It’s no secret to anyone that the entertainment world has changed a lot over the last few years. Video rental and record stores are almost nonexistent and bookstores are almost following suit.
With the advent of Netflix, video rental stores are already history. Record stores and bookstores are another matter altogether. People will always have that special relation with the physical product (CD, vinyl, DVD, Blu-Ray, book or magazine) and that should be enough to keep a few of those stores open. In Denver alone there are still at least three bookstores and three very good record stores.
But, I wrote all this just as an introduction to what I really want to talk about: the death of the humongous Rock/Metal band.
In the last edition of the greatest Rock magazine ever published (British Classic Rock ), there were a long special report about the future of Rock. As usual it was very well written and it was questioning what will happen from now on.
Let’s see: record companies are going bankrupt so they can’t invest a lot of money in their acts anymore. The artists are on their own now – which is good for artistic integrity)-, but can somebody imagine a band becoming stadium sell-outs on their own? In an age that almost nobody buy records anymore? Of course what happened in the sixties, seventies and eighties were the result of conjunction that gave geniuses to the world, but there was also a market hungry to buy new releases. Now? Most people download it.
Anyway one of the interesting things the article showed was the following statement: forget about that Rockstar (airplanes with logos emblazoned on it, limos with tones of coke, champagne and under age willing groupies inside or throwing TVs from the 10th floor of your hotel room) stuff. From now on, this is a job like any other.
And that’s true. However the most compelling question for me is: how about the songs? I, personally, really like a lot of fairly new bands: The Answer, Rival Sons, In Solitude, Hail Of Bullets, Graveyard, Airbourne, Cauldron, Fueled By Fire, Reckless Love, Crashdiet, sprang to mind. However, they and so many others will never be able to play in a stadium by themselves. Can you imagine Airbourne at the Citi Field in New York? Rival Sons at Dodger Stadium in LA? No, of course not.
New Rock/Metal bands will be an underground thing again. But, there will still be an audience for the SONGS that Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Kiss and so many others wrote and are immortal. 20 years from now, you know what’s the chance of coming into a Metal bar and “Before I Forget” from Slipknot will be blasting in the PAs instead of “Enter Sandman”? ZERO. Much like classical music (where the orchestras play the opus from the composers), somebody will have to play the songs from those bands. The million dollar question is: who will it be?
Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal”.
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Listening: Heavy Load – Death or Glory Airrace – Shaft Of Light
Reading: Conversations With Anne Rice – Michael Ryley
Watching: Bad Company – Live At Wembley