Why You Need To Start A Band, Like Right Now

Why You Need To Start A Band. Right Now.

Earlier tonight I was at a pub in the area where they had live music. It wasn't terrible (that may or may not be too generous a statement) but I took note of the fact that the band wasn't exactly young and only played classic rock, which isn't a bad thing, just not exactly what people around my age are typically looking to go see. (Regardless, me being the old soul that I am, I still knew the lyrics to almost every song and did indeed sing along with them. You may not mock me.)

With this in mind I came home and started looking for bands in the area, because I felt like I needed to see some good live stuff. First I took the line-up list for that pub in particular and Googled every one of them for this month. Some weren't too bad, some kind of sucked, and in one instance I audibly screeched an obscenity before closing the YouTube tab.

What every band had in common though was that they were all roughly between 35 and 60 years old and played classic rock with a little country here and there (and the Lord knows how I feel about country music).

But I was determined. And so proceeded to search for more bands. Bands in this area, bands in the city, bands in other cities. And every single one that I came across had these same attributes: older, classic rock, jazz, country, and not a single squeak of pop, punk, hip hop or alternative in sight.

I find this really disappointing, but not exactly surprising. Not too long ago, before the modernization to touch screens and vapid entertainment, kids more often than not formed bands. Without the distraction of Instagram and Twitter, people my age would discover what they really liked musically (not just whatever is on the Billboard) and would get together and make music.

The only bands you would see were high school or college groups and they didn't play pub-style classic-rock covers (really guys, a person can only take so much of Pour Some Sugar On Me).
They formed new genres of music and created original material that related well with people their age.

Bands starting out in college or earlier always have the advantage because the majority of music buyers are young and everyone wants music from people they can relate too. And how can you relate any better than with a band that is your age, singing about all the same angsty self-absorbed problems that you have? (It also doesn't hurt that 20 year old lead singers are usually cuter than 60 year old ones).

Let's take Nirvana for example. Forming when Kurt Cobain was a mere 20 years old and Krist Novoselic was 22, the band went on to birth the entire genre of Grunge.
I think basically all the lyrics to Lithium had enough self-hate malaise to fuel every college kid in America, if not the world, which made them relatable.

The Ramones, essentially pioneers of Punk were just kids too. When the band started Johnny was 26, DeeDee was 23, Joey also 23, and Tommy was 25.

Their schtick was probably mostly that they literally walked around looking like how hormone-filled youngsters feel 99.999999999999% of the time.


But you don't see young Kurt Cobain's out at the bars anymore and you don't see young Ramones starting chaos for a bunch of fellow college kids in a music club.

You do however find a group of four 50-somethings named Mike, Dave, Ed, and Craig, in almost any bar at any given time, performing Free Bird three times in one set.

WHO IS BUYING THIS? TELL ME WHO.

Therefore, the reason good music will die will be because all the possible little Kurt Cobain's out there, barely getting buy in college, were too busy with their selfie sticks to go out and change the world.

Kurt's famous suicide note ended with the Neil Young quote "It's better to burn out than to simply fade away." and I truly believe we could be suffering the latter fate here. We are simply fading away into electronic Millenial-Pop, pioneered by the guys auto-tuning Drake's #1 hits.


So to all the 20-somethings out there that have been looking for their destiny: maybe you can be the person to save the music world. Because no one else seems to be doing it.

And hurry, hurry, hurry, before I go insane.


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What Guys Said 7

  • I'm actually in a blues-ish (with latin-rock, jazz, and classical influence) band right now. With that, I'm also doing a progressive-metal project with a member of that band as a side thing. Guess I'm beating the trends.

    Granted, we are relatively new. (This is a video of us from the first gig, before I got a desperately needed haircut. We were a bit nervous to say the least haha)
    https://youtu.be/xaGEkSDd01U

    As someone witnessing musicians around college campuses, I can say that there are many people who actually do play stuff. However, many suffer from...
    1.) Lack of motivation -- They don't really feel too passionate about music so they would rather just keep as a hobby. Also, they may lack the motivation to go and find band members.
    2.) Lack of skill -- Often contributed to lack of motivation. To get any success/happiness with a band, you need at least a basic level of skill to write your stuff or play your parts... Otherwise you are basically stuck with punk lol. Not everyone likes punk.
    3.) Lack of funding/time -- They are college students. Music gear is expensive. College is stressful.

    However, when you are 50 or whatever, I imagine chances are you have a bit more time (or at least are more organized in life), you have the skill developed over years of practicing, and you have the funds developed over years and years of work.

    Nevertheless, I figure that other people truly motivated to perform will find a way with likeminded people.

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    • Thanks for your comment, also you guys sound great and it's cool to see 20-somethings putting the effort in. Keep going at it, I'm sure you'll become a great band :)

  • I would like to see the return of progressive rock (bands like Yes, King Crimson, Rush, Emerson Lake & Palmer, early Genesis, etc). Musicians who were truly masters of their instruments.

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  • I don't think there's a need for more bands like the Ramones and Nirvana, partly because they were entirely devoid of talent, and partly because it's already been done a million times. Nickelback and company have spent years raping grunge's corpse, while Green Day and similar bands do the same to punk. I'm not going to bother mentioning the other genres like hip hop that you brought up, because they're not worth mentioning.

    If rock's ever coming back, three things need to happen.

    1.) A return to musical talent. It's been years since rock has had any defining musicians with unusual ability. Where are the Jimmy Chamberlains, Dimebag Darrels, and Freddie Mercurys? You get so much faggy core stuff and buttrock that it all blends together. We need more singers that can go four octaves, more guitarists that can redefine shredding, and in general less of this infantile crap that anyone who's been playing their instrument a week can handle.

