Home Forums Dr. Fletch – “Ask the Doc” State of music industry

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    Markie
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    In your opinion, what are the chances that a band of the same caliber as early Dire Straits in terms of quality, would have any success in putting the record out today, given the fact that record labels aren’t catering to rock music at all; and have any success after putting a record out, as there is no way to connect to the audience? There’s no advance, no tour support, if you want to play rock music of any kind, you’re pretty much doing it at your own expence. It’s true it’s not about the money, but you can say that as long as you actually can make a living off of playing music. It’s not important if you sell 100 or 10 million records, or if you play Wembley stadium or Wembley arena, but if you sell a hundred of CD’s, and play venues of 50 people, without day job, you’re dead. And people talk about how it’s easy to get noticed today over social media and stuff, but let’s face it, there is very little chance to make it without a record deal. And even when you hear a rock song on TV or the radio, you can often hear a guitar being left out at some parts of the song, or cutting out solos etc. It seems that rock reached a dead end. Maybe you can do something if you are willing or able to fund yourself, but how many bands really can?

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  • Cheney Coker
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    I wonder if music holds the same level of importance that it did to people “our age”? And by that I mean folks who grew up listeing to music in the 1960’s-1980’s? I still remember buying an album, putting it on the turntable, and listening to it straight through while looking at the album jacket – and doing nothing else. Music deserved complete concentration. It wasn’t uncommon to do this with several friends in the room listening too. Every college dorm room for thirty years had a stereo and we weren’t afraid to play them. I’m not sure that anyone under the age of 30 does this today because I don’t know any of them that actually own real stereo systems. They may have a set of computer speakers or a blue tooth speaker but nothing that really qualifies as hi-fi. Music has become something you listen to while doing something else. All music has become background music. My son is getting his masters of fine art (computer graphics) next month and for the 8 years I have been at his campus (my old campus) I have yet to see anyone with a stereo. I have yet to hear music coming from any room at any time of day or night. Never. I’ve seen lots of headphones on people doing homework or studying. But no communal music at all. I may be wrong, but I just don’t see music being as important as all the other forms of entertainment that have to compete for the attention of younger people. Movies, 500 cable channels, YouTube, the Internet, video games, etc. They all include music but none of them are just music.

    Markie
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    My point exactly, Mike. There are talents out there, but they remain unnoticed. But I think there is another thing going on.

    I think that, unfortunately, we live in times where no one really gives a damn.

    Industry invests in your typical top 40 artists because, well, people like them. We like old music because you actually can hear people play instruments, sharing their craft with others. But people don’t really care if there is an instrument or Mac-generated EDM Playstation sounds. Longevity also no longer exists. Something that is cool today, is dead tomorrow. The thing we felt when we heard Sultans of Swing solo for the first time, or fascination with some albums that made you listen to it 500 times during your lifetime doesn’t exist anymore. People today put 15 songs on their iPod, listen to them until they’re bored and then replace them. And then someone plays “Poker Face” and they’re like “man, you still listen to that? It’s old!” And I’m standing next to them listening a Blind Lemon Jefferson record. Go figure!

    Check out Airbourne. They play raw ass-kicking hard rock in it’s purest form for 14 years now, they’re answer to all those classic rock prayers, they put a new single out, 200000 youtube hits in 5 months. Your regular MTV pop star gets that amountof views in a matter of hours. Classic rock is back, and guess what – no one gives a shit! They enjoy 1% of success of their fellow countrymen AC/DC, and to me they are nothing short of them in quality.

    Hey, you’re fifteen and you play guitar? Good for you, now live me alone and let me listen to my Lil Wayne record.

    Now it sounds butthurt, but the problem is a typical 20 year old rocker listens to music that is older than what his parents were listening to, and there is nothing new he could check out. You like classic rock and like listening full size albums? Your problem.

    And according to that, if a new movement like punk or grunge movement would occur, it wouldn’t have any impact today because, again, no one would really care.

