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Facing the music (sort of)


skipclone 1

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There was someone I knew in New York, a guitarist as well as a music writer and publisher of a music magazine. This guy was like a lot of people around music and similar industries, knowledgable and experienced but not always a nice person and I was told at one point he insulted me behind my back. I also saw him literally steal an open mic hosting gig from another musician. But I heard him say something in an interview that has stayed with me, wanted to throw it out to see what you worthies think. The topic was the obstacles that faced musicians who wanted to make it in the business. Well this guy, while he acknowledged some of the unfairness and corruption around who makes it and who doesn`t, placed much of the blame squarely on the musicians themselves. People who insist they want to make it in music but, for example, don`t know and don`t care what people are actually listening to or what kind of music is likely to sell well, don`t take advantage of resources or technologies available to musicians/performing artists, get surly about having to compromise or alter in any way their approach to what they do, don`t keep up on trends in the industry, etc. "The scene has changed-the musicians haven`t" was the way he put it. I can`t claim to be without guilt here either, but for those who want to go as far as their potential will take them, how true is this? to what extent do we sabotage ourselves? to what extent do we confuse `maintaining our integrity` with not doing what it takes to be successful?

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

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Well, if you're going to sacrifice your integrity to "make it", how exactly have you "made it"?

 

Let's get practical about this: if you've spent all your life trying to be a shredder and then it turns out that "the industry" has decided that The Next Big Thing is a 70s disco revival.

 

And you change your entire style to fit in... would it really have been worth it? Methinks not. Not unless you've decided up front that all you want to do is be a pro musician and don't care where the money comes from.

 

BTW, what happened to all those guys that were playing in the mid 70s? Did they all decide to go punk 'cause that was the new thing, did they? ;)

 

And it's funny to hear some industry type bitching about musicians when all the industry seems to be capable of doing is whining about how filesharing is eating into their profits.

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Well this guy is not a suit, he plays and performs as well. I have not heard him play anything other than the blues although he may well do so. I think the point he may have been trying to make is, that too many musicians think all they have to do is play, and the rest will take care of itself. Then when it doesn`t, they blame the industry. But there`s a mercenary element to what he said as well so your point is not without merit.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

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I assume by "Make It" you mean sell albums and put on concerts etc. become famous?

 

The fact is, I've seen some of the best musicians not make it. The industry is not about talent, it's about luck. You have to know the right people, be in the right place at the right time. Once they get their hooks into you, they make you a star, but it's on their terms.

 

You don't really see bands make it anymore without (A) getting REALLY lucky and (B)doing what the producers tell them to do.

 

Mind you, The Barenaked Ladies pulled it off in Canada. The record companies wanted them to change and they refused. They wound up producing there own album and after it was a country wide hit, the record companies came crawling to them begging them to sign. The first,signed album, "Gordon" was largely handled by the band. The producers gave advice and I'm sure some of it was taken to heart but most of the album was them.

 

(I recommend buying "Gordon". If you can't stand the "Silly" stuff, skip those tracks, but definitely listen to the other songs on that album. They are musically fantastic and just great songs.)

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

Well, if you're going to sacrifice your integrity to "make it", how exactly have you "made it"?

 

Let's get practical about this: if you've spent all your life trying to be a shredder and then it turns out that "the industry" has decided that The Next Big Thing is a 70s disco revival.

Agreed.

Completely changing yourself in an effort to "make it" any way you can...

...is a sell-out.

 

But there are those times when some musicians scream about "integrity"...and all they are really doing is acting like prima donnas.

They refuse to do change ANYTHING to help things "fit in" a bit betteror they dont understand how much of the music machinery worksso they rebel against it for the sake of their artistic integrity.

 

Hey...you wanna' sit on the street corner or in your bedroom or in the local bar (heck, even in the local bar.you gotta please the owner and the crowd)strumming your guitar and singing songs...EXACTLY how your artistic integrity demands...that's fine.

But once you try to sell yourself and your music...then you've crossed the line of pure art, and you've entered the world of music business.

