money as an advance and then claiming back 80% of the monies earned, and using the other 20% that is for the band to pay back the original advance plus other costs the band might have occurred.

Meanwhile, you have Apple who thinks that spending $10 per month on a premium music subscription is too much for the average listener. The average music consumer spends only around $60 per year on CDs, vinyl, downloads, and streaming services. That’s why Apple is talking with record labels to revamp its Beats Music service with a lower price.

Let’s look at how the recording industry handles conversations of prices.

According to the record labels, there is none — people either like a song and will pay any price for it, or they don’t and they won’t. So when Apple approached record labels at the start of the 2000’s, the labels were resistant to unbundle the album and sell individual song downloads through the iTunes Store, even though the recording industry was spiraling downward, Apple still had to work hard to convince the labels that digital downloads would be a benefit to them.

It is worth nothing that the price of streaming services is not set by the technological companies. The record labels actually set the minimum price these services are able to charge through their licensing agreements.

What about Thom Yorke?

Is he a leader in business model innovations or an out of touch rock star?

We all know back in 2007 that Radiohead shocked the recording business by releasing an album online with a pay-what-you-want pricing model. Not long after, the website Bandcamp allowed lesser-known artists to put their music into the vast expanse of the Internet, even if it didn’t make much or any money.

I think that is pretty innovative.

And a few weeks ago Yorke found a new way to push the boundaries. He put his latest solo album up on BitTorrent for $6.

Is this a new way for people to get the music they want without interacting with all the bullshit of streaming services, mp3 downloads or physical stores?

Is this another brilliant way for bands to have a direct to fan interaction?

Or is it a step backwards to limit access to an artists work because the enemy is obscurity. As we all know, everything is available, so why is Yorke putting up a pay wall, especially when the younger generation are all about racking up YouTube plays, which pay quite handsomely when they’re in the triple digit millions.

It is the consumer who controls the business models today. And the model is not about who buys it anymore. It’s about who is playing it and who is listening to it. And today there are many more avenues to getting paid than there have ever been before. Create something great and you will be paid forever, as people listen down the ages.

And this is the takeaway. People are compelled to make music and to share their music with people. No one is going to stop doing that just because there is some corruption out in the recording industry.

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

Money In Music, Greed, Elitism And A Lifestyle Of Not Taking Things Too Seriously

One thing about the world of heavy metal and hard rock was that we never took ourselves too seriously. It was always a camaraderie, a culture to have “Nothin But A Good Time”. A culture to “Seek and Destroy” and just have some fun “Smokin In The Boys Room”.

So when Zakk Wylde was playing “In This River” at the Revolver Golden Gods Awards for the fallen rockers and a picture of Jani Lane from Warrant came up, and it stated, Jani Lane, Motorhead, 1964-2011, it was just one of those things we had to laugh about. Of course, a lot people these days take stuff a little bit too seriously and the elite Motorhead fans were outraged that a wussy singer like Jani Lane was associated with their band.

Or what about when the Salem Community Easter Drama titled “Lamb Of God” actually used the Lamb of God logo on their tickets. It made everyone have a laugh. Because this is what metal and rock is all about. A lifestyle of not taking everything too seriously.

Then you have the other side of the metal and rock community, which is the elitism view.

First let’s go back to the beginning. It was all just rock, blues and folk.

Then it started to branch out into hard rock, blues rock, folk, R&B, Surf Rock, Brit Rock.

Then metal/heavy metal came into the picture, along with Southern Rock, Americana Rock, heavy rock, progressive rock and so forth.

Then came Funk, disco and punk rock.

Then came the New Wave Of British Metal and everything was just metal again for a few years. Regardless of how different the style of metal was, the audience always crossed over between genres. Fans of NWOBHM, also supported the LA metal and hard rock scene. Fans of that LA scene also supported pop rock and Americana acts like Kiss, Ted Nugent, Styx, Bruce Springsteen, Journey, Survivor, Reo Speedwagon and others.

It didn’t last for long as the genre that defined a cultural movement splintered into Hard Rock, Glam Rock, Glam Metal, Pop Metal, Power Metal, Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Extreme Metal, Progressive Metal, Black Metal, Metalcore, Groove Metal, Industrial Metal, Nu Metal, EMO, Punk Metal, Gothic Rock, Doom Metal, Djent, Technical Metal. Folk Metal and the list just goes on and on and on.

