10/23: THE “SUPERGROUP” SUPER SATURATION
Seems like just about every day I am hearing about a new “supergroup” of sorts being put together. A group of musicians who have other main bands getting together to make an album. This is yet another by product of the shrinking record business. If you aren’t selling any real copies of your albums with your main band, maybe be in five bands at the same time and combined there might be some sales? Or maybe even have a hit with the side band (if that were to ever happen the main band would likely be abandon no doubt). I am not judging these artists for doing these things. I would never begrudge anyone doing what they can to make a living and survive in a business where 10,000 copies sold gets you top 10 on Billboard and sadly off the charts three weeks later in many cases. The truth is some artists making great new music are selling around 2-5000 copies. Some even less. So I get the multi tasking. I also have to laugh at how criticized a guy like Mike Portnoy was for taking this approach a few years ago. Guess what? Now it’s the norm and Mike having a few bands seems more than normal. Almost everyone is doing it. I miss the days when seeing your favorite band or musicians was a once a year very special thing. This all feeds in to the over touring and over exposure of some artists. Some are actually hurting their draw they play so often. Some are going less is more and actually getting paid better for playing less. Again, everyone does what they have to in order to survive, I get that. But what is frustrating about some of these “projects” is the almost total lack of real support for them. As fans we get invested in this stuff, buy the music (hopefully), and then sometimes don’t even see a live show happen. Then a month later we are hearing about another band with some of the same members to buy that release! It’s getting hard to keep up with all of this and it’s my job to do so. So I can’t even imagine how convoluted it must be to the casual rock fan to sort out. Some of these bands are good and have the right intentions. They actually all get in a room, work together, and try and make a real run with it. Others are a bunch of tracks emailed back and forth by guys that never even met or were ever in the same room, cut together with pro tools, throw it out and see what happens. These are often bad and dilute the scene and often have no chemistry or shot at success. I personally was directly involved in one of these projects that worked, The Winery Dogs. Those guys made the band a priority, all recorded and wrote together, and toured their asses off the promote it (and made an amazing album!). Now in down time they are all doing some other stuff but will reconvene in 2015 to continue. But sadly I see so many of these bands jam the pipeline and you can just tell it’s never going to happen. No real label support, no chemistry, no live shows, no great songs. Just throw some names together and see what happens. I hope we get more things like The Winery Dogs breaking through (relatively speaking as far as rock is concerned these days), but the formula I am seeing for so many of these bands does not bode well for that to happen. I’m curious to read your comments as a rock fan what you think of all these bands and are you bothered when you buy the music and it never goes beyond an album release? As always all opinions welcome.