Thursday, May 7, 2015

More Music =/= More of the Same; More Music = More Influences = More New Sounds

Once upon a time, there were music journalists who wrote for Rolling Stone and the like and- oddly enough- there were only two big bands that existed: The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.    Music journalists had it easier back then because they could just say whether you were good or bad based upon how you sounded in comparison to those big two and, well, there weren't nearly as many records being pressed and as such there wasn't so much music being reviewed.   No, really, go find an old issue of Rolling Stone-- you'll find maybe one or two album reviews.

As the years passed and technology has progressed we have evolved into a world of music where you would expect that "With all of these bands out there, this *has* to sound like someone else" or what I like to call the "it's all been done before" theory.   Of course that's rubbish because if you can follow me on there being only two big bands once upon a time, then your options as to what you might sound like become much more limited.   If there are even a thousand different bands out there, then you have the option to combine pieces of #458, #952, #8 and #63 if you should so choose.    It's really just basic math.

On top of that, you have to acknowledge that thanks to the internet and then digitilization of music it has become even easier for anyone to hear every song that is ever recorded regardless of where they live so long as they have a strong wifi connection.     There are literally hundreds of pieces of music being released on a monthly basis, most of which make their way into my attention during that particular month while others wait until some time later for whatever reason.

The bottom line is that it is harder to be a writer of music in 2015 than it has quite possibly ever been before because everything is just growing, expanding and in some ways also diluting.    Imagine finding a band in 2013 or 2014 that has the qualities of ten other bands combined in a way unlike you've ever heard before.    Now imagine that band is mixed with three or five other bands like it to form some new sort of super band in 2015.

In some ways I think of it like the dawn of mankind as per The Bible.    Humans started with Adam and Eve (if you follow The Bible) and that was a mere two people.    Now there are billions of people on this planet and any given two of them couldn't be more different (Of course things like twins and other forms of relation can come into play in humans, but music does not share those same genes unless you break that down into being a sort of side project or "other bands" feel, like how Scott Weiland can be in Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver and thus they can sound similar for sharing the mutual genes known as Weiland)

Imagine you could only see the world in black and white.    Then one day your eyes are open to colors.    Sure, there are red, blue and yellow as the primary colors, but think about all of the possible color combinations that follow.   Don't believe me?  Try buying tiles for your bathroom floor or something as seemingly pointless and any fancy pants store will show you how many different shades of white there really are.

This is how music has evolved, along with everything else in the world from television to movies to art in general, and while it may seem like a burden for a writer to have to endure it does have some exceptional results.     It's easy enough to put your own unique voice on music simply by being yourself, but given all of your choices for influences (seemingly infinite at this point, as new ones emerge every day) there should never again be an artist who is a mere copycat of something that already exists.

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