A reader wrote in with a suggestion as to what might be that missing element in bands out of Asia: A sense of humour
In other words, are many of them- and those sycophants around them- taking things way too seriously and unnecessarily sweating beads during the creative process?
As we all know, in any situation where there is a great deal of STRESS, nothing happen.
Despite all the foreplay, it wilts.
Now, add to all this, uptight music executives without a sense of humour.
They wants hits, thy want numbers, but are they creating the “right environment” for creativity- and which will LEAD to “numbers”?
Imagine if you will a nervous Lennon or Dylan or McCartney or even a Damon Albarn recording their music thinking of “sales”: Magic would not have effortlessly flowed and the world would have lost out on some of the greatest music ever produced.
Gorillaz? Great? Eh. But never mind.
The Beatles? Rough, ready, steady, Go and always brilliant- in the studio and producing what came to be called “music videos”.
And listen to McCartney’s bass on “Paperback Writer”, Harrison’s riff and those backing vocals. FUN, BABY!
Theirs was music produced for the sheer love of creating and producing music- and it showed- and could be heard.
It wasn’t Mahler’s 5th and it was funereal in its creative procession.
Speak to legends in the music world- Bhaskar Menon who was THERE when the Beatles were recording their first album- Chris Blackwell, Berry Gordy Jr etc- and there was a far greater “looseness” to an industry in its infancy- and at its creative peak.
Today, it’s a business struggling to stay alive and this downright FEAR permeates and goes into every pore in those associated with creating this thing called music.
As many have pointed out, that spazzy wazzy dance Thom Yorke is doing on the video for “Lotus Flower” showed HIS sense of humour.
He could not give a toss and having just read how he LOVES all the spoof videos and how it has made his “little video” go viral, he’s having the last- and first- laugh.
Sure, he’s Thom Yorke and he can get away standing on his head waving his dick in the air while only a bass guitar pounded in the background.
The point is that MANY great acts when starting out had a sense of humour about what they created and there were some great tongue-in-cheek moments.
Every set of lyrics Mick Jagger wrote or when he ponced about the stage singing songs by Mr Chuckles Berry was mostly done as a piss-take- especially when the Stones first attacked the US.
The Beatles had “nicknames” for their songs and had FUN writing them AND performing them.
Dylan wrote and recorded “Rainy Day Women” when completely stoned. And Columbia had the god sense to release it.
Having attended recording sessions in this part of the world, they are not fun sessions and with everything having to be “exactly exact” and, like bad hair, nothing being outta place.
Why? FEAR- mainly fear of the “lo ban” or “The Big Cheese” and trying to second-guess THEIR opinion and if the recordings will met with THEIR “approval”
And so, The Big Cheese will listen sagely, think, walk around, scratch his balls and speak: “The guitars can be punchier and the drums should be LOUDER”.
The Oompah Loompahs agree and go back to re-mix the track or add a new guitar break- and, inevitably- none of this is necessary.
It’s just part and parcel of having to say SOMETHING and then re-doing a perfectly fine track for the sake of, well, doing it.
As for the accompanying videos, well, don’t expect anyone to dance like a spazzed-out Thom Yorke.
Sure, not everyone is Thom Yorke, but the BUSINESS- the righteous loons that RUN this business today- have created some weird Axis- or Assholes- of Evil and where having FUN making music has been replaced by putting the FEAR of the devil into acts to provide “sure-fire hits” and “numbers” and sales.
The end result is not music.
It’s cheese from The Big Cheese Factory and which is why nearly every “rock” band in Asia today is mightily lacking in balls- and originality.
And a sense of fucking humour.