And like ANY business...there has to be some consideration as to what is the best way to package/market a product...and guess what...

YOU and your music is that product.

Now maybe YOU thing you know what is the bets way to market your productbut hey, the suits have the money that YOU needso, concessions must be madeup to a point.

 

I'm not saying do anything they ask of you...but, there is some truth to the comment that "too many musicians think all they have to do is play, and the rest will take care of itself".

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

Well, if you're going to sacrifice your integrity to "make it", how exactly have you "made it"?

 

Let's get practical about this: if you've spent all your life trying to be a shredder and then it turns out that "the industry" has decided that The Next Big Thing is a 70s disco revival.

 

And you change your entire style to fit in... would it really have been worth it? Methinks not. Not unless you've decided up front that all you want to do is be a pro musician and don't care where the money comes from.

 

BTW, what happened to all those guys that were playing in the mid 70s? Did they all decide to go punk 'cause that was the new thing, did they? ;)

 

And it's funny to hear some industry type bitching about musicians when all the industry seems to be capable of doing is whining about how filesharing is eating into their profits.

I kind of think that all of us have a different perception of "making it" and listening to interviews of some who have "made it" generally tells me nothing.

I tend to think that no matter your goals, if you quit being happy, you better change directions. This is an awfully awfully short life. So, if "making it" is the real deal for a person, they should do what they have to do to get there, but if staying with what you love is important, then you should just stick with that. That particular New York musician can really only speak for himself.

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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Let me play devil's advocate: The original post stated that some musicians say they want to make it in the industry but aren't willing to do what it takes to make it. To me, that sounds like some folks really want to be accomplished musicians, sell records, and sell-out shows, but aren't willing to do what it takes to make that happen. If people aren't listening to what you're doing, then do you really want to "make it" if you don't evolve and play music that people will pay for? Don't whine about having to play seedy bars and talent shows if you're not willing to play music that people like.
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Originally posted by Warthog:

Don't whine about having to play seedy bars and talent shows if you're not willing to play music that people like.

Actually, it's a bit more complex than that.

 

For starters, how often have you seen some band described as "notwithstanding lacklustre sales. the such and suches remain a powerful live draw".

 

The industry has a huge say in "what people like" and there you are, playing the same stuff as always and all of a sudden you are nowhere. Look at all the 80s hair metal bands, for example. Would you have blamed them for not playing grunge? :)

 

Or what about all the Jazz guys? When was the last time you saw Jazz on MTV? And yet these are guys that play perfectly good music and a re very talented and sometimes command a rather large following and yet get little or no attention from the media.

 

A lot of the time it's not that you play music ppl don't like, it's just that you can't get exposure because "the industry" has decided that your style is not in.

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It depends on what your definition of "making it" is.

 

If, for example, you're a 23 year old "hot guy"...athletic type who can sing his ass off...coordinated enough to dance...plays guitar well (for argument's sake), and you're complaining because you can't "make it" as a jazz fusion player...it depends on whether you want to make it AS a jazz fusion player, or whether you just want to "make it". If you just want to "make it"...(and you fit the description above), you should take a look at being a Backstreet Boy or something.

 

If you're an old average-or-less looking guy like me, with average-or-less chops...you should redefine what you call "making it".

 

I believe that everyone can "make it". They just have to put their mind toward what a reasonable definition of "making it" is, with their given limitations or lack thereof. For some of us, "making it" could constitute being a local hero at the Saturday night V.F.W. hall dance. They walk into the local grocery store, and the cashier knows their name. And if you look at it that way, there are an awful lot of people who have "made it".

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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And while changing the essence of where you`re coming from-or trying to-almost never comes off as anything but superficial and insincere...this could actually be a whole `nother topic-I hate to admit it but I was unfamiliar with SRV until he was on that David Bowie song. Then of course there was:

 

Steve Lukather/Lionel Ritchie

 

Jeff Baxter/Donna Summer (I was pissed for YEARS after that one)

 

EVH/Michael Jackson

 

Jeff Beck/Stevie Wonder

 

None of these guys lost appreciable numbers of fans due to appearing with commercial pop artists.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

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Originally posted by skipclone 1:

None of these guys lost appreciable numbers of fans due to appearing with commercial pop artists.

