Forging New Music Perceptions Since 2014
I sit on the middle of the fence with images/attitudes like this. On one hand, I feel it is very important to support up and coming artists but at the same time, I don’t think supporting an act just because they are from your local area is really beneficial if they aren’t up to par or if you dislike their music.
I think now that we have this great tool known as the internet and have the ability to access music from all around the world, instead of restricting ourselves to supporting music that comes from our area, we should be supporting the acts that we love from across the globe. It’s one of the reasons I started writing this blog and also why I became involved with street teams for record labels and on student radio.
There are some absolutely fantastic artists around the UK and Ireland playing metal (metal being my main area of interest), but they aren’t all from the same location, they are widespread across the islands. I would personally prefer to help to plug these artists on the radio show instead of limiting ourselves to those within Aberdeenshire. That isn’t to say there isn’t fantastic talent in my local area. Last year I happily watched Korpse and Thrashist Regime on a few occasions, but they are the cream of the crop. I have been listening to some fantastic artists from across the world in the same time period who have really inspired me and who I feel should be given a lot more exposure than they are given.
I remember when I first started working for a street team. This was not within Aberdeenshire, it was in another location in the UK. We used to go around our local area putting up posters of upcoming releases through the label, handing out stickers and promotional CDs and generally trying to raise the awareness of new music in our area to our target market. It was met by a lot of resistance and hostility from people within the local scene who did not like us promoting for one of the big labels rather than putting up posters for local artists. For me this was absolutely insane!
We all have to start somewhere with our tastes in music. I started by listening to Fear Factory and a number of bands that featured in metal magazines and on promotion CDs when I was 14 or 15. I went on to play in two bands, promoted on a number of street teams, went to college to study music, worked in a music store and now co-host a radio show. I have found my taste in music has progressed and expanded over the years. I listen to some very well-known artists right down to artists that have under 10 listeners on Last.fm. I regularly go to my local pub to watch rock and metal artists. If Fear Factory hadn’t hooked me in, I would probably still be listening to boy bands and the pop charts.
So my advice: check out your local scene and support the bands that inspire you and get along to shows where possible, but remember, there are some fantastic bands at the grassroots level not just in your area but across the world. Get yourself onto Bandcamp and Spotify and check out music for free or at a low price and then buy the merch of the bands you like, or go out and see them live. And remember, if you find a gem to share it with your friends! Never underestimate the power of word of mouth!