    Mike ChildMike Child
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    One of the things that annoys me these days is the fact that the charts are so full of what, frankly, is just utter rubbish. I know the bubblegum stuff has always been there, but there’s just nothing even remotely creatively interesting in the mainstream industry now. All I ever hear when I walk into shops these days is some mechanical, auto-tuned voice blaring out on the jukebox. I know I sound like a grumpy old man here, but it all sounds the bloody same. And what worries me is that this is what kids are being exposed to. There are many genuinely talented songwriters and performers out there, struggling along, who will perhaps never get to be heard by the wider public, because the mainstream industry is packed full with acts who happen to have the right look or image that appeals to a certain demographic. There aren’t really any artists in the charts now with the calibre of the likes of MK, who music fans will still be following many years down the line, perhaps other than Coldplay (although even they have been active since the late 1990’s).

    Clearly music is not all about success and chart performance and getting recognised, but it worries me that there aren’t really any artists in the industry who can follow the all-time greats such as MK, Sting, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon etc when we know the talent is very much out there.

    Dr. FletchDr. Fletch
    Keymaster
    Post count: 64

    These days, our industry generates only a small percentage of the money it used to as fewer and fewer people actually pay directly for music. The inevitable has been slowly happening and labels want more from an artist than just a record can give them. 360 deals and extortionate ticket pricing due to even the most successful artists selling out to promotion corporations only exacerbate a depressing scenario for the future of music. HOWEVER, there is still a huge market for good quality songs, recordings and performances (yes, MK has a multi-generational fan base) and there are so many wonderful, young, talented artists who are fighting and struggling yet won’t give up as music and the desire to create is powerful, therefore, I remain very optimistic about the future. Young artists have to be a whole lot more careful in terms of looking after themselves and taking care of their future, no mean feat these days as it’s a struggle for most just to survive..I know many shelf-stacking, late night working muso’s who work a lot harder than most. The web has partially destroyed yet it has also enabled. It’s different now but music is still MUSIC.

    In your opinion, what are the chances that a band of the same caliber as early Dire Straits in terms of quality, would have any success in putting the record out today, given the fact that record labels aren’t catering to rock music at all; and have any success after putting a record out, as there is no way to connect to the audience? There’s no advance, no tour support, if you want to play rock music of any kind, you’re pretty much doing it at your own expence. It’s true it’s not about the money, but you can say that as long as you actually can make a living off of playing music. It’s not important if you sell 100 or 10 million records, or if you play Wembley stadium or Wembley arena, but if you sell a hundred of CD’s, and play venues of 50 people, without day job, you’re dead. And people talk about how it’s easy to get noticed today over social media and stuff, but let’s face it, there is very little chance to make it without a record deal. And even when you hear a rock song on TV or the radio, you can often hear a guitar being left out at some parts of the song, or cutting out solos etc. It seems that rock reached a dead end. Maybe you can do something if you are willing or able to fund yourself, but how many bands really can?

    Terri Shawn
    Participant
    Post count: 6

    I think it will be up to the fans, the listeners, to watch social media for new talents like Meghan and the Common Threads, who it seems has chosen to market their own music. Joe Bonnemassa did the same thing, created his own music label. May make it harder for music fans, but the stuff I hear on the radio, ALL STATIONS !!, here in Texas is just deplorable. Nice article about Joe Bonnemassa’s opinion here:
    http://archive.knoxnews.com/entertainment/music/guitar-star-joe-bonamassa-writes-his-own-headline-ep-1365584215-353253731.html Also, here in Texas, Gary Clark Jr. is the real deal, and so the blues are in good hands, at least in my opinion.

    JulioJulio
    Participant
    Post count: 36

    That reminds me about the Phil Collins brilliant biography. He says that the current state of the music bussiness made him thought about leaving the music industry when watching a Mtv Awards Ceremony he saw what kind of music and artists are today in that kind of “Awards”, thinking that himself and many artists like him, Dire Straits etc etc etc were the ones in the Mtv… He felt so depressed by it that decided to put an end to his career… well, almost, when you talk about Collins, you always have to say “almost” LOL

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