This month’s topic is something that affects
all of us as music fans. It’s the music industry’s appetite for destruction
and how they never seem to learn from their mistakes. As the title suggest,
Guns N Roses play a part in the analysis, so let’s get to it.
A couple weeks back I was cruising home
from Hollywood late one night with my partner in crime Michael. We had
just been up to see one of our favorite artists perform to a packed house.
This was an artist that never really got his due as far as popularity goes
but received critical praise and is loved by those who know his music.
Sadly, music industry politics and stupidity doomed his career to never
reaching its full potential. I thought a little bit about that during his
set and the rage slowly built up in me.
Then as we were driving back, Guns N’ Roses
“Appetite for Destruction” came on the car stereo (I have a deck that plays
MP3 CDRs, so I just load up discs with albums of CDs I OWN). Michael
and I were getting into the music and then started discussing GNR and the
time frame when they came out. Michael used to play in bands up in Hollywood
around the time Axl landed there and starting trying to make his mark.
Then the discussion turned to how much the industry had changed since GNR
made it huge, and how a band like Guns N’ Roses wouldn’t have a chance
to become superstars with the current way the industry is run. And that
took me back to the first time I heard GNR.
To tell that tale a little background is
required. When I was growing up we had a record store in town that was
straight out of the movie “High Fidelity”. It had stacks and stacks of
used records, but the magic ingredient was the people that worked there.
Unlike today’s chain stores where the minimum wage earning teenager behind
the counter knows nothing about the artists they are peddling aside from
what they have heard on MTV, these guys knew their stuff. This store, The
Record Trading Center, even had its own Jack Black like character; A tall
heavy set guy with longhair named Rich.
That store became like a home away from
home for me. I started my first real job in a fastfood joint at 14 (I lied
on the application about my age) and every payday I rode down to the RTC
on my bike to blow money on records. I got to know the people who worked
there, but Rich and I seemed to click right off the bat. We shared a love
for KISS but as time went on he began to turn me on to lesser known bands,
as well as up and coming bands that were ruling the Sunset Strip.
Rich claimed his night gig was as a manger
of bands up in Hollywood. I was never able to confirm this but it didn’t
matter. He seemed to be in the thick of things up on The Strip. I unfortunately,
was far too young to take advantage of the decadence that was Hollywood
in those days. Everytime I came into the store, Rich would have a new demo
tape for me from a “hot up and coming band” from Hollywood and also a couple
of “out of the mainstream” records for me to check out. In the Fall of
1986, Rich was turning me on to the more melodic bands of punk and the
fringes. The Misfits, The Ramones, Redd Kross, it was all good but The
Clash really got my juices flowing. I was receiving a world class
education in rock courtesy of Rich.
One day that Fall I walked into the store
and Rich had this punk tinged metal band blaring out of the speakers. The
singer sounded a bit like a screaming Katharine Hepburn. It was really
rough around the edges and actually in the center too! With my recent exposure
to punk, this new band sounded great to me, so I asked Rich who it was.
“It’s a band from Hollywood called Guns N’ Roses”. I asked if they
had a CD out and he said they had one that they put out themselves but
he didn’t have any copies, but they were recording a real album for Geffen.
He was just playing their demo and he kindly kicked me a copy.
I played that demo tape pretty consistently
over the next few months and I kept pestering Rich about when the real
album was coming out. Then one day late the next spring I walked into the
store and Rich had a big grin on his face and he handed me an advance cassette
of “Appetite for Destruction,” which wasn’t scheduled to be released for
I raced home to listen to it and from the
first time I heard it, I knew it was a landmark album. Far more polished
than the demo I had worn out, but it still had plenty of attitude. I expected
the band to become huge because they had so many killer songs on the album
and the music was much more exciting that what was being played on the
radio and MTV . The release date came and went and I never heard a word
about them on MTV or on the mainstream rock radio stations. Fortunately,
our local metal station, KNAC, was an early adopter and played songs from
the album. I turned a lot of my friends on to the group and was a bit perplexed
as to why they weren’t getting more attention from the mainstream music
media. This music was a hell of a lot better than that Bon Jovi crap ruling
the airwaves. But Axl wasn’t exactly the sex symbol that the King of Hair
was. GNR looked like a bunch of misfits and that suited me perfectly.
