Hello again! I'm back for another 'my thoughts' blog post and this time it's looking into an interview with Muse lead singer and guitarist Matt Bellamy with his BBC News article that was posted a few days ago.
The title for the article was:
"Muse: 'The guitar is no longer a lead instrument'"
Being in a 'rock' band themselves I thought this was a rather strange thing to say. The article is a bit 'click-baity' (as is everything these days), but it did raise some interesting points. In a nutshell, Matt Bellamy was saying that guitars aren't part of the leading line with songwriting and the general sound of pop music anymore. It's now mostly lead by electronic equipment and electronic drums...but that's just in pop music, not everything.
The other point he wanted to raise is that Muse are always following the trends for what's new and what's popular at the moment, which, to me, isn't selling the band very well or giving the band a good name. Now, don't get me wrong, I really like Muse, they're a clever and talented band, but when you say "oh we're just following what's popular out there", it does tarnish their ethos a little.
If every artist ever started to do 'what was trendy currently' then we would just be going in a loop and in a cycle. Personally, I'd go mad! How about instead of following trends, you create your own trends. Explore something outside of the box and don't be a sheep. It's one of my life motto's, be yourself!
Getting back to the guitar part of the article. Matt is saying that guitars are no longer at the forefront of pop music. This may be true, but the problem we face is not that there aren't enough artists using guitars in their music, because a lot of songs are written with a guitar, but are now transposed onto a machine instead.
The problem is a lot of big labels and artists are thinking that it's not selling as well. It's an old form of music that everyone isn't really into anymore (not true). This next passage is lyrics from my favourite artist Frank Turner from his song 'Four Simple Words' and it sums this point up perfectly:
Somebody told me with music with guitars
Was going out of fashion and I had to laugh
This sh*t wasn't fashionable when I fell in love
If the hipsters move on, why should I give a f**k
Why, Mr.Bellamy should you leave guitars behind because they aren't 'in fashion' anymore. This goes for any rock band (it's also hard to define a rock band when the likes of Twenty One Pilots and Imagine Dragons are considered to be in this category *sigh*), why should you care where pop music is going. Soon enough everyone (hopefully) will be over this little blip of average music we're enjoying right now.
Anyone who is smart enough should know that vintage comes back around. Look at vinyls!? They've seen the biggest margin of profit since 1991! Sony are producing vinyls themselves again, it's making a massive comeback! People enjoy vintage and guitars and rock bands will never die out. So instead of joining the bandwagon, give your genre a nice hoist of the trousers and give it a good ol' crack!
The moral of this is to not be a sheep. Be yourself, be unique and be creative.
Don't become Imagine Dragons...please, god don't!
Ta Rah x
Welcome back to The Music Scout blog folks and boy have I got an interesting, yet probably controversial topic for you guys. It'll none the less be a great read for you all and I hope you can all see vision in my opinions of the nominations for this years BRIT awards. So without further a do, let's get into this...
This BRIT's awards has always been the focal point to showcase some of Britain's best music from the last year or so. From best male/female artists to recognition of the best artist video voted by the public. It's an exciting event for British music, but personally, it doesn't showcase the music we've produced in the last year in the best way.
Obviously you have to have the heavyweights in there that have slammed the charts and broken records such as Ed Sheeran (unfortunately), but there's something missing. When I look at these nominations, it's mostly a lot of artists who've had breakthrough singles played heavily throughout the year (thanks Heart Fm...). I get the feeling that these nominations are created by a board that put a list together of the biggest artists/singles and albums of 2017 and make the nominations out of those.
I do give credit where it's due where we're starting to see some more left-field choices being made for some of these nominations such as LCD Soundsystem for International Artist. That was a nice surprise, but there needs to be more like this. We can't just have all these really well known songs/albums/artists just dominate the BRIT Awards. It shrouds and covers all of the amazing, hard graft work that goes into this industry below it. These are just the artists at their pinnacle currently thanks to some sheer luck, a major label funding their success and people enjoy basic pop music currently.
We are a proud nation of our music. The independent venues that have a legendary status, the countless tours that go on as well as music festivals. All of these aren't celebrated currently in the British Music Awards...The BRITISH Music Awards. It should encompass everything we are proud of!
Independent music venues should have their own award for their choices and talent they decide to put on. It's a dying breed right now of which over the last year, over 20 have closed down which is a real shame. It's a market that the BRITs could really support because the artists they're nominating wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for those venues. So celebrate them.
What the BRIT's should also be commemorating is the radio stations too. Us Brit's love listening to radio stations and podcasts alike. We have such a variety of stations, nationally and independently that there should be an award for a pioneering station in that year. Even if that station get's the privilege of choosing the artists for a specific award. Just to commemorate and celebrate the work and importance of UK radio stations.
