#1
So a couple of years ago, me (guitars, vocals) and two of my best friends (lead guitar, bass) decided to start a thrash metal band. At the time, we were at the same musical level, and listened to the same kind of music. Since then, we’ve played together for three years, released a demo and gathered a small following in town. Now because I listen to a lot more music than they do, I feel like I’ve grown apart from them musically, as they still listen to more or less the same stuff now as back then. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy that music, but have broadened my horizons a lot since then, and as a consequence would like to expand our influences from simply ‘old school thrash metal’. This is where things get complicated, because they don’t want to. I feel like I want to write interesting and original music, while they are perfectly satisfied with writing the same riff over and over again. While I play some of the stuff I’m influenced by during warm-ups etc, I get comments like “this is the worst kind of music in existence” and “I hate it more than anything else in this world”, mainly from the lead guitarist. The stuff I’d like to weave into our music is mostly from progressive, death and doom metal, while certainly retaining the thrash metal roots.

It should be mentioned that we have discussed our goals with writing and performing music. Myself, I want to write stuff I find interesting to play and write while not necessarily gathering as large a following as I would if I’d play more straight-forward thrash metal. Our lead guitarist, however, is only concerned about the audience, and wants to create catchy, melodic thrash. The bassist is mostly in it for the fun of playing live and doesn’t care a lot as long as he can play the music, and the drummer doesn’t give a shit either as he’s mostly into black metal anyway.

So my question is the following: should I try to weave in more of my ‘style’ of influences into our sound while taking the consequences, should I go along with their gather-as-much-fans-as-possible approach, or should I simply start a new band where I can do whatever the heck I want to? I’ve gotten this far with them through compromising, our songs differ from complex (my material) to catchy (their stuff or the stuff we’ve written together), but I think it’s time for us to find our sound and go along with it. Note that if they say “**** off, we don’t want to play your music”, I’m willing to keep playing with them as guitarist/vocalist, their type of stuff, while starting a new band where I can express my other musical influences. Consequently, I wouldn’t compose a lot of songs for us anymore, and I think they’d feel like I’d betrayed them. Another issue is that they’re still my best friends, and I think the friendship would be hurt if I would end up leaving them. Also, I feel like it’s to a large extent ‘my’ band (equal amount to the lead guitarist), as I’ve put a lot of time, effort, and money into it, and I think I should have at least some say to our musical direction. But if we end up 2-3 to 1, I’m not sure what to do.

Tl;dr clashing musical directions between me and the rest of the band, need help to decide what to do.
#2
Talk to them and find out why your all doing this. Money? Fans? Fame? or just for fun? If some members are more serious and view it as a career, and you feel it's just a bit of fun, maybe it's best for you all if you separated

Try to stop naming everything you write as a certain genre and get everyone to put ideas in. You may come to a compromise and create something original that everyones satisfied with.
He who knows all, knows nothing in the eye of a imbecile.
#3
i would try to put it in slowly. a it here and there
#4
Now this may just be me as an untrained ear, but I don't think, for the life of me, I'll ever hear a difference between death, doom and black metal. Progressive and thrash are distinct in my mind, but when I listen to it, I never hear much of a difference between the other three. At least not in the instrumentation. And at the end of the day, it's all a sub-genre of metal, which means their all similar enough to fit under the same "supergenre" (I feel the same way about rock music) Now, if you were playing a metal song and decided to go into a country honk break down or tossed some pop punk, your other band mates might have credence, but you're not, so they don't.

I agree with Alien Metalhead. If you're in a band, you have to compromise. Just because you listen to a lot of different metal than they do, doesn't mean they have to completely follow you down that path and just because they don't, doesn't mean you need to shrink back down to where they are. Play the catchy thrash metal, but throw in some influences from the other stuff you like without mentioning where it comes from. They can be merged or they should seriously think of not making them subgenres of metal.

And of course if that doesn't work, you should leave. No reason to stay in a band you're unhappy with. Or start a side project.


Edit: Also, don't think that you can't merge the idea of catchy and complex. Just because a song is catchy doesn't mean it can't be complex and just because a song is complex doesn't mean it can't be catchy. I feel like a lot of bands fall into this trap. Indie rock is the worst at that. You either have the bands who act like they have to be the catchiest band to ever exist and they are mindlessly simple to accomplish this or they try their hardest to appeal to hipsters who don't like stuff that other people will enjoy so they pretend they've never heard of the word melody and create a song with no structure line to line. Find a happy medium!
Last edited by C_Miller at Sep 15, 2010,
#5
Quote by C_Miller
Now this may just be me as an untrained ear, but I don't think, for the life of me, I'll ever hear a difference between death, doom and black metal.


I'm with you here. You guys should be able to find some super-distortion medium. If not, close-mindedness in music usually indicates close-mindedness in a lot of areas of life and the band is doomed to fail.
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#6
Thanks for the replies!

