#1
What’s the last band that just did whatever they wanted and wasn’t locked by a genre?

Sure, we had Faith No More and all the experimental guys. But “the experimental guys” (referring to John Zorn, Björk and others) stayed very far away from the mainstream as they were immediately categorized as people who experiment for the sake of experimenting. And even Faith No More is mostly a metal band – with many genre-throw offs, but still a metal band.

These days, anyone who tries to do something like Faith No More in a way of being free of genre gets the instant stamp of “experimental”. Not one band or artist was “allowed” to do what they wanted without being acknowledged as someone who “does whatever he wants”.

Now, this might sound like the good old “le wrong generation kid” cliché to some, but things weren’t like that in the 1970s. Not too many people talk about how much Led Zeppelin, Queen and others experimented with their sound, but they sure well did. They did exactly what they wanted at the moment, and for some reason nobody pointed at them and said “What a condescending band, why can’t they just settle on one genre like AC/DC and Bob Dylan”.

Hell, Zeppelin threw those genres everywhere – a country song; a reggae song; a funk tribute; several progressive epics; at least two albums worth of folk music; a samba section in Fool in the Rain; a synthpop section in Carouselambra and so on. Queen as well – a funk album; a prog album; several folk songs; music hall tributes; blues songs; pop songs; opera sections and classical guitar madness. And it was okay! If you ask somebody to describe Queen and Led Zeppelin, he will likely give you a mixture of genres. When you ask someone to describe Faith No More, he’s likely to say “Heavy Metal” or “Experimental”.

And FNM is once again the exception. Every rock band that became popular in the last 20 years can easily be discarded with one (or in rare cases two) subgenre(s). Oasis? Britpop. Radiohead? Alternative, electronic. Arctic Monkeys? Indie rock. Tame Impala? Psychedelic. Arcade Fire? Indie rock. Maroon 5? Pop rock. Linkin Park? Nu metal. RHCP? Funk rock. Green Day? Pop punk. Foo Fighters? Post-grunge. QOTSA? Stoner Rock. Coldplay? Alternative. The White Stripes? Garage rock. Royal Blood? Hard rock. This is not necessarily accurate, but the way society sees these bands.

The genre “indie rock” is another symptom for this madness of ours. We can’t exactly find an existing label for the aforementioned Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes or Arcade Fire. So we decided to create one basket for all these oddballs so that we don’t have to get confused with it.
Where did this need of ours come from, to label and categorize everything? I don’t know. But something is seriously fucked up. Why can’t we leave the artist alone?

This is obviously just my opinion.
#2
I don't understand the problem with this. People usually want to listen to something specific at a given moment and they have certain expectations of how an artist will sound. It's like if you go to a burger place to get a burger and they tell you they only have chicken nuggets. You didn't come for chicken nuggets. Same thing with music.

If I want to listen to a certain sound, I'll listen to an artist that sounds like that. Bands have "their sound" and that is why people listen to them. Why do you want to hear one band do a bunch of different things? Couldn't you just go listen to a different band instead? I don't understand how this is even an issue. Nobody is going to describe Led Zeppelin or Queen as a mixture of genres. You're just making that up.

Bands that just mess around and do whatever they want don't develop a coherent sound. Without a coherent sound, they won't build a following and labels won't be able to market them. Then the band never gets anywhere. There's just no real identity and no real direction and they just sound like an incoherent mix tape. Nobody wants that.
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Last edited by theogonia777 at Nov 19, 2016,
#3
^ yeah.


also most pop groups do tons of different genres. whatever's popular at the time.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#4
Genre's are just vast categories that barely mean anything. Actual musicians rarely, if ever, think of themselves in those terms. They make music and then journalists, who barely understand music, use these labels to help the general public conceptualise the bands. I mean, to reduce Radiohead to " alternative electronic" says what ? What about the song paranoid android? Or Pyramids? Those are very progressive and unique songs that could attract five other labels easilly, as could a ton of other songs throughout their catalogue. Arcade fire has Haitien beats mixed with a host of other strange influences on their last album, none of which are well explained with the label " indie rock" at all.

We throw new words around like "Djent " and then reduce bands like Periphery, which are astounding complex musicians, to a gimmick.

The Whole process is absurd from a musician's point of view.

There is no conversation more irritating than trying to explain to someone what " genre " your music fits in.
#5
Quote by reverb66
Actual musicians rarely, if ever, think of themselves in those terms


Sure they do. I'm sure that AC/DC think of themselves as a rock band. Lemmy was very insistant that Motorhead was a rock band and not metal. I'm sure Brad Paisley thinks of his music as country (though it's debatable, but that's another story). Any bluegrass band will say that they are a bluegrass band. Any rapper will tell you that they do rap music. The Chieftains would tell you that they play traditional Irish music. John Coltrane would have labeled himself a jazz musician.