It's showing that the BRIT's really lacks the celebratory edge that it could potentially have. It's just such a shame that it just focuses on such a small (albeit successful) part of the business, when there is so much more to celebrate in the world of music.
One other thing before I list off what awards the BRIT's could use in the future. A breakthrough act is not someone who's amassed millions or billions of streams. Breakthrough means there weren't existent to the industry before these BRIT awards and have excelled in the year. Loyle Carner is the only one in that category who fits.
So, my awards that should be created for the BRIT Awards 2019:
So those are an example of some nominations that should be made. British music is more than just the chart music and who get's more than 10 million streams in a day for when their album drops. We're much more than this and we do more for independent music/venues than any other country. So let's celebrate this and broadcast it to the world that we're the best in creating fantastic music.
I hope you all have your own opinions on this and I hope you agree to a certain degree. Thanks for your time for reading this rather long blog post!
Ta Rah x
DON'T SELL YOUR TICKETS YET PEOPLE!!!
Upon reading the title, you're probably all wondering what I am talking about and where I'm going with this theory...correct. Hold on folks, this all stems from the Reading and Leeds festival announcements that were made today.
So below is the first line up announcement of Reading and Leeds festival 2018 and people aren't too happy about the rather average and albeit 'safe' headliners too.
I've made the poster really big so you can all see the artists on web and phone for you lovely people.
People are raging that the line up focuses now more on grime and R&B rather than the more traditional rock line-up is no surprise. Then again, I do understand why they have done this, rock is not as popular as it was and these other genres are where the monies at unfortunately.
To all those annoyed and pissed off people, I have a solution for you and for you NOT to sell your tickets. Yes, the main line up is a bit shady, but look further down the bill and you have fantastic artists such as Dream Wife, Pale Waves and Beartooth currently on the bill. This is just the first announcement, hold your horses until the smaller bands are announced!
Reason is because you'll probably have a brilliant time going from tent to tent finding new and amazing music which arguably is much better quality than that of some of the main stage or evening artists. This brings me onto the point about this blog post.
So with this in mind, here's what I am thinking. With major festivals arguably setting up worse line ups than say 5 years ago and before. This begs the question of, if you're going, who are you going to see? You're certainly not going to be going to the main artists because they're boring...so, you naturally go to other tents, discover new artists. This is where it might be better for new and emerging artists to apply and get onto the scene of the major festivals now more than ever!
I know this wouldn't be on a grand scale, but this definitely would be something of a substitute for the festivals goers who are disappointed with the major line up. This could flock more audiences away from big stages and to more intimate grounds. Plus with the whole 'save our independent music venues' being a major topic currently, this might help. If you see an unknown artist at a festival and really enjoyed their set, you're likely to go see them in the future afterwards. Of which they'll probably play an independent venue, which would mean more ticket sales.
It's very much in the grand scheme of things per se, but I like to think optimisticly and this definitely got me thinking in a more positive light about the whole situation of the major artists and the downgrade in quality.
Here's to smaller artists, smaller venues and a much better time being in the audience !
Ta Rah x
Welcome back to the blog folks! Here are three releases for the week that you all should go feast your ears on! At least one is a little strange, but it's definitely the most creative of the three selected for this week and this comes from..
1. Field Music - Open Here
This album blends itself nicely into something that should've been released in the 80s as a very experimental record. Field Music take every element possible into all 11 songs on this record. From flutes, bottles, popping noises, orchestras to your standard four piece alternative band set up.
It's definitely number 1 on the list for how intrigued I've been by this album! It's definitely not something I would jump into right away, but it's got a specific charm to it that's rather addictive. Keep an eye out for one of their songs on the podcast soon!
2. Hookworms - Microshift
This album has a unique blend of looking into the future with it's sounds, but not blasting off into space too much with it's original indie tone. There is definitely an influence of synthesizers here , but in a melodic, space way. It compliments the whole album nicely and doesn't be too brash about using it throughout the album.
Some interesting melodic hooks are present in this album too. Overall, it's a solid album and one for people who enjoy electronic alternative/indie music. This is one for those lovers of Pet Shop Boys that collabs with a really cool indie band!
3. Red River Dialect - Broken Stay Open Sky
This album is perfect for a lazy Sunday. Folk group Red River Dialect never rush their songs. The opening track "Juniper/The View" has an intro of 2 minutes and 42 seconds. It's a 7 minute folk track and it definitely makes me want to kick back and enjoy this record.
The violin/fiddle in this album really staples their sound throughout the record. Each song is also over 6 minutes long which does mean there are only 7 songs on this album which is the only downfall. Although break it down to your traditional 3-4min song length and you'll have 14 songs. Although the structure in these songs is astonishing, no need to rush to finish in 5 minutes. These 6-7 minute folk songs are a real breath of fresh air!
That's all for this week guys, check back next week for another 3 new releases to check out for the week!
Until then...I guess you could check out the podcast episodes ;)
Ta Rah! x