Friday, February 20, 2009

When musicianship is not enough

"If its too loud, you're too old"

That's a famous rock adage, that when you can't stand the loudness, you must be too old for the music. One or rock's misconception on age and over emphasis on the rage of the youth.

I have reached that age.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a metalhead all the way, since I was 12. But I have reached the age where I look into the music more than the media hype, the uncontrolled anarchy, and the way the band looks cool. All those can be manufactured these days by PR firms and record labels.

In our gig last night, there were bands that gave emphasis on how high they could set the volume knob than the actual music. There were bands that I think their songs were cool, nicely arranged, with the proper climax build-ups...but all of that became useless because no one in the crowd could enjoy it. I looked to the audience as they cringed in pain...but stayed because they were friends with the band. All we could hear are hisses and distorted guitar noise that comes from turning the gain on the equipment too high. Or the bass sounding like a dilapitated fog horn. Much to the expense of the vocalist because all we could see is a guy moving around, doing the rock poses, moving his lips...but no sound can be heard.

Other people may disagree by saying "its rock you wuss, its supposed to be cranked up to the max". I agree, much to the chagrin of my family members (and the delight of my friends...yeah!!! metal militia!!!). But at this point, the expression and message conveyed by the music is also important. Its the stuff that moves people. Give a deranged baboon, delirious with rabies, a guitar and it can do the same thing. It looks awesome, but it means nothing. You just get to find those things on YouTube, laugh a while, then move on with your life.


If no one can enjoy it, no one can be moved by it....just like can you tell the sound of a falling tree if there is no one there to hear it (yes Mr. Miyagi...)

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