More mainstream metal (aka hairmetal, the
pop offspring of metal) was getting plenty of attention from radio and
MTV at the time. Although, it wasn’t as huge as people make it out to be
when looking back in retrospect. Sure you had your Bon Jovi’s which had
no metal to it, just long hair and then you had a killer hard rock band
turned pop in the form of Def Leppard. The Crue had traded their metal
in for lingerie, lip stick and glam. In real metal circles the band most
buzzed about at the time was Metallica whose 1986 “Master of Puppets” took
them out of the metal fringes and placed them into the metal mainstream
(not the pop mainstream; that would come later). But radio and MTV
wouldn’t play Guns N’ Roses. They had to earn their bones the old fashion
way--on the road. I was to learn later that the band’s fame started building
through the underground. Their album started selling from word of mouth.
There would be a spike in sales in each town they played. Meanwhile, the
folks at Geffen were doing their best to break the band. David Geffen himself
got on the phone and pleaded with MTV to play the video for “Welcome to
the Jungle”. The network finally did at 3:30 in the morning one day. But
that was enough, the people that saw the video flooded the MTV request
lines and “Welcome to the Jungle” became the most requested video on the
cable music network. But it didn’t happen overnight. The band had luckily
reached gold status (500,000 albums sold) a year after the release of “Appetite
for Destruction” but the flood gates to their fame were slow to open, they
finally exploded in 1988 and the album subsequently went on to sell 15
million copies in the U.S. alone.
That wouldn’t happen with today’s music
business. Bands that sell Gold are getting dropped from labels. New bands
are given a couple of months to hit and when they fail, are sent packing.
It’s a stark contrast to the way GNR broke. You will be hard pressed to
find a band out today that was given the time to break out like GNR. Just
look at this past summer’s Ozzfest. The baby bands were dropping like flies
as the labels pulled the plug when hundreds of thousands of CD’s failed
to fly off record store shelves. Plus you rarely hear a major label band
that is as different from the mainstream as GNR was to the popular music
of 87-88. Today’s music industry is a game of follow the leader, instant
gratification and music coming second to marketing. (see the multi-platinum
pop artists of the past 5 years).
There used to be such a thing as artist
development. A band was given the backing of a label and was allowed time
to build an audience. Fleetwood Mac is a perfect example of this. They
started out as a blues band in 1968 and with the fame of their lead guitarist
Peter Green, had an instant following. But it wasn’t huge. The band put
out albums year after year with a changing lineup and were counted on to
sell a few hundred thousand records each time out. A band with that kind
of sales would never survive in today’s market. But in 1975 they added
two people to the group, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks and a magic
formula was tapped. Seven years after the release of the first Fleetwood
Mac album, the band exploded and started selling millions of records. That’s
a prime example of artist development.
It’s hard enough to find people within
the industry that actually sign bands to contracts that have any musical
vision. That is nothing new. Hell, the Beatles were turned down by every
major label not once--but twice--before George Martin reluctantly agreed
to record them on his failing EMI vanity label. The rest is history.
But today’s industry doesn’t allow bands
room to grow. It’s hit or miss and you’re out of the game. The only big
label that comes to mind that actually touches upon having a semblance
of artist development is DreamWorks, which incidentally was co-founded
by David Geffen. Look at Jimmy Eat World. DreamWorks signed the band after
they had already recorded the album themselves out of their own pocket.
The band had previously been signed to Capitol records but that label didn’t
really put much behind the band and after a couple of records they were
DreamWorks signed Jimmy Eat World and released
the band’s self produced “Bleed America” album as “Jimmy Eat World”. Over
the next year the label methodically promoted the album and helped the
group slowly build a following on the road. It took a year but the band
reached the landmark of selling over a million albums in the U.S. (platinum).
But Jimmy Eat World is the exception, rather than the rule these days.
And it’s unlikely we will see DreamWorks work similar magic in the future
as earlier this month it was announced that Universal Music was going to
buy the label and fold them into Geffen records.
We hear a lot of moaning from the record
industry these days about sagging sales. They are quick to point the finger
at outsiders as the reason people aren’t buying CDs. They are so busy trying
to place blame on others that they fail to see their own culpability in
their current predicament, which isn’t nearly as bad as they would have
Lack of artist development is a big part
of the woes of the industry at the moment. Lack of vision is also another
big part of it. Like the disco era where the labels flooded the market
with sound alike groups, which ultimately lead to a industry crash, the
industry road another high in the late 90’s and early 00’s that gave them
high expectations that niche music would forever sell tens of millions
of albums each year. They didn’t have to really work at breaking new bands
or starting a new music revolution. They had boybands, teen pop stars and
bland rap-metal groups that could be counted on to move millions of CDs
each time up to bat. The only problem with that is it was a trend and trends
always die. The problem the industry faces now is they don’t have a new
trend to take the place of the old ones because they were so busy filling
stores with copycats of the stars of the old trends, they forgot to look
for anything new and exciting that would spark a new trend.
