#1
Disregard this post, but I'll leave the thread up as it is an interesting argument.

After two years of writing and trying to develop a band, my friend and I have come to the conclusion that sticking to one style is just too hard for us. We've tried pop-punk, we've tried alternative, metal, etc. etc., but we can never just stay in one writing style. We still want to get all our music that we love out there, so I ask this.

We have about 75 songs written (of course, there's 10 joke songs and a good amount of crappy, old songs) and they jump all over the place. Our songs jump from pop-punk, to alternative, to metal, to grindcore, to country twang-twang ****, to ambient.. You get the idea. Would it be weird for a band to have this wide range of styles, or would it be cool? Also, do you think that the songs, as they all have their roots that make them sound somewhat similar, will sound more closely related once vocals are thrown in to the mix?

I know that Reggie and the Full Effect jumps around a lot stylistically, and I think because of the vocals they all feel closely related and it seems to really 'work' for him. Also, Bayside, and Brand New to an extent, tends to jump styles here and there and its hardly even noticeable, again I think due to vocals.

tl;dr - Is it weird/bad for a band to have a huge range of song styles?
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Last edited by DiveRightIn63 at Jan 20, 2009,
#2
if you are planning to get this on an album i would say an album for each style, if your just a band that likes to jam and have fun there is nothing to it.
#3
Quote by Benjami
if you are planning to get this on an album i would say an album for each style, if your just a band that likes to jam and have fun there is nothing to it.


Well, we plan on playing shows and stuff and releasing CDs but we don't want to have to wait months and months for people to hear our other favorite songs just because they are a different style.
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#4
then i say it would be bad i guess, because maybe you invited some people who like country and you also invited some people who like metal, then you start playing one of those genres first and you might loose a part of the crowd because of that, same with cd's, they will just turn it off.
#5
Something Miles Davis said comes to mind... I can't remember the exact quote

He never said he played "jazz" or "blues," he always said h was writing "music." He left the genre naming for his fans and the media.
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#6
^ But Miles Davis didn't really change his style that much.

Widely varying styles work well in comedy bands - have you thought about doing that?
#7
Quote by Roast Beef
^ But Miles Davis didn't really change his style that much.


I do beg to differ, you haven't really listened to Miles very much have you?
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#8
Quote by Roast Beef
^ But Miles Davis didn't really change his style that much.

Widely varying styles work well in comedy bands - have you thought about doing that?


I'd prefer to stay serious..

There's not a lot of country, there's like one song that's somewhat countrylike, that's why I mentioned it..
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for fans of...

Motion City Soundtrack, Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World, Transit, Brand New, Dashboard Confessional, Early November, Fall Out Boy, Jawbreaker, Polar Bear Club, The Story So Far, the Wonder Years, Something Corporate.
#9
Quote by DiveRightIn63
I'd prefer to stay serious..

There's not a lot of country, there's like one song that's somewhat countrylike, that's why I mentioned it..


OK, but you realise it's going to be hard to get gigs this way. How are you supposed to market yourself to any particular clubs if your set is just a train smash of different genres?
#10
Quote by mr_magic
I do beg to differ, you haven't really listened to Miles very much have you?


I've got Kind Of Blue and Bitches Brew, and though they are different, it's not exactly metal/country/punk different - would you agree?
#11
I would try to stick to one genera. It'll help your fan base if you stick to one type of music.
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#13
If you read a reply, I said there's only one song that's really country. Also, like I said, the 'metal' stuff has a lot of punk roots to the song, so they still have a bit of a tie-in there. They're not retardedly different.
ADELOS
POP PUNK
for fans of...

Motion City Soundtrack, Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World, Transit, Brand New, Dashboard Confessional, Early November, Fall Out Boy, Jawbreaker, Polar Bear Club, The Story So Far, the Wonder Years, Something Corporate.
#14
You need to have a cohesive sound. If you're into different genres, great, but you can't just have random songs from each one. Your songs should show traces of each.
#15
It depends on your intended market. Some demographics, especially the indie aesthetic, are quite forgiving, and even appreciative of a group who can turn on a dime. Unfortunately, that is a pretty small demographic, all things considered. Think of it as a niche market.

