In the 60s, The Beatles laid a blueprint that bands are still following today: Get in a band with your buddies, get in a van and tour around sleeping on strangers’ floors, wake up to them cooking bacon naked, bribe DJs to play your song on the air, find out your uncle knows someone at a record company, get signed, bribe more DJs, have your manager buy a few thousand copies of your album, tour the world, get rich, get famous, argue, break up, have a “Behind the Music” made about you.
It sounds like fun (well, some of it does). The only problem is that there are five million other bands trying to do it too. They’re all following the same blueprint. If you’re a band, how do you set yourself apart?
The Beatles did all that –okay, maybe not all that, I admit to and stand by a bit of artistic hyperbole- not because it was the way everyone else did it, but because they felt it was the best way to get their music out. I suspect that virtually all bands after them have done it because it is what other bands before them have done. “It worked for other bands, why not us?” It’s all they know and thinking of new stuff is hard.
There are some bands that will make the above process work, but I’m sure that there is a band out there somewhere with enough ingenuity and creative autonomy to make music a lucrative career choice by following their own path. That band will be the type of band that thinks so clearly “outside-of-the-box” that their music will most likely follow suit. That music made by that band will be new and interesting and sweep the world in a way that no one has before. Not even the Beatles. They won’t necessarily be bigger than the Beatles; they will just be different enough that they won’t draw the comparisons. You might not even know it when it happens.
Sounds like a load of crap, huh? Well, I’m tired of listening to the radio and listening to the same bands over and over. They go by different names, but they’re all the same. The only difference between a Nickelback song and a Britney Spears song is the marketing. I don’t know anyone at a record label and I think most radio DJs are chode monkeys. The only way my band will make is if we use our ingenuity and creative autonomy to find a new way to get there.
And I’ll cook my own damn bacon too.