Special Request: Be Original

Original

I just got back from a live show I performed in Denver, Colorado. I played the second day of a three day EBM, PowerNoise, Goth type Festival. Some of the other acts included Hocico, Phyclon Nine, Rome and Terrorfakt. I’ve never been to Denver before and overall it was a good experience. Denver is called the mile high city because it’s exactly one mile higher than sea level. It has more sun than L.A. and the driving from the airport Denver looks like a desert with the giant Rocky Mountains off in the distance. The city’s old area looks a bit like a cowboy town mixed with a Long Island N.Y. strip mall.

I decided to go early to the club (The Bar Standard) and hear some music. I was a bit disappointed. The bands and DJs before I played were all competent. Songs had beginnings, middles and ends. The live shows had scarred keyboard stands in front of patent leathered heavily made up freaks. The showman ship was there. They bands ran back and forth in front of the audience and the audience yelled on command. So what was the problem? It was all derivative, watered down, copy cat music. Each song had some elements of a once great song. The message was, “We sound like…” instead of “We are…!”.

I know it’s not just the EBM/goth scene that is suffering from this phenomena. One could argue all art is going through a similar type of troubled these days. All I can plead is for artists to find their own real voice based on their own real life actions. Don’t try and be interesting. Be interesting and then afterward tell us about it. Those are the only stories, songs, paintings I want to hear!

For more info: www.myspace.com/vendettafestival

photo credit: quinn.anya

This entry was written by Oliver Chesler, posted on September 28, 2009 at 6:03 am, filed under political, song writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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12 Responses to “Special Request: Be Original”

  1. Gmez says:

    i also can’t understand why these ‘gothic’ bands call themselves ‘Dark Electro’. they don’t even know anything about the original Electro or its roots. ROMpler keyboards & dance workstations are normality among such groups. They have much more common with songwriting/theatre – not with electronic music

  2. L.72 says:

    Sadly that’s why I stopped listening to anything gothic based after the Sisters of Mercy. I think a lot of it has to do with the artists themselves just going thru the motion. When I lived on the West Coast my girlfriend (at the time) and I went to see one of her friend’s old bands play that were coming thru town, this band is quite a popular band in that scene and I was surprised to find when talking with the guitarist after the show that he didn’t even like that kind of music anymore – he was just playing in the band because it earned him money and he didn’t think the more experimental/ambient pieces he preferred to perform would resonate with an audience on the same scale (which probably is correct.)

  3. Tazz says:

    Midwest is kinda like that really, we aren’t to interesting folk, even our artist and musicians. I think if memory serves me right Denver would be better at acoustic rock than EBM/goth styling. How is playing Gotch acts like Hocico and Psyclon Nine differ from more hard line EBM bands?

  4. kev on music says:

    you definitely got a point there man!

  5. Chud says:

    Denver sucks. I lived there for 35 years and it’s a bunch of posers.
    It’s not that cowboy anymore. It’s pretty progressive and there is a ton of cash that flows through there, in probably the parts you didn’t see. You really have to know where to hang out. But I’m assuming they stuck you on Broadway or Colfax. It’s nasty down there and I don’t blame you for wanting to get out of there. You probably would hate the super nice areas though. Too trendy.

  6. I don’t want to make an impression that I didn’t like Denver or any of the music. The promoters and venue were great and the city was nice. The bands before me were all capable but I just really felt there wasn’t any strong message so what’s the point then? On the other side maybe they are having fun and that’s what it’s all about.

  7. Jimmy Jams says:

    The accessibility and democracy of smaller scenes and technology probably brings to prominence a lot of acts that are still “figuring it out,” thematically or stylistically…we’ve all been there, I’m sure.

    But I’d say for sure that a band like Hocico – especially live – has something to say. They might have inspired a number of acts to follow that same digital, dissonant, new electro-industrial sound, and they probably put more stock in getting themselves across aggressively than in high production values, but I think in terms of the passion in their performance, and the authenticity of their experience growing up and living in Mexico, they’re kinda special.

  8. Review of the evening from the Denver Westwood music blog: click here

  9. c.db.sn says:

    I was at Day one of the V-fest primarily to support friends acts, I didn’t bother to stick around for the headliner. I skipped days 2 and 3 for this exact reason. I was entertained, but its frustrating to see a handful of bands all utilizing the same sounds and pretty much doing the same thing act after act.

    I was bored.

    That combined with poor production in some of the acts backing tracks (one act sounded like they had a BP filter over their whole backing track!) I was not amused.

    Cursed Chimera put on a great show, as did Blackcell, but I dunno… I stopped making “industrial” music years ago, i became more interested in IDM and more “techy” stuff, and the scene became stale for me, not enough innovators, too many bandwagoners and copycats…

    meh, maybe im just getting old/bitter/ect.

  10. 8Bit says:

    wfku.org ppl, gothams dark alternative — our current project is to feed the kids the real smack and not let them know.

  11. Dark soldier says:

    Wanted to post this FBook message from Vendetta (aug6):

    “I firmly believe in doing things right or not at all. That is why it is with great disappointment that I have to announce the Vendetta Festival will not be happening this year; due to the time constraints involved, financial considerations, and the lack of viable venues for the money. This is an unfortunate but necessary re-set, and it will allow us to come back bigger and better than ever next year”

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