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

What I Am Over Reading …..

Metallica’s New Album

Seriously it has been six years since Death Magnetic was released. For the last six months, the band has been working on songs. They have mentioned in press interviews that they have thousands of riffs stockpiled. The hype means nothing in 2014. Do people want a full Metallica album every six or seven years? I know what I would prefer, more quality frequent releases.

In relation to new music, “The Lords Of Summer” is the only new offering, while “Beyond Magnetic” broke the cobwebs on some old Death Magnetic demos. And the less said about “Lulu” the better.

However the Metallica live show sells out.

Led Zeppelin ReIssues

Seriously. How many times can someone own the original three albums or the songs contained within those albums.

Rockstars becoming owners of ,insert business venture here>

The fans want you to write music and play for them. Instead we get our heroes become owners in football clubs, technology start ups and so forth.

Piracy

Seriously. Is this still an issue in 2014?

YouTube and Spotify more or less have everything that a person would want. However the labels along with the RIAA still use piracy as a means to get more laws written. In Australia, our Attorney General is talking up a three strikes policy as a means to combat piracy even though evidence from all over the world has shown that these policies have done nothing to stop copyright infringement.

It’s because the people have no respect for copyright law anymore and the corporations that abuse it. Music survived for centuries upon centuries because there was no copyright. Artists copied each other. Music and melodies got passed on from family members to family members via copying each other.

Google Needs To Do More

People like U2 manager Paul McGuinness or the RIAA or the MPAA or the various bots they employ to issue takedowns need to get a life because Google is not to blame for copyright infringement. Google is not to blame for the THEFT of music. I believe the latest comment from McGuinness is that “Google is the greatest theft enabler on the internet”.

Seriously McGuinness should look up what THEFT means because as far as I know, U2 still has their music on iTunes. No one has stolen the mp3 that exists there. However if millions of copies of that same mp3 exist all over the internet, is that Google’s fault.

Streaming Doesn’t Pay

It does pay. If you are not getting any of the pie speak to the label or the organisation that is getting the pie. But according to Paul McGuinness again, bands should gate their releases like the good old days.

Sales

Seriously,they are irrelevant. All they do is give the old guard a way to measure something that is irrelevant because the new way to measure an artists reach is just too hard to fathom for them.

Are people listening to the album? That is the question. Instead of focusing on Soundscan numbers, what is happening on the live front?

Press Releases for new albums

People can see through the hype and bullshit. In other words, we don’t care about what the bands say about “how great this new album is” or “how it is a definitive statement of the band right now”. All we care about is if we like it. If it is great we will push it. If it is crap, expect it to disappear.

Because if publicity does increase sales, then bands should be selling by the millions and selling out their shows. But they don’t.

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Is Guitar World Still Relevant?

Once upon a time getting on the cover of a magazine was a sign of success or of dreams coming true. For the musical fan, the magazine was the only way that we could get any information from our favourite artists. The heyday for the metal and rock movements was the Eighties. Hundreds of different magazines appeared that covered certain genres and information was plentiful.

I started purchasing Guitar World magazines from January 1986. Any magazine that had content of bands/artists that I liked I devoured. Circus, Faces, Metal Maniacs, Rip, Metal Edge, Hit Parader, Guitar For The Practicing Musician, Hot Metal, Metal Hammer, Kerrang, Guitar School, Guitar One, Total Guitar, Guitar Player and Guitar.

So when I saw my favourite artists or guitarists on the cover of magazines I saw it as a sign of them making it. In all of the interviews, most of the guitarists said it was a dream come true to be on the cover of a Guitar magazine.

So how important is it to an artist to be on the cover of Guitar World today? I still subscribe to this magazine and I had all the issues for the year mapped out in front of me.

This is the cover roll for 2013.
December – Nirvana – In Utero Anniversary
November – John Petrucci
October – Synester Gates / Zacky Vengeance
September – Ultimate Prog Roundtable/Asking Alexandria
August – Jeff Hanneman Tribute
July – Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne
June – Dave Mustaine / Chris Broderick
May – Brad Paisley
April – Orianthi
March – SRV “Texas Flood” Anniversary
February – The Who / Pete Townsend
January – Led Zeppelin Rides Again

Looking at the covers, I started to realise something.

