Hello again readers.
Once again its been a while. I apologise. I’ve been up to my eyeballs and other assorted extremities in work.
As explained in my last blog I’ve been working as an intern for the record label Sunday Best. We’re coming up for 4 months now. It’s mental. I love music, all types (we’ll get to that later…) and it’s been a rollercoaster since starting there in September. Not many people can say in their first 4 months of working for a small independent record label operating out of a box office on Denmark street that they’ve worked at one of the biggest festivals of the year with Bjork and The Cure as headliners. Then put out the legendary film director David Lynch’s (Twin Peaks, Eraserhead, Blue Velvet) first solo album. Then put out a 32 track live album of The Cure. All on a label which started as a DJ night in London. Mental. I’m very privileged to have played a part in all these things. And I’ve learnt an absolute bucket load in the process, and I’m fairly certain now that the record industry is where I want to make my career. God that’s a dangerous word. Career.
Not bad for a rocker working in a hip hip/dance label…
Now, most that know me will know that I’m a rock man. Born and bred with the likes of Led Zep, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and much other weird and wonderful collections from my fathers array of vinyl. Others may know me as “that guy who likes blues”. A lesser-known curse of the pentatonic scale (Sorry, I’m talking guitar for a moment), is that every ruddy lick you play has a blues edge more or less. And then there are the few out there who know me as the metal/post-hardcore/’emo’ guy.
The latter set of genres there are what I learnt to play guitar to. Funeral For A Friend, From Autumn To Ashes, Senses Fail, (Early(!)) Soasin. From there, I found hard rock and blues. There were a good few years there where I was exclusively a blues guy. Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King and the list goes on and on.
Now, where am I going with this you may ask?! I fear that people are becoming less multi-genred again. I remember at school, anywhere between 11 and 4 years ago, you were either a grunger/greebo/emo, or a chav/pikey/sket. If you listened to Hip-Hop/R&B/Rap, you were a chav. If you listened to Rock/Metal, you were a grunger. If you listened to Jazz, the only reason you were on the fence is because you were being pushed on from either side of it.
I was a grunger. Long hair, played guitar, loved music. But I can remember thinking “Jay-Z is a genius” or “Timbaland’s beats are so inventive” back then. I remember on more than one occasion being heckled for long hair or something equally as trivial, walking past, and then correcting a set of my oppressors (That might be a bit over the top) on Hip-Hop lyrics/release dates/collaborators. Much to their surprise.
And there was a shift. I remember it well. Chavs started listening to ‘Rock’, or should I say ‘bands with guitars that didn’t look like greasy metal heads’. Hard-Fi, The Ordinary Boys, Libertines (Although they did look greasy at the best of times).
Indie music had arrived.
Now, indie music is not a new thing. It wasn’t even a genre to start with back in the day. It just meant ‘A Record Label that wasn’t a major’ in a nutshell. I work for an Indie now, but I wouldn’t say we put out Indie music. Warp Records in the North is an Indie, but I wouldn’t call Battles and Aphex Twin indie acts. Worth remembering that. Hell, Roadrunner records, known now for Slipknot, Nickelback and Mastodon, was an indie back in the day!
Anywho, back to my point. This ushered in a time of great music. Cross-genres. People listening to more than one genre. Rockers listening to Rap, Chavs listening to Rock. Anyone could listen to anything.
But im starting to fear that the trend is shifting to one or the other again. I hope it isn’t. We shall wait and see.
And why am I writing this?
At work I had a flashback to a track my old drummer from a Post-Hardcore/Emo band I was in back in 6th Form showed me.
The Sound Of Animals Fighting - Act 1: Chasing Suns.
A bit self indulgent this blog. But I wanted to write it, so there.