Thursday, May 20, 2010

Music fans suck. Part 1: Embrace change

Sometimes fans of music can really be crappy. One example of this is recently when I stumbled across the lone review on Amazon of Re-Traced, the new EP by Cynic. It contains reworkings of some songs off of Traced in Air and contains a very different sound from the original. This review accuses Cynic of "frustrating their core fans since their reformation the last few years." You see, their debut album Focus, could be classified as technical death metal with some jazz elements thrown in. Therefore, when Traced in Air came out with its more melodic sound and more concrete structures, it may have thrown some fans of the debut for a loop, and when Re-Traced came out I could see it really shaking some people up.

 This brings me to my favorite examples of the dynamic quality of artists and their work: Devin Townsend. He has gone from punk rock, to death/industrial metal, to rock, to downtempo/progressive/ambient/blues, and back to tightly produced metal. For a normal fan of music, his catalog must seem absurd, but if you delve deeper, it is revealed via interviews that he has multiple tastes and influences and what's popular may not always be what he is interested in creating. Strapping Young Lad was probably his most popular contribution, but then when he took a hiatus and finally came out with Ki, it indeed shook some people up who had only listened to SYL. Pussy music? Maybe. Excellently written and produced music? Definitely. So you see, don't be discouraged if the artist near to your heart steers away from what you believe should be the right direction. If they fail, they fail. But don't damn them outright because it sounds different from what you're used to. If you truly care about the artist, and their talent shines through, then as long as their skill is seen, it shouldn't matter how it is presented.

And I think that should be the only principle that guides the individual artist. Expression of the self through your chosen medium. There can be nothing else. In the words of Salieri in Amadeus,
"If the public doesn't like one's work. One has to accept the fact, gracefully."

No comments:

Post a Comment