It’s a question that I’ve heard before when listening to podcasts of the Classic Metal Show, but the interview that I listened to today with singer Glenn Hughes struck a chord. Are there any current bands that will stand the test of time, that will reach legendary status like their predecessors Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath? Hughes’ answer was simple: No. According to Hughes, “Metal is a dead animal in America.”
Why? Because there’s nothing really timeless or impressive about today’s rock bands. No one is breaking any boundaries or blowing us away. It’s heartbreaking and sad to watch this genre waste away to become corporate generated, money making, cookie cutter bullshit. As I’ve said a million times over, there is no soul in today’s music. There’s not one current band that has the balls to fill the shoes of its forefathers.
I’m not sure when the decline of rock started, but for me it started in the 90’s with the birth of bands like Limp Bizkit and Puddle of Mud. The 80’s still produced legends like Metallica and Motley Crue, but after grunge came and went, it felt like the driving force of rock left right along with it.
Did Limp Bizkit sound different than any other rock band I’d heard before? Yes. Did I like it? No. Was there any part of me that thought for one second that this band was creating some of the greatest music ever? Not a chance in hell. There weren’t any bands from then or now who I believe are creating one lick of music that will carry on the rock torch.
Chris Akin from the Classic Metal Show brought up a very good point during his interview with http://www.heavymetal.about.com, “When you think about when we grew up, how many bands did you discover simply by seeing them open for a big band? For me, the list is long, and encompasses almost every band that is part of my day to day listening. But now, there’s nothing on the horizon.” I guess I never stopped to think about how many great opening acts I used to see at shows compared to today. I went to see Motley Crue a couple of months ago and wasn’t impressed by any of the opening acts. But when I was in 9th grade, I went to see Skid Row and this kick ass band called Pantera opened. And Pantera may be one of the only bands from the 90’s who I would even consider an exception to the rule; they are legendary.
So what do we do? Where do we go? How do we save rock? I’m not so sure there’s an answer. My suggestion is to open your mind and ears to bands you’ve never heard before, underground bands, local bands and give them a chance and support them. I’m trying to expose myself to as much music as I can and trying to find new channels to find that music. Take a few minutes and listen to that band that’s trying to add you as a friend on myspace. Take a friend’s suggestion and listen to the band he saw the other night at some bar. If they’re worthy, pass the info on.
There’s got to be a band or two out there who has it in them to create some kick ass music that 50 years from now can at least rock at the same level as AC/DC or Aerosmith. I’d hate for future generations to look back on the 1990’s and 2000’s and think that Nookie was one of our greatest contributions to rock.
Am I totally deaf and stupid? Do you know of any bands who you think can carry the rock torch?