It seems like every day, I see the article where Gene Simmons declares Rock is Dead, it posted by someone else, and there are usually a fair amount of people commenting in agreement with his statement. Let me first say that I am a Kiss fan, I have liked every version of the band since I first heard them in 1977. I would also like to say that I feel some of the reasons Gene and Paul get bashed are unfounded. They take a lot of heat for their Marketing strategies, However those strategies are being used by most successful artists in all forms of music. Essentially they wrote the book on how to market a Rock band. As you can see i'm fully in the Kiss camp on many things. However, I think that Gene is a little off on this one. Rock is not Dead! Has it changed? Yes, will it continue to change? Yes. But Dead, I hardly think so. The problem with any music genre, is how its defined. and there are so many versions of what some consider Rock music that its really hard to figure out what Rock really is. So hopefully my take on this will help give it clarity. In the early days it was definitely the music of African Americans. It was a more upbeat version of the blues, that appealed to the angst ridden teens of the day. It wasn't long before White acts jumped on, and the rebellion had begun. Over the years Rock music has taken on many faces, the doo wop of the 50s sounded nothing like the psychedelic 60s, which sounded nothing like the Hard rock of the 70s and so on and so on. each generation seemed to reform the genre into what meant something to them. and each generation before them claimed what they were hearing was not Rock N Roll. The basic common ground though has always been the angst factor. people looking for some sort of release from the society that binds them. Today is no different, although I believe Gene is actually talking about the demise of the recording industry not really Rock itself. The record companies used to control everything, what you were sold was what you got to listen too on the radio, which was controlled by them. If you didn't hear of a band it wasn't that they weren't any good, they just never got the chance to have multi million dollar promotion behind them, while others, like Kiss did. So yes the days of that may be coming to an end, but the music itself has always been there and always will be. Does anyone think that pop princesses will fair well when the promotion is gone? The bands who have crafted their sound, and did their time in the trenches (Dive bars) however will remain and will always be needed. Back to why Rock is not Dead though, as foreign as it may sound to some their are Rock stars still to this day, those artists or bands that thumb their nose at society, and create a stir in everyone around the. Cant stand her music, but Miley Cyrus Has pretty much told the whole world to F themselves, and that she's going to do what she wants. What more Rock N Roll than that. the bottom line is that as long as their is angst among the people Rock in any form will exist. Let me say one last thing, The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame is the real culprit here. Its a nice building, and its got some cool stuff in it, but the HOF committee has done something that at its very core is Anti Rock. They have tried to establish the Anti Establishment. Rock Music has always been the middle finger to everyone who didn't get it. So what do these jokers do the come along and start deciding who is the most relevant in the genre, that they clearly do not understand. If you are truly interested in Good music regardless of genre, but especially Rock, then sign up for an account at www.revebnation.com and start exploring the 3.7 million bands from around the world that have pages there. Yeah there are probably many that you will not like, but when you find that hidden gem that makes you pump your fist in the air, there's no better feeling in the world.
As an independent musician, its very hard to make any headway promoting yourself. You have many obstacles in your way. Most musicians fan base starts with friends and family and expands out from there. The problem with the friends and family aspect is that they are only going to buy so much of what you do, if anything at all. A lot of people close to you feel that because they support you, what ever you're selling shouldn't cost them anything since they have given you their loyalty.Its also hard for the guy who has seen you sloppy drunk and drooling on yourself to recognize that you may be a star.
So you do your best to develop a much broader fan base, whether it be by gigging, social networking, or making your product available online. I personally have reached people in 75 countries. none of which actually buy music.
So I have decided to help promote other musicians an I hope they will return the favor, so that we can all broaden our fan bases, and actually find the ten people out there willing to buy songs on the internet.
Today I am giving the shout out to Terry Lee Bolton. When I was younger Terry was in the Band Push from Detroit, my first band actually opened for Push, and all I remember is this monstrous drum kit that took up almost the entire stage. The drummer was Terry Lee Bolton. Through the magic of social networking, I have reconnected with Terry, and he now lives in Nashville, and is still Kicking Ass. His latest album is called You Cant have It, and you can check it out at his website www.teryleebolton.com or www.shotgunbolton.com Its also available at Walmart, so Terry's not doing too bad. If youve got money for Coffee, you can buy a song from someone. The coffee gives you pleasure for a short period of time, the music will last a lifetime, Just Sayin!
