It seems that nowadays in the rock music genre, there seems to lack a band that goes beyond mediocrity. Sure, there are good bands, that make geniune music, but there isn't one that really cracks the charts, and manages to make its way into mainstream radio play without compromising its sound and selling out.
The question of "Will there ever be another great guitarrist?" is one that can be impossible to answer. The immediate thought is "no", simply because all the genres have been done. However, this isn't entirely true.
First of all, there can never be another truly great guitarrist along the lines of Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix for two main reasons:
1. The blues rock category has been done, which gave way into rock music as we know it, and 2. if people used effects like Jimi did, they wouldn't be given any credit.
Jimi was the first one to use so many effects in such a way, and he was pioneering the way to how many effects (most famously the Wah and Univibe effects), and referring back to part one, its impossible to be the exact copy of a former great.
But there is a possibility for another "great" band to come in and rip up the scene. The problem is, it would be immensely hard for such a band to make it into the marginal world of mainstream rock music. With the increasing commercialization of pop and rap music (especially the amount of singers/actors crossing the borders of careers) and the amount of clothing lines being launched to make current artists even more popular, a genuine band wouldn't last long, unless they truly did rock.
If there's one area of music that has yet to have its fifteen minutes of fame, it is definitely alternative rock. While the grunge scene was labeled "alternative", and it was to a point, there has yet to be a time of acoustic guitars, harmonic melodies, solid drum tracks and even some orchestral bass lines to dominate the charts. Now, there's also another side to alternative, along the lines of Tool, A Perfect Circle and Radiohead, which is much more recognized in mainstream music, while still maintaining their integrity.
One thing that would really define a new band its is music. For one thing, it simply cannot follow the now-common teenage angst era of music. Think about it - how many bands do you know play songs solely about angst and failed relationships? Evanescence, Linkin Park, Avril Lavigne... it simply has to stop. All this angst really is catering to 13 year old girls who think they have problems. People who are on medication for depression probably don't wallow in their sadness all the time, or at least don't want to. There isn't anything wrong with angst in music, but when a band makes all their songs entirely on such angst and failed relationships, it simply gets annoying and repetitive. Music is about feelings and emotions. There is simply a point where angst stops, and wanting to groove and mellow out takes over. One example would be Sam Roberts. His CD "We Were Born In A Flame" is entirely angst-free, even while there are song names like "Don't Walk Away Eileen" and "This Wreck Of A Life".
So, an angst free style would surely hit the spot - while still putting out some fresh sounds that young guitarrists would aspire to learn. Another part of a band's "persona" is its integrity.
There has to be a mix between a band going around on MTV, putting on tv-sponsored free concerts, and doing so many interviews that we can't keep track of them, while other bands don't do any press at all. Some artists like Matthew Good refuse to do any press at all, and while their music is truly great, they don't get the credit they deserve. Doing interviews in magazines like "Seventeen" or "YM" would be suicide for a band, where the only reason the target audience reads the interview is because they find them attractive. Leaping out for press interviews in bands only shows their need for attention. The music should always come first, but riding solely on music doesn't get a band very far.
Music videos are also an important part a band's press coverage. I've spent afternoons watching MuchMusic (a Canadian MTV wannabe), watching music videos that hit the "rock" category, and shaking my head at how unimaginative they are. For one thing, self-glorifying music videos that show crowds of target-audience teenagers worshipping them are simply ego-boosters. On the other end of the spectrum, solely performance videos without any artistic content can be pretty dull, and full of self-glorifying poses meant to appease the shallow obsessor.
A good music video should have true artistic content. A message inside it that has to be interpreted along with the lyrics. Otherwise, a music video is just a way to have their music played on a different medium.
To sum it all up, a new group that would bring rock music right back into the mainstream music arena would have to be something truly unique. Not writing songs completely out of 5 powerchords, and using effects to increase the quality of the music, not just make it sound cool. Having an attitude that won't bow dow down to what the record label exec wants, but not walking out on their fans because they aren't happy with how the music world works. Matthew Good Band's second album, "Underdogs", was recorded with $100, 000 (US) of the band's own money because their current label wasn't letting them do what they wanted. Obviously, they were in the business because they wanted to play music. Now, that is what I'd call dedication.
It's hard to peg exactly who a new band would have to replicate. Having a Kurt Cobain type attitude, with Eric Clapton playing chops, while taking over the nation with a Led Zeppelin, rock-the-house feel may come close to it, but the style of music may still be up for grabs.
It would definitely be nice to see a band be able to take an informed, intelligent stand on political issues as they happen, and maintain a modest personal life, and donating much of their profits to worthy charities. A band that would remain un-perverted by the rules of celebrity and fame, without being snobby to fans. A band that has a likeable public image, but doesn't get caught up in ridiculous scandals or pull dumb publicity stunts. In other words, a band whose members have true quality in their musicianship and character, while managing to break the charts is something the rock music scene has been waiting for.
Peace Out, - Backup Guitar