Record companies and radio want to be able to categorize you. Wait... they NEED to be able to. If they can't, they ain't interested in you.

Reason being, they know that the average person is generally quite musically disabled, and don't know anything about jack. You'll lose those same audiences in a lot of venues that will otherwise book a band they can categorize too.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Last edited by axemanchris at Jan 13, 2009,
#16
Ever heard of Led Zeppelin? The Beatles? Two bands that both had all kinds of different styles in their work. Zeppelin would go from hard rock to acoustic folk to blues without skipping a beat. The Beatles White Album has songs like Blackbird and Helter Skelter, both written by McCartney, and they couldn't be more different stylistically.

Don't concern yourself with being pinholed into one style or genre. Just write songs and pick the ones you like the most. Obviously going to a gig and opening up with Raining Blood and two songs later playing a song by Elliott Smith ain't a great idea, but whatever songs you write can't be so different that they don't work together on the same album or at the same show.

Good luck with everything though. Hope it works out.
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#17
Although those are both good examples, the music industry was much more forgiving of these things back then. It has changed a lot.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#18
^very good point. i tend to forget about that. if your main goal is trying to be appealing to a record label, you better make your songs all one style.

i personally say **** the music industry, im gonna play what i want, when i want. if they like it, cool, if not, that's cool too. pandering to whatever the damn record execs want is gay. the over-commercialization of music is leading to its death. its not about art these days. its about money.

and i apologize for that dumb, stating the obvious rant. i wish i had a time machine, thats all.
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#19
Like Bach... pandering to what the Church wanted, whoring himself out so he could pay his bills.....



CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#20
Yeah, people forget that music was literally only for the rich back in the day. All those great composers were being financed by patrons.
This whole anti-corporate mentality is fairly ridiculous. Labels serve a purpose, and while I think they need to update the business model badly, they aren't evil. They're businesses, and to have a successful relationship with a label, you have to run the band like a business. I say this often, but while it's great to have that whole '**** selling records' mentality when you're 15, by the time you're 25, you're probably sick of eating nothing but ramen and KD every day while living in a 1 bedroom apartment. Especially if you want to think about having a family, and all that it entails. We live in a capitalist society, and while it might have its pitfalls for an artist, I think most of you should thank your lucky stars that you aren't trying to get by in a socialist system.
That's my rant for the day.
#21
From more recent bands than Zeppelin or Beatles you should check out MUCC if you wonder can you put different style of music to the same album. On Gokusai they have metal(?) and reggae (songs Gokusai and Yasashii uta) and on Shion they have metal, electro pop or something crazy like that on the same album (songs Nuritsubusunara enji, Fuzz, Sorawasure).

I'd say that you should put many different styles to your album, because I think the album's sound will become a lot more rich and full. I like it when after each track there will be a new suprise for you.
#22
Quote by axemanchris
Although those are both good examples, the music industry was much more forgiving of these things back then. It has changed a lot.

CT


Time for another change then innit!

