When I decided to put Charlywood together Fabian was the first drummer who answered the ad. We started talking about music and our attitude towards it as performers. One of the things that came up in that conversation was a statement that we both immediately agreed on: “Band battles are bullsh*t”
Let me just clarify, having a night with lots of bands playing a short set is a great idea and allows new bands much needed stage time but there is something about picking a “winner” from these types of shows that doesn’t add up.
Lets just say that there is an “expert” jury of music industry bigwigs (which there normally never are) The opinion of such a panel would carry a lot of weight. But these are people who become successful by carrying one question in mind: “how much money can we make from this music?” The winner would therefore be picked based on this measurement of worth. I read somewhere that Mumford and sons were passed around a number of major record labels before one finally had the nerve the release their first album. Hardly any of the labels were convinced that they could make money with this type of music and therefore no one wanted to touch them.
So selecting a band based on their similarity to bands that have made lots of money before is obviously not a sure-fire system……. But then comes the obvious question: is the ability to generate cash even a good way of applying worth to music?
So what if the jury is made up of musicians? Surely they must be in a position to pass judgement on another band?!…………. NOPE!
Just because I don’t enjoy a band or a set that they played, and all my learned beard-stroking colleagues took their pipes out of their mouths to agree with me, doesn’t mean that hundreds of thousands of people all over the world wouldn’t have a major life changing experience if they got this music all up inside their earholes.
You either like music or you don’t. But it is arrogant and conceited to think that your opinion is FACT when it comes to music. And by the same rationale no one is qualified to tell you what music is “good” or “bad” unless you decide to give them that power because you tend to agree with their opinion on a lot of music.
The audience choose the winner with the volume of their applause. This instantly makes the whole competition into a social networking exercise whereby the band that manages to get the most people to the venue wins. Venue owners LOVE this one because it means that the bar is full and they can rake in their precious monies. But again, just because a large crowd of your friends agree that your band is way better than all the others playing that night, doesn’t make it a fact, just a popular opinion in that room which may turn out totally differently in front of a crowd of strangers who are really into Russian chansons or Epic doom metal.
So there you go, it may be a good time for the audience and bands but that is where it should end. Drawing any sort of conclusions about the value of bands based on the results of band battles is clearly daft, to put it politely.
Write your experiences of ludicrous or unlikely band battle results below, WAS THEY ROBBED!!!??
See if we win the band battle between your ears (the only one that really matters) www.charlywood.com/music