No, but those same pop artists would have had trouble chasing each new style without looking ridiculous, which seems to be what your man was suggesting musicians should do.

 

Having said that, a lot of 80s pop bands have become rockier and more guitar oriented. I'm thinking of ppl like Depeche Mode.

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

Originally posted by skipclone 1:

None of these guys lost appreciable numbers of fans due to appearing with commercial pop artists.

No, but those same pop artists would have had trouble chasing each new style without looking ridiculous, which seems to be what your man was suggesting musicians should do.

 

Having said that, a lot of 80s pop bands have become rockier and more guitar oriented. I'm thinking of ppl like Depeche Mode.

Well I don`t know about each new style but Jeff Beck has embraced new music and damn near reinvented the role of the guitar.

I think it`s theoretically possible to be credible as styles change-Andy Timmons was with the 80s hair band Danger Danger but is also really slick with jazz and acoustic, Craig Chaquico is doing smooth jazz these days-but the industry`s iron curtain of youth limits most performers to one chance to make it big-those who are in tend to be kept in, those who are out tend to be kept out. That`s on the musician side. if you`re talking about the pop stars, Madonna went after every style in sight. Janet Jackson stayed on top for almost as long, basically mining the dance floor. Then there`s the Stones, who have their own planet and gravitational orbit. They haven`t changed their music (much), just gotten really savvy about the business.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

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Originally posted by skipclone 1:

Then there`s the Stones, who have their own planet and gravitational orbit. They haven`t changed their music (much), just gotten really savvy about the business.

Uhmmm... what about Emotional Rescue with its Michael Jackson type vocals? What about the disco rapping on Undercover?

 

I'm sure they chased other booms after that but I stopped buying their albums after Undercover.

 

 

I take your point about all the guys that you mentioned and how they changed their music, but they've all moved around the same(ish) musical areas.

 

None of them followed something like Grunge, and I don't think many are playing Nu Metal either :)

 

And you've mentioned some pretty important, established musicians who had an established audience.

 

But what happens to all the guys that don't even get signed because they don't sound like the designated "it" band for today? And it's got nothing to do with "what people like" either because in the case of "The Next Big Thing", you haven't even heard them yet. So how can anyone know whether they play music people like or not?

 

It's pretty arbitrary at the best of times nd the level of bitchiness of the music press has to be seen to be believed. An example: when Mick Jagger's solo LP came out a while ago, the Sun would give away(?) copies along with a badge saying "I've Done Something For The Old Git!"

 

So even if you try to follow trends, sometimes the press won't let you. I just remember the early 80s being a time when a lot of 60s and 70s pop stars seemed to disappear and made the big comeback album mid decade, once the dust had settled.

 

 

And, finally, Madonna... she didn't follow as many trends as she started :)

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Originally posted by A String:

The industry is not about talent, it's about luck.

Naaaahh. It's about m-o-n-e-y. If the suits think they can make a buck off of you, they don't care what you look, sound, or smell like or how much integrity you have, and they'd prefer you weren't lucky either, cause you might luck into some of their m-o-n-e-y. All they care about is bringing in the bux, cause if they don't, the suits over them find someone who will.

 

Integrity? I recall a Joni Mitchell line;

 

You read those books where luxury come as a guest to take a slave,

books where artists in noble poverty go like virgins to the grave

 

Integrity is a great thing, but you can't eat it. If you are trying to make a living as a musician, your integrity is better placed on financial and personal relationship issues than what style of music you can bring yourself to play. I will say that it's better not to have to remove clothing to market your music, because that stuff comes back to haunt you. :( But what some folks call "artistic integrity" is often nothing more than an excuse for being inflexible and immature about matters of personal taste.