Guitar World likes to play it safe. Sort of like a record label in the current environment. They are going for the sure bets, going where the money is. There is no onus on going out there and taking risks. They are looking for the hits, so that they can sell advertising.

If the “legends” have something happening or an anniversary of an album, it is a good bet that they will get a cover. Led Zeppelin, The Who, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tony Iommi with Ozzy Osbourne and Nirvana. 5 issues out of 12 devoted to “legends”.

Then you have the tribute piece, which in this case it the Jeff Hanneman issue. Expect one to come out for Lou Reed soon.

Then it is focusing on the stars that have been proven successful previously in the magazine, like John Petrucci, Dave Mustaine and Avenged Sevenfold, who of course wouldn’t even be considered unless they have new releases coming out.

Then it has the obligatory issue with a woman on the cover. I actually liked how they covered Orianthi however the interview was a mish mash of information found on Wikipedia and PR rewrites. There was nothing there that couldn’t be found on the web.

The only issue that involved some ‘originality’ and some risk taking was the Brad Paisley issue however again after reading the interview piece, I was left wondering if the final printed version was re-written by a PR person of the artist.

Robb Flynn’s recent journal about the Through The Ashes of Empires anniversary, mentions the following in relation to mainstream media;
“The American metal media blacklisted us, magazines like Revolver told us, “we can’t cover you, but if you get to 50,000 copies we’ll give you an article.” When we got to 50,000 they said, “Well, when you get to 70,000 we’ll give you an article”. When we got to 70,000 they said, “well, the record is too old now.” The metal media of the time continued that blacklist well into “The Blackening” album cycle, when after that, they just didn’t matter anymore.”

So taking Robb Flynn’s comments and putting them up against the Brad Paisley cover issue, the originality comment I mentioned earlier doesn’t seem to fit. Brad Paisley has four pages of certifications on the RIAA Gold and Platinum database. His sales are well over the 50,000 and 70,000 ranges quoted, hence a cover.

Don’t get me wrong, each issue is still enjoyable and the lessons, plus the tabs are the reason why I still subscribe to it. However, with user posted tabs on the rise in greater numbers on the internet (along with peer reviews and edits), plus YouTube videos of guitarists covering their favourite songs, in addition to the artists themselves delving deep into the “how to play” department, does a magazine like Guitar World still have a relevance in today’s market?

It all depends on what Guitar World wants to achieve. People still like to read a nice interview however over the last decade all the interviews seem like they have been written by a PR team for the artist. Furthermore, artists can go straight to their audience today. The journals that Robb Flynn is producing are pure GOLD. So why would artists wait for the chance to appear in a magazine which could or could not happen.

Guitar World is in the business of selling advertising. It is using music and artists as it’s tool to sell advertising.

So if you are an artist, what does the mainstream press mean to your career?

In my point of view, no artist should equate mainstream press with success. Artists are on the front page for a day, and in most cases they are gone.

Has anyone read anything on Dream Theater’s or Black Sabbath’s new record the last few weeks? Dream Theater and Sabbath made a mistake. Their marketing campaign was better and larger than the music on the album. At the end of the day it’s what goes into our ears that matters. No one cares about the interviews or the press.

The publicity campaign worked once upon a time, however it doesn’t work any longer. If artists want to be around forever they need to understand that they need to grow slowly. If you peak, you should want it to happen deep into your career.

The only press that Megadeth is getting about their new album recently is that the Metallica Black album is outselling it on a weekly basis.

So what have we learned?

A cover on a magazine does nothing for your career. If you want to last in the music business, you need to earn it.

A scorched earth publicity campaign could see an increase in sales NOW. However, fans don’t want to be beaten upon the head every time you release music. In the end, great music will find its way to an audience.

The recording business is about listenability and repeatability. People could say that a track is good or bad. However will they play that track over and over again. That’s the reaction you want. If you plan to record, you need that track.

