Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Death of Rock? Not Bloody Likely

An article over at The Guardian is stating that we are witnessing the death of rock and roll as an art form. The piece goes on to explain that rock is accounting for a very small percentage of mainstream sales, and that these are the final days of the genre.

Quite frankly; No.

Rock music may well account for very little airplay on mainstream radio and next to no portion of mainstream charts, but to say that the genre is on its last legs is remarkably blinkered for such a respectable publication. Rock music is not dying. It is not vanishing. The genre, its bands and its fans just have no interest in appealing to an audience that is content to exist on a diet of X-factor winners and losers, novelty singles, insipid Hip Hop knockoffs and bland dance music with a short shelf life.

Rock music may have something of a lower profile in the UK, but that's largely down to the scene just getting on with releasing music and playing gigs, rather than obsessing over a celebrity ideal or relying on reality show votes. Charts mean nothing any more. After being actively shoved off the TV channels, radio stations and mainstream magazines, rock has developed its own world and is far from dead. In fact, it is more alive now than it has been in a long time.

Look to the festivals. I don't mean the festivals full of passing-fad bands like Glastonbury and suchlike. I mean the festivals that are global. The festivals that, in this age of rock's apparent death, keep on getting bigger. Download. Sonisphere. Wacken.

The piece brings up a lack of album sales and a lack of chart presence. Says who? The bands are selling their albums to the people that will appreciate them. Rock music has always had an underground mentality, and always survives no matter what the passing trends are. It changes, yes, but it doesn't fade away. As a genre it has been around for fifty years, evolving out of the blues, and it will continue to evolve for at least another fifty years. Rock is bigger than just this tiny island. In the grand scheme of the music industry, pop music from the UK is insignificant. The charts are even less so.

Check out the rock magazines, such as the one I proudly write for. Go to a rock gig. Go to a metal gig. Go to a rock club. Soak up that atmosphere. See how much the music and lifestyle means to people. Then tell me rock is dead.

Then apologize for being so wrong.

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