Thanks for your time
Al Diamond Phillips
Over the last 25+ years, Ive done some really cool things musically, as well as had to come to grips with the fact that event though Ive done those really cool things, I was never in the right place at the right time, and that my golden years (industry speaking) are behind me. I still believe I can throw down anywhere anytime with the best of them, but dreams of mass success in music are all but gone. Last week though I got to see an upside of that though. I sold an album in Brazil, and although my chosen distributor did everything they could to screw it up, with a little interaction with the person in Brazil I was able to get them the album. This to me was an upside to not being to big. If I was a much bigger act, this person may have been left to deal with the distributor on their own, and I would not have had the direct interaction with someone who thought enough of my endeavors to purchase them. so although I may not have become the household name, I set out to become so many years ago, I still make a kick ass tune from time to time, and I always keep it real.! Of course my next question is why havent you bought the Sessions album yet?
Bryan L Johnson was probably the best guitarist I have ever worked with, & thats saying a lot! He had a willingness to try just about anything, some of the stuff we worked on was way out in left field, but we approached it with equal enthusiasm. The Sessions album covers three projects, Osper King (Southern Rock) Broken Down Tomorrow (Heavy Metal) and Curse of the Pharaoh ( Rock Opera) there were other endevors, that dipped into other genres of music, but the 13 tracks on this album were songs that could be put on disk pretty much exactly as they were recorded with no production other than that which Bryan and I put into it. I've been listening to it, and I really believe its a great album, and wonder how a guy like me could have been part of it. I hope people will take a chance and buy this album, These songs need to be heard, again its just a really great album in my opinion!
Thanks Al Diamond Phillips
Day after day, our society strives to be mediocre, we acknowledge the mediocre as being more than it really is based on our own inadequacies. To me this is most apparent in music. We watch shows like American Idol, X Factor, and the Voice, where singers (notice I didnt say Vocalists) try to emulate a few popular styles of vocals and are praised for what essentially is a glorified Karaoke contest.Some have nice voices, but few have their voice. Most are copying whatever society deams as the popular way to sing at that time. there for most are unoriginal. I can say without even watching American Idol that there will be The Raspy Bluesy White Guy, The Indie sounding white girl, a country singer, and a couple of Black soul singers. All will sound exactly like someone else, and you will not hear a single original voice except for the ones who arent as good, that will get weeded out in the first weeks of the show because they shouldnt have been there in the first place. To me this is all very sad, I understand that it is hard to define yourself when everything has essentially been done, but at least try to put your own spin on it, that's all I'm saying. Gone are the days of Creativity , of Artist Development, the love of music itself being the driving force behind what you do. Everyone just wants the Fame. If I have to hear another 16 year old girl telling the whole world that being a famous singer is all they've ever wanted, my head is going to explode.
So what set this rant off you ask? Well let me tell you. There is a Magazine that was looking for Vocalists to do a feature Article on. So I submitted to it but never really expected to have them pick me. However, When I saw who they did choose, I was really disappointed. Because an article on a vocalist should actually be on a vocalist not some guy who quite frankly couldnt shine my shoes vocally or any real vocalist for that matter. As a matter of fact I believe he was picked for the article because he is so mediocre and that plays into the industries dumbing down of music. If you want to shuffle so called artists in and out rapidly to make your money and keep the masses thinking the crap is actually good, then you have to push the Mediocre and sell it as talent.
So thats my Rant, Have a nice Mediocre day
I had an opportunity to connect with a very special young man a few years ago, he was 9 at the time, and was battling Lukemia. He was dubbed Evan the Warrior, because he was bravely fighting this disease. Please take a moment to visit his page, and see how his journey progressed, and try not to well up too much. I was very lucky to have been touched by his story, and I hope you are as well. http://www.evanthewarrior.typepad.com/
I have been working on releasing material that Bryan and I did together from 2002 to 2004. I am getting ready to order some samples of the Vol 1 CD to make sure it is all good before any official release. This CD is 13 songs that I was pretty much able to put together without any Post Humous production. There are a lot more, but all are too unfinished to put out without some work. I look forward to working on Vol II since it will be like working in the studio with Bryan again.
Check out Meat The Butcher - Diamond Back by Al Diamond Phillips, Eric Rokuski, J Lewton, Brian Lonergan, and Jim Huff. In 1987 I was at a party in the woods, singing along to my new King Diamond Abigail cassette when I was approached by J Lewton, and Brian Lonergan about singing for there band Laviathon. I soon met Eric Rokuski who just blew me away with his skill on guitar, and we started practicing at Jim Huff's house. We changed our name to Diamondback, played many bar gigs during that time, and we were all under aged, about a year later Eric went to Hollywood to attend GIT, Dave Cross took his place, Jim left shortly after, and we recruited Kevin Lester, when J decided to part ways we called it quits, and moved on. A special thanks to Eric and J for making the recording of this song possible in 2011. It was a great trip down memory lane.