The goal of an artist is to write great songs otherwise say hello to obscurity. That is what gets people interested. Great music, great songs.

If you are not passionate about what you do you’re never going to make it. You need to be more into it than we are. You need to live for it.

For comparisons here is the list from 2012.

Holiday – Joe Perry (Legend)
December – The Beatles (Legends)
November – Billie Joe Armstrong (Safe Bet + High Sales Numbers)
October – Billy Gibbons (Legend)
September – Steve Vai & Tosin Abasi (Legend and Newcomer)
August – Van Halen (Legend + High Sales Numbers)
July – Slash (Legend + High Sales Numbers)
June – Slipknot (Safe Bet + High Sales Numbers)
May – Joe Walsh (Legend)
April – Van Halen (Legend + High Sales Numbers)
March – Lamb of God (Safe Bet + High Sales Numbers)
February – Pink Floyd (Legend + High Sales Numbers)
January – Billy Gibbons (Legend)

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories

Bullet For My Valentine

I have been cranking Bullet For My Valentine lately. I started off with the new “Temper Temper” album released this year. “The Poison” album was next. I then went back to the “Hand of Blood” EP. Then “Scream Aim Fire” and “Fever”. On top of all that I have also seen the band perform live.

The music that BFMV creates is very reminiscent to the hard rock / heavy metal music created between 1981 and 1986, before Bon Jovi released Slippery When Wet and then the majority of bands started chasing the pop metal / pop rock “pot of gold”. It is the same music that I grew up on.

Metallica – CHECK
Iron Maiden – CHECK
AC/DC – CHECK
Slayer – CHECK
Megadeth – CHECK
Judas Priest – CHECK

Modern influences like Machine Head, Pantera and Metallica “Black” album period are also found in the songs. That is why I probably connected with the band.

As I have mentioned previously, all artists are a sum of their influences. No one creates art in a vacuum, waiting for that spark of super originality to come. Sometimes, a band takes all of these influences and creates something original, however in most cases, bands fall into an evolutionary category.

Bullet For My Valentine as a band have an unbelievable chemistry. The drumming is sensational. Just listen to how the drums build the intro in “Waking The Demon”. The guitar leads are very Randy Rhoads like, the riffs are melodic and the bass playing is solid.

“The Last Fight” is a classic example of the band nailing it. Listen to the rock version and then listen to the acoustic version, with the piano and violin. Dealing with addictions is difficult and this song captures it. The lead break in the rock version is classical heaven to start off with and then harmonised in the vein of Iron Maiden.

“Breaking Point” from the new album is a dead set classic opener. I don’t know why they went with “Riot” and “Temper, Temper” as the lead off tracks to promote the album. It should have been “Breaking Point” all the way.

Who can forget the punch and groove of “Your Betrayal”? Another perfect song to get the body moving into high gear.

Then you have the speed metal style of Slayer and Machine Head in “Scream, Aim, Fire” and “Waking The Demon”?

The Iron Maiden influence is heard in “Alone” while the Judas Priest influence is heard in “Eye Of The Storm”.

Add to that the slower songs like “Hearts Burst Into Fire” and you have a band that is varied and influenced by a lot of great styles.

This band still hasn’t written their “Blackening” or “Dr Feelgood” or “Back In Black” or “Black” album. They are working towards it. Great albums come from experience. Great songs come from having lived. The band (provided that they stay together) is on its way to achieving this.

They have hooked in Terry Date for the upcoming album, so it is a step in the right direction for album number 5. Matt Tuck even mentioned that the music is no holds barred metal, unlike the previous two releases.

I didn’t think I liked BFMV to start off with. Then I heard their cover of “Sanitarium” from a Kerrang tribute album to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of “Master of Puppets” from Metallica. That tribute album was also my first introduction to Trivium and their unbelievable cover of “Master Of Puppets”.

The modern paradigm of success is to create great music and reap the benefits later. “The Poison” came out in 2005 and by 2009, it had a GOLD certification in the U.S. market.

