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What’s wrong with the California metal scene?

Falling to Pieces is a metal band  from Livermore, California that have been in the scene since 2004. Recently, our very own Amanda hung out with guitarist Scott Danough to ask him his thoughts on the California metal scene.

And the answers were not pretty…

 

Point blank:  What do you think is wrong with the California music scene?

There’s actually a lot wrong with the California music scene. There are tons of respective scenes spread out over the entire state and they seem to differ from each other. As for what I’ve seen lately, bands aren’t offering much in terms of diversity, and they’re over-saturating the markets to the point where  many kids don’t care to see the same band at the same venue a couple times a month.

As for fans, it just seems like many would rather just sit behind their computers than support any local bands. There’s also a lack of all-ages venues and affordable door prices, as well.

Still, my biggest beef these days is with promoters. Many of the people who are booking shows are a huge part of the problem. They’re lumping everything so genre-specific that it is sucking out any hope of diversity. When diversity goes, you end up with a very significant decrease in attendance!

Also, quit making bands sell tickets to play; it hurts bands and the scene! If you got into promoting for the sole purpose of making it your cash cow, then you’ve simply got it wrong. As a promoter, you have to accept that you’re going to take a few hits — and when you’re new at this game, you should be happy to break even!

Why aren’t fans coming  to shows or supporting local music as much?

Bands need to push the envelope to keep things fresh, but not at the expense of taking all the fun out of playing. Also, people are getting too content with living online rather than getting involved.

Why do you think people are so stuck on certain genres, and aren’t open-minded to something new?

I never understood people being close-minded toward so many genres. Some pin the blame on young kids trying to prove themselves and how loyal or die-hard (“tr00”) they are for their music, but I outgrew that when I was 14 and too young to find rides to shows. So, that’s no excuse.

Lately, every sub-scene has become increasingly more closed off to new ideas and new sub-genres. God, I hope they snap out of it soon.

What would you like to see change in the California metal scene?

I’d really like to see the Internet become less important to kids, and for community to start becoming priority.

I remember when community was a huge part of heavy music, and things were so much better back then. People actually went to shows and did stuff together outside of the shows. When there was no place to have an event, we made shit happen. When there were no local bands, we started our own bands. When there was no scene, we built it.

It’s time for people to prioritize and fix this sad excuse of a scene. It wont fix itself!

  • MetalWolf

    We’re a metal band who we have developed our own metal sound. We’re from the Central Valley and we made the attempt in going to venues but we got the same responses i.e. “Do you have a Facebook?”, “I can give your music to my DJ.”, or just outright ignoring us. Recently, we’ve gotten this as a reply on more than one occasion: “Do you play rap, hip hop, or nu metal?” To which we replied “No!”. Another awful aspect of the California metal scene is that these promoters/bands only want their buddies to play at their venues or on the same show bill. We’ve made the attempt to pull bands together to set up an event, but they’re so cutthroat they flat out refused. Can anyone offer a solution?

  • Axel Karlsson

     maybe your own metal scene sucks but from where im standing the good metal bands still get a decent turnout.  dont like the way your fans are acting then stop sucking so much and maybe they will see your show.  dont forget the economy plays a major role in the pocket money of your average fan.  most fans only come out of the woodwork for their favorites now.  dissing what fans you do have and saying the rest of the people who dont like your music are close minded wont help you gain support.

    first you say

    “kids trying to prove themselves and how loyal or die-hard (“tr00”) they are for their music, but I outgrew that when I was 14”

    and then you say

    “It’s time for people to prioritize and fix this sad excuse of a scene. It wont fix itself!”

    so what your saying in a sense is that you dont buy into the idea of  genre specific idealism while at the same time calling it a “scene”.  its people like you that miss the whole point of metal.

    you point the finger and say local bands need to push the envelope.  well then get to it.  impress us with your wonderful wisdom oh wise metal band preach to us about how we are terrible fans and how your music is oh so unique and magical.

    ill be waiting, till then

    quit your bitching.

  • chris c.

    HERE SOMETHING FOR ALL OF YOU…MAKE BETTER FUCKING MUSIC THERE AINT NO BANDS NEW THE ORIGINALS ARE ONLY ONES MATTER NOW MAKE INTERESTING EAR CATCHING MUSIC N PROMOTE THE SHIT OUT IT…..have you in been ineven a maintstreem store such as hottopic recently??? thers nothing but rap shirts…..the media decides whats big n puts it in youths face to like it…its time metal started doin same fresh material n in your face media publication!

  • Ravishingrebeccaknac

    As a metal publication, I would expect you to illuminati our asses with some suggestions on how you think it could be made better. I hear a lot of complaining, but not a lot of light being shed on how the current technology and economic climate can be used as resources.

    Just as music itself is a resource, it is up to every generation to make the present scene what it is. I find it most alarming that with all the current media, we can’t find a way to make the scene more vibrant. If it’s true that we are a complacent bunch, sitting clicking away clip after clip, then I think there is plenty of power in that. More people can see a band at any given show than ever before. If bands haven’t found ways to make a living with all that at their fingertips, then they deserve to be sitting there clicking.

    Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock. Book an event and you make it happen. 

    • Hetal

      The purpose of our site is to show artists how they can more effectively make a living off their craft without becoming exploited slaves to a label. Not only do we post on here about new ways to do that, but we also routinely talk about it on our Facebook Page.

      See? We are trying to illuminate your asses! 😛

    • The purpose of our site is to show artists how they can more effectively make a living off their craft without becoming exploited slaves to a label.  Not only do we post on here about new ways to do that, but we also routinely  talk about it on our Facebook Page.

      See? We are trying to illuminate your asses! 😛

  • Terrag’eht

    weed

  • Scott Danough

    Some of my answers were shortened which I totally understand. I was a bit harsher in the original answers and I got pretty in depth with my answers hoping to light a fire under some peoples asses.

    I’ve been attending shows for well over twenty years now and it’s frightening to see how awful things have gotten. We ALL have a huge responsibility to make a change.

    I’m not saying to stay off the computer but when things were more DIY and hardcore kids and metal kids had an appreciation for each other’s music scenes we all accomplished much more. 80’s thrash and the early 2000’s were proof of that. Hang out more, support local record stores, GO TO SHOWS (local or touring packages), and quit criticizing everyone and everything. We’ll all benefit.

  • Tui Lee

    Very well stated Scott! The scene will continue to develop in poor fashion until the veterans of it step forward and speak up like you just did. Time to educate those who are receptive to this issue.

    -Tui Lee
    Stepchild
    http://www.facebook.com/stepchildmusic

  • Epicvbcore

    Doesn’t help that 80% of kids have turned to rap and pop, hell not many kids even like ROCK music anymore let alone metal.. sad sad times..