Op Ed

Op Ed: Change The Set List

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This op-ed is a long time coming. This is one topic I’m sure most, if not all, of you will agree with. This is something that has been happening for quite a while, and over the last few years has really become an epidemic. Bands sticking to the same set list night after night, thus creating a massively boring and predictable show. I’ve been seeing it happen with a lot of bands and it’s really getting to me. It’s one thing if you only have one album but, when you are on your third album or more, it’s time to change it up. You wrote those songs for a reason, so play them. I’m not going to by a ticket to the show just to hear the “hits” or singles. When a band has a catalog, I would expect them to really dig in and create a set-list that is full of gusto and history.

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Op Ed: Why Slayer Calling It Quits Is A Good Thing

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I was recently making a list for a new topic about bands that should call it quits. There has to come a time when a band says enough is enough. This just isn’t worth it anymore. A lot of bands stick around and become full on nostalgia acts and in some instances that’s ok. And then there are those bands that have just overstayed their welcome. With the news of Slayer saying that this upcoming world tour would be their last, I actually thought to myself, that’s probably a good thing. It’s better to leave with your dignity intact and feel like you’ve done all you can do rather than stick it out just for the sake of making money.

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Op Ed: Rock Schools

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Remember seeing School of Rock with Jack Black and then not long after all these “Rock Schools” started opening? I bet most of you, like me, thought what a great idea. Which isn’t very surprising. As of late though, there is a certain aspect of these schools that I’ve been giving a lot of thought to. There are a lot of great reasons why these schools are great; I’ll get to that as well but, there is one aspect of the whole thing that really cheapens it. Why aren’t these schools and teachers helping the kids to write their own songs? The teaching element of playing and learning other bands songs is great but when you are ONLY teaching these kids to play other peoples songs, then, I must take umbrage with these schools.

Where’s the originality? Why be complacent and teach these kids to do that? There is no reason why these kids should be relegated to play covers at these places. Obviously, they have the want and desire to play and perform, so why not take that and spark their creativity?! These kids, a lot of them are massively talented and it’s going to waste playing covers. I’d love for these kids to really start their own band and write their own songs. Look at all the singing competitions on TV. These people are being judged on singing and playing covers. There really is no sense of originality anymore. All these people are strictly “performers” at this point. The artistry is gone and American Idol, The Voice and now these “Rock Schools” have killed it for the next generation.

When the schools do showcase events, the kids are always just playing covers. It’s great that they can play the songs but, there isn’t a need for any more cover bands in the world. I can understand young kids, say less than 12 years old, jamming on covers but when you reach a certain age, there should be a switch to creating your own music. I remember the moment I wrote my first real song. I was at my house with my friend Karl, we must have been in 5th grade. I was already consumed and obsessed with music and was getting my friend really into it as well. At some point while hanging out, I picked up my guitar and started messing around with a riff, my friend Karl then joined me in humming a melody, within seconds we were writing our first song. It was a total simple punk rock song but, we really put our all into it. The song was called “Life and Death,” and we would go on to perform it a couple months later for our parents at a get together. The spark was there then, and it has remained. We were having fun and really digging on being able to write songs. I think we wrote 5 or 6 songs. To us, we weren’t happy playing covers, we wanted to do “our” thing. The name of the band was originally The Warheads and then we switched it to The Eternal Virus. To us it was real, to some people thought it was a joke but, no matter what they all thought, we did it because we loved it.

Please rock schools, embrace the creativity and desire of these kids. They are the next generation of musicians and deserve to be heard. Don’t turn them into a gimmick. Make sure they are getting the right musical education. Teach them about the influences of their favorite bands. Get them INTO music, have them study the greats of yesterday. Help them to understand the difference between being influenced and inspired.

Thank You

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Dear Readers and Bands,

I just wanted to thank you all for a great year. I truly enjoy doing this. It’s all out of a labor of love for music and spreading the word about good music. In the past three years since I started Audioeclectica, I’ve met some very talented people, heard some really great music, and seen some pretty amazing shows.

Thank you to the bands that take the moment to re-post articles, message me back, share new tunes with me, and just chat. It’s that extra effort that makes this whole thing work.

Thank you to the readers of the site. Thanks for reading, commenting, sharing, liking and giving me suggestions. Keep them coming!

2017 will bring a lot of new things to Audioeclectica. It’s going to be a very exciting time!

See you in 2017,

Brian

 

Check out this performance from Oathbreaker. It’s truly intense and amazing:

 

 

 

 

Stop Hating On Metallica!!!!

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Over the last few days I’ve read a slew of other people’s reviews about Metallica’s new album, Hardwired…To Self Destruct. A good majority of the complaints say there is too much on it, the songs are too long, it sounds too much like Load and The Black Album or there isn’t enough of their classic sound. Are you people ever satisfied? Metallica has written an “album” people!!! You know, one of those pieces of music that you listen to from start to finish. Each song takes you on an emotional ride of aggression, pain, anger, and other tumultuous feelings. Hell, they purposely made it a double album to show you that this is an album. Hardwired is an album that is a summation of everything Metallica has ever done. The songs have elements of their classic thrash style from the Kill Em All era all the way through And Justice For All, the more riff driven Black album style, and the solemn bluesy material a la Load. But that isn’t good enough for some of you elitists out there. This album is seriously one of their best. I for one am proud to say that. Not just as a fan but, as a musician, writer, and someone that understands sonics and dynamics in songwriting and recording. I’m curious to know how many of these so called “critics” have ever actually played an instrument or played in a band. I would bet that 9 out of 10 haven’t. It shows by how you judge an album. You’re opinion is your own, and I won’t begrudge you that, but most of you need to get your heads out of your ass and pay attention to what is happening here.  This album has the ability to help reinvigorate and inspire legions of people to grab instruments and start a band. All you elitist/posers out there remind me of those that are so critical of film, yet have never made one. Until you’ve tried it, and really given it a shot, you can’t say anything. To me you all just sound like trolls.

