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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ramifications, repercussions and results to "Why do people in common ignore bands from their own country?"

André here, the friend ray spoke about on the Topic "Why do people in common ignore bands from their own country?"
I was writing a comment to that post and thinking more thoroughly about this issue.
Since it got a little big, I hope you don't mind me posting this as a "new separated" topic/post.
Also, a hooray for my very 1st post in a blog... :D
Let's get to the point already, arca!!!

How much the age of information we live in has collaborated to make this situation even worse???
The access to new music is easier, so why most still keep a close mind??? Our modern tools (Internet and the high speed, file sharing, digital files), IMO, are being used way wrongly by the masses!!!
One example of what I'm saying: on that same community, where I argued with the ungrateful, someone came and asked if anyone could upload the whole Deventter's album (Deventter, if you don't know, is a Brazilian prog-rock/metal band which became a little more known due to the fact that they were going to open for DT the last time they played here [begin of March] and it was in that time that the guy asked for the album). Of course, someone did the upload of the mp3 files of the whole album. What I'm trying to say is, WTH??? If you don't support your local bands, how can you expect them to grow, mature and make some really kickass music??? And the album isn't very expensive. US$ 10 for an album is quite the reasonable price, IMO. Damn, the guys, all quite young as usual, did all by themselves.
The excuse of "knowing the band before to buy it later" doesn't work, since nearly all bands on todays age put some mp3 files on the website or on TheirSpace.
The prog scene here is on the early stages... it's beginning to grow in number of bands. With no support from the so called fans of the style, it will soon stop. You can see that with bands that release only one cd (two at tops) and then vanishes... bands like Khallice, Sigma 5 (which sings in Portuguese, another factor for the Brazilians to dislike it), Akashic, Sleepwalker Sun. Then, what will happen is that the music will remain as a hobby for these guys, they will remain independent and will keep sounding as "amateurs". Other bands just change their style. Add more straight forward metal.
(a little different from the prog-rock scene here, which is already quite old [a little too old IMVHO... some very close minded guys there]. Even tho most prog-rockers appreciate the local bands, it's still a very close and small circle).

Other lame excuse is "I don't want to give the record label money, since they don't do a thing". Hell, if you don't also support the local and very small record label, how can they contract more artists, bring new foreign bands to the catalog?? How will it grow and make the prog a more known thing?
Like I said, here the prog scene is very small and underground. Only the really big shot bands like DT get their albums released nationally, mostly through the general metal oriented labels. Most of the albums are imported, and you know how much costs to import an album. One thing that make the labels doesn't want to release new things here is that "Who will buy it??? If even the local bands don't get a decent sale, how will the outside do??? I'm not in this to lose money, I'm not a philanthropist".
The 2 only prog specialized labels are very small and are constantly struggling to keep the business open, releasing only 2 or 3 albums (from local bands) a year. It's very expensive to release the albums, make the art, do the pressing, the promotion (and to who will be promoted???).
Most of the bands are independent and do all the jobs by themselves. It's a very costly process. A lot of bands have good ideas, but the production nearly always lack something.
The local bands struggle so much to make something, but nearly no one cares about it. But if Mike Portnoy shits on the stage, nearly everyone claps and bow to him...

Damn, if the price of the cds from foreign bands (imported or not) is so high, why not look for other substitute ways to appreciate music? Aside from discovering new interesting things on you local bands, you also support the whole scene to get better.

The same guys that keep asking for the mp3 of the albums all the time are the same ones that complain about the very few shows we get, the very abusive price of a concert ticket (usually around US$80), the very few releases from foreign bands, the lack of variety...
It's like Redemption says on the song Fullness of TIme - Part IV: Transcendence:
"I've been spending my whole life pursuing those who built this cell
Lamenting all the hateful things that happened to me
Never thought to look at how I might have played a part in who I am"

(it's in a different context, but fits)
Tho, most haven't realized this yet. They don't note how they have contributed to the crap shit stage things are right now and are going to.

No one is obligated to buy/love everything that's released, but to say that ALL the bands are crap, terrible, that the bands only cares for technic (they probably haven't heard much of math/tech metal)??? Doesn't make sense. To not be unfair, the "leader of the rather 'against local bands' movement" named the only band that he thinks it's truly unique, great and all. The band is Akashic, which I agree that it's a quite good band indeed, but ain't my fave from Brazil (also, I don't think there's THE MOST BEST band from Brazil).
They keep only searching for a new DT and keep only seeing flaws on the local bands. When a local band shows a sound similar to DT, they are just copycats who doesn't have any creativity. But when it's a band from outside (like, lets say, Circus Maximus), the band is great, the best thing that came up on the recent years.
I bet with any one that if DT was a local Brazilian band, during the time of release of WDADU, most would say the same thing: "bunch of showoffs only! Where is the melody??? the passion??? the feeling??? you suck!!!" (which I believe some actually said to the real DT when they released WDADU.
I really don't understand and can't find a logical explanation to this.