Within each genre, there is a subset of elitism within it. The type of elitism that sees the hard rock style as not just not hard enough for the heavy metal community. The type of elitism that sees Metalcore and melodic death metal as not evil enough for the “real” death metallers out there. Or the type of elitism that sees progressive metal as just not brutal enough compared to death metal or black metal.

Sort of like an episode I saw on the cartoon show “Metalocalypse” where the new song that the band Deathklok was writing just wasn’t brutal enough according to their singer.

The elitism goes both ways, where elitism in hard rock sees other metal bands as not melodic enough.

In some occasions it is simply down to taste. People enjoy the pop structure of the “verse – chorus” sing a long, every day, all year round.

The way I see it, people either praise someone else’s success, or they try to tear it down because they believe they should have been there and that someone stole their ride.

People attach themselves to this cancer within them that says “If this band made it, they suck” because they don’t want to admit that they wish it was them on that throne. They don’t want to admit that they are undeserving because they are not qualified or talented enough or good enough.

From the people that I know, and doing some crude math, eighty percent of wannabe musicians drop out when the going gets tough. The remaining twenty percenters keep at it, networking, planning, practicing, creating and moving on. Then from those twenty percenters, another eighty percent drop out due to starting or having families, which means that they have obligations and the need to have a stable income. So let’s say 100 start off. After the first cut, 20 will remain. After the second cut, only 4 will remain.

See no one tells you that when you reach a certain age, the power players in music don’t really want you. That is why the focus is on the young. It’s like McDonalds. Get em young and work em hard for less money.

Making it is hard work. It involves a lot of variables and the main one is luck. Very few make it and a lot of others have excuses for failing.

Sort of like the people who always scream to anyone who cares about how Spotify is killing the music business and pointing to pay out figures without giving the full picture as to how much the label took, how much the manager took, how much the publishers took, how much the lawyers took and how much went to the slush account for expenses.

Seen what Jared Leto said recently.

“We all know that, as content creators, artists and musicians, a great deal of our work is going to be streamed, but the issue is that artists are getting the short end of the stick. The streaming companies are paying record labels, but record labels are not paying artists.”

I have been saying this for a long time in other posts that the greed of the record labels is putting a stain on the streaming model.

“Record companies are taking giant advantages, they’re taking pieces of stock options or technology companies in exchange for guaranteeing rights to artists’ streams, there’s all kinds of deals being made, and artists aren’t a part of those deals.”

This is a biggie. Spotify needed to give over half of the company to the Major Record Labels so that they could operate in the U.S. What did the Major Record Labels use as their bargaining chip in these negotiations?

Yep, you guessed it, the right to access the music of artists past and present. And as Leto alluded too, artists are excluded from these conversations and negotiations.

Spotify is a great enabler of getting music out to the masses. It’s also set to overtake iTunes in Europe due to the closing of a digital tax law loophole in the UK – that put an end to all song downloads being priced at £0.99 ($1.79AUD). This in turn is means that iTunes is expected to lose consumers opting for subscription streaming services instead of paying for each track as a download.

In relation to the heavy metal and hard rock communities, they are not doing a really good job at promoting Spotify by still relying on album sales as a measure of success. Streaming is a tried and true business model. Hell, the whole free to air TV industry is the same model as the free streaming option. And the TV stations made a monza. In 2014, there is no fundamental reason why music needs a “sales” business model.

And while popular culture artists are raking in 100 million plus streams a song, metal and rock bands are still going the mp3/CD sale route. It is the wrong way. There should be no reason why a metal act should not have a song that has surpassed 100 million streams on Spotify by now. No reason whatsoever.

It’s the selling (instant money in the pocket right now) mentality versus the streaming (money in the pocket later) mentality and everyone wants to be paid right now. From the labels, managers, lawyers and producers, down to the individual band members. Everyone wants money to live on and get by.

But music is a risk game. Music was never an industry that guaranteed an income.

So why are bands pushing that argument.

Guitar World ran an article back in April 1997, about where are the Eighties Guitar Heroes now. Now meant 1997 for the article. One of the questions they asked each guitarist was their FINANCIAL STATUS. This is what they had to say;

WARREN DeMARTINI (RATT) – “It’s not like I never have to work again, but I had the luxury of not doing anything right away and I really enjoyed the break.”

