Everytime I read some comments on a news story on say, Blabbermouth, Loudwire or other metal and rock sites, there is a general common theme that runs through them.
“ is a talentless hack. Watched them live and they couldn’t deliver.”
“ are amateurs and sloppy.”
Basically people are bashing and criticising artists because they do not have a high level of technical ability. The are bashing and criticising artists because they failed to hit that high note live in concert. They are bashing and criticising artists because they don’t like the latest blog post, tweet or Facebook post.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, I have no qualms about that. Do it in a way that stimulates discussion. Do it in a way that is relevant. Because if we want hard rock and heavy metal to grow, we need to be together.
I always love the comments about technical abilities.
Technical prowess is always superseded by feel. Technical prowess is always superseded by emotion. It is a power never to be underestimated. Artists like Alex Skolnick, John Petrucci, John Sykes, Joe Satriani, Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads and many others are able to merge technical prowess with feel and emotion. Eric Clapton has a high technical prowess. He doesn’t burn at a 100 notes per second, but he does have so many different techniques in his playing style, it is no wonder he is a god and a pro.
Today the musical stars are very different.
In the Facebook era, an artist has no need to leave their place of birth behind and head to where the burgeoning scenes are in order to make it. We have a twenty-four seven connection with the rest of the world and the ones that do their best to fit in never really get anywhere.
It is those outliers, those misfits that end up changing the world.
Metallica got traction when they first came out because they didn’t fit in. And then when the “thrash scene” started to become saturated, Metallica delivered an album that didn’t fit into that scene. Suddenly, elitists of that movement labelled them sell outs.
Same goes for Motley Crue. Love em or hate em, when all the labels were looking for Devo style post rock acts in the early Eighties, along comes Motley Crue. Merging punk attitude with classic rock they paved the way for another band with a bigger appetite for destruction.
Guns N Roses came in an era when every label wanted a band like Bon Jovi. They came in an era when every label wanted their current roster of bands to deliver an album like “Slippery When Wet”. How anti-Bon Jovi was the classic Guns N Roses line-up? And guess what, they sold millions upon millions of albums. And they did it by not fitting in.
Dream Theater got traction in the era of Grunge. Even the analysts are still scratching their heads at that one. How could a progressive rock band break through when the record labels along with the media perpetuated the myth that knowing how to play your instrument was uncool.
The thing is most of the bands and artists that we like never really fit into their circle. That is why a lot of them turn to substances to get through. And sometimes those vices end up taking them away. Sometimes, it takes control of their lives and beats them. The real strong misfits rise up and beat their addictions.
Look at all the artists that we lost to addictions. Look at all of the artists that ended up beating addiction. It’s a big lists. And they all have one thing in common. They are misfits.