Jet has said that rock music is not dead, but that rock n roll was... that artists have forgotten about the lighter side of their music - the roll.
I think this is true. But why is it true?
Rock n roll is not dead - a sound can never die (besides disco). As long as there are rock n roll music stations that keep on playing the songs that everybody loves, then it's perfectly living. Rock n roll will always live.
But will it live well? That's a different story.
I wasn't around for music from the 70s (my regrets, too.) I can only be here for what little music stands the test of time - and that may actually be better for me. Watch "Almost Famous". In it, the world's most renowned rock critic thinks rock music is dead in 1973. Is it? Now we can say no. But one thinks what is not the truth.
But what I can complain about in modern music is 2 things. 1, is the sound.
There are really 3 types of modern rock bands. One is the type that sounds like Nickleback. You turn on the radio, you think you hear Nickleback. No. It's some lame band that changed it's sound to sound like what's hot at the moment.
Two is the sound that sounds like New Found Glory, or all basic pop/punk. Just some squeky guy screaming into a mic, right? Well, that's my opinion, but either way, you can't argue that New Found Glory and Story Of The Year don't sound similiar. You can't.
3 is the rest, the band's that don't change their sound to be hot for a moment; the bands that just try to make musical music. Thank god for the third type of band. I don't like Evanescence, but atleast they're different from the rest of the crap that is played on the radio.
My other complaint about modern music? They forget about what music's all about.
Music is hear to sound good and entertain, not tell a story. It can tell a story along the way and it can say what's happened to you, and it can be packed with emotion and heart and sadness. But if it doesn't sound good, it shouldn't matter.
In the 60s, most music was just about having fun and doing drugs.
In the 70s, most music was just about having fun and doing drugs.
In the 80s, most music was about some minor suffering... and having fun and doing drugs.
In the 90s, though, music turned to forget that the only reason music is really here is to have fun.
Let's look back on that for proof. People say "songs today have no meaning", but that's not true. Songs today try to have meaning and fail. A song does not have to have meaning to be good. Proof? A lot of Beatles songs, in particular "I am the Walrus".
"I am the Walrus, coo coo ca choo"
It's hard to argue that that song even tried to have any sort of real, tide and true meaning. But it was fun to hear, it was fun to groove to.
Even with old meaningful rock n roll songs, they didn't really go out of their way to make something the be all end all tell all story of their life. "Stairway To Heaven" wasn't intended to be the world's most meaningful song, it was intended to be a good song, a fun song to listen to. Modern music has forgotten this.
The second music tries to be meaningful, it loses its purpose. Music is a way of getting one's emotions out, and I'm not saying that songs about breaking up or heartbreak or pain should stop.
What I am saying, though, is that you can't only write about the bad and you can't only write meaningful songs.
Rock n roll isn't dead, no. Rock n roll is sleeping. It's starting to wake up again, but it's sleeping nonetheless.
Bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Darkness, Jet, and even Radiohead haven't forgotten that a song doesn't have to be all meaningful or deep to be great. Radiohead tries to make music that sounds different but good, and if meaning comes out in that - so be it.
Jet writes meaningless songs, but who the hell cares? They sound good. "1 2 3 take my hand and come with me because you look so fine and I really wanna make you mine." Deep? No. Good? Yes. As long as the words can match your guitar, your drums, and your bassline (in this case, the semi - Iggy Popish wonder that is "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"), then you don't need words that say "It's all downhill from here". (Yeah, sorry, New Found Glory, but you tried too hard.)
The Red Hot Chili Peppers groove in their music. Even with "Under The Bridge", they didn't try to make that song meaningful. John Frusciante had a guitar part and Anthony Kiedis read poetry over it - and there's your song. Sounds incredibly awesome - but did it try to be a meaningful song? No.
What I'm getting at with these explanations is that, when you write music, don't focus on meaningful lyrics. Focus on lyrics that groove with the rest of the music.
But what does what you should write effect the record industry?
Jackson Brown has said that the record industry used to be about the music, and now it's just run by money-driven jerkoffs (this is obviously not a direct quote, but you get the gyst.) As artists (I'm really assuming that if you're on ultimeate-guitar.com, you do it for reasons other than being that guy who pops up in AC/DC threads and says "AC/DC suxrs!!~!~!!!111!"), we cannot do anything about this other than write good music. But there are things we can do to avoid going in line with what MTV force feeds us and to what the radio makes us hear.
I'm not saying taking over a radio station and play only good music. What I am saying is, forget about image.
Does a song sound good but the music video is bad? Buy the album anyway. The music is about the music, not about what Christopher Mills can draw while listening to Modest Mouse or how Slash's hair looks in the limelight of "Slither". Listen to the music, buy the good music.
I'm going to get off topic a bit here and rag on people who dislike The Darkness. You don't like The Darkness because they seem to be mocking older styles and only imitating older sounds.
If the music is good, let the music play. Derr. It should never be any other way.
And that's how I want to close my first article. Let the good music play - it shouldn't be any other way. (It rhymes. Yippee.)