But the industry is really crying wolf
as well. They use the simple minded excuse of blaming downloading on the
decline in CD sales. But we really must read between the lines because
what sales rates are we looking at that they declined from? The late 90's
boom of pop where boybands and pop-divas CD's were flying off the shelves?
Of course when you have an explosion in sales it always sucks when the
bubble bursts and you land back on the ground.
The real irony is the RIAA spends so much
time talking about declining sales and blaming it on MP3s that they overlook
the fact that they are actually making more money now then they did before
Napster came out. We had the “pop” and “rap-metal" explosion in the late
90’s that made sales temporarily climb, that's called a trend bubble just
like they had with disco.
I touched a little upon this in a posting
to a news article where we were debating the “MP3” issue. We will conclude
this antiTorial with a bit of that posting (expanded of course).
The disco bubble of the late 70’s and
pop bubble of the late 90’s:
The “Saturday Night Fever” and the “Grease”
soundtracks sold multimillions for RSO Records (Sat Night sold 25 million).
Stupidly, the record company unrealistically expected to enjoy a similar
level of sales the next year (and other labels saw the sales of Sat Night
Fever and loaded up on disco groups) but that success was a one trick pony.
So they had to go back to the traditional method of artist development.
We discussed this a bit earlier but here is a recap of the concept; pretty
much since the dawn of rock n roll, the labels put out a large collection
of music from different artists each year; some hit, some don't. Some do
ok and are given the chance to try again and some of them eventually sell
millions. But now it's all about instant gratification, artists are not
allowed to mature. They are thrown out with a set amount of promotion and
if after 2 months they don't hit, they get dropped.
And this brings us back to looking at the
sales rates and the RIAA’s crying wolf. In 1997, according to the RIAA's
own numbers, they counted sales of 9,915.1 million. In 1998 (see popstars)
that jumped to 11,416 million. 1999 the pop trend was really kicking in
fueling sale to 12,816 million. (By the way: Napster was founded in May
of 1999, and mp3's were already a very hot item online by then). In 2000
sales peaked at 13,214.5 million. 2001 with a down economy and as the trend
of boybands, teen pop, and rap-metal starting to slow, the RIAA had sales
of 12,909.4. Which was above what they had had a few years earlier before
the trend bubble. In 2002, without a ton of multi-platinum sellers, sales
decreased to 12,044.1, which you'll notice is above the1998 number where
the bubble began.
So now you have the numbers to see that
the industry is really in better shape than they let on. But even looking
at the decline in sales from the trend and the lack of a new trend to take
its place perspective, we see that the industry brought it upon themselves.
Because things really get interesting when you look at the amount of releases
per year over that same time period. 1997 the major labels in the RIAA
released 33,700 titles, the next year 33,100 titles hit the stores and
in 1999 they released 38,900 titles. But in 2000 things changed drastically
as the trend bubble was growing and the industry was selling tens of millions
of albums from a select few pop stars, nu-metal and rap-metal bands. In
2000 they released just 27,000 titles and they released about the same
in 2001. So they significantly decreased the amount of music they released
because they were doing so well with certain trends but when the trends
died they were left hanging. The same exact thing happened with disco.
But in the past when a trend died, the industry usually had something to
take it's place, but this time they didn't and still went on to sell as
many albums as they did before the trend bubble.
Although some great music has actually
been released over the past few years, very few people know about it because
it was not widely promoted due to the fact that it's easier to promote
a "clone" band that fits nicely into a little trend box. The ultimate irony
of blaming MP3s comes when you see that the numbers don’t add up to the
claim and in fact the RIAA certified far more multi-platinum albums than
ever before AFTER the advent of Napster and the clones that followed.
As Axl sang on “Appetite for Destruction”,
“where do we go now?” The answer is pretty simple, the industry needs to
pull its collective head out of its collective ass and examine where they
strayed from the winning formula in the past. They need to get back to
artist development and actually resume seeking out new artists that bring
something new to the table and can move music forward and become the next
big thing. And to use another Guns N’ Roses reference, the industry needs
to relearn “Patience”; when they know they have a great band on their hands,
they need to get behind that band and go the distance, instead of giving
up in the first quarter.