Let me further explain why you all should stop hating on Metallica. Rather than tarnish their legacy over the years and just throw out albums, like some of their peers (Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax), they have taken the time to work on making the absolute best album they can. And on this new one Metallica really succeeds. Hardwired is the album all you “critics” have been whining about wanting for years. How can you not see it? A good majority of Metallica’s early songs were all six or seven minutes long. It wasn’t until The Black Album, that they wrote shorter songs. You wanted thrashy classic songs? It’s thrashy throughout the entire thing!  You all complain about James’s voice? This is the best he has sounded on an album in years. Even Lars Ulrich’s playing on the new album is great. Yes Lars is playing his ass off on this album. He isn’t trying to be flashy and over do it. Instead he sticks to what he knows the songs needs and it comes across in a way that is pummeling, just like the riffs. Kirk Hammett’s solos on this new album are hypnotic at times and classic. Robert Trujillo’s playing is back to the Cliff days.

Metallica are the Kings of Metal and Hard Rock for a reason. They work hard and play harder than most. They don’t need to have 25 albums in their catalog to show that. How many bands can you name that have a catalog like Metallica’s, where pretty much every album is undeniably great? Their first five albums are classics and game changers. Load is a tremendous and mature album. Give it another listen and you’ll see what I mean.  Reload and St. Anger have some really good songs, and if they were produced and recorded properly, could probably be right up there in terms of great songs Metallica has ever put out. Death Magnetic was a record that got them back to their roots and allowed Hardwired To Self Destruct to be created. Yes the compression levels on it were too much, but you can’t doubt the songs. Especially  “The Day That Never Comes,” ” All Nightmare Long,” “Cyanide,” “Suicide & Redemption,” and ” The Judas Kiss.”

They’ve always done what they wanted, and have grown more as a band than most. Their songwriting ability alone is unrivaled. I would dare most bands to try and write a better song than James Hetfield can. He is probably one of the most underrated songwriters, guitarists, lyricists and singers of all time. This new album is a great example of that. Hardwired To Self Destruct is the Metallica album for the 21st century. These songs like like “Hardwired,” Atlas, Rise,” “Moth Into Flame,” “Halo on Fire,” “Spit Out The Bone,” hell all of them, are going to blow you away live.

Embrace your love for the band, and know that they gave you all what you want and then some!… STOP HATING ON METALLICA.

Thank You

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I want to take a moment and thank all of you who take the time to read, comment and share all the articles and podcasts that appear on Audioeclectica. This has been beyond fun for me to do. Being able to share the gift of music and spread the word about bands and albums that are truly fantastic is greatly rewarding. I hope you all have enjoyed what’s come so far. The podcast is just getting started, and there are some other things in the works as well. A sincere thank you to you all.

Cheers,

Brian

I will leave you with 2 of my favorite albums to enjoy!

 

Failure- Fantastic Planet:

 

Nine Inch Nails- The Fragile:

Op Ed: Stone Temple Pilots Take A Break

The wounds are still fresh and the scabs haven’t even begun to form. Now is not the time. Since Scott Weiland’s passing late last year, the surviving members of Stone Temple Pilots have taken it upon themselves to continue on. On one hand I totally understand their need and want to get back out there, but it’s just too soon. Their failed attempt to move on while Scott was still alive was atrocious. Their picking of Chester Bennington was awful. Have you seen the footage of it? I mean seriously, what are you guys thinking? The clips that I saw just showed Chester trying to emulate Scott all the way down to dying his hair pink, and swaying and moving on stage just like Scott would. Not too mention that Chester’s voice is too high and sounds nasally. It’s as though they created a tribute band already with the addition of Chester. At least when the band took a hiatus in the 90’s, the guys had the decency to start a new group under a different name. Remember Talk Show?

With enough time, I think that people would welcome an STP return. Look at Alice In Chains. When Layne passed away, they all did their own things and came back when enough time had passed. Granted there were quite a few doubters, but those that took the time to see the new Alice, saw that it’s a breath of fresh air that does the band justice. Jerry, Sean and Mike found the right guy in William DuVall. And now people are loving what William has done for the band.

What I’m saying is that now isn’t the time to get back out there. Let the people have the chance to get over Scott’s passing. Dean, Robert and Eric take some time and do something else. By getting STP going again, you are tarnishing the memory of what a great band you were. All people will think is that who ever you pick to sing for the band, it isn’t Scott and won’t come close. Start up Army Of Anyone again. I’m sure Richard Patrick from Filter would be down to get that rolling again. Or just start a new band and call it something else. You can play a few songs from your STP catalog, but don’t make an entire set from it. With enough time the wounds will heal enough for you guys to get the band back together with the right person.

As it says in the song “Creep”… “Take time with a wounded hand, cause it likes to heal.”