 

It's mo' bettah to be flexible about issues of style, because styles change. I have a friend whose kid is a shred/thrash metal drummer. He can't find a gig because no one is playing the stuff he likes anymore. He has his standards, and he ain't playing anywhere. Too bad too, because he's really good at what he does.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

 

But what happens to all the guys that don't even get signed because they don't sound like the designated "it" band for today? And it's got nothing to do with "what people like" either because in the case of "The Next Big Thing", you haven't even heard them yet. So how can anyone know whether they play music people like or not?

Well..."The Next Big Thing" is rarely created "in the lab"....buy some record company.

Instead...they check the pulse of the audience they are targeting at that moment...or they find some local/regional act that is already generating a certain pulse, locally...

..and then they will repackage it for mass consumption as "The Next Big Thing".

 

It's during that "repackaging" that a lot of bands get all pissy...and/or don't understand the business side of things....so they feel that their "artistic integrity" is getting trashed.

Mean time, they were discovered playing in the local bar scene (now what kind of "artistic integrity" did they maintain there? :D ).

 

 

And, finally, Madonna... she didn't follow as many trends as she started :)
There are those very few, whose image has gotten bigger than them. It's a question of the whole being much bigger than the sum of it's parts.

 

Also...most of the "trends" that Madonna started the last several yearswere nothing more than her OWN attempt to repackage and remarket her aging image.

Heck...people like Madonna and Michael Jackson can scream nonsense into a microphone, and wipe their asses and put it up as "art"...

...and there are millions of fanatics that would cheer them on and buy it.

I think for some...who develop these very loft images...the rules go out the window. Theres such a media frenzy surrounding them all the timeso it's really hard to tell the difference between art and shit...when it comes from them.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by A String:

I assume by "Make It" you mean sell albums and put on concerts etc. become famous?

 

The fact is, I've seen some of the best musicians not make it. The industry is not about talent, it's about luck. You have to know the right people, be in the right place at the right time. Once they get their hooks into you, they make you a star, but it's on their terms.

 

You don't really see bands make it anymore without (A) getting REALLY lucky and (B)doing what the producers tell them to do.

 

Mind you, The Barenaked Ladies pulled it off in Canada. The record companies wanted them to change and they refused. They wound up producing there own album and after it was a country wide hit, the record companies came crawling to them begging them to sign. The first,signed album, "Gordon" was largely handled by the band. The producers gave advice and I'm sure some of it was taken to heart but most of the album was them.

 

(I recommend buying "Gordon". If you can't stand the "Silly" stuff, skip those tracks, but definitely listen to the other songs on that album. They are musically fantastic and just great songs.)

the Bare Naked Ladies are a great band, i had the opportunity to see them a few years ago. they put on a hell of a show and they had fun. they are tight and professional. even the silly stuff is good.

alot of people didn't want to spend the money to see them and our Apple Blossom Festival hasn't brought any more major acts since.

as far as making it on your own terms, Ani DiFranco sure has.

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Originally posted by Guitarzan:

as far as making it on your own terms, Ani DiFranco sure has.

Yeah, Ani is the one that always gets mentioned in these kinds of discussions...though I'm sure there are others.

 

But the truth of the matter is that you can ask 100 people if they ever heard of Ani DiFranco...

...and unless they are musicians or really in tune with the huge number of artists out there...

...most of the 100 will shake their heads, "no".

 

So...it's really relative..."making it".

 

Yeah...you can grip your "artistic integrity" very tightly...but then you also must be prepared to accept some concessions when you do that.

 

One of the reasons I decided NOT to throw 100% of all my effort and all my time into "making it" with music...is because I know how much of a gamble that is.

That's why I took the "day job" path...so I could have somewhat of a decent/normal life...

...but still my music aspirations going.

And quite frankly...if I HAD put 100% into "making it" in music many years go...

...I know that if I didn't produce something tangible in a relatively short time...everyone around me (and life in general) would have put enormous pressure on me to "move on"...

...the, Youve given it your best effort, and you failed...so now it's time to get back to reality."...kind of thing.

 

At least with a solid day job...I still AM able to keep my music dreams going...and heck, the day job has been a constant source of financial support for my audio/music toys and interests! :thu:

By removing the pressure of "making it"...I'm free to take as much time as I like...making it. :)

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

Originally posted by Warthog:

Don't whine about having to play seedy bars and talent shows if you're not willing to play music that people like.

