I wrote a story a couple of weeks ago reporting that Pantera was aiming to upset N Sync on the charts with the release of their album Reinventing the Steel. The album was released on March 21st the same day as N Sync's No Strings Attached. The original article proved to be the most popular news items in antiMUSIC history. Pantera fans dominated the Fan Speak section of the article voicing their support for Pantera, Metal and their loathing for N Sync and Boy Bands in general.
Despite all the grassroots efforts of metal heads, the combined forces of MTV and top 40 radio doomed Pantera. The world of music is dominated by Pop music, hip hop and rap at the moment and parents seem content to buy their daughters N Sync albums. That was proven on March 21st when N Sync sold a record million copies in one day.
All is not lost for Metal heads, heavy metal is alive and well and still selling large numbers of albums and concert tickets. It is simply not the latest trend in music or today's big thing. Most metal heads prefer it this was, keeping their music out of the mainstream where it can't be tainted by record exec's aiming for the MTV market.
Not to be a hypocrite, I will go on record publicly that I was on Pantera's side from the beginning. I am not a huge Pantera fan myself, but of the two I have to side with the group that has paid their dues, write and produce their own music as well as play instruments. I have never been one to follow trends, if it sounds good I will listen to it. If it seems contrived and phony, I will not. Do I hate N Sync or BSB? No, I don't take them seriously enough to evoke such a strong emotion as hatred. I will not debate that N Sync can sing and dance. But music is so much more than singing other peoples songs, smiling for the camera and learning choreographed dance steps. There are thousands of musicians in the world who have spent years mastering their craft, made personal sacrifices in hopes of being lucky enough to get discovered. When a record producer or promoter looks to the past to find a proven formula to earn some quick cash off of those who don't know any better, it is an insult to all the musicians who have spent a lifetime attempting to achieve their dream of stardom. Groups like N Sync have been a reality in the music industry for over thirty years. They suddenly appear on the scene release a few albums, rake in a few million and then fade into history. The most they can hope for in ten years is to be included on a compilation album or to appear on a television program like "Where are they now". Does it really matter? If they are serious musicians, as they would have us believe, it should to them. Then again, if it's really only about the money that comes from their instant short sighted success, they will be laughing all the way to the bank.
Many questions still remain. Does higher record sales make you more talented? Reality says no. Success in the music business has more to do with marketing and luck than anything else. In the end this so called war will rage on not just today, this week or this month but for years. Although N Sync is extremely popular at the moment, history does not bode well for them. Many multiplatinum Boy Bands have come and gone through the years, only to end up in obscurity as their fans mature and develop broader musical taste. This battle may have been lost for metal heads, but in 5 years the smart money will be on Pantera to have won the war by surviving as a viable band and N Sync to be a memory. The ultimate irony is in that same five years many of the fans who are buying up N Sync and BSB albums today will have outgrown the boy bands and will become fans of bands like Pantera. Just ask former Bay City Rollers or New Kids on Block fans what they listen to today and you will see history is on the side of Pantera.
The banter between Pantera and N Sync fans over the past couple of weeks has been intense, humorous and at times enlightening. In closing, I will leave you with two fan arguments, one made for each side. The first comes from an N Sync supporter and the second is an analogy from a antiMUSIC regular, Dr. Fever who voiced his support for Pantera. Ultimately, it will be the fans who decide who had won this war, not music journalist like this humble reporter. aG
Ok...not to sound like sum chic that's all for *nsync, but to say they stink is just wrong, if you really think about it they have to have some kind of talent, i mean, if they couldn’t sing would anyone still like them? I don’t care if you say “ohh it’s just becoz’ they’re cute”...well lemme tell you one thing, if that was the case than why does anyone listen to the backstreet boys?...no one in that group is even cute. I’ve never heard anything by pantera...but i’m sure if i had then i might like them..just becoz’ i like a “boy band” doesn’t mean i don’t listen to other types of music....and for bsb lover-you really need an attitude re-adjustment. Plus all you ppl need to stop being so close minded and expand your knowledge of music!
Here’s the way it works for all these boy bands: A grimy, cigar smoking fat, record label A and R puts together four or five guys with next to no talent, but all the physical traits to drive the 12 to 18 year old market batshyt. Then, after about a week of rehearsal, they go into a big, exotic studio with a 72 channel mixer and some microphones. THEN, some washed up, has been producer throws a some terrible beats down for them to sing over...add matching clothes and a new hair-do, and VOILA, instant boy band...now they go onto sell millions of records, date bythces like t!t-ny spears and generally signal the downfall of civilization. Now, how about bands like Pantera, Metallica, Rage Against The Machine, Slayer, Anthrax and any other worthwhile rock band? How does the process work for them?? Well, something like this. A guy meets a guy, they share a common musical interest/opinion. Then, they meat a couple other like minded individuals who happen to play instruments, so, a band is formed. Then, after a couple months (at least) of writing songs, rehearsing, and playing in shyty clubs for next to no money, this new band heads into a dive of a recording studio that might have a four track recorder....after spending years cranking out demos and touring all over the place, making next to no money but establishing a fanatical, underground fan base. The musicians get heard by somebody with connections to a label or festival tour or yada yada....next thing you know this band is the opening act on the second stage of ozzfest...and then....after years of paying dues, touring, recording and earning respect, this band gets a break and catches a record deal. Now, you tell me...which one of these two categories is the one we should respect??? The one with the most musical merit??? I think the choice is obvious.