Quote by AlienMetalhead
Talk to them and find out why your all doing this. Money? Fans? Fame? or just for fun? If some members are more serious and view it as a career, and you feel it's just a bit of fun, maybe it's best for you all if you separated


We've done this. I don't think it's quite as easy to say you're in it JUST for the money/fame/whatever, at least for myself it's a bit of everything, as long as I find the music interesting and satisfying to myself personally, or else i can't see the point in it (unless I'm making enough money to support myself off music alone, which won't be the case for at least many many years with this band, if ever).

Quote by AlienMetalhead
Try to stop naming everything you write as a certain genre and get everyone to put ideas in. You may come to a compromise and create something original that everyones satisfied with.


This would be the ideal case. Everyone gets to have their opinion taken into account, without any judgements. Personally I'd like to make this work for my band, but I honestly don't think the rest of the guys are open-minded enough (except for the drummer). As soon as I play something else than some chugging with a couple powerchords thrown in there they don't like it (unless it's reeeeeaally melodic).

And although, as you guys said, many people won't hear the difference between death/black/doom metal as opposed to thrash, and while it may not be very significant musically, our target audience probably will hear it - which is why the rest of my band doesn't like the idea of taking wider influences into account.

Thanks C_Miller, very valid points. Of course it doesn't have to be either 'catchy' or 'complex', the best songs are the ones with the perfect balance (for me any way), and I try to incorporate that into my composing.

The way we've been composing recently is that everyone (that is, me and the lead guitarist, the other two don't write stuff) writes their own songs, then present them to the rest who lay down their own parts (solos/lyrics etc). I think this way the material tends to be too diverse, and comes off as not sounding very focused when thrown together into a recording or a setlist during a gig. Should we try to write more together? I feel like i write my best songs on my own (probably everyone does?), but should I let them in early on in the songwriting process, just so that they'll feel more like they're a part of the song, thus improving the group dynamics in the band (assuming they'll do the same with their songs)? Still, I feel like I write my best songs alone, and I'd be able to do that if i started my own band.

...and all of this last paragraph is assuming they'll, at least to some extent, allow me to vent my other-than-thrash influences, which may not be the case at all.

Again, big thanks for the replies, been very helpful this far. And sorry about the long posts.

EDIT: realised that last bit made me come off as a bit of a selfish douche. What I meant to say was that if they have something they want to change about a song that actually makes it all around better, I certainly agree to change it. Thing is though, most of the time i think their points don't hold much value. Maybe I'm biased because I was the one who wrote it, I don't know.
Last edited by in_dreams at Sep 15, 2010,
#7
Try slowly bringing in your influences, like someone else said. All of the members in my band do this. I come from a background mixed of pop, hardcore punk, HxC metal (Attack Attack!) metalcore (All That Remains, Killswitch Engage), and overall heavy rock (Papa Roach, old Linkin Park). Our drummer listens to pop-punk (Blink-182, Sum41, etc etc) and the same sorta breakdown shit I do (Attack Attack, August Burns Red, Alesana), and our singer comes from years of classical, jazz, and tech metal (Meshugga). We all listen to Slipknot and KoRn.

When I write a song, I incorporate my influences into it. Our singer will take my song, change it around, add his influences, and our drummer will do his thing. What we end up with is a song that incorporates everybody's background into the song, and it's usually something better than what just one of us could have written. Same thing happens with songs that the singer writes.
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#8
Quote by in_dreams

It should be mentioned that we have discussed our goals with writing and performing music. Myself, I want to write stuff I find interesting to play and write while not necessarily gathering as large a following as I would if I’d play more straight-forward thrash metal. Our lead guitarist, however, is only concerned about the audience, and wants to create catchy, melodic thrash. The bassist is mostly in it for the fun of playing live and doesn’t care a lot as long as he can play the music, and the drummer doesn’t give a shit either as he’s mostly into black metal anyway.

Play melodic thrash influenced doom metal with black metal blastbeats. Do it.

But seriously, if they genuinely won't let you incorporate a few elements from other subgenres, let alone genres, then just ditch them. But if you're trying to change the sound dramatically then their reaction is understandable. You need to find a balance.
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#10
Personally, if I were to present a piece to my band and they told me "This is the worst music I've ever heard", I'd stop presenting pieces to my band. I also wouldn't feel the least bit guilty or that I'd "betrayed" them by not writing any more music for them. I mean, if they hated it, it's not like you're depriving them of anything they want, right?
#11
I'm a metal fan, and as far a genre mixing, I say go for it, there's nothing wrong with that. Like, the stuff I'm writing right now I describe as mainly thrash metal with flavors of melodic death metal, groove metal, and metalcore thrown in. Big metal fans will probably be able to tell that what you're writing isn't pure thrash, but most listeners don't really have any sort of allegiance to a particular subgenre.

As far as complex vs. catchy... There's no reason you can't do both. If it varies from song to song, that's okay. Really, if you think about it, there haven't been any successful metal bands (except Slayer) who have maintained the same sound through their whole career. If it varies from main riff to chorus, that's okay too, as long as you execute it well. But keep in mind, with complex, there is a line where it just no longer becomes enjoyable to listen to (like Behold the Arctopus, in my opinion)
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