Benjami.
I agree with jdiddy182. Fu*k the music industry, it's rapidly going downhill anyway and is slowly being replaced with self recorded, self released and self promoted material that can instantly be made available to millions via the net. Play what the hell you wanna play and do it to the best of your ability.
You have found yourself in a rare position. Most bands are generaly formed from members who are all hardcore fans of the same genre of music, and they generaly end up sounding like a clone of every other band in that particular genre.
As jdiddy182 rightfully pointed out, Led Zep and The Beatles were both bands that varied their material greatly, and they both happened to be the biggest two bands that ever existed and are still hugely popular with generation after generation today.
Y'know what that suggests to me?
It suggests that there is a huge market out there for bands that do varied material.
And Led Zep and the Beatles are not the only examples of this. If you look at the biggest acts in music today, you'll find something similar.
Elton John (with hits as varied as Rocket Man, Crocodile Rock, Candle in the Wind) He has sold over 200 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of all time. He has more than 50 Top 40 hits including seven consecutive No. 1 U.S. albums, 56 Top 40 singles, 16 Top 10, four No. 2 hits, and nine No. 1 hits. He has won five Grammy awards and one Academy Award. His success has had a profound impact on popular music and has contributed to the continued popularity of the piano in rock and roll. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him #49 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.
Robbie Williams, (with hits as varied as Angels, Let Me Entertain You and Millennium) as a solo artist he has sold more albums in the United Kingdom than any other British solo artist in history.
Queen (with hits as varied as Bohemian Rhapsody, You're My Best Friend and Seven Seas of Rhye) have sold in excess of 300 million albums and eighteen of their albums have reached number one in charts around the world.
And the list goes on, most of the top bands and acts in the world are bands and acts that have a wide variation in their repertoire, infact that's why they are the biggest acts in the world, because they appeal to a wider audience than a band that just concentrates on one genre.
#23
At the same time, you have to still have a cohesive sound, a sound that can immediately be identified as yours. You hear any of those bands, and you know right away who's playing. So if you're genre skipping like crazy, but lack an indentifiable sonic signature (something which is incredibly hard to define, you just know it when you hear it), it's going to sound like a schizophrenic mess.
#24
Quote by koslack
At the same time, you have to still have a cohesive sound, a sound that can immediately be identified as yours. You hear any of those bands, and you know right away who's playing. So if you're genre skipping like crazy, but lack an indentifiable sonic signature (something which is incredibly hard to define, you just know it when you hear it), it's going to sound like a schizophrenic mess.

Agreed.
#25
Quote by skeleb
From more recent bands than Zeppelin or Beatles you should check out MUCC if you wonder can you put different style of music to the same album. On Gokusai they have metal(?) and reggae (songs Gokusai and Yasashii uta) and on Shion they have metal, electro pop or something crazy like that on the same album (songs Nuritsubusunara enji, Fuzz, Sorawasure).


.... and your own post goes to prove my point. I follow music fairly closely... but I have never heard of those bands. Sure, they do it, but are only succeeding in a niche market.

@slack... but again, you are mostly focusing on bands that were popular three decades ago. Compound that with the fact that those bands still sell well, but the vast majority of their sales are to a demographic that, ironically, does not really drive the music industry. (ie. youth/20-something market)

While I agree with your ideal, I really don't see it working in today's market. For every example of a person you can find that changes up their sound and style, you can find about 50 who don't, and who are generally even more successful.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Last edited by axemanchris at Jan 14, 2009,
#26
Quote by axemanchris


@slack... but again, you are mostly focusing on bands that were popular three decades ago. Compound that with the fact that those bands still sell well, but the vast majority of their sales are to a demographic that, ironically, does not really drive the music industry. (ie. youth/20-something market)

While I agree with your ideal, I really don't see it working in today's market. For every example of a person you can find that changes up their sound and style, you can find about 50 who don't, and who are generally even more successful.


I know what you mean, but I feel that the reason most of the 'biggest' names are so big is because they've been around so long in order to gradualy become one of the biggest names and that they've lasted so long because of the appeal of their variation.
They may not drive the 20-something youth market, but they still take a cut from that market, as well as from other music markets.
The 20-plus music market isn't the only market in the industry, it's just the market used by the industry for a quick turnaround of profit from genre influenced youth music, (or in other words, whatever is in fashion at the moment) it's probably the industry's biggest potential earner, but the older, more established, what we could almost refer to as the 'Legendary' acts are also a huge part of that industry.
What a youth market artist earns a record company in several albums, one of the really big established acts will exeed with the release of just one album, but as you say, youth market artists outnumber the more established acts.

I can see you're point about it not working as well in today's market, but what about tomorrow's market?
Let's say you're in a band that plays just one genre, then fashion changes and that genre is suddenly not as popular anymore, your either adapt (change your genre) take a wage cut or give it up.

For a short while the single genre influenced band will do better than the band that covers a variety of genres, but it's a market that's limited by time, until the fashion changes.
Being in a band that only does strictly one genre of music is like getting a job in a dying industry because the day will come that the genre in question will fall from favour and revenues will drop.

