antiMusic Logo
Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Feeds
spacer

antiMUSIC is pleased to welcome aboard Trent McMartin who not only has been filing special news reports but now will give you the "lowdown" on various music related topics! 

As always the views expressed by the writer do not neccessarily reflect the views of antiMUSIC or the iconoclast entertainment group
.

The Art of Selling Out: Compromising the Music

A few months ago I wrote an article entitled “The Art of Selling Out” examining the growing trend today where musicians are selling their songs to corporations to be used in advertisements. I debated the pros and cons of musicians selling their creations as a way to make money and to gain exposure in today’s short-attention-span music industry. What this new article will examine is the propensity of many musicians to compromise their musical integrity. When an artist actually chases fame and fortune putting aside musical quality, original intentions and moral convictions

In the summer of 1998 the Ben Affleck/Bruce Willis popcorn flick Armageddon was a huge hit in theatres and everywhere that summer could be heard the Dianne Warren penned hit “I Don't Want To Miss A Thing”. The song was sung by veteran rock act Aerosmith and it would become the band’s first ever number one hit even though they didn’t write it. This of course isn’t the first instance of an artist not writing their own material but it stood out because it took 25 years and someone else to provide Aerosmith with their first number one song. 

The king of rock and roll Elvis Presley wrote little of his own material hiring countless musicians and songwriters to provide him with the hit making material that would propel the unstoppable Elvis machine. Prolific songwriting duo Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote some of Presley’s greatest songs such as “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “King Creole.” 

Even if someone writes their own material or brings in songwriters there is always an inclination to come up with something catchy, new and relevant that has the possibility of becoming a hit. You cannot blame an artist wanting to make a living from creating music and wanting to spread their music to as many people as possible. That’s every artist’s goal but sometimes during the pursuit of success, the music is compromised. 

“I've been a punk-rocker for a long (expletive) time and I guess I've struggled with the thought of bands that would want to compromise the music they create to try to ‘make it’,” said Liam Harvey Oswald, vocalist for the Canadian pop/core outfit A Last Goodbye.“ I always thought that there are two kinds of musicians...the ones who play the music for the love of it, and the ones who just want to be famous.”

Fans are not stupid and usually they can pick up on the distinction between artists doing it for the music and others doing it just for the money. “I would say that ‘selling out’ is left up to the listener/buyer of the CD,” said Jason Manning, Music Director for Edmonton’s modern rock radio station Sonic 102.9 FM. “Some people get pissed when an artist sells a lot of one CD.  Take for example Moby.  Play sold a TON of records.....his last 2 CD’s...well they have not done so well.  Is his music crappier now....well that’s for his fans to decide.  I do not think bands automatically suck after they sell a gazillion CD’s,” Manning added. 

Oswald agrees. “We're seeing alot of really heavy bands, mellow out, and have producers work with them to help give them the 'hooks' that the radio execs wanna hear,” the vocalist said. “It's pretty much left up to you to decide which bands are full of (expletive), and which bands have any integrity at all.”

Can artists be blamed when they don’t or just cannot write the same material they did when they first started out? Many bands have been accused of going softer and because of that, they’re branded as sell outs. In 1991, Metallica would release their most popular record to date, The Black Album, which would go on to sell more than 10 million records bringing heavy metal into the mainstream. Many hardcore fans cried fowl calling it Metallica’s sell out album but others were kinder and less judgemental. “In my opinion their sound didn't change,” said 92. 5 JOE FM Assistant Music Director and huge Metallica fan Ryann Bradley of Edmonton, Canada.  “Why not go mainstream to make the bank account fatter and gain a more diverse audience?”

It’s really hard to say who has “sold out” and who has kept intact their artistic vision. A guy like Neil Young could never be accused of compromising his music. But it also could be said that Neil Young only has the ability to follow his musical ambitions because of the success and achievements he garnered early in his career as a solo artist and a member of Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. 

If you’re an up and coming band it may be more tempting to write something more appealing to listeners or to bring in outside help. “The music industry is ruled by suits now, and you have to play by their rules,” said Cort Smith, television producer at Vancouver’s Global television. “You absolutely need to sell yourself if you have any expectations of making a career out of music.” 

And it’s this dilemma that tears apart many artists who feel conflicted between their artistry and the industry. Kurt Cobain went through this conflict up until his tragic death in 1994 taking the accusations of being a sell out very hard. Having the ability to write great hooks and catchy melodies should not be criticized but commended. As one community figure remarked to me recently, “art is a state of mind; and for one person to slag another person’s vision or opinion is crap.” 