my personal conclusions:
1 - I'm realizing that I may be "preaching" for the wrong crowd here, since our regular posters/authors and log members have the consciousness about this. I really didn't want this to sound like a preach... just wanted to expose my thoughts about it.
2 - Excuse me if this took a rather rant tone. I just get quite pissed off by such attitude of ungratefulness!
3 - Even tho it may seem that I'm ranting against DT, I have nothing against them! It's just that they are the most commented on the community and seems to (still) be the parameter to decide what's good and wat isn't. I even had another example of a local band, but since it involved DT, I decided to not put it, since some may claim that I'm starting a persecution against them. Will only say that involves Freakeys and LTE.
4 - I'm not a saint, I'm not perfect, actually far from it! I have my flaws and am guilty of sometimes not paying attention to some unknown bands. But in the end, I try to do my part the best way I can.
5 - Why this "not appreciating the music of your local bands" happen? Dunno! Jealously??? Envy??? The lost of a strong connection with your home country???
6 - Not all the Brazilian guys on that community think like that, only the majority of around 80%....


stringray said...

Welcome to the blog, Andrè, it's nice to see your first post here.
It's interesting that this problem hurts you obviously more that me (being a musician). I don't mind the "ranty" style you got in this one (though i never read anything in a similar mood from you); you are still fair and don't offend anyone, so it is quite a mood that should be allowed in a blog imo.

It looks like Brasil is somehow more problematic to the music makers than any other country in general.
In the bonus DVD of Rush In Rio you can hear Geddy Lee stating that they never considered to tour Brasil because of the low cd sales they got there. Their agent for South America must have had a quite hard time, convincing them. And indeed, they played for 120.000 people on just 3 (!!!) nights. And the enthusiasm you see in the audience drives even me, as a watcher of the DVD, tears in my eyes.

No wonder it makes you so angry that most of the people want to get their beloved goods for free.

I'm a lucky person having met you who hunts down so many good bands from your country and don't even mind the costs for buying and shipping cds from Brasilian bands for me. You are a very special person, and I will continue to the same for you, my friend.

guitarsean said...

Welcome André. Feel free to rant away! I have to say that I am saddened and disappointed to hear that treatment of locals bands seems to be bad all over. I used to think it was just bad in the US. Still, Strange Land could probably tour overseas to good reception. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for foreign bands coming to the US. Even Canadian bands have trouble. The average US listener seems to only believe that good music is what is shoved down their throats on commercial radio and tv. And reading comments from you and Ray over the last few weeks almost makes me not want to tour overseas because I'd be taking attention away from equally deserving local bands.

There seems to be an attitude here that good bands only come from somewhere else. One of the best compliments I've received (several times) is hearing someone's surprise that we are a local band. I blame this partly on the sheer number of bad bands that there are. A website that lists Milwaukee area bands has nearly 3000 bands listed. The Milwaukee metro area has around 2 million people. That seems like a lot of bands to me, and I'm sure this site doesn't list everyone. I also blame he venue owners who don't care enough to screen bands they book. Then people get used to expecting crappy bands at their local bar. There is a saturation here and the average person just doesn't care to make the effort to sift through the crap to find something new they like.

I am curious though, do you feel that local bands in Brazil have to compete with other forms of entertainment? One of the biggest factors in the decline of live music of all genres in the US is that we have to compete with video games, movies, tv, dvd, etc, along with sporting events, theater... A lot of people just don't want to go out. They'd rather stay at home. Venues don't help by making shows start at 10pm, but still, there is a lot of competition. One of the more recent successful live concert types in the US are 'house concerts.' Performers, usually acoustic solo or small groups, go to someone's house and play a very intimate show for 10-20 people. I think it has caught on because its an 'in home' event. Unfortunately Strange Land can't really play house concerts.

Ok, well, I'm done ranting now :)

MVunit3 said...

No need to "beat yourself up".
thats a job for me to do to MYSELF :P

The "Redemption" lyric analogy was spot on!

Your Point is...
Heres something that relates to what you are saying here (As Ray and Sean have said in another post).
This was a reaction to a Progulus Listener by the name of
"IamFabio". He asked the people at the BARfest Forum:
"Who's Going to ProgPower USA?"

As I wrote to some of the attitudes, I make the analogy, "It's like, not knowing the opening act, and going outside for a smoke".
Sadly it seems universal, but I must say that us at Progulus, seem to just Eat Up anything that is new, old, soft, aggressive, anything Prog :)
We may not like a band but someone else always will, and we're not going to disown you for your quirks (raises hand, "Hi keedz! Mr. Freak of Nature, glad to meet you!") because YOUR tastes are valid.

If I am going to fork over ALOT of cash to see a band, and I have never heard of the openers, I want to get my money's worth, I want to see what the new kids got, and many a time, I ended up buying their CD's or Demos. I want to be surprised and enlightened (last band to do this was "3/Three" opening for Porky Tree).

