Thursday, September 16, 2010

No hope? No problem

I'm feelin better now, so I can finally sit down and focus. I want to say that I'll be using this blog not only for my rants/raving about "music", but also about my personal life. Knowing what goes on with me in the real world can help you, as readers, really get where I'm coming from.

I had someone reference the band Mushroomhead today. I immediately respond with an innate burst of laughter.
After I pulled myself together, I followed up with how they were more or less "a Slipknot replica group, but even worse." Of course, they were worse than Slipknot, and if I wanted to listen to Slipknot, I would, not Mushroomhead.

Stepping away from those groups specifically, it brings me to how success and being "formulaic" correlates in the music business, as well as how it's changed over time.

It's nothing new, being the sellout. Conforming to other's style to be more popular, accepted, successful, etc. Some of the greatest groups have been formed off a style created by someone else, and in essence, almost everyone does. This is not wrong, as that is what keeps groups defined as genres to begin with.

But where do you draw the line? Where do you go from being copycat, to ground breaking new artist of the year? What allows 1 band to fail miserably, and another to take off? I'll tell you...

You have to make it yours. You take the barebones of what makes up the genre you're in, and twist it in your own way. You have to have something unique to offer to the world, or else you will never stand out in people's minds. That's where the real questions begin.

How can I take a sound, change it in my own way, and still expect it to be liked? How can I really appeal to people?

Those are things I can't answer, not to say I don't have my own personal ideas, but those I'd consider "trade secrets." Don't think I'm going to leave you hanging now though.

It's all about balance. Finding that sweet spot in between "unique" and "what works". Alot of people fall short trying to find this balance, despite their own level of talent. I've heard alot of talented groups that never made it past a 3 track EP. Sometimes a group will take their own level of "unique" a little too far for people to accept. Just too far from the norm to mesh with the populous.

This comes with the territory, not everyone can make it in the music business. It's an ever changing jungle, but the basis of what makes it work will never change. It takes an open mind, and a good ear to even notice these repetitive traits, none the less acknowledge and manipulate in your own ways. Do you have what it takes?


  1. Hmm interesting, I'm in a couple of bands and make my own music, and I'd say they sound pretty unique to my ears. Since I play three completely different sounding instruments, the music I make myself is not something a normal band would play, and I tend to throw in some tongue in cheek lyrics as well. Does this mean I'm going to be successful? Probably not.

  2. I think you have a good idea of what I'm touching on here. It's important that you be yourself, I think that should come first no matter what.