And while many artists and people agree with the concept that selling out is nonsense, others remain hesitant to follow trends. “I don't think I'd ever be happy if I allowed someone to take complete control over all the things that make a band great,” said Liam Harvey Oswald. “I do believe that it is almost impossible to do it all on your own, and expect any sort of great success, but still believe that with hard work, and determination, anyone can achieve their goals,” he explained.

“After all, radio & video stations ain't everything... it's the people behind your music, at the shows, showing their support, helping to inspire, and allowing you to continue to do what you love to do.” 
 
 


 
 


advertisement
advertisement

.
News Reports
.
Day in Rock:
Metallica Release 'Moth Into Flame' Video- Eagles May Play Again Says Don Henley- 30 People Arrested At Ozzfest Meets Knotfest's First Day- Megadeth Release New Video- more

Page Too
Aaron Lewis Scores No. 1 Album- Adele Believes Smoking Helped Her Sing- Drake Releases Short Film 'Please Forgive Me'- Justin Timberlake Remembers Arnold Palmer- more

As I Lay Dying Singer Sues Over His Enlarged Breasts- Blink-182 Limited Edition Box Set Announced- Slipknot's Corey Taylor Says Vocals Improved Following Spinal Surgery- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

advertisement
.
 
Reviews
.

Iron Savior - Titancraft

Root 66: Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver - Burden Bearer

Suidakra - Realms of Odoric

On The Record: Motosierra

Gravitysays_i - Quantum Unknown

Road Trip: Odysea Aquarium Making A Splash In Scottsdale, AZ

TBT: The Mars Volta - Frances The Mute

Root 66 Ladies Edition: Annika Chambers, Gabrielle Louise, Tami Neilson, Carrie Newcomer

Winter Calling - FACES

Dinosaur Pile-Up - Eleven Eleven

Mike Campese - Chapters

Coffin Dust - Everything is Dead

On The Record: Kate Fagan - I Don't Wanna Be Too Cool

The Tigerlillies - 123456 EP

Road Trip: Swaziland Part 3- The Best Places to Stay

Mutants of the Monster: A Tribute to Black Oak Arkansas

Root 66: Stony Plain Records Label Showcase

Jim Peterik - The Songs

RockPile: Prog Edition- Gong, MJ12, Armonite

Travel News, Trips and Tips: CooLHeadS, Lassoing the Sun, Outrigger Resorts' Waikiki Music Lovers

Rotten Sound - Abuse To Suffer


. .
.
Today's Rock News
. Metallica Release 'Moth Into Flame' Video

Eagles May Play Again Says Don Henley

30 People Arrested At Ozzfest Meets Knotfest's First Day

Megadeth Release 'Conquer Or Die' Video

Aerosmith's Joe Perry Says His New Album Is 'In The Can'

Dillinger Escape Plan Stream New Song 'Symptom Of Terminal Illness'

Iced Earth Recruit Former White Wizzard Guitarist Jake Dreyer

Glenn Hughes Looks Back On Wild Times With David Bowie

Corey Taylor Says Master Of Puppets Greatest Modern Heavy Metal Album

Ghost Nameless Ghoul Was Inspired By KISS

Alter Bridge frontman Strives To Be Role Model, Not Hero

Lamb Of God Frontman Grateful Fame Came Later

Dan Reed Network Announce UK Tour

Threat Signal Recruit Ex-Fear Factory Star

Enuff Z'nuff Reveal Details For New Rarities Album

ONI Announce New Album 'Ironshore'

Nothing More Already Have 17 Songs For New Album

Delain Extend Tour Plans With UK Dates

Frank Carducci Band To Headline Masquerade Festival

Singled Out: The Adversary's Falling Is Flight


Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Page Too News
. Aaron Lewis Scores No. 1 Album With Sinner

Adele Believes Smoking Helped Her Sing

Drake Releases Short Film 'Please Forgive Me'

Justin Timberlake Remembers Arnold Palmer

Kanye West Makes Surprise Appearance at Chance the Rapper's Festival

Thomas Rhett Expanding 'Tangled Up' For Deluxe Version

Brett Eldredge Announces Christmas Album 'Glow'

Gucci Mane Releases Animated 'All My Children' Video

Rae Sremmurd Release 'Black Beatles' Video

Shawn Mendes Showed His Humorous Side On The Tonight Show

Lin-Manuel Miranda Teams With Weird Al For 'Yoda' Performance

Oasis Offer Free Download Of 'Going Nowhere' Demo

Jill Scott and Tyrese Lead Train Weekend Lineup

Singled Out: Paul Pfau's See You Better



More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
Rock On the Rise Radio The Screen DoorA Journal of Musical ThingsLloyd Zeffler blogDemolish MagNightwatcher's House of RockCJ ChilversDeja VoodooThe 1st FiveHard Rock Memorabilia thecopycat.bizDay in Rock @twitter

.
  .
.
 

Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2016 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.