It's a funny thing, the music business.
When I played my first gig last century (not that I feel old or anything), I was 16 years old. I had, at this point, downloaded more albums from napster and soulseek than I had been to gigs, but back in 2001 no one was talking about the demise of album sales or the live music scene. However, an article I recently read at digitalmusicnews sounds the death knell. When even Atlantic records are jumping on the quick-buck bandwagon, what hope for the major labels?!
Just think of the luminaries that Atlantic brought us:
- Ray Charles
- The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
- John Coltrane
- Dr. Dre
- Roberta Flack
- Led Zeppelin
The eclecticism (presuming that's a word), the different tastes catered for, from trad jazz to heavy metal, are all represented by this stellar roster.
Maybe we should have spotted the danger when they signed Blues Brothers... the commercial intention is clear, but at least they had some great songs!
And don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with commercialism - some of the albums I listen to are some of the highest selling records of all time, from Pink Floyd to Michael Jackson. But, the new culture that has rooted itself in the last 15 years, as digitalmusicnews suggests, is to throw money at anything that will make. money. now! It doesn't have to be musical, it just has to attract the gaze of the emaciated 21st century pop-fan, whose diet of musical junk food is causing wasting diseases in the ear. We must seek to educate them, for this is one case when ignorance is Not bliss. Your average Justin Bieber fan / X Factor viewer may not, despite my best intentions, appreciate the guitar work of Steve Hackett on Blood on the Rooftops by Genesis (which I think is a ridiculously beautiful song), but we could at least start with Blood on The Dance Floor by Michael Jackson...
There is hope, though. As hundreds of thousands of independent musicians, mostly solo performers armed with a brace of guitars and tech hit the road on their own never-ending** tours, and with the proliferation of facebook live et al, we can expect to enjoy more content from our screens.
We can also hope for (and help to influence) a revolution where community matters, where events are more than just 4 groups of kids with skinny jeans and shiny guitars staring at their pedalboards...
As for Temporal Comet, you will see less of us in real life, and more of us working in the studio, collaborating with our favourite musicians in London, and occasionally poking our heads out from the comfort of our monitor speakers to play some special gigs, generally wearing too many sparkly things.
Don't forget to keep up with us (which is difficult if you know about the velocity of comets) here:
** Bob Dylan famously toured so much, especially through the 80s and 90s, that his tour was known as never-ending. Bob, in a desire to play more and more never-before-played venues, was last seen disappearing below the pacific ocean to entertain fishes, whose favourite Dylan album remains 'Pond on Pond'.