Actually, it's a bit more complex than that.

 

For starters, how often have you seen some band described as "notwithstanding lacklustre sales. the such and suches remain a powerful live draw".

 

The industry has a huge say in "what people like" and there you are, playing the same stuff as always and all of a sudden you are nowhere. Look at all the 80s hair metal bands, for example. Would you have blamed them for not playing grunge? :)

 

Or what about all the Jazz guys? When was the last time you saw Jazz on MTV? And yet these are guys that play perfectly good music and a re very talented and sometimes command a rather large following and yet get little or no attention from the media.

 

A lot of the time it's not that you play music ppl don't like, it's just that you can't get exposure because "the industry" has decided that your style is not in.

Bingo.KF3 is right on the money.I never believed the industry had that much pull until i worked at Virgin.No offense to anyone who likes The Darkness but i thought they were pretty standars stuff.I also thought nobody would buy into the whole glam metal thing again.They promoted the living shit out of this thing and it worked.People would walk up and ask what is playing and buy it on the spot.This is not because its great stuff.Its because they had it cranked through the store and the same people who use mtv as their guide for new music buy right into it.The ideal is that Virgin is hip and so what they play must be hip and if you want to be hip,buy this cd.I also agree with KF about people that jump trends.If it dosn't bother you thats one thing.But i have worked with to many people that had the evh music man and the mullet and know they are blues guys.Thats all good but when they get cope an air about them selves i get pissed.I know what you did!There was this old guy that i worked with at Sam Ash who would just go on and on about how much he hated Rush,Yes and what not.At the age of 50 he decides that johhny thunders is the greatest guitar player ever and everything else sucks.Not buying it.I dont make a living playing music so its easy for me to like what i like without apologys.Part of the game i guess is to reinvent yourself.I still have way more respect for someone that sticks to what it is that they really love instead of making an ass out of themselves.Did you ever see the vh1 thing about least metal momments? Ron Keel was Mr metal at one time and when that died he became Mr country.The guy talks with a southern draw now.Yes you can say you respect him for trying but i still aint gonna play make believe with the guy.You can say what you will about Malmsteen but i have more respect for him than about anyone.At the height of Nirvana he stayed true to his guns.People laughed at him and alot of people still laugh at him now but he didn't change what he is about at all.Now when you see him in concert he has a whole bunch of young kids that are into him.Same thing with Maiden.They dont have to live down anything they did because they stuck it out.
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i think you should be true to yourself always,dont change your music to suit someone else.all the greats i can remember never change and that in my view is what makes them great,if i ever write songs/lyrics they will be a reflection of who i am.to ask me to change my music would be like asking me to change who i am.weather my songs are good or not wont make a diffrence there still mine at the end of the day and thats good enough for me
"The Bridge Above The River Is Only The Begining Of Your Fall"
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Well, let's take a left turn here..

 

I know plenty of musicians who are working and surviving in the industry who haven't and probably will never "make it" as recording artists. OTOH, music is their job and they enjoy their work.

 

All too often you hear about bands that want to "make it" as recording artists but are unwilling to do what is necessary to first make a living in music.. or out of music. They work dead end jobs to support the ability to leave on a moment's notice for a gig, etc. and wonder why they never get anywhere, ever waiting for that big break. The people I know who've made it, by and large, became financially stable enough to decide how to proceed with their music careers.

 

One is leader of his own band and works primarily in corporate event entertainment. He makes a very comfortable six-figure dollar amount each year. He plays music he likes but understands he must play music the audience wants. On occasion this requires some sacrifice, but what job doesn't? I'd rather be him than someone with "artistic integrity" who struggles to make ends meet and rarely plays out. Oh.. and he can choose to play his own, artistic compositions anytime he chooses.

 

One more point and I'll shut up.

 

Harry Chapin has a great interview snippet on the Gold Medal Collection. He speaks of his career in the early 1960's when nobody "got" his macho, womanizing songs and arrogant, "If only the world understood what I know there would be world peace, ..." songs. Eventually he stopped insulting and talking down to his audience and became a star, but with immense integrity.

