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Do you get mad if a band "sells out"? Why?

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Do you get mad if a band "sells out"? Why?

Old 01-21-04, 10:15 AM
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Do you get mad if a band "sells out"? Why?

I was thinking about it on the drive in this morning. It seems lots of "fans" get so enraged when a band they like becomes more commercial (e.g., starts selling a lot of records, gets more radio play, etc.), and it really never makes sense to me. I would think that, for any band I'm a fan of, it would be great for them to get exposure (and ultimately money since it's hard to maintain a career when you're poor).


What's your take?

P.S. I hate the term "sell out"; it is so overused it's sickening. If it were in a song, I'd put in that other thread about overused cliches.
Old 01-21-04, 10:40 AM
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I guess if you define "sells out" as becoming popular, then yeah, that's pretty silly. However, when an artist changes their style or their message just to appeal to a larger fanbase, I'm sure you can understand why their fans would not be happy about it. It becomes more difficult each year given our current system, but when I vote in an election, I try to vote for someone whom I think has his own message and is presenting it to me, not someone who is a slave to some polling data and is just trying to tell me what he thinks I want to hear. Music is the same way. I want to hear an artist's unique "voice." Don't give me what you think I want to hear; give me what you want to say. Some artists never do that anyway, so it's no big deal, but there are still many with something unique to offer to the world, and when they show us a glimpse of that and then cast it aside in favor of generic clone music, it's very disheartening.

I'd love for all my favorite artists to make assloads of money for their work, but not at the expense of sacrificing their art. Yeah, it makes me mad when a great talent "sells out" (not by your definition), but not because they're popular or making money, but because they're no longer making great music.

das
Old 01-21-04, 10:51 AM
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The term "sell out" has become so generalized over the years, and of course it is fairly subjective to begin with that its really open to interpretation. For me though it's all about the music. Catering your music to appeal to a greater audience- sell more records-make more money-thus sacrificing artistic/musical integrity is what disappoints me in an artist. The music is usually what suffers the most in such a move. Sure an artist can claim that they are just "evolving" and dont' want to do the same thing over again, but the music usually loses that "magic" that made it so special to begin with-prior to "selling out".
Old 01-21-04, 11:20 AM
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speaking of that, what is a poser?
Old 01-21-04, 11:25 AM
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Originally posted by Scot1458
speaking of that, what is a poser?
Someone who pretends to be something they are not.
Old 01-21-04, 11:50 AM
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Only if they change their style negatively to get more money. By that I mean start playing more radio friendly garbage that sounds like whatevers popular at the time.

Jewel, and her last CD, is a great example of this.
Old 01-21-04, 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
Only if they change their style negatively to get more money. By that I mean start playing more radio friendly garbage that sounds like whatevers popular at the time.

Jewel, and her last CD, is a great example of this.
but why the change? her music was making her lots of money anyway.
Old 01-21-04, 12:49 PM
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I dont give a damn. Whenever I see people get so steamed over....lets say Metallica, I just have to sit back and laugh. Its so ridiculous to get mad over such things in life.
Old 01-21-04, 12:57 PM
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Originally posted by Rypro 525
but why the change? her music was making her lots of money anyway.
But she was still far from a pop star.

Another good example is Bad Religion. They were on epitaph, which was in large part founded by one of their members.

They decided to sign with Atlantic, that member (who wrote a lot of musics and lyrics) quit as they were f'ing his label. Their music became a lot more mainstream.

It wasn't successful, so after 3 albums they went back to epitaph and put out another good record with the orignial member back.

But to clarify, I don't necessarily get mad, I just get annoyed and don't buy the post-"sell out" albums or see them on tour.
Old 01-21-04, 01:06 PM
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I applaud artists for having the balls to try something new. If that equates to more commerciality, and thus more money, good for them. I don't think it's selling out.

What about fans who get pissed when their band lends a tune to an ad? I don't understand that either.


