Beyonce Producer Claims Guitar Music Is at an 'All Time Low'

Greg Kurstin says he is waiting for a band to come back with "something raw and relevant."

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Producer Greg Kurstin, who has worked with Lily Allen, Beyonce and Kelly Clarkson, says guitar music is at an "all time low."

The hitmaker spoke exclusively to NME following the success of his work on Sia's album "1000 Forms of Fear," which recently went to Number One in the USA. In addition to working with pop stars, Kurstin has also worked with the Flaming Lips and Karen O but feels that the fortunes of rock music are lower than ever before.

"I'm still waiting for rock bands to come back, something raw and relevant," says Kurstin.

"There are a lot of rock bands out there, but it's a hard time for rock. Everything is so pop right now so I'm waiting for something to be the anti-version of that. Something raw, maybe a guitar band. I know there are a lot of guitar bands, probably more so than in the UK then there are in America, but it's really at an all-time low in America.

"So I'm waiting for something exciting, raw and that to me will hopefully be the next thing after pop has exploded as much as it possibly can."

46 comments sorted by best / new / date

    JewishMilkman
    The tunings are at an all time low.
    TheLiberation
    You can laugh at low tuning all you like, and so do I sometimes, but seriously. The sound of low notes with a good, fat, high-gain tone. Like A tuning or lower. Omg. ...brb.
    TheLiberation
    Seriously, at this point my automatic reaction whenever I see someone saying "ROCK/GUITAR MUSIC IS DEAD (OR DYING)" is starting to be "go **** yourself with a cactus". How ignorant do you have to be? Are you kidding me?
    jrodgers
    What they are referring to is guitars being almost completely absent in popular music. You can't really deny that fact.
    TheLiberation
    "I'm still waiting for rock bands to come back, something raw and relevant" "There are a lot of rock bands out there, but it's a hard time for rock" Sorry, he's not talking about popular music, he's basically claiming that rock bands almost don't exist anymore. I won't even bother going into any "underground" bands that are having a huge impact, I'll just drop it that off the top of my head, Muse and U2 are still selling out huge stadium concerts all over the world, and last time I checked, both are 90% guitar-driven bands with roots 100 km deep in rock.
    Kueller917
    "Relevant" likely means relevant in the popular scene. And the guy is a pop producer so is likely talking about that realm. Muse and U2 are great gutiar acts but I woulnd't call them the raw anti-pop acts mentioned in the article.
    TheLiberation
    Except I'd actually say that the fact good rock or "guitar music" is out of the popular scene is the best thing for the genre possible. There is no tension for bands to adapt to what the currently "cool" genre is. Pop can be the crappy autotuned semi-porn it is now, while decent bands will find a way with enough perseverance, and internet also helps that to happen a lot. And all of this doesn't change the fact that there are still rock or metal bands that manage to earn lots and sell out large venues, from younger bands Avenged Sevenfold comes to my mind for example. (I barely know them, but they're quite undoubtedly famous.)
    matteo cubano
    People must not have read the article judging at the response. He's right.
    TheLiberation
    I read it quite carefully, knowing UG's recent love for massively misleading headlines, but what he says is exactly as stupid as the article suggests.
    cemerson2012
    "Producer Greg Kurstin, who has worked with Lily Allen, Beyonce and Kelly Clarkson, says guitar music is at an "all time low."" He's worked with successful 'musicians' who use drum machines and vocal backing tracks so he's an expert at guitar music.
    Niiko
    Just because you're known for something doesn't mean you can't do anything else. He wouldn't be where he is if he couldn't do shit. But I take it you're an expert on people's careers, right?
    Izzy-Sweet
    Christ, these are the words of a professional producer?! Fuck me, the music industry is worse than I thought...
    vels7545
    I don't know how it is in the USA but in Holland where I come from there are multiple dutch rockbands (english singing) and a few belgian and english rockbands being played on the radio every day
    RichieJovie
    Thanks for that Einstein. Nothing wrong with guitar music, you just aren't listening to it.
    BlackLabel5150
    I know I'm a bit older... but what the hell IS relevant and who defines that?
    HUNDuffman
    dude you are a fossil, he is the arbiter of everything, everybody knows that, you should climb out of your crypt more often than every ten million years
    entropicxdisson
    Well Fallujah, Agalloch, Mastodon, Triptykon, Mayhem, and countless others have all dropped spectacular albums this year...
    siamesedream777
    For a moment i thought he said something like " Guitar Music it's all about All Time Low"... and i was like LOL, All Time Low Is cool, but you cant be serious... Anyway, this guy is a joke.
    Akkeli
    Indeed, guitar music is at an all time low. Schecter recently introduced a nine string guitar
    MaggaraMarine
    Why should guitar music be more mainstream? It could just get annoying. Mainstream music gets annoying really fast because there's always just one trend that everybody follows. If guitar music was the trend, guitar music would get pretty tiresome pretty fast. I'm pretty sure this was the case in the late 80s. There were hundreds of bands that sounded the same and all of them had a crazy guitar shredder. But then came grunge that was all about playing simple stuff. I'm pretty sure people got sick of all the guitar shredders and that's why people thought grunge sounded so fresh. There are lots of "guitar bands" that people listen to. They may not get that much radio play but people still go to their concerts and buy their albums. You don't need to be mainstream to be popular. And there are lots of guitar bands that are really popular. Also, I don't think guitar will be relevant in mainstream music. That's because people want new sounds. I'm pretty sure mainstream music in the future will stay pretty electronic.
    JPMetalHead07
    Popular "mainstream" rock bands have guitars in their music, but to me, they are used very minimally and I feel like they are just making music to become famous and well known when music is supposed to be about passion, blood, sweat and tears. I mostly listen to everything(except pop) but that is why I love metal and classic rock so much because there is so much dedication and power in that music than what is playing on the radio most of the time. Just my opinion though.
    finallife6
    Producer Greg Kurstin, who has worked with Lily Allen, Beyonce and Kelly Clarkson, says guitar music is at an "all time low." "There are a lot of rock bands out there, but it's a hard time for rock. Everything is so pop right now so I'm waiting for something to be the anti-version of that. This contradicts itself so greatly, he is largely helping artists making more pop stuff while complaining about it, good lord
    minor7
    Maybe the ****ing suits who control the music business should give some guitar bands a fighting chance now and then if that's what they think.
    Sloan7
    I really don't agree with opinions like this for a number of reasons. Mainly that, if anything, artists are coming out with their best albums in a while (QOTSA, Sabbath, Arctic Monkeys) and other groups are making music that is more guitar oriented such as Daft Punk and Linking Park where the overall tone of the album is dominated by guitars. I don't really see a problem with guitar music when more recently "newer" bands like The Black Keys, Haim, Dead Sara, Ume and Cage the Elephant are becoming pretty big and put on fantastic alive shows.Hell some 13 year old metal band just got signed to Sony.
    sloppyjoe24
    Pop is only hot because that's what the radio stations insist on playing. Not a great representation of what is actually liked.
    metallideth88
    Everyone who wants to be a producer should just study the entire Beatles discography. Or Pink Floyd