They make music and then journalists, who barely understand music,


How do you figure that music journalists don't understand music?

The Whole process is absurd from a musician's point of view.


Disagree. Sorting bands by genre is excellent for musicians. It makes it easier to market and promote your own music, easier to network with bands in a certain genre, and easier to find new music and musicians to listen to. Nothing absurd about it.

There is no conversation more irritating than trying to explain to someone what " genre " your music fits in.


I've never had any problems with this.

"Here's my band. We play melodeath similar to Katatonia."

"This is a project I'm working on. It's death metal."

"I play in a roots reggae band."

"I produce old school hip-hop."

etc

Really easy to do. People that are familiar with that kind of music have a rough idea of what it sounds like. People that don't know what the genres and terms mean or sound like are probably not familiar with them and probably won't like them anyway.
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#6
Quote by theogonia777
(a) I'm sure that AC/DC think of themselves as a rock band.

(b) How do you figure that music journalists don't understand music?


(a) I really hope AC/DC think of themselves as avant-garde free jazz pioneers.

(b) I guess he's read articles by them? I mean, I guess it depends on what you mean by journalists and what specific publications they write for, but I know the ones in the newspapers are generally awful.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#8
in my defence, i haven't for a while

EDIT: plus it's not like i was looking for music stuff in the newspaper, more i was reading the newspaper and music stuff came up.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#9
why don't you label yourself first as a rock/metal/w/e band and then make whatever sound you want
#10
Genres are only a problem if you choose to limit yourself to thinking only in terms of them. If you treat them as a categorical tool that, though incredibly limited in some ways, can provide basic descriptive information as to the way a piece of music sounds, then there's no problem.
#11
Genre is about two things:

1. the tastes of the musicians themselves, the music they grew up with and like listening to most. The music they copy and learn from. The more narrow that is generically, the more they will fit that genre themselves, even if they are experimental within it. They will feel that's enough, because they consider their genre superior to any other anyway, so why would they want to move beyond it?
The broader the influences of the musicians, the more they genuinely enjoy many different genres, the more "original" their output will sound, and the less easy it is to identify a genre for them. (Except maybe a very broad "rock" or "pop" one.)

2. Commercial pressure, and critical appraisal. Genre is important to record companies, to make sure they market and package the music in a way that makes it clear to buyers what it is. In the old days of record shops, the retailers had to know which box to put the albums in, so customers could find the music they wanted easily. They knew where to look for their favourite bands, and also liked to flick through all the similar acts and maybe discover new ones in the same genre. (And if buyers did want to look at other genres, the pigeon-holes made it easy to be curious. We all like to know what stuff is called. )

Of course, if a band is concerned about selling records, then they will also be very self-conscious about genre, and concerned to get it right. Not so much to be labelled correctly, but to avoid being labelled incorrectly.
So I agree with theogonia77 about the attitudes of most rock bands, who can get very fastidious about what genre they're in, because authenticity within each subculture is crucial.

But when it comes to jazz, reverb66 is more correct. It's typical for jazz musicians to be dismissive of the "jazz" tag, and regard themselves as playing "music". They just happen to play that music - wherever they find it - in a way that we (and they) perceive as being in a jazz tradition. But the jazz tradition is very broad, and most jazz musicians like - and will play - all the sub-genres of jazz (as defined by critics and record companies), seeing no essential difference. They may distinguish between artists, or periods, but not genre. So they're very dismissive of narrow generic definitions, because they feel it as a straitjacket, not as the comforting sense of belonging to a subgroup that "metal" or "grunge" or "indie" (or whatever) musicians enjoy.
IOW, genre among (certain) rock musicians is very much self-defined, as a source of pride. It makes them feel empowered. It's the reverse for a jazz musician: to put them in a pigeon-hole is to diminish them.

Of course jazz musicians want to sell records too, but they seem to trust their fans more, to see beyond commercial categorization. In any case, jazz is much more about live performance than rock is, and records are secondary. So record company genres are side-stepped - leaving them at the mercy of pigeon-holing by critics!
Last edited by jongtr at Nov 20, 2016,
#12
Quote by jongtr
But when it comes to jazz, reverb66 is more correct. It's typical for jazz musicians to be dismissive of the "jazz" tag, and regard themselves as playing "music". They just happen to play that music - wherever they find it - in a way that we (and they) perceive as being in a jazz tradition.


