A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

Anyone Still Watch Film Clips?

Once upon a time music videos used to cost anywhere between $100K to a cool million. Of course all charged to the band by the record labels. There was no way the label would pay this out of their goodwill bank account or the bank account which shows how the labels have recouped the monies spent on the album a thousand times over.

And a good song with a good clip would push a bands record into the platinum sphere.

Twisted Sister went platinum on the “You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll” album because the film clip of the title track was excellent.

It had a story theme of the “noise police” chasing the band around the city for “noise violations”. And while the noise police were doing their job, the rock and roll/heavy metal music they were exposed to, was slowly converting them into metal/rock heads.

As MTV grew in its reach, so did the artists that got rotation on it. They went triple platinum on “Stay Hungry” from the “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock” film clips.

But artists believed that the film clip existed to break them into the mainstream. It didn’t.

How their music connected with fans was the secret sauce that would provide the artist with an audience that could sustain their career.

Because while music film clips could propel an artist’s career forward, it could also kill an artist’s career.

Did someone say Billy Squier?

So what is the aim of the film clip these days?

Queen recently had a post that stated “Bohemian Rhapsody” had surpassed 1 billion views on YouTube.

So is the point of the film clip to get as many hits online as an artist possibly can.

If it is about marketing the band and promoting awareness, what comes next?

There’s no doubt that a music video can be crucial to an artist’s success.

Just think of “Gangnam Style”. The dance moves is a huge reason why the song went into the stratosphere. And you saw those moves in a film clip.

If you are not using the music clip to connect with your audience and build a fan base, then it is a large expense for zero results.

I haven’t watched a film clip since I stopped watching music television in the late 90s. Maybe seeing Steve Tyler coveting his dick in Living On The Edge” was enough for me to know that this medium had done its course.

In saying that, I do believe that the music video is a valuable tool especially in these current times even if they don’t watch it and use it to listen to the music.

Because fans want instant access, instead of waiting for a music television show to play their favorite clip, or requesting a music television show to play their favorite clip, they can just call it up on YouTube.

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

Albums

Is the album format really over?

The old way of spending half a year recording an album, then going on a marketing/promotion tour before its release, so you could have massive first week sales just doesn’t work anymore.

Protest The Hero were in my face for six months, with their “Pacific Myth” Subscription via Bandcamp. One song was released each month. It was brilliant. We (the fans) focused on each song for a month. We talked about each song and then when the conversation was over, we got hit with another one.

On top of that, we also got a video each month that covered the “Volition” fan funded album cycle. Further to that, we got drum through videos, food cooking videos and guitar tabs for the songs.

The band should keep at it. Not stop. Release a jam cover song here and there, write a stock standard metal song in the vein of Metallica’s “Black” album, put some demo’s out there of a work in progress, release a live recording and so forth. The band could be doing all of the above, while they now promote the vinyl/EP release of “Pacific Myth”.

Which brings me to the album.

I am really forming the view that the album is purely for the record label. It’s the only way the labels know, how to get an artist to sign away their copyrights to them, so the label could reap the benefits for hundreds of years after. In other words its a pure cash grab for the label.

The new way is to be making new music constantly and releasing it. But it wont happen because there is always a view that each release needs to be monetized to maximum.

But for an artist, how does the album cycle work.

They will release the album. It might even chart. A month later no one apart from the hard-core fans care about it. We move on. And that year the artist spent refining those twelve tracks, only got them four weeks’ worth of attention.

So what now.

They might go on tour and the album might come back into the conversation.

Is anyone talking about the new album from Three Doors Down, four weeks after it was released?

The answer is NO.

But people are still talking about Five Finger Death Punch. “Got Your Six” is still selling units and it’s getting streamed. “Dystopia” from Megadeth is still in the conversation, four months after it was released. “Immortalized” from Disturbed is still selling on the back of “The Sound Of Silence”.

For some bands, the album works and for others it doesn’t.

But, what is clear, is the game has changed.

Artists need to be making music constantly. Artists are musician’s first, business people next.

So what is the purpose of the album?

The album is for the hard-core fans. If an artist doesn’t have a track that converts people, they will need to go back and keep on writing. Because for an artist to survive, they must always be gaining new fans while they keep their existing fans.

And the MTV world of global superstars is gone. Over.

No one dominates like the times of old. Chaos is the world we have right now. Previously magazines like Hit Parader, Circus, RIP, Metal Edge, Faces would tell us what was important. Then those magazines sold their pages to PR companies controlled by the labels and the fans ignored them.

Now we are overwhelmed with content and there is no worldwide ranking to tell us what to tune in or out off. Hell, I don’t even know when new music is coming out from my favourite artists, until it hits my Spotify new releases. And that’s not always on release date. Tremonti is a perfect example. The new album “Dust” has been out since April 29, however it is being withheld from Spotify.

Why?

I pay my monthly fee and for some reason, I’m being punished for it by the artists I’m trying to support. Talk about treating fans like shit.

But YouTube who pays much less has fan uploads of the album and pirate sites who pay nothing have a torrent up.

So chances of getting traction are slimmer. It’s a level playing field.

Good is no longer good enough, not if you want to get ahead.

Remember when Dokken broke up and we had Lynch Mob and Don Dokken albums. They were good and it’s debatable if they were great, because great is such a subjective word. But in the end, the albums of both bands had a lot of crap in them.

Which brings me to the question?

10 to 12 tracks packaged in an album every 2 years vs 4 songs in an EP every 3 months.

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