You can scream all day long about someone
stealing your garden hose, but you look rather silly standing in front
of your house yelling about that stolen garden house when behind you the
house is burning down from a fire you yourself set. In fact, if you did
that, most people would say “you’re fucking crazy!”
What do you think?
Posted by Tess:
You're totally right man everyone in the music biz is "f*ckin' crazy a$$ed mother-f*ckers" now. I can't believe or just don't want to believe that I was born into a generation where douche-bag computerized popstars like christina and britney rule supreme and there are kids who don't even know who Axl or Slash are. When did kick-ass real rock coming from real down to earth musicians become such a dead art form? I agree with the article 100% many of the bands that we look back on and view as legendary wouldn't make it as big (or at all) today. Despite all of the bland crap that the industry has been shovin' down our throats for the passed decade or so there is a light on the horizon. Recently I 've noticed new Zeppelin-GN'R-AC/DC type rockers emerging in the mainstream. I recently saw Velvet Revolver who although they weren't GN'R gave me hope that rock might get its second chance afterall. Other bands like The Darkness, Jet and my new favorite band Silvertide further support this fact. As a kid of a baby boomer I was born right into the bleak superficial scene that took over after kurt blew his brains out and which has since been dominiant. I never got to witness gn'r zeppelin or aerosmith in their glory days. As much as I would love to see r'n'r make a come back like many other die hard GN'R fans I know that there will never be another band like GUNS N' ROSES no matter how much the world needs it. BUT LOOK OUT FOR SILVERTIDE BECAUSE THEY COME DAMN CLOSE!!!!
Posted by Stan:
The biggest reason for the decline in music sales is ''DIGITAL''. Just do a Google on topics sucn as digital fatique. Do a simple A/B test.Que up your favorite song on cd and lp on the same note and listen to the difference.I have done this on a blindfold test to over a 100 people and only one person prefered the cd and that was only because he didn't know what better sound was all about.
Posted by Christ K.:
U're right on brother. Another point I would like to make is that GNR killed our hope for the future because Appetite is the Greatest I repeat greatest album of all time, hands down, front to back, every song is good, every song is perfect (with exception to someone's idiotic decision to cut off Nightrain in the middle of Slash's solo, I mean come on, he was f*cking burning it up when the song is fading out, really pisses me off). Anyways, it was the greatest album ever, there will never be anything close to it, we have nothing to look forward to, Appetite was the second coming of Christ, the apocalypse (Elvis was the first). We will never have another, nothing to look forward to except for as Jack Black might say in High Fidelity, "Crappy Pap." F*ck corporate music for the direction it has taken music and f*ck them for making my fm radio f*cking useless junk that adds weight to my car, therefore decreasing my gas mileage.
Posted by el Jacek - again and again and again:
Man, you hit the skinny on the head. Labels pillage artists, hell I've known people to get signed and a few months later sell 250k records only to be indebted to the record company. Ridiculous, not to mention they made the label millions!!! Anyways, labels ARE important because they have the money to back you, they can promote the living sh1t out of you, and that's really the reason to go and get signed. And if not for the obvious know-how of distribution, and promotion channels and money that we starting artist lack, and that is needed to promote, you really wouldn’t need a label to help you make a LP, promote, etc... The music biz is not a difficult science, make a product, get people to like the product, sell the product. But what I as an artist would perhaps like to see in the future, is having services such as I-tunes, and napster cater to the Indy artists, allow us to sign up and share the profits from the downloaded music. $1 a song, split it 50/50. And once we the Indy artists start selling 50k records a year (or the equivalent) start playing our stuff on radio, TV, etc... It’s an idealistic approach, sure, but if we stand up to the RIAA, f*uck it, we can do it. Let the Britneys, nu-metalities, and met-hoppers go label, the people are getting restless, and a change is coming. Though not withstanding there has been some change for the better, Atlantic of all labels has chosen to take "The Darkness" and actually develop them (or so I've heard), just like in the good ol days, and other labels i.e. Sony, are discussing the approach as well, will this be a new trend? Artist Development. I doubt it, but I say f*uck 'em and f*uck the RIAA, VIVA LA REVOLUCION!!!! Yeah-ha!!! (And sorry for the plug)
Posted by el Jacek of Black Cherry Rose:
I agree with you, though I hac a nice long response and for some reason it wouldn't let me post it, anyways, im gonna go ahead and use this anti RIAA to do a shameless plug here, search for Black Cherry Rose on google (sorry, no label means promotion everywhere)
Posted by Neil:
That has got to be the best music editorial I have ever read. Why aren't we hearing this from the mainstream music media? Oh, I forgot Rolling Stone and Spin are part of the problem. Whoever wrote this should send it to Rolling Stone and see if they have the balls to print it. Bravo, from one of those musicians that got dropped after a few months.