I think what it comes down to is some fans just don't want "their" band shared with the rest of the world. They look at it as their secret, and once a song becomes popular, or the band shows up on Letterman, it's "screw those bastard sell-outs" but in reality it's "damn, now everyone is going to know about this band so I must make a clean break from them lest I be considered mainstream and not edgy."

That's my take (Which, by the way, describes my brother fairly well. He felt he "discovered" bands like the Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Jane's Addiction, Faith No More and anything else Mike Patton touches --- as soon as they had a hit and kids started liking them --- he split and renounced them forever. LOL)
Old 01-21-04, 01:16 PM
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Aerosmith is a perfect example. They certainly did not "grow" musically with their 80's and especially 90's output but were "radio friendly."
Old 01-21-04, 01:31 PM
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Originally posted by Toad
I applaud artists for having the balls to try something new. If that equates to more commerciality, and thus more money, good for them. I don't think it's selling out.
I love when bands try something new. If they keep putting out the same old crap, I'm going to lose interest.

I don't like when it's obvious that they change their style just to be more radio friendly (i.e. sound like whatever's popular at the moment) rather than just experimenting with their sound.

It has nothing to do with the money, it has to do with sacrificing artistic freedom to make more money.
Old 01-21-04, 03:55 PM
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Originally posted by MJKTool
I dont give a damn. Whenever I see people get so steamed over....lets say Metallica, I just have to sit back and laugh. Its so ridiculous to get mad over such things in life.
I don't understand what's so ridiculous about it. I used to be a huge Metallica fan, and yes, I did get upset about 7 or 8 years ago when I started to feel like they were changing their music in order to draw a bigger fan base.

Chances are, there is something that you get steamed over (for some people it is politics, sports, etc.). Music can be a big part of people's lives just like these other things. I don't think it makes someone petty or sad if they get upset over a band selling out.
Old 01-21-04, 04:09 PM
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Stay true to my music or be financially stable.

Iggy Pop or David Bowie

Wendy Williams or Heart

Frank Zappa or the Eagles

IMO the first names stayed true to their vision while the latter names changed their music to get a larger audience.

You wouldn't expect yourself to stay true to who you were in high school over becoming financially stable, so why expect it of these artists? Look at all the losers on the reality shows who give everything just to try to get paid.
Old 01-21-04, 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
Another good example is Bad Religion. They were on epitaph, which was in large part founded by one of their members.

They decided to sign with Atlantic, that member (who wrote a lot of musics and lyrics) quit as they were f'ing his label. Their music became a lot more mainstream.

It wasn't successful, so after 3 albums they went back to epitaph and put out another good record with the orignial member back.
I don't get this argument. Bad Religion put out Recipe for Hate, Stranger Than Fiction, The Grey Race, No Substance and The New America on Atlantic. Recipe for Hate was originally released on Epitaph and re-released on Atlantic so that one doesn't count but take a look at Stranger Than Fiction.
Yes it was there best selling CD, even going gold, but it also had some of their best material and a harder edge that they hadn't had since Against the Grain. You might almost call it selling out in reverse, getting harder as they move to a major label. Also, it should be noted that Brett Gurewitz still wrote and performed on this CD.
The Grey Race and No Substance were lacking musically with Brett being gone but both were undeniablly strong lyrically. The New America seems to be a low point mucially for Bad Religion. Even the typically cynical lyrics Bad Religion were known for became more upbeat on this album. The lbum also had more of a pop sound thanks to the producer, Todd Rundgren.
The Process of Belief followed and reunited Brett with the band. However this is one of Bad Religion's weakest efforts. Marginally better than he New America and definitely more punk but lackluster none the less. There were a few gems such as Sorrow and Broken but for the most part the album was unimpressive.
I don't understand how going to Atlantic was selling out for Bad Religion when some of there best work was done there.
Old 01-21-04, 04:50 PM
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Originally posted by Penny Lane
I don't understand what's so ridiculous about it. I used to be a huge Metallica fan, and yes, I did get upset about 7 or 8 years ago when I started to feel like they were changing their music in order to draw a bigger fan base.