“Out Of The Cellar” sold over 3 million copies in the U.S. “Invasion Of Your Privacy” sold over 2 million copies in the U.S. “Dancing Undercover” sold 1 million copies in the U.S. “Reach For The Sky” sold over 1 million copies in the U.S. “Detonator” sold over 500,000 copies in the U.S.

In total Ratt sold over 7.5 million records in the U.S. Using the average retail price of $10, you can do the math on the gross sales of Ratt’s music.

And that break that DeMartini took was roughly 12 months. After that he was a touring guitarist for Whitesnake in 1994, releasing instrumental albums in 1995 and 1996 and new Ratt albums in 1997 and 1999.

In other words even though he was the main songwriter in a band that grossed $75 million in album sales in the U.S alone, he still had to work his arse off.

REB BEACH (WINGER) – “I’m certainly not set financially. I still have to work. I didn’t sign the best contract. Back then, it was ‘Sign this, or we’ll get another guitar player.”

ERIK TURNER (WARRANT) – “We made millions and we spent millions. Now we’re like everyone else: we work for a living.”

BLACKIE LAWLESS (WASP) – “Slow and steady wins the race. We’re a lot better off that a lot of bands that sold a lot more records at one point because we have a cult following. We have the most devoted fans in the world. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

STEVE BROWN (TRIXTER) – “We came out of the whole thing in decent shape. We all have to work, but we don’t have any day jobs and I have a nice house.”

TRACII GUNS (L.A. GUNS) – “I’m by no means set. But I’ve established myself where people buy my records and come out to see us live.”

There is a lot of money in the music business and the ones that create it are the least underpaid.

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

Thirty Seconds To Mars

Jared Leto is a star in every sense. He was born to be in the arts.

I watched “Thirty Seconds To Mars” last night at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Actually, it has been renamed the “Qantas Credit Union Arena”. The beauty of corporate sponsorships.

Leto had the crowd in his grasp from the word go and he manipulated the audience to jump, chant and sing with him throughout the whole performance.

I got into the band from the “A Beautiful Lie” album. It was the song “Attack” that hooked me in. And then after I purchased the album I was blown away by just how strong it was.

I then found out that they had a previous album and I purchased that as well and I really enjoyed the Tool-Pop Rock sound throughout. The song “Fallen” comes to mind immediately as I type this. Also produced by the excellent Bob Ezrin, who of course was a name I was very familiar with from all of the classic rock albums that I had.

So by the time they released “This Is War”, well that was the album that I enjoyed and it also hooked my wife in. When the new album came out, I became hooked on “Conquistador” while my wife became hooked on the whole album.

First let’s get the bad out-of-the-way. If there was a point of criticism it was that stupid white bright light in each corner of the stage. By looking at the stage, the one on the left corner was shining out towards the audience and all I saw from the show was that lovely bright light. For the few sections and songs that it didn’t go on, it was good, otherwise that stupid bright light made it torturous.

The biggest surprise.

“End Of All Days”.

I didn’t rate it when I heard it on the album because after being blown away by “Conquistador” I sort of felt that the album went too soft. However after seeing “End Of All Days” performed live, I was converted. Even thought it is a ballad, the song is powerful and man it resonated with the audience.

And seriously look at their worldwide digital numbers. Yes, that’s right. While stupid executives and mainstream rags focus on sales within a country, the fans of music have shown over and over again that it is a world wide music industry.

“Closer To The Edge” has 46,243,437 views on YouTube and 12,480,144 streams on Spotify.

“This Is War” has 39,320,835 views on YouTube and 13,992,986 streams on Spotify.

“The Kill (Bury Me) has 31,501,058 views on the official channel and 20,922,479 views on a fan channel called mina58 for a total of 52 million plus views. Add to that the 12,303,344 + 5,479,614 = 17,782,958 streams on Spotify.

“Kings And Queens” has 19,382,518 views on YouTube as well as 19,683,580 streams on Spotify.

“Up In The Air” has 19,220,663 views on YouTube and 7,994,167 streams on Spotify.

The point. They are a success story.

Sales on the board. Tick. Streams. Tick. YouTube plays. Tick. Box office score. Tick. Merchandise. Tick. The line ups for the merch store went forever at the gig. Talented front man. Tick. Super talented live performer in the front man. Tick. Social media presence. Tick.

Did that happen off the bat?