Posted by Keavin:
oh yeah. Bastard, what happened to the hatemail?
Posted by Keavin:
hiking, check out aG's rant on radio it pretty much covers a little why it changed. It's under the rantitorial section in the views archives section (see menu on the right). But luckily we have the web to get exposure to new music. An easy way to do just has to be conceived.
Posted by bastard boy floyd:
Nice article. Guns N Roses were indeed the perfect rock band. They dressed & acted the same offstage and on. It was no gimmick. Unfortunately,a controversial band like that could never break big in today's politically correct world. GnR were "One In A Million".
Posted by hikingartist:
Good article & good point weitrhino-Robert Fripp & King Crimson are a model of survival as well as growth. Also Keavin, an article on the decline of radio would be welcome. I remember when Iron Butterfly, Johnny Cash, The Beach Boys, etc. were all played on the same channel. Is there any station that plays just "new" music? Classic rock has its place, but why play old Black Sabbath (and only Paranoid or rarely Iron Man...why not something from Never Say Die or Sabbotage?) and not Bill Wards new stuff-which I happen to find out about here on anti-music. Don't underestimate the decline in radio variety with the decline in growth & ...(the 4 letter word) sales. I don't even own a radio anymore; growing up, it was all I had. Why not a radio station that plays Robert Earl Keen, Slayer and Fugazi?
Posted by K:
I have one ready to go but I'm still not sure I want to post it. It's not a regular editorial but more a "best of" for anti in 2003.
Posted by Monarch:
So... when's the new article gonna be up?
Posted by Lakshmi:
Hey, that article kicked ass, material indefinitely worth reading. I read it because I'm a GNR fan, and artist development is obsolete in todays flash-in-the-pan-band industry of pricks who celebrate bands like Simple Plan instead of newcomer brits like the Darkness. A GNR for the new millenium is sorely needed and artist development embodies the patience and faith that the industry should have with and in their bands if they ever want to see GNR-like talent. Alas, the industry is full of fat motherf*ckers in suits who only care about a quick buck and Good Charlotte's.
Posted by Lakshmi:
Hey, that article kicked ass, material indefinitely worth reading. I read it because I'm a GNR fan, and artist development is as obsolete in todays flash-in-the-pan-band industry of pricks who celebrate bands like Simple Plan instead of newcomer brits like the Darkness. A GNR for the new millenium is sorely needed and artist development embodies the patience and faith that the industry should have with and in their bands if they ever want to see GNR-like talent. Alas, the industry is full of fat motherf*ckers in suits who only care about a quick buck and Good Charlotte's.
Posted by Scotty:
Great article. The thing that pisses me off the most about the RIAA angle is that they are ruining the lives of the very fans they hope to extort 17 bucks per CD out of. For every one of the 220 people they settled out of court with for about $3000 each, they have started a poisoning in the minds of every person that knows one of those people. Just as they hope it will scare people into buying their music instead of downloading it, they are creating a counterculture that thinks labels suck and musicians are being extorted too, so its just fair that music ends up being free. If there was an easy way to just send ten bucks to every band I have in my collection, I would. I would send fifty to my favorites, because that would be five times what they would get for me being EVERY CD they ever released, on average. When the RIAA sues someone, who gets the money? The labels. And when labels run themselves on the expectations that a trend will become the norm, they are screwing themselves as you said above... why they dont sit down and roundtable about the artists who have lasted at least five albums and learn how to look for that kind of committment in who they sign, and offer the same kind of committment to those artists - like it took to help them stay in the game. Why dont they think like a normal company, that musicians are resources, renewable ones that if you treat well will produce much success.
