The Hard R

THE HARD R: DALLAS COYLE ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS, PART 3

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The Hard R with Dallas Coyle

Let’s start this off by saying I most likely WILL NOT listen to your band. When you post your link to your band I will ignore it. Unless you have some amazing pitch as to why I should listen to your music. If you’re my friend on Facebook I will listen to your shit. Otherwise, don’t post links in the comments section for me to hear. Right now, this blog is to answer serious questions.  Not pipe dreams about me passing on your amazing music to a record label. Most of them are on a signing freeze anyway. I understand the need to post your link in the comments for people to check out your band. Knock yourself out. Just don’t expect me to give my two cents.

OK, now that we got that out of the way, I wanted to turn you guys on to some new music I’ve been rocking…  drum roll…  Eryn Non Dae from France.

I found out about these fucks through this site. I’ll tell you, this shit is great. I listened to it three times in one day. It’s like Neurosis, Meshuggah, and Coalesce. I’m loving it. My new project will definitely be borrowing some of their ideas.

The new Behemoth. Nuff said. It’s Behemoth. The whole album kicks ass. Also, Colin Richardson killed on the mix. It sounds amazing and ferocious.

The new Burnt By The Sun is bad ass. The song “There Will Be Blood” is great. Yes, it takes the title from a popular movie but the song is so bad ass it doesn’t matter. Note to self, if you’re going to take a familiar title for your song, make sure the song is as good as Burnt By The Sun’s “There Will Be Blood.”

Poison The Well’s new stuff sounds great. I like Poison The Well a lot. Always have since Opposite Of December. Their use of the slide on their new material is pretty cool considering the genre. They are pushing the boundaries.

Onto the new guilty pleasure… I used to talk shit about this band when I was in God Forbid. I don’t feel bad about it ’cause I was on my high horse, but… I think Bring Me The Horizon’s new record is pretty cool. I don’t know why I like it so much but I do like it. And that is a good thing to not know exactly why I like something.

If you want to ask a question that doesn’t involve me listening to your music, leave it in the comments section. I will check it. If the questions are good like the ones below, I’ll answer them. Also, funny questions work too!

On to the motherfucking questions:

@Shinaain

“You’ve written at length about how the metal business has changed drastically in the last few years. I started sneaking into clubs when I was 13-years-old to see whoever was playing on any given night. Most of them had nothing to lose and everything to gain, so they threw it down like it really meant something. All these years later, that’s still the truth I understand. Many of my favorite bands I was initially exposed to by going to see who was playing the local scene on any given night and/or demos sold out of the back of a van. Nowadays, I add any of those bands who are still together (and a few more who later made it big) or the newer bands on my radar to my friends list and I’m nearly instantaneously inundated with add requests from bands whose pages present very little music content and no tour dates. A lot of them use my favorite band’s pages as their personal bulletin boards (obnoxious). I find this paradigm shift to be confusing and slightly disheartening. I’m predisposed to value live performance over the recorded track. My music collection is highly valuable to me, but in my opinion everything comes out in the wash live and that’s what really counts. Road-dogging being the metal standard nearly from the beginning, I don’t feel that’s unreasonable on my part. And maybe it IS a misconception on my part, but I DO perceive that many of the newer generation of bands have a “get-made” work ethic, like American Idol for the metal industry or something — the expectation being that the social networking sites will do it all for them, therefore nullifying the need for getting out there and throwing it all down live.

“I understand that touring is expensive, usually uncomfortable (I’m sure you slept in the van enough nights back in the day to attest to that), and often dangerous, but all the same, nothing replaces the vitality and immediacy of a capably performed live show; which, I attest, is still the definitive litmus test for our genre. I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this.”

This is a very cool and dense observation. You hit on a lot of points here. First and foremost, yes, touring is still the litmus test for this genre. But in all honesty, touring is the litmus test for any band in any genre. Case in point, I was listening to an easy listening station the other day and they had a live performance by Rick Springfield.  Yes, Rick Springfield. But guess what.  Rick Springfield sounded amazing and he impressed the shit out of me. He’s a pro. And actually, it’s much harder to be that good on radio. So bands definitely need to have their shit together when they play live. And the crazy thing is, being a new band, you HAVE to tour to get that live show together. Live show is more than banging your head in unison. It’s about vibe. And as a band who writes as a unit, you have to work these things out by playing all the time.  Which costs TONS of money. These days money ain’t around.

