ONE-MAN BEDROOM PROJECTS AND INTER-CONTINENTAL BANDS: WHEN IS A “BAND” ACTUALLY A BAND?
Are inter-continental bands the new thing?
Last month I wrote about RXYZYXR, a Swedish band using the power of the Internet to search for a vocalist regardless of location. Just the other day reader Owen W. emailed us to tell us about Slice the Cake, a really talented progressive death metal band whose members span three two continents and three countries. To my knowledge the band hasn’t ever played together in the same room, and even if they wanted to they couldn’t; Jonas Johansson (Sweden) handles guitars, bass and drums on the admittedly awesome-sounding recordings that he produced, so the band hasn’t even got a full lineup in place. But this “band” is undoubtedly quite good, at least on record. Slice the Cake are absolutely worth paying attention to; please check them out.
With stories like this and myriad one-man bedroom projects releasing quality material these days, it begs the question… when is a band actually a band? If a group of guys (or girls) calling themselves a band have never actually played together in the same room are they accurate in calling themselves a band? Should a band who’s never played a note in front of an audience be taken seriously?
What happens when a one-man bedroom project hires musicians and makes a real go of it? In some cases you’d probably call it a true band (Nine Inch Nails, Periphery) but in other cases you might not (modern Guns N’ Roses, any singer-songwriter whose band constantly fluctuates ala Tom Petty, Butch Walker, Bruce Springsteen etc). What about one-man bands who adamantly stick to their one-man band status (Keith Merrow, Chimp Spanner) and never touch a touch?
I suppose it all comes down to semantics and how you define “band.” I’m curious to know what you all think. Weigh in below.