More On Lost in Venice

Please don’t use derogatory terms relating to the disabled… I’m on my best behaviour at the moment but if I have a reason to go into attack mode then I will.

Just gonna pick you up on a few things from that interview.

What do you guys say to people who doubt the credibility of bands who come from Music universities?

Rob: I disagree with them entirely

Enrico: They’re just snobs man (all laugh)

Rob: I think bands that come from Music Academies are definitely smarter in terms of business

Enrico: Musicians who go to Music universities are definitely sexier

On this point I think that there are two separate issues.  If you think that people are snobs [or idiots for that matter] for dismissing bands because they are from somewhere like ACM without listening to them then I make you 100% right.  There is nothing to say that you can’t be credible and studied your craft.  You can be pure pop and still be credible for that matter.

However I have seen a fair few ACM bands live over the years, and checked out dozens online, and relatively few have caught my ears (Who Saw The Light and Following Foxes stand out… though to be fair LiV are one of the best of the rest).

Bands who are trying to make a career out of it are generally not the best bands.  Working hard, practicing, being driven, nothing wrong with any of those things, but I get the impression that ACM bands do those things to get a career, whereas a band like Iron Maiden did those things because they believed in Iron Maiden.

There is nothing wrong with musicianship, but thinking that musicianship is the answer is wrong.  Some of the best musicians ever could barely play.

My final criticism of ACM bands will come later.

It is somewhat ironic that Rob says “I think bands that come from Music Academies are definitely smarter in terms of business” whilst later on Enrico saysIt was tough because we got signed to this label and they had good thing for us but it just didn’t work out both ways and we got dropped, and we didn’t get the tracks back”.

You’re self described as stoner rock on the Internet.

James: It’s an influence

Enrico: It used to be the main sound, we’d kind of go for that old school Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin kind of stuff, but then I think other stuff took over like indie

James: It changes, especially in a place like ACM where you’re surrounded by so many different styles, and we all have diverse backgrounds in music

Rob: Yeah, we listen to so many different styles of music that we kind of change our mind to what genre of music we are, every month… We could be jazz, fusion or acid rock tomorrow, who knows?

“Indie” means nothing other than “fucking boring bland guitar music made by arseholes” nowadays.  You never sounded one little bit like an indie band to me when I saw you.

James and Rob nail why so many ACM bands aren’t great.  The Beatles became a great band by locking themselves in a club for months on end playing and playing and playing.  Spacemen 3 became a great band by listening to superb records by obscure artists, stealing bits from them and creating something new that bore little relation to anything else.   A band like Husker Du played as hard and fast as they could until they’d done that for a few years and the band grew and developed in a different direction.  None of these bands thought of themselves as being a particular genre, and then swapped, although they all produced a very wide range of music over their careers.

I believe “We could be jazz, fusion or acid rock tomorrow, who knows?”  That is a fucking massive problem for a band like you.  Most non-ACM bands have a sound.  Maybe its because they can only play one way.  But they have a sound and they work at it, and even if you don’t like it you have to give them a bit of respect for just doing it.  Most ACM bands sound like a bunch of session musicians chucked together, who could be doing something entirely different the next day.  Can I truly buy into what you’re doing when it might be that next time I see you you’re a jazz or fusion band? 

There’s nothing wrong with a multitude of influences, but until you make them part of your sound then you’re not really a band, you’re just a mess, a hotch-potch of ideas, a handful of session musicians who have a band as a hobby.

Ironically Who Saw The Light are actually almost the exception that proves the rule.  They are a complete mess, a complete hotch-potch, but somehow they get away with it.  IMHO.


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One Response to “More On Lost in Venice”

  1. John Says:

    I fucking love this, well done mate.
    I think about this a lot given my sometimes antagonistic relationship with children of privilege. Having played on bills with scads of ACM bands over the years, I do find they’re marked by a kind of cynical soullessness that makes it hard to give a toss about them as music. But it’s a problem with the music scene in general IMO.

    Look, it’s early and I’m having a hard time putting thoughts together in a coherent order, so here’s some tags that sum up these bands. Clean; polite; studied; Zane Lowe aspirations; triangles and mountains; haircut; new t-shirt; expensive guitar; gap year; mock tudor.

    Being upset at these bands is like being upset at kids from private schools. You can’t really blame them per se since they’re on a path and doing their best. But at the same time it’s disheartening that these are the people with every opportunity in the world, and this is the music they choose to make.

    As for me, it’s probably a class thing.

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