Of course not. They worked hard at it. The first album didn’t set the charts alight even though it had a brilliant supporting cast and some real Tool like pop rock gems.

“A Beautiful Lie” became a juggernaut on the backs of four songs, “The Kill”, “From Yesterday”, “Attack” and the title track. This is the album that gave them a career. This is the band rocking out and they should have played these songs with the full band set up instead of bringing a few of them up with the acoustic part of the set.

Remember, it is about the songs and they need to be great.

So I was surprised after I finished reading a few reviews from journalists that write for the Sydney Morning Herald. The review is critical of the songs. First, they say that the band doesn’t have the songs to be a big act. Maybe, they just had the sales from ARIA in front of them, because if they did some digging they would have seen the digital stats.

But then again, this is a mainstream institution that still believes it’s about selling newspapers and locking up news content behind subscription models. Hello, it’s 2014.

While the “New York Times” and all of the other main papers in the US tried these subscription models, the very free Huffington Post came from left field and overtook their online presence. You procrastinate, so prepare to be overtaken by the ones who innovate.

In the end the band is on the road until the end of September. That is the music business. Hit the road and deliver. And with Jared Leto as the front man, Thirty Seconds To Mars do deliver.

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Music

Double Threats

There is an article doing the rounds at Noisecreep about rockers who branch out into some other venture (like another successful band) or something that is beyond the musical medium.

So of course the lists focuses on the “SuperStar”. First here is the list from Noisecreep.

10. Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park / Fort Minor

9. Chris Jericho from Fozzy and Professional Wrestling

8. Henry Rollins from Black Flag / Rollins Band (I am adding acting to this)

7. Marilyn Manson

6. Maynard James Keenan from Tool / A Perfect Circle / Puscifer

5. Jared Leto from Thirty Seconds to Mars and acting

4. Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters / Them Crooked Vultures / Nirvana / Scream

3. Corey Taylor from Slipknot / Stone Sour / Author

2. Rob Zombie from Rob Zombie / White Zombie / Directing

1. Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue / Sixx: A.M. + Radio DJ, Book Author and Photographer

What about the artists that are not superstars?

The artists below are doing an unbelievable job or have done an unbelievable job to remain a double threat in the music business.

1. Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambra / Prized Fighter Inferno + Comic / Book Author

2. Adam Dutkiewicz from Killswitch Engage / Times of Grace + Producing

3. Digital Summer (the whole band) – They hold down normal day jobs and they are also a successful modern rock band.

4. Randy Blythe from Lamb of God + successful photographer

5. Robb Flynn from Machine Head + successful blogger

6. John Sykes from Whitesnake / Blue Murder / Solo Artist / Thin Lizzy tribute

7. Joe Satriani – Solo Artist / Chickenfoot / guitar teacher

8. Slash from Guns N Roses / Slash’s Snakepit / Velvet Revolver / Solo Artist + Motion Pictures

9. Doug Aldrich at one stage was playing guitar for Whitesnake and Dio at the same time. Also involved with Burning Rain.

10. David Draiman from Disturbed / Device + Producer

11. Protest The Hero (the band) – successful fan funded band and campaigners.

12. Kevin Churko – Successful Producer / Songwriter and Studio Owner

Original Noisecreep Article: http://noisecreep.com/best-double-threat-rockers/

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Music

Thirty Seconds To Mars

This is one band that I never expected to get into, however the very Tool / A Perfect Circle sounding first album got my attention back in the early days of the 2000’s and A Beautiful Lie solidified it.  This Is War had its epic moments and so far the new album LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS is shaping up to be another monster.

I am really digging Conquistador.  You can hear it being performed in a large arena.  It feels like that is what they had in mind during the writing stages, the big anthem.  Even it’s opening riff, reminds me of early Black Sabbath for some reason.  Maybe due to the fact that I have been cranking early Sabbath recently.

Shannon Leto on drums is very underrated.  A lot of the songs from Thirty Seconds To Mars have significant drum patterns that really take the songs to another level.  (I still remember the We Will Rock You pattern that Shannon did for Vox Populi from the This is War album).

It’s the complete opposite to the first single Up In The Air.  That is another form of promotion that Jared Leto has down pat.  Chalk it up to his acting days.  Each video clip is a statement, a mini movie, a saga.  It’s very rarely over in 4 minutes.  I really like that part of the band.  Two out of two so far.

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