So I purchased “Scream, Aim, Fire” when it came out without hearing a song and I suddenly realised that I liked the band.

Just like Pantera had to emerge from the shadows of the inferior hard rock / power metal scene in the late Eighties, Bullet For My Valentine had to do the same. The metalcore movement has committed the same sin as hard rock and glam rock committed. Too many derivative bands are doing the rounds and there is no substance. With the release of “Scream, Aim, Fire”, BFMV showed that they are a metal band in the true sense. With “Fever” and “Temper, Temper”, they have showed that they can rock with the best of them.

The Bullet For My Valentine VEVO account shows that “Tears Don’t Fall” has been viewed 55,738,093 times.

“Your Betrayal” has been viewed 17,391,181 times.

“Waking The Demon” has been viewed 23,947,044 times.

“Hearts Burst Into Fire” has been viewed 13,500,316 times.

“The Last Fight” has been viewed 3,232,789 times.

“Temper Temper” has been viewed 2,254,641 times.

“Breaking Point” has just been released and it has been viewed 686,885 times.

“Hand Of Blood” has been viewed 12,069,227 times.

The above figures are from the official BFMV account. Those same songs have been circulated on other user accounts with high view counts as well.

Spotify has the following top 10 songs for BFMV. For some insane reason, the “Scream Aim Fire” album is not on Spotify.

“Tears Don’t Fall” is at 18,297,766 streams.

“All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)” is at 9,878,085 streams.

“Your Betrayal” is at 8,335,370 streams.

“The Last Fight” is at 5,337,727 streams.

“Fever” is at 3,696,842 streams.

“Bittersweet Memories” is at 2,673,920 streams.

“Temper, Temper” is at 1,187,795 streams.

“Tears Don’t Fall (Part 2)” is at 1,030,904 streams.

“Breaking Point” is at 884,423 streams.

“P.O.W.” is at 670,708 streams.

I am sure that if the songs from “Scream Aim Fire” could be streamed, the above list would be a touch different.

So what is this saying about the band.

They have a reach that a lot of other bands do not have in metal. Kirk Hammett said that there isn’t any new bands coming out on the scene because of the internet and social media. Tell that to BFMV and their fans. Michael Poulsen said that bands can’t live off record sales alone. He is right, they can’t, however a band can live off record sales, iTunes downloads, streaming fees, YouTube views, licensing, merchandise and live revenue. You just got to be prepared to put in the hard work.

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Kirk Hammett = Misguided Fool. We Are Actually Living In The Golden Age of Music Access

The comments from Kirk Hammet have been getting a lot of press/ink lately. They have been re-posted on thousands of other metal news sites by simply copying and pasting what he said.

For those that haven’t read it, this is what Kirk said;

“There haven’t been a lot of really, really great bands that have shown that kind of promise. I think it’s a concern. Because of things like iTunes and streaming and social networking, it’s destroyed music. It’s destroyed the motivation to go out there and really make the best record possible. It’s a shame.”

Okay so lets unpack what he really said.

“There haven’t been a lot of really, really great bands that have shown that kind of promise. I think it’s a concern.”

You see, when you detach yourself from the streets and live in your ivory tower, you don’t see what is happening at ground zero.

Five Finger Death Punch is going GOLD in a tough sales market. They have great numbers in relation to YouTube views and Spotify streams. Their albums have been selling up to the point of when their new one is released. Think about that for a second. Five Finger Death Punch has consistently moved units of their albums every week since 2007. Now compare that to Dream Theater whose new album is already dead and buried after four weeks.

Shinedown are doing super numbers in relation to sales, YouTube views and Spotify streams. They have certifications left, right and centre.

Avenged Sevenfold released a progress is derivative album that is also doing great numbers. In addition, they do super numbers on the live circuit

Black Veil Brides has achieved so much with their first three albums as well as other bands like Bullet For My Valentine, Alter Bridge, Killswitch Engage, Volbeat and so on.

Will we have the superstars of the Eighties and Nineties again? Of course not, it is a different time today, however you can’t tell me that the bands mentioned above don’t have a certain superstar status at the moment.

