#1
Hi,
So I'll try and give you the fullest background I can. Basically, I was in my band, writing, doing band things, listening to music. Then, I listened to Holland 1945 by Neutral Milk Hotel, and really liked it. That general style of music fell to influence me, but it blends pretty well with my previous poppy alternative writing to the point where I couldn't really see anyone picking it out. Also, because I have to read a bunch of books for school, I put Anne Frank's diary on my list to read.

Fast forward about 2-3 months after that, I've read Anne Frank's diary, and it's had a huge impact on me. It's inspired me to work really hard on my band, and I've been writing really good songs about Anne(in the opinion of those I've shown, which is just a few people). That's great and all, except for one problem; those familiar with Neutral Milk Hotel will notice that's pretty similar to what happened with them. Although my instruments are a lot more alt rock styled, I do go to fast open chords occasionally, and I even have an acoustic song (which I would ditch if it wasn't one of my favorites). My lyrics are a very different style from Neutral Milk Hotel's, although as both my writing and their's have a theme of Anne Frank, they could definitely be thought of as sharing ground. Of my originals that we actively play, about half are about Anne and the other half are unrelated things.

tl;dr I've been writing songs about Anne Frank, has slight musical NMH influence, and I'm worried my band will be dismissed as just a Neutral Milk Hotel knock off because of it. I'm not trying to be like that and it often frustrates me cause I'm worried that's how people will react, but these are the best and most meaningful songs I've ever written.

So should I keep doing what I've been doing and is working out best, despite potential criticism? Would you label me as a neutral milk hotel knock off just hearing about me, and not bother with us? Should I abandon all my songs about Anne and just use the others, which aren't quite as good as a whole?

Thanks for reading, and sorry for all the text and whatnot. I'd really appreciate some input, as I keep bouncing between loving my songs and worrying everyone will just cast me aside as a wannabe Neutral Milk Hotel, even though I never meant for that.
Last edited by getmad24_7 at Jan 7, 2012,
#2
99.9% of people on the street don't know who NMH is

chill out, we all have influences.
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#3
do whatever you want, whenever you want.

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#4
Quote by Hail
99.9% of people on the street don't know who NMH is

chill out, we all have influences.


I'm only concerned because out of the 4-5 people outside the band who have been played the rough new tracks, one has already said something to that effect.
And although most people won't know them, our primary market (indie rock) will probably be at least somewhat familiar with them.
#5
If you're actively trying to sound like them, people will notice.

If you're playing music that shares a lyrical concept but not very much so musically, people will either not notice, or notice but not dwell on it.

I saw a band once that played all originals, and within hearing the first 4 measures I knew exactly what band they were trying to be.

But really don't worry about it.
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#6
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#7
Quote by getmad24_7
I'm only concerned because out of the 4-5 people outside the band who have been played the rough new tracks, one has already said something to that effect.
And although most people won't know them, our primary market (indie rock) will probably be at least somewhat familiar with them.


I don't think the standard indie fan (which is today, the average pop rock listener) has any idea who they are. I sure as hell don't. If you asked 4-5 musicians or your super-indie group of friends, that's entirely different from the mainstream population.
#8
Thanks for all the encouragement, guys. The picture was great haha
More input is always welcome. Thanks again.
#9
what do you think how many blink wannabe kiddie punk bands there are?

If you are like "hey, I wrote these songs because of NMH, do they sound like NMH to you?" then no wonder everyone says yes.

bottom line, dont bother at all. As long as you dont blatantly rip off actual riffs and chord progressions you're fine.
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#10
A band sounds like another band? Say it isn't so!
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#11
Don't worry about ripping songs off- I see lots of songs (especially pop) who do that. Even within one band, their songs start to sound the same.

But NMH is rather obscure and as long as it's not blatant you're fine. One of the best songs I've written in my short musical career copied the chord progression and even one line in the chorus from the song "Post Break Up Sex" by the Vaccines. Though my band ended up making lots of changes to the tempo and such, so no one will know.

PS- "Post Break Up Sex" is a great song
#12
^ obscure, sure. unless you're an indie group playing to kids who have definitely heard them. depending on who you ask, Neutral Milk could easily be seen as a huge band.

that being said, unless your album sounds nearly identical to theirs, you should be fine.