Cookie Cutter Hard Rock

At one time I was supposed to do a sit in gig with a band as an opening act (free).  The gig fell through but it was a learning experience for me and the style of music, “hard rock” or maybe a better term would be “soft metal”, was quite the work out for these old arms and legs.

I had to sit, listen to and practice 12 to 15 different songs and a majority of the songs were very much in the same music genre.

Most of it could best be described as top forty or pop hard rock.  I’m not real familiar with most of the bands I would call them 90’s or early 2000’s descendants of the 80’s hair bands.   Bands like Seven Mary Three, Volbeat and Temple of the Dogs.

All though the glam has been substituted with grunge or the label “alternative rock” it all seemed to me to be formulated music.

What I mean by that is they all have a sound made up with the same ingredients.

All have a huge wall of guitars playing basically the same massive chords.  The drums are all huge with the licks pretty much interchangeable.

It’s almost as if the producer said we’re going to sound like this because it sells.

Maybe that is what happened, it wouldn’t surprise me because that’s been going on every since I can remember and probably before.  And why not most people hop on the bandwagon and cash in on someone else’s innovation, it’s just the way things are.

But some of the other songs they wanted me to listen to and learn where from bands and artists such as, CCR, Tom Petty, Neil Young, George Thorogood,  The Rolling Stones, Joe Walsh, and Lynrd Skynyrd.

They all did rock and roll but they all had their own unique sound.  You listen to each song and instantly know it’s unique.

No formula production line music as it seemed to be with the heavy metal pop bands.

I’m sure those bands would take exception to my observations but to me there is no real unique creation, nothing exceptional, nothing personal, just “cookie cutter” heavy metal, hard rock, alternative rock, whatever you want to label it, pop music.

I’m not criticizing the skills or musicianship of these guys.  It’s all very good but it’s just cheese. That’s all, let’s do what sells.  There’s nothing wrong with selling, more power to you.  But I believe by doing something from your heart and doing it well will sell (with the right marketing, promotion, etc.)

Would I play in one of these manufactured groups?  You bet I would, in my younger days.

At my age I’m really looking to be able to do what I like, what makes me happy, something honest, relaxed and from the heart.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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