Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chapter 6: Don't Listen To Your Elders

This is easy. You like Eddie Van Halen. Who did he listen to? Who are his influences? Cream. So you pick up Disraeli Gears and like Eric Clapton. Who did he listen to? Who are his influences? The Three Kings: Albert, Freddie and B.B. Which leads to Elmore James and Robert Johnson.

Congratulations. You now have the same influences that everyone who ever bought an issue of Guitar World has.

Of course, it's good to listen to Van Halen and pick out what you can. Of course Eric Clapton's important. Of course B.B. King is great. Of course, Robert Johnson is just awesome. I'm not arguing against them.

I am arguing for a variety of influence. X is punk rock with Carter Family harmonies. Lee Roy Parnell is straight blues, but he's out of Nashville so he's Country. Clarence White (yes, I have to mention him) brought Country picking into Rock. John Five is bringing Hank Garland to a generation of young shredders.

So, listen to people outside your style. Integrate it. It'll help you not suck, and it might just help you out of a jam.


MooPig_Wisdom said...

As you say, Mr Jacoby, I cannot see a band advertising like this-- referring to YOB and yobrOCK:

"...These 6 recordings [Elaborations of Carbon] are an imperial batter of mega heavy music and literally paint the room with visions created by sound. For you SLEEP jonzers, this will be the DOOM fix YOU have been waiting f o r.
Sound influences of early RUSH, Black Sabbath & mid era Neurosis,
these complex arrangements will send you beyond Earth's gravity limits.

two arguments:
1)RUSH by any other name is still a RUSH, et al
2) if they are recording digital, they will not sound anything like any of those

I truly think influence comes from culture or lack of... pd moopig

Dave Jacoby said...

I like Rush.

No. I have liked Rush. I don't dislike Rush. I have put Rush behind me, like I have put Led Zep, WKRP and the first season of Mork and Mindy behind me.

I would argue there's early Rush, middle Rush and "after this point, you don't really have to care" Rush. I could imagine myself buying Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures and Signals and really enjoying listening to them. I cannot imagine myself ever enjoying "Trees" or anything from 2112 ever again. Except "Passage to Bankok". No. Blanket statement banning 2112.

That period, the early 80s, was the rise of New Wave. You had punks discover world rhythms and synthesizers, but came from the world of punk, so by and large, they were just learning their instruments and couldn't replicate the power and finesse of their songs outside of the studio. Rush also discovered world rhythms and synthesizers, but they came from the world of hard rock power trios, where the minimum requirement was to be able to play with power and finesse. 80-84 Rush was all the good parts of New Wave without the stupid parts.

Right off, this sounds like St. Vitus, which sounds like Blue Cheer but more so. All the grunge, none of the fun. Someone whose influences are Rush, Clara Rockmore and Bill Monroe? That's a show I'd pay to see.

Stratocat said...

Geeez! You're an anthropologist-- I love it!

Speaking of Steve Vai and Hank Garland, y'know about the Hank Garland film put out by Favored Nations?