Chances are, there is something that you get steamed over (for some people it is politics, sports, etc.). Music can be a big part of people's lives just like these other things. I don't think it makes someone petty or sad if they get upset over a band selling out.
You are right, I used to get steamed over such nonsense as music and sports. But I made the decission to wipe out that kind of unnecessary stress in my life. And although music IS important to me in my life (although it is becomming less and less every year that goes by), it no longer is to the point where it would make me mad.
Old 01-21-04, 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by Absolut10

Yes it was there best selling CD, even going gold, but it also had some of their best material and a harder edge that they hadn't had since Against the Grain. You might almost call it selling out in reverse, getting harder as they move to a major label. Also, it should be noted that Brett Gurewitz still wrote and performed on this CD.
That CD was good because Mr. Brett was still in the band end of story. This is a flukey situation where the musical sound change came one album after getting the deal.

Originally posted by Absolut10

The Grey Race and No Substance were lacking musically with Brett being gone but both were undeniablly strong lyrically. The New America seems to be a low point mucially for Bad Religion.
All three flat out sucked IMO. Don't care about the lyrics, the music was crap. Dumbed down to sound more like the more radio friendly alternative/punk bands of the time.


Originally posted by Absolut10

The Process of Belief followed and reunited Brett with the band. However this is one of Bad Religion's weakest efforts. Marginally better than he New America and definitely more punk but lackluster none the less. There were a few gems such as Sorrow and Broken but for the most part the album was unimpressive.
Your opinion. I think process is there best work since Against the Grain.

Originally posted by Absolut10

I don't understand how going to Atlantic was selling out for Bad Religion when some of there best work was done there.
Just Stranger than Fiction, the other three were total garbage dumbed down to sell to the teeny bopper MTV punk crowd.
Old 01-21-04, 04:59 PM
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I'll give you that musically Bad Religion weren't as good as they had been for their later albums on Atlantic but it had nothing to do with going to a major label it instead had to do with a member leaving the band. I don't see how that is selling out.
Old 01-21-04, 05:38 PM
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It was selling out because they f'ed over a band member to sign with a major label.

So it really wasn't the typical "lets become more mainstream and make more money" type of sell out.

The more mainstream sound was more of a side effect in this case..
Old 01-21-04, 06:54 PM
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How did they f'ck him over? They did what was best for the band. It was a collective decision to do what was best for the group as a whole not what was best for one individual member.
Old 01-21-04, 07:34 PM
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Originally posted by MJKTool
You are right, I used to get steamed over such nonsense as music and sports. But I made the decission to wipe out that kind of unnecessary stress in my life. And although music IS important to me in my life (although it is becomming less and less every year that goes by), it no longer is to the point where it would make me mad.
Yeah, I guess mad is too strong a word. When Jewel sold out with her last record, I had seen it coming and decided i would just make fun of her instead of getting mad.
Old 01-21-04, 07:50 PM
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i know a dude who absolutely hates stretch arm strong now because they are involved in giving away a signed guitar through hot topic. And since hot topic is far from hardcore or helping out the scene, he is selling all the stretch stuff he has and hates them now...
Old 01-21-04, 09:39 PM
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Sugar Ray and Goo Goo Dolls come to mind. Both started out as hard rockers, but mellowed out a little too much just to sell some records. However, Static X's slight change has made them a much better group. Wisconsin Death Trip was just constant shouting and noise (which is good sometimes), but Wayne Static actually sings alot on Shadow Zone. So it can be good and bad things.
Old 01-22-04, 11:08 AM
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Originally posted by Absolut10
How did they f'ck him over? They did what was best for the band. It was a collective decision to do what was best for the group as a whole not what was best for one individual member.
If I was in a band, and was playing on a band members label, no way to I screw him over and sign a major lable contract.

Friendship is much more important to me than money.

Plus Mr. Brett is the band IMO. The albums he weren't on sucked, and all my favorite songs of there's are the ones he has writing credits on.

Thus they screwed over a bandmate/friend by leaving his label, and also alienated their most talented songwriter.
Old 01-22-04, 11:57 AM
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Clay Aiken is a sell-out

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