I speak not in terms of actual conduct with people you do business with [even if some people in this industry need a good hard throttling] but in terms of image, attitude, and sound. Nice is boring. So is pretty. So is polished.
Am I the only one who ever noticed that we get a period of glossy empty pop at the forefront and then some nasty hard rock band comes in and shits on the parade and pop fades away for a while? Thank fucking God…
Pop bubbles like a festering boil and everyone’s chasing the next big thing on the assumption it will be just like last year’s big thing, not realizing that everyone’s already sick of that and making derisive image memes to post on Facebook and wanting something different. And when pop is big it seems to me the squeakiest wheel is the one trying to climb the ladder on her knees with her mouth open but not to sing, which works in a genre where you don’t need to have anything to say and in fact they prefer you don’t.
But the masses can only stomach the garbage output from the garbage input for so long. When you start hearing about producers’ or A&R reps’ girlfriends being allowed to co-write that’s usually a reliable sign that things have jumped the shark on the current cycle. [Hell, even the drummer’s girlfriend, though these days who even has a real drummer?]
Pop is about to burst and crash and burn like Phoenix’s real estate bubble a few years back, and what comes up next is vicious raw rock written by the people who actually play it.
Let’s see here… long before I was born we had the likes of Frank Sinatra and Connie Francis give way to Elvis and Little Richard when they were young and dangerous. Then the Beatles seemed dangerous but that was just the haircuts because really it was the Stones. The flower pop pop followed by Iggy, and disco spat on by the Pistols…
I remember how one week the rock stations were playing Bon Jovi and Poison and “Kokomo” and then suddenly it was “Welcome to the Jungle” and around the same time Alice Cooper put out a new record. And of course I was too young to realize that was also the time when Metallica suddenly blew up into the mainstream, and of course Ministry was then as big as it was going to get but Nine Inch Nails was just getting started.
And the pop rock held on a while longer and then Nirvana annihilated them, followed by Soundgarden and Pearl Jam [and NIN and Manson too, a little behind the 8-ball].
And then there was that godawful Backstreet Boys garbage and Mariah Carey and Britney and whatever other pestilence came about.
And even the rock bands since were leaning pop. Some exceptions of course, and in the last 20 years the “mainstream” has been fractured into many streams which make the overall pattern less obvious, but I’ll say this: Just as in real estate when the bubble is growing, idiots think it’s all up from there, but if I were a betting girl right now, I wouldn’t be looking for the next pop princess, because that bubble is about to pop and spray rancid sugar-water on everyone. No, if you’re looking for the next big thing, go find some vulgar vicious antichrist and nurture them instead. Because in a year’s time that’s what the masses will want and you will look like a prescient genius.
Don’t chase bubble or the long tail, find the tip of the nose of the next head to burst through the surface.
Whenever bullshit pop is big and bimbos are blathering about singing into their stupid pink Barbie hairbrushes when they still wet the bed as though that obligates you to make them a star, smile nicely then run the fuck away and find the seething dark horse to bet on instead. Don’t buy into bubble gum or bubble heads, go find the next Axl Rose or Kurt Cobain, because that’s what people are starting to want now, and in a year or so when we find them, they will explode.
And I’m not saying that it’s gonna be me. But it sure as Hell won’t be a wannabe pop tart with a look-at-me-aren’t-I-adorable attitude either.