Will they headline the major festivals? Probably not, because no one really likes festivals any more. The festivals are on their way out. They just don’t know it yet.

“Because of things like iTunes and streaming and social networking, it’s destroyed music. It’s destroyed the motivation to go out there and really make the best record possible. It’s a shame.”

With all the information we get on our favourite artists these days, it makes us realise that our heroes are complete idiots. Kirk just doesn’t understand change. It’s constant.

Kirk’s comments are no different to the comments from other dinosaurs like Jon Bon Jovi, Scott Ian, Duff McKagan, Yngwie Malmsteen, Thom Yorke and David Byrne. Railing against the Internet, Spotify and iTunes and complaining about payments and the lack of motivation to record new music. 

Let’s get one thing clear. Music today can be made for next to nothing. That is why we have so many releases in the market place. Competition for listener’s attention is sky-high. Everybody who records something believes we should pay attention.

Kirk Hammett wants to go back to the Eighties, to a time when bands had to have a record deal to record their music. Kirk Hammett wants fans of his music to buy the whole Metallica album just to find out it was garbage (like ReLoad, St Anger) or for a few songs (like Load).  

If that is the motivation that Kirk Hammett and Metallica needs to record, then they can just give up right now.

It never used to be that way. Metal and rock artists never complained. They always ADAPTED. 

Do you hear Imagine Dragons, Daft Punk, Mumford and Sons, Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch, Eminem, Halestorm, Killswitch Engaged, Alter Bridge, Slash or Avenged Sevenfold going on a rant about not wanting to make new music or that it is just too tough out there and no one can make it?

Could it be that most people are just not interested in new Metallica music? As Lars said in a Hot Metal interview from June 1992, that I posted earlier. The numbers they are getting for the Black album, will not be eclipsed or bettered.

Could it be that the Napster stigma is still around? The image of Lars Ulrich holding 500 pages of user names that traded in Metallica music is still fresh in people’s minds. 

The comments in relation to streaming are just wrong. Streaming is competing with PIRACY. How is that not good? With Spotify around it just doesn’t make sense to steal. It pays the artist when their music gets played and it pays the artist forever. A sale of an album is just a one stop transaction that inflates the NOW and when you start talking about the NOW, you are thinking like a Record Label.

If Kirk Hammett and Metallica or any artist out there wants to make money from recorded music, they need to find a way to get people to purchase a Spotify Premium account.

Spotify has a mission to have over 20 million premium customers. This will allow artist to take years out to record their masterpieces. Instead of working with the technology, they talk in riddles against it. 

We are living in the golden age of music access. The history of recorded music is at our fingertips and that is a good thing. Finally, there is plan in place to monetize it. If you want to monetize, you need to keep creating.

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Music, My Stories, Review in 40 Words

Review in 40 Words – Daybreak Embrace – Tomorrow Awaits (2010)

Great EP. I just heard it today. The new album “Mercury” will be released in October 2013. I think I am overdosing on DIY modern rock artists. Think Sevendust, Staind, Digital Summer, Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace.

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Dreams of Machine Head’s new album, Great Fear Metaphor and the views of Mr Sixx

Machine Head’s trajectory in the 2000’s is comparable to Metallica’s trajectory in the Eighties. Yep, I know that Machine Head began in the Nineties and that their first album came out in 1994. However, after “Supercharger” in 2001, Machine Head pressed the reset switch on their career and due to certain circumstances, they started writing songs that they were producing as well.

In 2003, Machine Head released “Through The Ashes Of Empires”. To me this is comparable to “Ride The Lightning” from Metallica released in 1984.

In 2007, Machine Head released “The Blackening”. To me this is comparable to “Master Of Puppets” from Metallica released in 1986.

In 2011, Machine Head released “Unto The Locust.” To me this is comparable to “…And Justice For All” from Metallica released in 1988.

It looks like the new Machine Head album will have a street date sometime in 2014. The question is, will the new Machine Head album be comparable to the spectacular Black album from Metallica released in 1991.

