Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The State of Rock

This was inspired by some activity on a messege board over at chimed in on some hard rockers complaining about lack of rock label attention. - Brad

Rock......where to begin...

The big problem as I see it with the state of ROCK in the contemporary music business is the misunderstanding by many bands as to what ROCK is. (...or Rock and ROLL is for that matter.)

Lets ask ourselves why ROCK is overlooked in the forms that those on this thread play. The following might not be answers you want to hear but I press on anyway...I do so because that is how I am...

I am using rock freely here to include multiple genres...

Rock has been and always will be about creativity and self expression...we now have over forty years of rock music to attempt to digest and if you look back you can see that that is indeed the underlying common factor.

Frankly as someone who has been there and seen that nothing is more boring than another Les Paul/Marshall stack combination in a two guitar, bass and drum lineup that for the most part play in unison without dynamics or DRAMA. get on stage and crank the marshalls until you can't hear anything put the ice picks in the ears from 8 12" speakers howling out at the is not macho or just comes off as well....dumb...

The new music audience is far more sophisticated than many new rock bands give them credit for...people now have grown up with rock and are quite good at picking out the genuine from the posers.

For me: Bar chords with guitar effect processors, cheesy chorus and flanger effects do not make for very interesting listening. You also have to remember...rock is not JUST heavy metal, or hard rock. A Les Paul, marshall stack and gizmo on the floor does not a rocker make.

But....if that is what you do...that is what you do...expecting anything, I MEAN ANYTHING...from anybody when it comes to original music will leave you only frustrated, angry and have to make your own happiness...with lots of HARD WORK.

make no mistake I am not telling anyone to do anything different or play a certain type of music. Do whatever the hell you want. But do so from a stand point of being honest with yourself by asking...

"Is this rock, or is it what I think rock is? Is this me? Or am I presenting myself as something I want to be?"

Do you WANT to be a rocker....or ARE you a rocker?

(interesting questions indeed...)

When you let go what you "THINK" rock is and start to make music without any pre-conceived idea about what rock and roll is then you break through that barrier. Suddenly it isn't just about the is about fulfilling your own need as an artist to reach out to people with your creativity and to touch them. That is what is lacking in HARD ROCK today as it is more about the self flagulation of a adolecent ego than it is about genuine art. Not all the time....just like every other genre...good and bad

You are all pissed off at EMO because they are doing what you don't want to. (that is letting go of the ego and reaching out to people...) Sure some of them are disingenuous sell outs and copy cats but others are not. Just as many hard rock bands are no talent bonehead wanabees and others rock. It is the same in every genre and yet it's "still rock and roll to me".

For the ones that are genuine and true to themselves, flocks of fans will go to see them. That audience will be so into the music they can sing all the damn lyrics to the entire set list. That is because at that point the musicians are touching people with the music. Not bludgeoning them with a self rightous idea of what ROCK is supposed to be.

It is hard lesson to learn and I myself am still learning it after 25 years of playing. I know this time around it feels different and I am not afraid of the work needed to be successful. (And most of all I am having a lot of fun doing so.)

So think about what rock really is...because it is so much more than that gizmo on the floor that makes your guitar scream, a black t-shirt and a snotty attitude. (though that can certainly be part of it)

so think about that and "genuinely" Rock on.

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