 

Just because you're smart enough to alter what you do to fit the market doesn't mean you've sold out your convictions. It bugs me that some people here would have you believe that's the case when it most certainly is not.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Originally posted by guitarisawayoflife21:

If by "make it" you mean sell out, no way im doin it. Im not going to compromise my integrity for record sales or fans. Ill play what I'd like to hear, and what I have fun playing.

Hey...there's a lot of folks playing EXACTLY what they want to hear and what they have fun playing...

...alone in their bedrooms.

Nothing wrong with that.

 

But if you are looking for a shot at the big time (whatever that is to you)...a solid recording artists contract...

...and you want it, because you want to get your music out of your bedroom and into the hands of a wide audience....

....and the record company asks you to make *some* adjustments...like maybe they feel that one of your songs isnt strong enough for the album you are recording for their major release.

Or they feel that THIS song should be the single rather than THAT song...etc.

Are you going to work with them....or will you just stand firm...screaming about your "artistic integrity"...

...while they show you the door...???

 

There's whole lot in-between being a total sell out...and refusing to budge an inch.

 

The smart artists/musicians know how to maneuver themselves into a position (over time) where they have more clout and more say...

which means that eventually...eventually...they WILL be able to hang on to more of their artistic integrity.

But walkin' in through the door for the very first time when someone cracks it open for you...

...well, you better be prepared to make some adjustments, otherwise the door will close just as quickly as it opened.

 

I just can't buy that TOTAL..."pissin' against the wind" attitude that some folks (not you necessarily) have.

Where, before they even GET any record deals offered to them...they are already putting the chip on their shoulders saying how they are NEVER going to sell outnever budge on inch.

 

Hey...the minute...the second.you start to "market" yourself...even as a local bar band...

...you are already "selling" yourself.

You are already selling your art.

 

So who's kidding who...?

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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This is kind of on topic, given that it concerns "not selling out" and just doing the music you want to hear. I thought it was a joke when I heard it but apparently it's true. It just goes to show that once you have "the clout" you can say to hell with trends and do what you want:

In an exclusive interview with Sting.com, Sting has revealed his latest project - an album of sixteenth century music performed on the lute. The album will be released in the autumn on the classical label Deutsche Grammophon.

 

Sting.com members can view the video interview in the Virtual Ticket section of the website by going here.

 

Here's what Sting had to say about this unusual and exciting project...

 

"About two years ago Dominic [Miller] gave me a gift that he'd had made for me, a lute, a sixteenth century instrument with lots and lots of strings and I sort of became fascinated with it and immersed myself in the lute and lute music. It reminded of an interest I've had for a long time - for almost twenty five years - in the works of John Dowland. John Dowland was a sixteenth century English composer who wrote songs for the lute. He was really the first singer/songwriter that we know of and so a lot of us owe our living to this man. Then we met this guy Edin Karamazov who is a Bosnian lute player and we started discussing Dowland and the idea came up of recording some songs of his for an album.

 

"That kind of frivolous idea became a reality and it's coming out in October on Deutsche Grammophon and I'm thrilled. It's a delightful record and I think people will be intrigued by it. The album is voice and lute, there are a few four part harmonies that I sing and it's all music from the sixteenth century."

 

http://sting.com/news/news.php?uid=4527

 

The cool part is that it will sell more copies than any lute album in the history of recorded music! I'm relearning some Dowland pieces to jump on the bandwagon.....

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So how many of you sent in a tape to the battle of the bands on NBC's "Star Tomorrow"...?

 

They claim that they are going to discover the "next big thing" with their online/TV competition.