Look at Metallica for example, easily one of the biggest acts in the world now, but remember when they first came along? When they were fresh faced long haired kids that were extremely fashionable amongst a newly emerging form of metal and were Venom's and Motorhead's support act? Their material was basicaly just one thrashy fast tempo song after another.
How big would they be now if they continued writing in that same style without changing, without adding ballads and acoustic guitar sections to their sound?
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Jan 15, 2009,
#27
To that I agree entirely.

Good examples would also be U2, Radiohead, and REM who seem to find a way of re-inventing themselves every couple of albums or so, which enables them to continue competing, whereas the bands that started out around the same time are long-gone.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#28
Quote by axemanchris
.... and your own post goes to prove my point. I follow music fairly closely... but I have never heard of those bands. Sure, they do it, but are only succeeding in a niche market.

Are you trying to say that these kind of bands don't succeed so well because they make a varying album, or do they have the "privilege" of making a varying album because they are not famous or mainstream?
#29
A bit of both, I guess. In order to be noticed in the mainstream markets, you have to be easily classified.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#30
My opinion of this is that you can have different influences, but don't make your songs so drastically different from one another that it sounds sound a completely different band for each song you play. Sure, have a song that has some reggae influence. Another that has some country-western influence. As long as you still have an identifiable, central sound, you'll be fine.

On top of the examples Chris and Slack gave, I'd also recommend the Foo Fighters and The White Stripes. In each case, you can see a progression from album to album, yet they still keep their signature sound.
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#31
I know tons and tons and tons of good musicians and people who like a very wide range of things, it shows diversity, and musicianship. I say, if you write it, play it, if it's good, people will like it
#32
So basicly after reading every bloody reply here. I must sa I agree with alot. Chirs has a good marketign value point, Slacker says follow yoru ideal, because what is tomorows market? And in my area, I hav enoticed a trend of really old bands making a comeback among youngsters so who knows.

So you might want to try and pull your songs quite close together but keep them different. So you don't have to follow every style with a new album. How do I put it in a good short term....

You have the songs. Now make it your own style.

Maybe you can upload some stuff to check out the diversity?
#33
Pull off a PowerMan 5000. Each album is a pretty different style. They started out as Funk-Metal, Moved on to Sci-Fi inspired Industrial and now there kinda Punk.
#34
Create the songs you want, label yourself an experimental rock band and just go with it. As long as you don't make it a point to say "we're a ton of different genres" then I don't think anyone will care, because your experimental.
#35
Even so you could just identify yourself as Progressive Rock. Really, if you encompass many genres, prog is a good way to say that.

I disagree with that early quote about the Indie scene. Accepting my ass. I've played a few indie clubs around here, and If you're not playing this lo-fi garbage produced generic whiny crap, the people shun it, label you as "mainstream" and hold hands with their stupid emo boyfriends.
Thats life experience.

I thin
#36
It's also worth noting that the Beatles - one of the most, if not the single best example of a flexible and changing group - put out several albums of early music that was very samey, poppy and catchy with little real musical depth. That's what gave them the popularity and clout with people to be able to put out experimental music and still have it bought - which, at the end of the day, is all that truly matters. You could have the most stunning album written, something that blows Dark Side of the Moon, Sgt. Pepper's, OK Computer, Led Zeppelin IV all out of the water...yet you're never going to influence people if you don't get it to them. And what does that is marketing.

Marketing includes things like word-of-mouth and people passing CDs on to friends, even more now than ever before due to Myspace and similar. But in order to do that, you need to appeal to a demographic, otherwise people will just think 'yeah, they've got that awesome metal/reggae/electronica/hardcore/acoustic song, but their other stuff is just boring'.

Sure, a lot of people like several genres, but it's difficult to get an understanding of a band when they're doing loads at once. A wide range of influences is important, but so is getting the right audience to listen, otherwise people can get bored and stop paying attention.
#37
Excellent point.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#38
not weird at all. my band has that variation in just one song!
basically, it starts out all acousticy and pretty
then, as soon as the bridge kicks in
BAM
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#39
^Most hardcore bands have at least one song that is like that, so that's not really out of the ordinary.
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Quote by MuffinMan
Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....