Robb Flynn has put out some thoughts around the consumption of music and the way it is released and marketed. He was asking fans, what do they want Machine Head in respect to the new album. I agree with his mindset and his view point. So the question is, how will Machine Head release their new music?

Will they focus on just the existing CD format and packaging that the record labels have done since day dot?

Will they focus on the idea, that if you purchase the CD, you also get a digital rip of the album at the same time? (Amazon does this for participating bands and Coheed and Cambria did this for The Afterman releases).

Will they have a super deluxe packaging option for their hard core fans?

I actually had a dream that I purchased a super deluxe pack from Machine Head for their new album. In my dream, my subconscious mind gave the album the title of “Great Fear Metaphor”.

The pack included the following items (I still can’t believe I dreamt this stuff);

*A unique T Shirt, with band art on the front and on the back of the T-Shirt, the fans surname with a number like 00001 for the first person to purchase it, 00002 for the next and so forth. Each premium package focused on it being unique  and personalised.  I was allowed to purchase extra multiple T-Shirts in different sizes for a decent price so that I had the same shirts for my wife and my kids.

* Different album art for each Premium box.

* A 30 page booklet, that talks about the songs, their meanings, the musical inspirations behind the riffs with each page littered with tab like musical drawings/excerpts of some of the riffs and their leads.

* The usual CD plus DVD plus access to a digital download area, where I could download the mp3’s of the songs, plus early demo drafts of the songs.

In my opinion, the super deluxe packaging is for the super fan market and if bands are not satisfying this market, they are leaving money on the table.

I remember reading some of the negative comments in relation to Robb’s views on the CD format, and a lot of them said the same thing, like how can Robb Flynn be talking about abandoning the CD format when he is in the business of selling CD’s.  

Umm, no. Machine Head and Robb Flynn are in the music business. First and foremost, they create music. They are not in the business to sell CD’s. That was the role of the record label. In the past, for a fan to hear that music, it needed to be placed onto a format that could be distributed. These formats involved, LP’s, Cassettes and CD’s. This in turn gave control to the Record Labels. The record labels made money by exploiting the work of the artists it signed.  

Read this article about the introduction of certain formats and the resistance to those formats initially.

Two main things stood out to me in the article. The first is when cassettes came out in the seventies. People started to copy music onto these cassettes. So what do the music business do? They scream piracy and demand government action. In 1971, the music business had a Piracy convention in Geneva, to put into force an agreement to stamp out piracy. This is the comment from the article;

“Twenty-three countries have signed the agreement, which is expected to be widely ratified to provide an effective international protection against the pirating menace predicted as formidable enough to disrupt the whole of the world music industry if allowed to continue unchecked.”

Sound familiar to 2013. It looks like the music business didn’t get the hint back in 1971. People want to copy and share their music.

The next thing that stood out is the following comment;

“Unless you find another way of making money besides controlling copying, you will not last in the digital age.”

A person by the name of Ram Samudrala made that comment in Billboard Magazine issue that was dated July 18, 1998. That is 15 years ago. The Record Labels and the RIAA ignored the advice and as such, they failed their artists on their roster.

Fast forward to 2013, and you have the real artists trying to find other ways of making money besides record sales, while the record labels are still ignoring this advice and are trying to get back the control they had over copying and distribution by litigating against ISP’s, sharers, downloaders and trying to get legislation passed to benefit them.

Does it all sound familiar? A failure to innovate leads to a piracy unchecked problem. A failure to service the customer base leads to a piracy unchecked problem.

On the topic of innovation I want to comment on a favourite artists of mine, Nikki Sixx. He posted the below comments recently and I was very surprised at his stance, as I always viewed him as an innovator and someone that was always trying to find other ways to make money besides selling recorded music;

When I was scrounging through record shops as a kid you usually (unless you just shopped for single’s) bought the whole album. I always fell deeper in love with the band because “ALL” their songs spoke to me. Of course some jumped out at you right away while others grew on you but you didn’t skip any songs, you would listen from top to bottom over and over again.

When I started making albums I always believed the WHOLE album was the adventure. Of course there is the lead single for radio but when did THAT become the whole experience?