 

Just thinkovernight.you could be making it. ;)

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

and, finally, Madonna... she didn't follow as many trends as she started :) [/QB]

In music? name one

 

While you`re thinking I`ll just mention that what she has always done-and is still a viable strategy-is to have a close ear to what`s catching on in dance clubs internationally. That`s contrary to most pop-rock talent/A&R people, with whom a live following is coin of the realm. Once she finds something that`s doing well she grabs the people behind it, hires them, scales the sound up for a mass market release and there you go. For that to work the turnaround time has to be short by industry standards-trends come and go-and I`ve seen it referred to in print as a `fast-follower` approach. So it LOOKS like the performer is starting trends but what they`re doing is jumping on them before they become really big.

Now if you`re talking about clothing, maybe I could see it. The whole lingere as sportswear thing never quite caught on though, can`t imagine why... :)

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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There are always varying degrees of "making it" and "selling out". For me when I was a teenager I just figured anyone who was a really good guitar player would be a star. I didn't think there were any other variables involved. I was struggling to play anything decent so anything I heard on the radio, regardless of style or image, sounded professional.

 

As I got a little older (18) and was able to go see bar bands, I thought wow if I get good enough I can play in a bar band sometime. I finally got the nerve up by the time I was 30 to get up on stage and play. We did ok, we had decent gigs now and then and made a little pocket money. I am quite content with that. I achieved my goal of playing in front of a live audience. I never really seriously considered making music for a living, I knew that it wasn't a very reliable way to go. Now, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have turned down a good opportunity if it was presented to me, but I have a decent career (architecture) and music still remains a big part of my life.

 

As far as selling out goes, any time you go so far as playing with even one other musician then you are going to have to compromise. Well maybe if you work with an idiot/savant that plays everything exactly like you tell him too, no. I have no problem with adapting my music style to something new, but only if I honestly like something about this new style. I would never join a disco band for instance, but if someone asked me to play or record as a one shot deal some wah pedal disco grooves, I might have some fun with it.

 

So I don't really know how to quantify what success is. I am glad that I can play music on almost every night of the week. I can play whatever I want on a whim, be it classical, blues, rock or whatever. I never really wanted to live on a bus and be forced to play the same old thing every night anyway.

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Well, can we go back to the original point..?

 

The guy said "the music industry changes, musicians don't".

 

One thing is to play what people want to hear, which can be fair enough. But do you really think there's any integrity in jumping onto whatever trend comes along? Do you actually want to do that?

 

And since so many trends are manufactured (or at least greatly encouraged) by "The Industry", what do people want anyway? There's heaps of bands making a pretty good living, years after their last charting album. There's bands doing well out there who have never even HAD a charting album. Those bands shouldn't even HAVE an audience, because they're not giving people what they want, judging by the charts at least. And yet...

 

Now... how many of you "gotta give the people what they want" guys have actually grown dreadlocks and put in nose rings and sound like, say, Slipknot? Any big Nickelback fans here? 'Cause that's what's selling and, presumably, that's "what people want".

 

It's one thing to reckon "you gave 'em what they wanted" because you and your bar band actually broke down and played "Free bird" and straight after that, "Cocaine". :D Jumping trends (and jumping the shark) is something else altogether.

 

I don't even know how possible it is. And once again, I'm not talking about moving from funk to jazz. I'm talking about stuff that requires a radical makeover, not just in the stuff you play but also in the way you look, you act and you expect from life. As Vikingrat pointed out, we're talkign about stuff like Yngwie going grunge or AC/DC (at the time) going disco (Angus reckons they were asked for a disco single).

 

In both cases, to go along with the trend would have been disastrous for the artists concerned. Had you guys been in AC/DC would you have taken the AR guys advice and "given the people what they want"?

 

I also question the guy's assertion that "the industry changes", insofar as the music industry is fighting tooth and nail to defend a sales model that has existed pretty much unchanged since the birth of the phonograph. Talk about change!

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I must say I have more and more interest in using new stuff. I think that drives me toward new sounds and new ideas. Something as simple as a new amp cab combination. I was very intrigued by 99.9 degrees. The sounds and combinations of those rhythms kinda got under my skin. So "selling out" hell yeah. I don't care what they do if it makes me money. I will sell any song any idea if it brings in money. As far as being an artist, I think that's what you do in every day life. I can make an art of doing the dishes. I can cook up a song of a dish!
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