Posted by Tracii G:
That's why I love this site, stuff like this. I had never seen anyone report on how the record co's put out a lot less music and then can't figure out why they aren't selling as much. Thank you for putting out some real data instead of the same line the RIAA force feeds the media, AP, Rolling Stone, MTV all of them just pirate the BS line that the RIAA gave them about the decline being because of illegal downloads. Bullsh1t, my band sold more records after we gave away the singles as mp3's on our website. I wish more reporters actually bothered to look beyond the easy story and do the digging to try and get the facts and reasons these things happen. I'm glad we have this site that at least does that. If I read another big named, supposedly "leading" news organization say the "illegal downloads" caused this I'm gonna go kill someone. It's like this article said, the record co's don't go after long term career artist but instead go for flash in the pan trends, then they don't even offer as many cds as they did before. Don't get me started on payola in radio and Clear Channel. Good job on this, I'm glad that this site exists and is telling it like it is.
Posted by Sighmansea:
I totally agree with your comments re: artist development. There a re a couple of guys I listen to who have been totally screwed around by their labels and not been given the chance to mature or the media exposure they deserve. They are Jason Falkner & Owsley. Both are bloody fantastic and have a fanatical cult following. Si.
Posted by pick:
I just did a presentation on this subject about an hour ago. Well, not the exact same subject, but close. The problem isn't the lack of music and artistic development. It's media deregulation. Laugh all you want, but there are now four or five dominant record labels. That's it. With all of them being pro-business and there being a pro-business FCC board of directors, it does not shock me that the quality of music released in the United States is directed mostly toward industry monopolization. A Vivaldi group can release whatever it wants. Complain, whine, boycott, but you're never going to defeat big business. Although the big labels have their disadvantages, they are also a good thing. They do allow for tour sponsorships, radio demos, advertisements and production. I hate to say it, but it is very difficult for a bad to cover all of those items and still be able to break a profit.
Posted by Hobo:
Good work K!
Posted by weitrhino:
In fact there are labels out there with artists best interests in mind. Consider DGM. Discipline Global Mobile cam about as a result of Fripp vs EG Records in Great Britain. As a result of this lawsuit, and other related developments, the artist on DGM actually retain copyright ownership of their music instead of signing it away in a contract. This 'standard practice' has been deemed corrupt, out of tune with the times, always suspect, and is now indefensible. Make no mistake about it. Record company greed has been the moving force behind their economic woes. Couple this with the solidification of radio ownership, i.e. Clear Channel, and the current 'one size fits all' method of radio content and it's no wonder music sales are in the dumpster. The editorialist is right on the money. If you don't take care of the artists, and get out of the way of their creative process, and treat music as less of a commodity and mre like the art form it really is, then the current slide in music sales will continue. In America music has become all about commerce. And that is really sad.
Posted by Mr. huh? saying, "My Generation Sucks!":
Ah, I get it. Was he from a band who's initial are E.Z.N.
Posted by 5150guy:
I think we all know that Keavin was refering to an artist with the initials D.V.
Posted by Eagles:
Brilliant... while all the satire on this website is cool, it's nice to read the occasional editorials that examine things from a serious perspective. I loved your metaphor with the house and the fire at the end. You need to write more often because your articles are always great and I go away from them usually a little bit smarter as well. I didn't really know that it took Appetite so long to break and how it came about. Also I loved your previous editorial "We Are All In This Together". Keep up the good work.
Posted by Don
Juan De ThawSo: HELL YEAH KEAVIN....you hit that $HIT
right on target!
Wes Rains: you got it right man, its the industry's
own dumb practices that are killing them. Besides a true musican or artist
or whatever you want to call it can always get by with out them today.
You can do so much on your own compared to what you were able to do about
three years ago. You can record, edit, process and even make an enitre
CD now. It use to be go spend money on finding a place, get a manager,
get a producer pay people money for playing with your stuff to make sure
it works. The musican now should be able to do all that stuff or somebody
within the group, the knowledge is out there. If you want to overthrow
everything then start a cheap studio in your basement and make your own
stuff, you might have trouble selling it but so what.
Shayn: The music industry has to learn the important
lesson that their existence is justified only because they are neccessary
for the artists' and the consumers benefits. This is very much a capitalistic
world- which is why the music industry is allowed to make truckloads of
money doing pretty simplistic things. The music consumers and the artists
need to do one of two things: 1) Reform the music industry. Cut down on
the beurcracy, translate the money from the sales to at least 50% artist
revenue, or 2) Destroy the music industry and create an organized do-it-yourself
culture where the money hungry parasites are forced to look elsewhere for
their feeding, and as The Original Jackass said, only the artists you play
for the sheer love of playing music will be left.