The situation changes when you have a group like Marilyn Manson or NIN. Those bands are fronted by the personality that drives the project, so the focus is mainly on them. It’s easier in a situation like that to kick ass live because, being a singular entity, the audience expects something different from the band. Remember, the live show depends as much on the audience as it does on the band. If the audience is on your side then your job is easier. If it’s not, you’re fucked.

As far as bands spamming your Myspace, this is one reason why the Internet is absolutely necessary in the music and film genres in the times we live in. Now that we have access to everything all of the time, people are getting smarter, there’s more to ingest and there’s more ways to get out there. There are more bands who are OK. Rather than just shitty.

This is why I laugh at the labels when they blame Internet downloading for shitty sales. Yes, it hurts a lot but at the same time without the downloading it’s very unfair for the customer. Back in ’98 when the Internet wasn’t prominent, word of mouth was the way you found out about bands. I spent 30 bucks a week on CDs. Now you hear about three bands a fucking day. No one is going to drop that type of cash on a whim.

I will say one thing though. Most bands that are great these days usually get noticed in a way that is kind of like the old days. The avenues are different. Take me discovering Eryn Non Dae for example.  I found them through Metalsucks. To cut down on your spam from bands, limit your avenues of exposure to friends’ opinions you trust and the sites you trust. Also, go to a live show where you don’t know any bands. It’s easier spending twelve bucks for five bands playing live rather than sixty bucks for five CDs you may not like.

@Ste

“Hey Dallas, congrats for this blog, it’s very well done and I’m sure lots of people are digging it. I sing in a death metal band from Europe. We’re signed and soon we’ll hit the studio to record our second album. Bad thing is we won’t have a budget big enough to record with a good name and pay for a tour (yeah,in Europe u have to pay for touring,ridiculous isn’t it?!). Do you think it’s better to save a bit on the recordings or try to get the best sounding album and keep on using the DIY touring ethic we’ve used to tour Europe in support of our first record? Thanks!”

Thanks for the props on the blog. Listen man, you have to record your album with what you have. A lot of times the tension of the deadline can make its way onto the record in a good way. As long as you don’t fall apart as a band in the studio, the money problem can work to your advantage. Also, people like raw sounds when a band is new.  Our first record was done in ten days over a six month period (Although we did work with a big name producer). It was tough but it got us signed. Also, in the situation of a tight budget you don’t have time to over-think things, which can kill a good vibe. Just go for it with what you got. Shit, you could be in a situation where no one is vouching for you at all and you can’t get a tour to save your life.

@GoPens!

“Are guitar techs a luxury or a necessity on the road? Thanks.”

If you’re Slayer it’s a necessity.  If you’re the brand new band on Metal Blade getting paid 100 bucks a night eating shitty pizza and drinking shitty beer every night, it’s a luxury.

@metalguy

“Whats your opinion on toon porn?”

It got your dick hard when you were thirteen years old. Urotskidoji, what! (if you know Urotskidoji, I’ll listen to your shitty band) Here’s to hard nipples!

@Matthew Stacy

“What advice would you give to a guitarist who started at 16 and a half but is now 18 and finally starting to take this thing very seriously. I finally started practicing like I should and taking some theory lessons and would like to be in a metal band that might even possibly get signed someday. Is it too late to start taking this thing serious? Any advice?”

Me, Doc, Byron and Corey started jamming two years after I started playing. We played covers and wrote originals. We sucked in the beginning. We got signed four years later. No, it’s not too late. You have to get some musicians together and start the band. Theory isn’t going to teach you how to deal with an asshole in the band. Theory isn’t going to teach you how to network. It also isn’t going to teach you how to find your sound as a band. Get some niggas or niggettes together, get in a rehearsal space and stop fucking around. By the way, you make me feel old… 18 is when you start this business. 28 is when you’re spit out. Then you have to find a real fucking job.  I’m older than both. Thanks a lot, bud, for making me feel like Ed McMahon.

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