Yes Arca, you are preaching to the choir, but...
I think this Forum, as our "Requests" on Progulus, hope to catch someones passing ear so THEY can say. . .
"Hey!... what was that?" :)

Go Arca Go!


I was gonna go on a rant about DT (because of some that Hate them, and Portnoy AND put them on such a high pedistal): "DT seems to be the "Jesus Christ" of Prog Metal. Praised AND Persecuted!", but I thought I should "Stay
on Target" ;)

arcarneiro said...

Thanks for the support, guys!!! :D It's great to be able to call you friends.

Ray, maybe this hurts me so much because of my strong love for music. I'm passionated about it! It always amazes me how you musicians find new different creative ways to make music interesting, to compose, to make things work together. I give a lot of respect to all the real musicians, even the ones that make music in a certain "type" that isn't actually my cup of tea. Ever since I started to listen to metal (as I posted here ) and till this very moment, I wanted to be involved with music. One of my dreams/goals is to learn how to play bass, but never had the time or the money to do so. Lately, I'm thinking about something in the production area, but still need to find the money and the time.
It saddens me to see such good music, young talented guys, be treated like that. There's so much effort put into the music and see someone else that doesn't do a thing call it crap?!?!? Hell, I get pissed off by this!!! No one is obligated to like it, but at least show some respect for it.
Other reason is that after I opened my own business, I started to look at things in a different way. When you depend of something to survive, something you dedicated your life to, and then comes someone who thinks that he has the right to get everything for free, screwing your business, it's terrible. Everyone wants to work on what they love to do, legally, under the law (even tho the law some[most of the]time screw you) and get paid to do so. How awesome is that?!?!?! But the way things are, is harder and harder each day!!!
Also, I know the bad reputation my country have. We should change it, improve it. I just try to show that we are more than just Samba and some damn naked women during carnaval! We are more than just soccer (tho, lately, we're playing quite crapply). But if even the Brazilians (so called prog-metal fans) doesn't appreciate the home made music, only wants to keep complaining about the bad music the masses listen to (samba, funk, pagode, axé etc, which are home made), how can we change this scenario???

Sean, as Ray commented about the Rush in Rio, the live concerts here still are a big thing. Even with the quite abusive price ticket ranging from US$70 to US$100, the last 3 DT concerts at begin of march were sold out (or nearly). Even with poor cd sales, the Rush show gathered that many people. Even the Iron Maiden, that played here like a Kzillion times, had their recent concerts here sold out. Another example is then PoS played here for the 1st and only (so far) time. It was still quite the unknown band here (I think it was during Remedy Lane). The price was equally abusive but on this occasion, the show (at Rio at least) was nearly empty, with below 50% of the venue capacity. :(
My point is that, here, the music doesn't compete with other forms of entertainment. Each form has it's own space. The problem here is how we experience those forms of entertainment (specially music). How the mp3 files can be reached, listened anytime it's desirable while doing a bunch of other things, without really paying attention to the music, feeling a strong connection to it. This leads to people only paying real attention to the bigshot ones, to the known bands, while listening briefly and poorly to the local bands just one time and saying "everything is crap"! Maybe this "how we experience things" is why the live concerts are still a big "profit" thing here, even with the violence (which helped the number of ppl at the concert to decrease, but still a good number goes to those more known concerts). To be there, present, experience the whole thing live, is a million years different!
To exemplify this and also to go a little back on to how much I love music, when I entered the high school, I became friend of a guy (today he is one of my best friends and step brother of my girlfriend) who had a band. At that time, it was mostly a cover band who played some pop-rock/hard-rock. Every time I could, I attended to the rehearsals, even tho they played songs that wasn't my cup of tea. It was fun, interesting to see them play. They always played "Rock & Roll All Night"... sometimes, I jumped in with some grunt vocals to it (after the 1st couple or words, my throat was already begin for mercy... :p).
Here, actually, all the forms of entertainment competes with urban violence, lack of interest and motivation by govt and general public, laziness, piracy, stupid greedy govt.

I really think that music doesn't have a price. Of course I think it should be payed. The costs with the production, the promotion, the graphical art, the pressing and so on, but the things we live and experience through music are priceless! How we are touched my other's ideas are beyond any monetary value, IMVHR (In My Very Humble Rant :p). That's why I do what I do, Ray. As long as I can, I'll keep spreading the Brazilian Music (even tho it might sound Euro or North American ;)). And to anyone that wants to known it, just ask me and I'll gladly send a cd. I really don't mind sending it when I'm able to!

guitarsean said...

Arca, can we clone you? You have a passion for music as a fan thats even lacking in some musicians. More like what you find in jazz and classical fans. I wonder if we're beating our heads on the wall sometimes playing 'metal' while trying to reach fans of a higher intellectual level. I suppose I sound like a snob saying that... oh well.

Off on a tangent... I kinda miss vinyl records. Not because of the sound, and they sure aren't convenient, but the ritual that went into listening. Getting them out, cleaning them, dropping the needle. Kinda like a Japanese tea ceremony. Cds and mp3s are just things without personality. [/ramble]