Forums The Arts

Opinon on Experimental Bands

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Hello fellow music smiths! I myself am currently crafting music in a medium that I suppose you could call experimental. Now, understand I am not writing this thread to have my ego inflated, rather, I’m curious as to where people stand on the concept of these types of bands and what you think new music should sound like. I want to say I’m very open to all types of music and to a very honest degree I know this is true, however I understand that this statement bears false with a lot of the super produced “American Idol Ideology” bands. (Justin Bieber, One Direction, etc.). Despite this I still can very much appreciate pop music (Michael Jackson, Thom Yorke, Passion Pit, The Music, etc.) Knowing this do you think experimental bands can use pop elements (or the currently accepted genre among the masses) and still be experimental or do they have to be strictly, and sometimes abrasive and completely 100% original with no obviously recognizable genres infused with them? In other words, would you want to hear a new experimental band on the radio? Please post any opinions, thoughts, ideas you might have on this subject. I’d very much appreciate your input on this matter especially because as we all know, this is a very important time in the music community to get new voices heard!

 
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I don’t really care what genres you use, be creative with them and I’ll like it.
“Genres” and “100% original sound” are very outdated ideas, btw.

 
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Some bands are pivotal and define whole new genres. Wire was “experimental” when they published Pink Flag, but by today’s standards might be considered antiquated because whole genres of “punk” enveloped and digested proto-punk. It was much easier to identify bold new territories in music pre-MP3 because of the logistical and financial constraints of publishing. Today, of course, everyone with GarageBand can make a passable instrumental that rivals some of the stupid shit you find on the radio.

Frankly, I hate Michael Jackson. His contribution was in redefining what musical pop-superstardom meant. It had nothing to do with musicality. Anything that Jackson contributed, there were (and are) hundreds of other individuals and groups doing that better and taking bigger chances. So, I would consider Michael Jackson experimental because the idea is NOT musical by nature, but rather uses music as the medium for conveying a different concept.

The same might be said of Marylin Manson, Insane Clown Posse, Nickleback, Green Day, Enimen, Lady Gaga, or Snoop Dogg/Lion. It’s all “experimental,” but not particularly musical.

In the musical sense, I consider experimental music anything unique and untested. It might be operatic, country swing, yodelling, polka, progrock, death-metal, ambient orchestral, or industrial thrash.

Floaton, if you’re making music using implements of plumbing, cool. My view is that the genre of the music, or the instruments being used to play it, have nothing to do with the quality of that music. If you were to ask me what my expectations might be of experimental music, I would simply answer: that it be good.

 
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In my opinion, experimental just means that the band or artist is creating a new sound that has not yet been explored by others. For example, the band Unexpect mixed a huge variety of genres together to create unique music (just read the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article).

Experimental bands can definitely include pop elements, albeit it is difficult because pop is very structured and predictable. The 3-4 minute songs, verse-chorus-verse-chours-bridge-chorus, etc makes it an extremely restricted genre.

I personally think it’s impossible for music to be “completely 100% original with no obviously recognizable genres infused with [it]”, simply because there are so many subgenres and types of music out there that at some point during a song, one can recognize influences and sounds similar to other artists.

I don’t listen to the radio, but I’d love to hear a new experimental band on my computer or something.

If you want my opinion on other aspects of experimental music, I can expand. I am merely commenting on the question(s) that you asked.

 
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I was also going to add the following…
My band consists of 4 musicians, each with their own history.
I got most of my influences from heavy metal, funk rock and electronic genres (Infected Mushroom, KOAN sound, stuff like that)
Our lead guitarist got all his influences from blues and bluesrock.
Our rhythm guitarist and singer listens to anything and everything, and plays mostly poprock and whatever singersongwriters like Jack Johnson(?) play.
And our bassist plays mostly reggae, ska and funk.

There you have a good recipe for an experimental band.
But we play a lot of generic music with, as SupHomies said, verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus.
Therefor, I only have to say to you, be creative with what you have and make it good music.

 
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Originally posted by petesahooligan:

Some bands are pivotal and define whole new genres. Wire was “experimental” when they published Pink Flag, but by today’s standards might be considered antiquated because whole genres of “punk” enveloped and digested proto-punk. It was much easier to identify bold new territories in music pre-MP3 because of the logistical and financial constraints of publishing. Today, of course, everyone with GarageBand can make a passable instrumental that rivals some of the stupid shit you find on the radio.

Frankly, I hate Michael Jackson. His contribution was in redefining what musical pop-superstardom meant. It had nothing to do with musicality. Anything that Jackson contributed, there were (and are) hundreds of other individuals and groups doing that better and taking bigger chances. So, I would consider Michael Jackson experimental because the idea is NOT musical by nature, but rather uses music as the medium for conveying a different concept.

The same might be said of Marylin Manson, Insane Clown Posse, Nickleback, Green Day, Enimen, Lady Gaga, or Snoop Dogg/Lion. It’s all “experimental,” but not particularly musical.

In the musical sense, I consider experimental music anything unique and untested. It might be operatic, country swing, yodelling, polka, progrock, death-metal, ambient orchestral, or industrial thrash.

Floaton, if you’re making music using implements of plumbing, cool. My view is that the genre of the music, or the instruments being used to play it, have nothing to do with the quality of that music. If you were to ask me what my expectations might be of experimental music, I would simply answer: that it be good.

Hey thank you all for replying! I appreciate the feedback! I guess I seemed to have put a little too much emphasis on the whole “genre” issue" I really don’t play anything to satisfy a “genre” per say. I used that word to draw out and help better classify your ideas on what you think current “experimental” bands sound like. Anyway, I think we all can agree on what has already been stated and that is that whatever IT is, it does in fact need to be GOOD music no matter what. Haha I don’t think any of us intend on making terrible music and in knowing this, I am very reassured.

 
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Shitty music sucks!

You’ve probably seen this fun toy before:
http://techno.org/electronic-music-guide/