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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Why do people in common ignore bands from their own country?

I got a dear friend in Brasil, Andrè, better known as Arcaneiro at progulus. We began to help each other out in filling leaks in our local markets by sending cds each other from local bands that aren't distributed on the other end.

In his latest e-mail he came up with a topic that bothers me since years. That's what he wrote:

"... was just having a discussion with some guys on a brazilian community about prog-metal.
One guy asked: "what do you think of the brazilian prog-metal bands???" Since the prog-metal isn't a very known thing here, there are quite few bands and so on...
Most of the guys answered something like this: "all the bands I've hard aren't good!!! They are only about the technic and don't have any feeling!!! Not like DT, that have passion on what they make!!!"

I stopped and said: "WTF?!?!!?"
I know most of our bands ain't a top notch thing or revolutionary, but I know they have some quality, something that makes them interesting at least! They lack a couple of things indeed, like investment, interest, creativity... but, having only technic??? Some, may I say, even lack that!!! But even so, I can't understand that!!! One of the most criticized bands was Khallice... do I have different abnormal ears??? do we listen to it in a different way???

So, what I really wanted to ask you is, over Germany, do you have many of those ungrateful stupids too? Probably, the prog-metal scenario over there is different, but wanted to know how it is.... are there many independent bands over there??? Ppl also only care about the big shot bands or they have a consciousness about their home made music??? Also, how most react to a new unknown independent band from outside???"

Firstly, to answer your questions, Andrè,
- Yes, you do have abnormal ears. Otherwise you wouldn't listen to prog. :D

- Yes, you do listen to music in a different way, You don't just accept what the media industy suggests and go with it. You are always on the hunt for something new to widen your tastes.

- And yes, it is the same situation over here. Exactly the same.

We have so many great prog bands in Germany, progulus counts 78 german bands. These are prog and fusion bands only. If you consider that there may be even more good bands in other genres, you get quite an imagination in how many german bands made it to record their own cd.
And all of them have a normal day job, and make their music just for the fun of doing it.

Fact is that the general music fan doesn't even listen to them before critisizing. A german prog metal fan accuses a local band of imitating Dreamtheater, only because they play prog metal. A band can come from almost everwhere in the world, they don't need to be any special, they'll have their fans over here. If the band is from Germany, they don't seem to be worth a listen at all.

So the situation is here is quite the same as in Brasil. A band must have success abroad first, then the local people will be proud about the band that came from their country. There's no support from your local people here, bands must spread the world for gaining succes, then they'll be loved here. Scorpions is probably the best example for this.
Due to some conversations of ameriproggers at the progulus chat I watched, I think it is even the same in the US.

Why is that? For what reason are people so against bands from their own country? What makes a local band shrink in the fans' looks. This phenomenon isn't any similar to the Hollywood syndrome in the movie business. Fans don't just look at one place like, say, New York, they take every good music from all over the globe, but not from the place they live. Are we ashamed of the music from the next guy?
How can a band ever gain momentum if the local fans simply ignore them? Not just that, they bash local bands.

I think it's time for a worldwide "support-your-band-next-door" campaign.
Oh, but then everbody would accuse me propagating to ignore foreign bands. Definately I don't. As Andrè said, we need to bring a national music conciousness to our people's minds. But how?


BG said...

I suppose its part jealousy and part lack of faith in anything locally. I think most people want local bands to succeed, but have a hard time picture it they think negatively so they wont be disappointed when the band doesn't gain momentum.

guitarsean said...

Yeah, the more people I talk to from around the world the more I find its the same. Local bands are ignored in US, too. There is just some kind of ingrained attitude that good bands come from somewhere else. Strange Land has sold as many cds outside of the US as we have here. This might not be such a bad thing if one had the resources to travel and play all over the world, but, well... I don't. Most of the local bands here that have success are cover bands. I don't know how you get past a listener's desire for familiarity.
Supporting local music means supporting live music and unfortunately there has been a big decline in the interest in live music over the past 20 years. Hopefully this is a cycle and someday soon people will rediscover the fun of seeing live, original music performed by real people.