#1
This may or not be the right forum, but whatev.

How does a band avoiding painting themselves into a corner?

Say for instance you play in a metal band. One day you hear an incredible jazz song and you want to incorporate that style into a new song. How does one do this without making it seem jarring or like "selling out"?


Probably a dumb question, but I'm just curious. I like a lot of different kinds of music and want to try and avoid this.
#3
Do what Between the Buried and Me does. They're mostly death metal, but it's progressive, so there's everything from jazz to polka in their songs. Incorporate all kinds of music in all of your songs. Pick one main genre and add everything else.
#4
Just make sure that you don't ruin the amazing music by throwing horrid vocals over the top like BTBAM does...

Cheers.

-TFA
#5
Quote by TyrsFromAbove37
Just make sure that you don't ruin the amazing music by throwing horrid vocals over the top like BTBAM does...

Cheers.

-TFA


nice opinion
#6
Just do it.

You're only a sell out if you sacrifice your own values for profit. I.E. you would be a sell out if you didn't follow your inspiration.
Si
#7
incorporating jazz would hardly be selling out - usually selling out would be an attempt to make your music more popular - something jazz doesn't exactly contribute to =P
#8
Quote by Chasepw133
incorporating jazz would hardly be selling out - usually selling out would be an attempt to make your music more popular - something jazz doesn't exactly contribute to =P

Well, I think 99.9% of musicians would like their music to be popular and heard by as many people as possible.

Selling out is pretty much doing something in order to get fame, ie writing simpler music to appeal to the masses. You're trading your morals for money/fame.

It's musical prostitution.
#9
Quote by 20Tigers
Just do it.

You're only a sell out if you sacrifice your own values for profit. I.E. you would be a sell out if you didn't follow your inspiration.


+1

i try to incorporate everything i like into my music. if someone wants to call it selling out because i like the music i create because thats what influences me and thats what i enjoy, then i guess im a sellout..... which is a pity cuz im sh!t broke for it. i must be doing it wrong
#10
Quote by one vision
Well, I think 99.9% of musicians would like their music to be popular and heard by as many people as possible.

Selling out is pretty much doing something in order to get fame, ie writing simpler music to appeal to the masses. You're trading your morals for money/fame.

It's musical prostitution.


Better put than me
#11
Quote by z4twenny
+1

i try to incorporate everything i like into my music. if someone wants to call it selling out because i like the music i create because thats what influences me and thats what i enjoy, then i guess im a sellout..... which is a pity cuz im sh!t broke for it. i must be doing it wrong

What this guy said. Don't let your fans determine your music for you. Do whatever the hell you want to do
#12
Quote by Fuzzbone
This may or not be the right forum, but whatev.

How does a band avoiding painting themselves into a corner?

Say for instance you play in a metal band. One day you hear an incredible jazz song and you want to incorporate that style into a new song. How does one do this without making it seem jarring or like "selling out"?


Probably a dumb question, but I'm just curious. I like a lot of different kinds of music and want to try and avoid this.



Just be yourself and don't worry about it. "selling out" IMO is when you do what you think people want you to do rather than creating music that is your own true expression.
#14
Quote by Freepower
Just do it.


Meshuggah. Thorendal's biggest influence is Allan Holdsworth. Youtube 'em both.


you love your meshuggah don't you? it seems like half your posts mention meshuggah.
#15
Quote by The4thHorsemen
you love your meshuggah don't you? it seems like half your posts mention meshuggah.

That would be because they're easily the most original metal band in the last 15 years
Call me Batman.
#16
Well, certainly one of the cleverest and most interesting, imho. I mention them because I love them and because they provide examples of all kinds of interesting things while remaining in a genre most popular musicians are at least able to understand.

Ie, I love em, but they're easy to refer to as they provide clear cut examples.

And the other half of my posts contain The Berzerker. Somehow, Allan Holdsworth appears in every single post I make, but only in anagrams and code. Except when I say "Allan Holdsworth".

All I want is for people to check out some cool ****.
#17
Another example of a band incorporating just about every influence under the sun - Amorphis from Tuonela onwards.
#18
The jazz thing was just there as a "for instance". You could substitute any genre markedly different than the one being played. Likewise, the selling out thing was meant more as "without sounding like youre catering to a specific group to sell records" or whatever.

Something more applicable to me is that I love sludge metal and love love surf rock. I've heard a band do it on one song, but so much that you'd catch it if you weren't listening for it. I also really love country and rockabilly.

Maybe I should rephrase the question, or ask a second: Do you think its possible?
#20
I dont think the responses really did the question justice-- this is an issue that plagues a lot of songwriters. The problem is incorporating parts that not only fit the song but fit your "sound", whatever thay may be. It's not an easy thing to accomplish. I don' think the problem is selling out as much as it is doing things that lack artistic merit or detract from the overall quality of the music in the name of stylistic diversity.

It's POSSIBLE to put a beatdown riff in the middle of an Ellington chart or to add an extended soprano aria to a gore-grind track. If you like to listen to that, then do it, I guess. But what does it mean in terms of your sound? Are you art-rock? Avant-grind?

The biggest criticism of groups like Mr Bungle (who do this sort of stuff) is that they can't write a good song. Those critics sort of miss the point-- their music is characterized by the fact that is IS a mess of crazy parts and manic changes. But, for the average band, this is not something you necessarily want to be. If you have a style and want to pursue that style, rather than have your style be defined by your lack of a singuar vision, then you must restrict yourself to being "tasteful" in the way you integrate different types of music into your songs.

Then the question becomes, is your band one that has that spastic sound where you're always changing styles and tempos within a song, a la BTBAM? Then throw some parts together and play it, and maybe you can pull it off. Unless you're all VERY good musicians, and, more so, unless you play together CONSTANTLY and are very tight, it will most likely not sound the way you intended. I know cause I've done it.

Is your sound more structured, with ideas and themes developing throughout a piece? This makes the whole stylistic transition thing so much more complicated and difficult to do-- it only works when it's motivated by "I think the song needs to go in this direction", rather than "hey, wouldn't it be cool if we put a funk breakdown right here?" If you've got a song that you think will benefit from an excursion through another genre, then try it. But the key to doing this is not to get too hung up on your idea, cause 3 out of 4 times it probably won't work.
I had an english teacher once who said when you write a poem, throw away your favorite line as soon as you finish the first draft. I guess songwriting in genres not covered by traditional forms (especially metal) would benefit from this advice. Try leaving out the best part you have and try to figure out the best part for that section of that song instead.

Sorry for the novel guys! This is a subject I've put a lot of thought into and I wanted to share some of it. It's definitely something I've struggled with as a musician, composing and arranging for bands, cause for a long time my songs always came out mashed up and convoluted because of all the stuff I wanted to include, or all sounding the same for want of exploration. After some more study of musical form and a lot of practice, I think I'm starting to find a good medium-- I hope you do too.
Good luck!
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