I talk to more and more people every day who tell me they only buy singles now. iTunes hasn’t helped for that of course. We have asked them many times to bundle our album as one download so fans wouldn’t cherry pick the hits and miss the hidden gems but it’s not part of their business model. I love iTunes and buy music almost daily from it but it still frustrates me. I just wish more people clicked “BUY ALBUM”. Maybe I am old fashioned in how I believe music should be listened to but I refuse to ever buy just a band’s single. I always buy the WHOLE album. I encourage you to do the same. Technology may have changed but the fact that a band makes a WHOLE album for you hasn’t.  Dig deep and I promise you, you will fall deeper in love with the artist than you ever could only listening to one song.

In relation to his first paragraph and the comment “you usually (unless you just shopped for single’s) bought the whole album”.

Yes, that is correct, we usually purchased the whole album because that was the only way we could hear the music. In a lot of independent record shops during the mid to late eighties, you couldn’t even find a single. The only option we had to buy was the album.

Remember the comments from Brad Paisley, it is always about the songs. That is why the fans stick around with the artists. As soon as the quality of the songs disappears, the fan becomes burned on the artist and they turn away. For any artist these days, if you want people to purchase the whole album, you need to create greatness. If you have 8 great songs, put 8 great songs on it. Don’t put 8 great songs and 4 fillers.

I have always purchased the albums from Motley Crue (as well as their box sets Music To Crash Your Car Vol. 1 and 2, Loud as F… and so on), Brides Of Destruction, Sixx A.M., 58, Tommy Lee, Methods of Mayhem and Vince Neil’s solo albums.

I always skip tracks from each Motley Crue album, because they are just not great.

One thing that Motley Crue has been very poor at is releasing super deluxe packaging for their super fans. They are dead set not satisfying this market.

I really like what Nikki Sixx has done with Sixx A.M so far, in the way that they have a book and a body of music with each release. However, as a fan you still needed to buy them separately. There was no super deluxe pack that was unique.  

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Dream Theater has a listening party and forgot to invite any fans.

The future and the present is all about going direct to the people who will pay for what you do.

Dream Theater just had a listening party for their new self-titled album and who did they have in attendance? The answer should be their FANS. They should have done the work via their website (which is still showing A Dramatic Turn Of Events graphics – another dumb decision so close to the new album coming out) or on Facebook to identify fans in the local area that should have been there.

Instead they had the people that will not pay for the music there. The usual media suspects and reporters. They surrounded themselves with people that will not write a negative review about them because this is the year 2013 that we live in and everyone wants to be a member of the club. Everyone wants to be invited back and everyone wants to be liked. Has anyone purchased a Dream Theater album because Billboard Magazine rated it highly or poorly or from a Village Voice review? The answer would be a definite NO. Why? Dream Theater built their career outside of the mainstream. It was the mainstream that came knocking on the door for Dream Theater and they let them in.

This is where Dream Theater missed an opportunity to go directly to their fans. They are marketing this album the old way. Yes they are using online blogs and so forth, however they are still not going direct to their fans. Remember back in 1991, Metallica had arena sized listening parties for their fans before the release of the Black album. This is where Dream Theater could have gone in deep with their fan base. This is where Dream Theater could truly CONNECT with them and find out what it is they love about the band. This is where the album could have marketed.

I am a Dream Theater fan and I am negative about the way they are missing out on so many opportunities to connect with fans in the current climate. The webisodes updates have been really lame without any hint of how the new music will sound like.

Don’t get me wrong, I will be purchasing the deluxe edition of the album as I have always done and so will thousands of other fans. The difference here is I believe Dream Theater can sell in the millions, if only they shift their thinking and stop missing opportunities to connect direct to fans.

Remember The Blackening from Machine Head. It has been heralded as the best metal album of the first decade. They also had a listening party in the studio before the album came out with their fans. After that, they went on a three year victory lap touring behind it.

Dream Theater needs to shift their thinking.

In the meantime, go check out the great new song from Trivium called Brave This Storm.

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