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

The Music Word As I See It

Fiction

Just because one person knows it, it doesn’t mean that everybody also knows it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Is anybody talking about the new In Flames or Flying Colors album this week? Of course not, that is last week’s story. The hard-core fans would now of it but the rest. Not so much.

Hype

Despite all the hype, most people don’t pay attention. We live in a worldwide economy and all that we’re interested in today, is the fantastic. If you’re going to hype it then let me buy it. The true mark of a great record is that we have to hear it again and again. No hype can never make that happen.

Connections

Today we don’t want to be left out. We all have/want a broadband connection and a smart phone.

Niches

This is a huge problem in music especially in metal and rock circles. Suddenly it is uncool to like Meshuggah, Children of Bodom and Black Veil Brides. Suddenly it is uncool to like Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown and Bon Jovi. Back in the Eighties when metal and rock was a commercial force to be reckoned with, the fans of say Motley Crue, Twisted Sister and Ratt were also fans of Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer.

Tastemakers

Tastemaker publications are irrelevant. They still operate on an old business model. The believe that if they act as gatekeepers, they can control which band breaks through or doesn’t. If an artist wants something to last then they need to infect the fans with quality. The fans are the tastemakers, not the media establishment. The fans make the songs hits and more importantly the fans sustain the songs for years after that.

Culture

We live in a society where we consume different cultures. So there’s no focus. Almost nothing lasts. And those in charge believe if they yell louder, they will get more traction, not realizing most people aren’t paying attention and never will. Fans of metal music in general still don’t know that Machine Head has a new album coming out.

Importance

What is important to you is probably not to someone else. Just because you are on TV it doesn’t mean that people saw you. We grew up with three channels. Now we have five hundred.

Dollars

Dollars are more important than music in today’s society. U2 got a $100 million from Apple, it doesn’t matter whether anybody listened to the music. “Reporters” are paid by the clicks. The iPhone moved 30 million units in its first month.

Tons Of Information

So here we are in with tons of information and so little time. Where do we start? Remember the past where the gatekeepers screamed for a decade only to give birth to a few dominant artists. It used to be that we couldn’t escape what was sitting at number one. Now we’ve got no idea what number one is or what it means.

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Music, My Stories, Stupidity, Treating Fans Like Shit

Things That Bug Me With Rock And Metal

ROCK N ROLL HALL OF FAME

Dave Mustaine should have been inducted with Metallica. A real RNR Hall Of Fame Assessor would look into the band’s career and see that all the evidence is there for Dave Mustaine to be inducted. The style of technical thrash that Mustaine brought to Metallica would end up influencing their first four albums.

The induction criteria does state that the committee looks at the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll. So, I take it that Dave Mustaine’s contribution to Metallica and to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll wasn’t influential enough.

BUT for some reason Jason Newsted’s and Rob Trujilio’s contribution to the development and perputation of rock and roll in Metallica was enought.

Same goes for Vinnie Vincent, Eric Carr and Bruce Kulick. The Eighties for Kiss wouldn’t have been the same if it wasn’t for the three individuals mentioned. Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer also played very important roles within Kiss.

BANDS THAT FAIL TO UNDERSTAND THAT SUCCESS IS BASED ON MUSIC

A lot of the metal and rock bands have better marketing campaigns than actual albums. You need a great song first. The marketing comes after.

Dream Theater had a pretty expansive marketing campaign leading up to the album release, however they didn’t have the quality to support it. Good songs don’t equate to great songs and we only have time for great.

Avenged Sevenfold, Volbeat and Five Finger Death Punch had way less marketing and their albums are still on people’s tongues. If you still use sales as a barometer of success, then these bands are still moving units.

NICHES

Metal and hard rock are niches. Accept it and focus on it. It will be a lucrative business for you if you do. It will not bring back the glory days of the Seventies and Eighties, however it will give you a career.

Sometimes a metal band can cross-over into hard rock, or even the pop market. Or a hard rock band could cross over into metal or pop.

Look at Volbeat. They are a metal band, however with the style of music they play the have a certain cross over element.

Shinedown crossed over into the pop market back in 2008, with the “The Sound of Madness” album, however with “Amaryllis” they remained in the hard rock market with a small cross over into the metal market. They still had great success, even though the “sales” didn’t match the previous. But who cares about sales these days.

Killswitch Engage cross-over into a few genres, like metal, metalcore, thrash, hard core, melodic death metal and in some cases they cross over into technical djent style metal.

Dream Theater can cross-over into a few genres and it is their cross over between progressive music and hard rock that reaped the most benefits with “Images and Words” and “Scenes From A Memory” being stand outs.

VIRALITY

A song takes off because fans start to spread the word. They share links to it, they talk about it, they blog about it. A marketing campaign can never achieve this. Only great music can.

QUEENSRYCHE

When are the people involved (apart from Chris DeGarmo) going to realise that Queensryhce is no more. Move on, forge a new career and a new identity. I’m tired of hearing how great the new singer is, what a team we now have and all of that.

The Todd LaTorre band should do something similar to what the Ronnie James Dio version of Black Sabbath did before his death. Take a new name from one of their songs. As for Geoff Tate, he should go to Vegas and do a cabaret residency. His metal/rock days are over. And seriously, when you carry on like a child when people use their smart phones at a gig, you don’t belong.

VINYL, CD’s, DIGITAL DOWNLOADS

Streaming has won. The rest of us that actually purchase any music in physical form do it as a hobby. We just don’t think of it as a hobby.

I listen to most of my music on Spotify or YouTube or via the mp3’s on my iPhone, however I still purchase CD’s of bands that I like. BUT I haven’t even opened the shrink wrapping as yet. I have no need to. Buying CD’s is like collecting toys and keeping the toys in their boxes unopened. Maybe the CD’s will be worth something one day or maybe they will be beer coasters. Who knows.

MONEY IN MUSIC

There is still a lot of money in the business. Streaming pays the labels well. It’s just doesn’t filter down to the artists. Revenues from streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora and YouTube surpassed the $1bn mark.

ENTERTAINMENT LOBBY GROUPS ASKING GOOGLE TO DO MORE TO PROTECT THEIR BUSINESS MODELS

Seriously after almost 15 years post Napster we are still hearing about this. The latest is The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). It is the usual b.s. about how Google “could do so much more” or that Google have “not been effective” in preventing illegal music downloading.

HELLO, Google is a search engine.

It is not a protector of business models.

Innovate or die.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/media/10704766/Music-industry-claims-Google-is-failing-to-stamp-out-piracy.html

RECORD STORE DAY

Do artists really expect their hard core fans to travel decent distances to go to a Record Store Day Event and then not find all 4 of the (let’s just use Machine Head as an example since I am a fan) new Machine Head singles, “Killers and Kings”. It’s 2014. If we can’t buy it online or if we can’t find it to buy online, then artists are leaving money on the table.

Collectors want to buy, so make it easy for us to buy. Record Store Day is not easy for everyone.

TV SHOWS THAT STILL PLAY ON THE OLD BUSINESS MODELS

My kids love “Arrow” however they hate the fact that they have to wait each week. Will any of the actual TV shows or Cable Networks follow the “House Of Cards” Netflix example and let people overdose on all of the episodes over a weekend.

Having shows appear weekly for 8 episodes, then breaking for what seems like forever and then re-starting again, then breaking again, then finishing it all off, is old school.

Embrace the new.

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