August 10th, 2010 by Frank
I don't mind bands who change their style to sell more records. When artists hire famed producers to polish their sound. Or - to use the dreaded word - want to make commercial music. Yeah, I know it's not punkrock and it's all about integrity and stuff, but that's how I feel. What's wrong with a clean production as long as the passion's still there? I like the new Alkaline Trio and AFI, not because "they're emo now and want to sell more records" but because of their talent to try something new. What's wrong with listenable albums? Is music better if it has poor production values? Don't think so!
If a band accepts an offer from a major label, they're called sell-outs immediately. Rise Against and Against Me! for example. They did the big labelhop, but still doing what they do best: making intense punkrock. The production values are better, but that's the only difference. Maybe I'm an old fart, but what's the big deal? If you had the opportunity to get more money and change your old job to increase your cashflow wouldn't you do it? Bet you do! I never jumped into the whole 'getting commercial is a bad thing' bandwagon and I'll never will.
Major labels are evil indeed (I mean they spam us with the daily Shakira-Enrique Iglesias thingy and as a desk slave I endure these sonic tragedies all week), but they also help people to know about punkrock and metalcore. If you want to hear louder music – from a band on a major – you can get that in an instant (and relatively cheap too). You don't have to pay your hard earned cash on eBay to buy a hard to get album. Because of the immense distribution channels from large labels you can get your dose of loud music in an instant. Honestly: is that a bad thing?