What, to you, makes a band "indie"?


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12-07-2006, 11:14 PM
Obviously, a band's independent label is what truly makes them indie, but since "indie" has transformed into a whole genre in itself, what do you think makes a band "indie" as opposed to rock or electronic? It's a tough question for me to answer; I know one when I hear one, I just can't put my finger on what sets them apart from other genres besides their independent labels. Mellow rock, sometimes folk, and often synth/keyboard definately contribute to it for me.

12-07-2006, 11:18 PM
Yeah that's it for me too. Why the hell are they called indie? Becuase only indie labels would sign them?

12-07-2006, 11:22 PM
I dont know, sometimes you can tell... When it says "Indie" on the genres at the top of their myspace. lol. not really thogh.

12-07-2006, 11:23 PM
i did a project on this in school and i didnt ge tthat good of a mark because of the contrasting definitions of indie i used lol
1. Indie is described as a band with an independant record label/none at all
2. A genre of music for bands that have made it mainstream through college radio and such

12-07-2006, 11:25 PM
i can see this getting locked fast, but yeah, indie to me means bands that are truly independent and self release things. or at the very most, bands that are on small labels and receive little backing. meaning, i do no consider bands like death cab, modest mouse, or the decemberists indie.

12-07-2006, 11:26 PM
^But if they're mainstream, they aren't indie anymore.

EDIT: To Devandivine

12-07-2006, 11:32 PM
Indie is a status, not a genre. I think when bands label themselves Indie, they're trying get the image of the low budget raw band.

12-07-2006, 11:33 PM
To me it is more of a status, but I wanted to know why it is now widely considered a genre.

12-07-2006, 11:35 PM
Eh, most of the time it's bands with pop sensibilities but without commercial appeal. Of Montreal, Wolf parade, BSS, Metric etc.

12-08-2006, 12:09 AM
I think of it as catchy but instrumentaly interesting or unique

12-08-2006, 12:11 AM
Actually, I think these last two posts summed it up quite well.

Blue Motion
12-08-2006, 01:41 AM
i think the only requirement for a band to sound indie is that they are unique. indie just means their independant and don't compromise their music for commercial appeal. i also think it means they don't jump start their career on mtv or vh1 right from the beginning. i don't know why people keep saying bands like the fray and franz ferdinand are indie. i mean i like franz ferdinand (can't say the same for the fray) but their first single was all over the tv, its just not very indie. whereas if someone like modest mouse has been around for almost ten years and then plays a couple tv shows and has a music video on mtv they still have indie cred i think.

12-08-2006, 02:53 AM
I think that a lot of the stereotypical "indie" sound comes from the producer of the record and the equipment used. Once bands get popular and in turn rich enough to afford expensive equipment, it adds a sort of gloss to their sounds. To me, that's why you can have 2 bands that have completely different sounds but still be in the indie genre.

"Tele" Steve
12-08-2006, 02:56 AM
I personally don't like the term "indie" because it's used wrong by most people. Many of the bands that are called "indie" are on major labels. To me, "indie" should mean "indie," i.e. artists on independent labels obviously.