    2.) Thought-provoking lyrics. The past fifteen years have been full of awful angst-filled lyrics that sound like they're written by twelve-year olds. No one needs another weepy pop-rock ballad or nu-metal dirge about how much you loved her or how you've let your friends down due to your profound, edgy, Byronic nature. All great poetry uses words to tell a story, teach a lesson, or paint some kind of picture in your mind, with the most eloquent terms possible; that's been gone for a while. It can be written about most anything, but if there's no depth to the thought behind it, it's worthless. Look up the poem "Opportunity" by Edward Rowland Sill; it's got nothing to do with rock, but it illustrates my point well.

    3.) The return of the riff. Between mathcore nerds who write percussive wanking in 12/8/16 or whatever made-up time signature that only other nerds care about, and three-chord monotonous buttrock, no one knows how to write a great riff anymore. There's a medium between being too progressive and too basic that most bands haven't understood for many years. For this I cite the song Gardenia by Kyuss, and I earnestly hope you look it up; though Josh Homme was a mediocre guitarist, he could write riffs like few others could. They were unorthodox, but they rocked. Rock music that actually rocks has been extinct for too long.

    So, that's my (admittedly rambling and negative) view of the state of music today, or at least the shit I listen to. Have fun with it.

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    • Nothing you say makes any sense or has any evidence to back it up.
      Kurt Cobain wrote lyrics people related too and he put his soul into it, he sang about things he felt passionate about, which happened to be what everyone else around his age and time was passionate about. Do you comprehend this yet?
      NOBODY gives a flying f*ck about any of the bands you mention and Green Mother and Mother Love Bone were next to meaningless in the evolution of grunge music. Do you have any idea what you are saying?
      The fact that Nirvana was only around for eight years and made more of an impact on people than every band you've brought up put together is enough for me to come to the conclusion that you are a delusional, rock on, hair metal, space cadet.

      Now you've resorted to insulting my musical talents when you don't even know who I am 😂😂 Talk about "fucking up information" 😂😂

      Do you realize how ridiculously pathetic you sound? 😂😂😂

    • Personally, I dislike shredding. Give me a soul-filled solo from Dave Gilmour any day, where each note has meaning.

      https://youtu.be/y7EpSirtf_E

  • There's no reason to start a band in 2016. I would do it if I was living in the 80s (particularly late 70s and early 80s) and if I was born in a country like the US or Australia. Or maybe Canada and UK but only during the summer. Not the shithole I was born in.

    Do you believe genres I listen to like AOR or New Wave would have any success in 2016? No. I would have to play this shitty Alternative Rock most people listen to in our days. And I'm not willing to humiliate myself like that just for the money.

    But if we were in 1983 right now for example, then I would absolutely do it, record an album and make it BIG.

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    • What kind of country are you living in then?

      Also, if you read correctly you would have realized that I was stating we should have young people coming up with NEW genres that aren't this Millennial Pop manufactured by computer nerds. And what kind of new music are you supposedly listening too? Because Rock at all is barely even a genre anymore. The closest you get is the Black Keys and nobody listens to them except 40 year olds.

      You have no idea what you are saying.

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    • Arguing with you about this is redundant

    • So why do you believe it's weird? I don't get it. About not listening to the radio I mean.

  • I worked as a sound enginer for a small dive of a bar, and used to own a small music venue. I also currently own a media promotional company. One of the big problems is that bars themselves dictate what can be played there. Venues get music from aspiring bands quite often, and they asl themselves "will my patrons like this?" And if the answer is no, they won't book the band.
    I'll give you the example of Blue October the first time they came to Salt Lake City, they played to an audience of maybe 15 or 20 and I think I enjoyed it the most (I was the sound guy) and the only reason why the booking agent let them play was for a friend of his.

    It's not that bands aren't being formed it's that you, the audience, just never get the opportunity to see them.

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    • I hear what you're trying to say but Blue October isn't exactly the type of band I mean. They are edging towards their forties and are alternative rock. There is nothing relatable to the masses of ITunes music buyers and alternative rock is nothing new.
      My point is, is that you don't get a group of 18 year olds coming up with their own sound and going out and doing something with it. And if they get turned down buy a bar, is that it? Are you saying they just quit and that's why we don't see them?
      The problem isn't that we don't see them, it's that they aren't here.

    • I'll hold my opinion until I get my next music venue open. Because honestly I have been out of the live music scene for about 10 years or so. I am currently building a sound system and when I am done with that I will know more.

    • Alright, sounds fair.

  • I agree. The reason so many bands play classic rock is there hasn't been that much good new stuff for 20+ years. Where are the new great rock bands? So many of the bands I really like broke up years ago (in some cases before I was born) and those still around probably should have retired by now.

    John Bonham's SON is a grandfather now...

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    • Exactly, there aren't even any real rock bands anymore and don't even get me started on punk rock. That just flat out died.

  • Nice I liked it

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What Girls Said 2

  • I'd start a band if I could find people to start it with

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  • Why don't YOU start a band right now? Why does someone else have to do it?

    The world also needs the next generation of Shirley Manson's, Karen O's, and Mary Timony's.

    I mean, you're saying this as though making music is something only boys can do. Like pissing standing up, or something.

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    • I am in a band lmao And also, who the hell cares about any of those people?
      If you were going for naming successful female musicians at least use relevant ones, like Janis Joplin, Debbie Harry, or Annie Lennox lmao

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