No way. Pretty sure that jazz musicians regard themselves as playing jazz when they're playing jazz. If they were playing music, they would be playing the right notes but they are not so it's jazz.
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#13
I agree with Kirsten throughout this discussion. Even if jazz players don't like the term (very debatable), they for sure like the jazz vocabulary and phrasing.
https://soundcloud.com/jerry-kramskoy-1
#14
Quote by theogonia777
No way. Pretty sure that jazz musicians regard themselves as playing jazz when they're playing jazz. If they were playing music, they would be playing the right notes but they are not so it's jazz.


hahahahahahahahaha brilliant
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#15
If want a good steak I go a restaurant that is noted for it's steaks. I don't go there looking for seafood or sushi. I am the same with music. If I want metal I buy a CD from a band known for metal. If I get that CD and find they decided to play reggae music, I am pissed. I buy a lot of very different genre's of music from jazz to metal from artists known for that style of music. Some bands are know for their diversity so that's what we expect when we listen to that band. Nothing wrong with a band being known for a certain genre of music. How many fans of Metallica own (and actually like) the "Lulu" album they did with Lou Reed?
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Nov 20, 2016,
#16
I'm so tired of blues based rock. Been overdosed by my surroundings of it. I haate it.
Quote by LivinJoke84
I cant be naked. I have a huge fear of leaving a stain wherever i sit. Especially if its really warm
#18
Dave_Mc I missed that slur by Kirsten on us poor jazz players. That would be for Ornette Coleman. The rest of us just take the odd chance every now and again.
https://soundcloud.com/jerry-kramskoy-1
#19
You're not even a real jazz player. Have you ever even played a gig on heroin?
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#20
Quote by jerrykramskoy
I agree with Kirsten throughout this discussion. Even if jazz players don't like the term (very debatable), they for sure like the jazz vocabulary and phrasing.
Yes, but that's what outsiders call it. Maybe they just don't know what jazz is, same way fish don't know what water is.
#21
Quote by theogonia777
No way. Pretty sure that jazz musicians regard themselves as playing jazz when they're playing jazz. If they were playing music, they would be playing the right notes but they are not so it's jazz.
#22
Quote by jerrykramskoy
Dave_Mc I missed that slur by Kirsten on us poor jazz players. That would be for Ornette Coleman. The rest of us just take the odd chance every now and again.


haha, i mean i know i always laugh at jazz (or at least the more pretentious areas of it), but I actually do like (certain types of) jazz.

Quote by jongtr
Yes, but that's what outsiders call it. Maybe they just don't know what jazz is, same way fish don't know what water is.


yeah the old not-seeing-the-wood-for-the-trees thing can happen if you're too into something. and groupthink.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#23
Quote by reverb66
I mean, to reduce Radiohead to " alternative electronic" says what ? What about the song paranoid android? Or Pyramids? Those are very progressive and unique songs that could attract five other labels easilly, as could a ton of other songs throughout their catalogue. Arcade fire has Haitien beats mixed with a host of other strange influences on their last album, none of which are well explained with the label " indie rock" at all.


Read what I said again. I didn't say that it's an accurate description of Radiohead or Arcade Fire for that matter. I said that society sees that in this way. Obviously both bands, as well as the others from this list have songs that stretch outside these narrow definitions.

Quote by theogonia777
Nobody is going to describe Led Zeppelin or Queen as a mixture of genres. You're just making that up.

Whenever I am asked to describe Led Zeppelin genre-wise, I say something along the lines of "Hard rock, blues rock, folk rock". Could be just me though.
#24
Quote by selkayann

Whenever I am asked to describe Led Zeppelin genre-wise, I say something along the lines of "Hard rock, blues rock, folk rock". Could be just me though.


depends on what they were plagiarising at the time, i guess
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#26
Quote by selkayann
Whenever I am asked to describe Led Zeppelin genre-wise, I say something along the lines of "Hard rock, blues rock, folk rock". Could be just me though.


Don't bullshit us. You've never been asked to describe Led Zeppelin "genre-wise" even once in your life.
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#27
theogonia777 I don't bullshit anyone. I've had conversations with people on the matter multiple times.
#28
theogonia777 If t
Quote by theogonia777
You're not even a real jazz player. Have you ever even played a gig on heroin?

If that's addressed to me, I can't remember :-)
https://soundcloud.com/jerry-kramskoy-1
#29
Quote by Dave_Mc

yeah the old not-seeing-the-wood-for-the-trees thing can happen if you're too into something. and groupthink.
Yes, but the deeper you get into a wood, the more interesting the individual trees become... It's all a matter of distance and perspective.

And sometimes "too much f****** perspective" - Nigel Tufnel.
Last edited by jongtr at Nov 22, 2016,
#30
^ Yeah.
Quote by crownegamers
I saw in a couple of pictures that on Bucketheads Les Paul (only some pictures) that his neck pickup is painted in white. Can anyone explain to me why he would do this, and if there are any pros and cons.

Quote by dspellman
The guy wears a KFC Bucket and a white mask during performances, and you're interested in the color of his pickup covers?

#31
Quote by jerrykramskoy
theogonia777 If t
If that's addressed to me, I can't remember :-)

lol