We do, unfortunately, live in an age dominated by mainstream “rap” (those mumble rap twats with shit face tattoos), X-factor winners, EDM, and millions of poorly self produced Rock and Metal artists that have managed to somehow put their joint down long enough to tweak their EQ on pro tools in order to release some poor man's version of clearly too obviously influenced Pantera record into the wide-open world of digital open streaming (thanks Spotify).

We also appear to be constantly reminded that our once globally loved genres of Rock, Hard Rock, and Heavy Metal, are dead. That’s right kids, “Rock is dead”, and Elvis has left the building. Apparently, rock is dead, it’s been dead for a while, and it show’s absolutely no sign of rearing it’s ravenous head again any time soon.

There’s a reason why people think rock is dead, and there are many reasons why these people are very, very wrong.

On the outside, rock does, in fact, appear to be as dead as the death metal dodo, however, if you look closely, you’ll see that this is far from the case, and one of the main reasons people assume rock is dead is incredibly simple. Every Friday and Saturday night, in venues and bars across the nation, you can be sure to see a selection of live bands hitting the stage.

Some things you may notice at these “gigs”. Firstly, the promoters poster in the window, the one that looks like it’s been slapped together in Microsoft Paint, by a chimp on acid with no arms, blindfolded.

Second, all the bands are dressed the same, sound the same, and brag about the same mundane stories about how they once played the same stage as their idols, but like on a different night, and year.

Third, the sound engineer has decided he wants you to use your imagination when trying to enjoy the “noise” coming from the PA system, giving the night a very unique feel of “one mix fits all”. Shall we also mention the fact that there are only a handful of people in the venue, mostly left over from day drinking that have no interest in watching your band try and cover ‘Enter Sandman’.

All of these aspects of the “live rock scene” that you may well be familiar with, all boil down to one very simple common denominator, lack of effort. To an average bystander, and hardcore music fan, this scene looks dead, rock looks dead.

Seriously, it’s not hard to open photoshop and put together a decent poster. Maybe don’t just book any old band, offer them no money and hope it’s a cracking night that people will just flock to. Put some effort into the bands you book and the night you promote. This goes for bands as well. There are literally thousands of bands trying to compete for an audience, and much like ANY other business model, you need to offer something unique that will interest people.

This is why Rock appears to be dead, because this is what so many people see all the time in every venue all over the country, UK, USA, and Europe.

Rock, however, is very much alive! ‘Chop Suey’ by System of A Down is edging close to 1 billion views on YouTube. It was published on the site in October 2009 and has to date racked up 750,175,094 views. That’s 83 million hits a year. A few other incredible videos to also note would be:

Rammstein - Du Hast - 144M Views
Architects - Doomsday - 17M Views
In This Moment - Whore - 49M Views
Dinosaur Pile-Up - 11:11 - 1M Views
Audioslave - Like A Stone - 419M Views
Airbourne - It's All For Rock N' Roll - 1.9M Views
Rival Sons - Electric Man -3.4M Views
Greta Van Fleet - Highway Tune - 26M Views
Foo Fighters - Run - 31M Views
Judas Priest - Never The Heroes - 2M Views
Queens Of The Stone Age - The Way You Used To Do - 6M Views
Disturbed - hahahahaha we like to joke

Whether you like these bands or not, or you’re one of those “yeah but it’s commercial rock” nerds, this is STILL rock and metal music and it is STILL very relevant and alive.

You also have hundreds of amazing underground bands like Lucifer, Hardcore Superstar, Sister, Black Moth, Turbowolf, Cancer Bats, Frank Carter, and IDLES that are releasing incredible music. Rock is ALIVE, you’re just looking in the wrong places. Rock and Metal artists are literally generating billions of dollars for the music industry, however, the people that usually tell you rock is dead are the people that are in bands that fail to pull a crowd for whatever reason. Obviously, there are other reasons for venues not drawing a crowd apart from the band and the promoter being awful at what they do, but this isn’t the focus of this article.

Rock and Metal drops out of the mainstream focus most of the time, it was obviously huge in the 80’s and 90’s with a full mainstream focus, but it’s always been underground and it always will be, this is where it belongs, this is where it thrives and picks up musical STDS that infect the scene with passion and fire. It’s the lack of passion from promoters, venues, and bands that give the appearance of rock being dead.

Slipknot sell out stadiums, Foo Fighters sell out Stadiums, AC/DC sell out stadiums, Rammstein sell out stadiums, Metallica, even though they suck now, sell out stadiums. How is rock dead when some of the biggest names in rock history are STILL selling out stadiums all over the world? There’s a world full of amazing underground bands waiting to be discovered but you need to look for them, don’t expect to find them in your local bar playing to the bar staff and their one-eyed dog.

Rock is very much alive, you just need to look for it.

Author Bio: AC Speed

Senior Editor

I started my career as a music journalist in 2013 and have been involved in the music industry as a touring musician, studio engineer and artist consultant since 2002, as well as previously being a signed artist. My passion for delivering high quality, informative music-related news is a daily driving force behind the content I create. Also a huge gaming nerd! Born in the United Kingdom and currently living in Sweden. Skål!


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