Monarch: Cool. I don't usually read other sources,
so I kinda rely solely on what you have to offer. I didn't know when the
new KMFDM was coming out, or that a Cannibal Corpse box set was in the
works. I didn't even know Dream Theater were recording a new album. I've
found this out by seeing it at stores. I suppose that's a mistake I make.
But I like this site more than any other one, which is why I keep coming
The Original Jackass: Another problem is that the industry has
the WORST public relations campain in history. When Napster was at it's
peak record sales were UP. As soon as Metallica shut it down sales immediatly
went into the toilet. And have been sinking lower and lower the more the
industry bit@hes and complains. Then they started sueing their own consumers.
That's beyond moronic. The record inustry deserves to die. I hope it dies.
When it is no longer possiable to make sh*t loads of money off of music
then all you will have left are artists you play for the sheer love of
DeadSun: I agree, Keavin. There is another component
of music, which co-exists ( like it or not ) with the artists and music
that we love--- and that is the business machine working behind the scenes.
I realize this sounds like apologetics ( it isn't, the business has far
more blood on its hands than the artists ), but I am trying to be unbiased
about the matter when I state that most people are unwilling to view this
business through an objective prism. That you ARE able to do that, without
debasing your agruement, is respectable. I think that the industry is currently
stuck in the middle of a transition period. In business, one must always
shift their overall strategy, because any given market is subject to change
with very little notice in advance. As you correctly pointed out, this
is what has happened, but the present sales backlash that they are experiencing
will, a little further down the road, act as the catalyst to getting them
back out and looking for new talent. Sadly, the nature of the beast stipulates
that, as a business, the maximization of profit is going to, and always
will, be a STEEP consideration that is made, when they are trying to dig
up "the next big thing"-- that is to say, what has the broadest appeal
across the market spectrum. This is why artists, and the business which
back them, will forever be each other's own best friends AND worst enemies
at the same time.
Keavin: Mr. Huh, that one should be easy to figure
out. Just like we could figure out a reference like that made by you to
mean Travis Meeks. =) You are right though Marcy Playground got plenty
of praise but never got their due. RHCP fits the fleetwood mac mold a band
that had a pretty big underground following until they put out a more commerical
record and broke into the mainstream. (I didn't say sell out) Anyone remember
in that skateboarding or surfer movie in the 80's? and Flea in Suburbia?
Keavin: Monarch, I have to know about it to report
about it. If you think something should be reported go to any news or day
in rock article and click the suggest a story link. We post 90% of articles
that are suggested. We report on Britney doing stupid things because a
lot of readers seem to get a kick out of it. Name one other mainstream
site that reported that Van Halen story? There is only so much we can do.
Like I said, you see something you think is missing suggest it. (ps we
did a story on the new KMFDM on Sept 1st in the Day in rock. The Cannibal
Corpse boxset was reported on back in August, look in the archives or do
a search) As the poet Meat Loaf once said, 2 outta 3 ain't bad. .
Monarch: Hey Keavin, this has absolutely nothing
to do with your article. Or maybe it does. But anyway, I posted elsewhere
a query that has yet gone unanswered, so I will paraphrase for you: Why
are Evanescence [11.18] and Limp Bizkit [11.19] getting coverage for idiotic
sh1t, while neither Dream Theater's "Train Of Thought" nor KMFDM's "WWIII"
received coverage when they were released? Cannibal Corpse released their
box set "15 year killing spree" on 11.03.03. There wasn't a word about
it on this site. However as soon as Britney Spears does something moronic,
it's on the front page. I guess what I'm getting at here is that, the real
artists aren't getting the coverage they deserve, and instead are being
shunned to make room for those same artists being played on MTV day in,
day out. What's up with THAT? Great article by the way.
Jimmy the Hah: Another good example of good artist development
is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They were around more than eight years before
they hit it big with BSSM.
Mr. huh? saying, "My Generation Sucks!": Who's the artist that you went to see
that you mentioned at the beginning of this article just out of curiosity?
Also, remember Marcy Playground? There's a band that might have gone on
to something big had they been given time.
Rex: This is the first time I've read about
the sales of the riaa and how much bs there claims are and I'm amazed at
those other numbers you talk about, the cds released every year. No fricken
wonder the sales are down, people have third less cds to buy. Thank you
for calling them on their lies. Damn I wish more journalist would jump
on this story and expose this fraud.