The cause of death for live music? Technology.

We will always be the generation that praises technology, especially the advances it gives to everyday life. Yet, for my passion, I’ll be the first person to criticise it. The music industry is a place that lets people create art in the form of guitar chords, piano keys and tambourines. But in this day and age, people believe that using sampling pads and turntables are actually making music. In reality, these so called ‘musicians’ are taking other peoples art and making it, in complete honesty, trash. The creation of this technology has ruined what music is and the legacies that bands and artists have left behind. What happened to the bands that played live with guitars and sang lyrics that actually had meaning? Now we’re stuck with ‘wannabees’ who believe that if they can make a somewhat okay fake drum beat they can call themselves musicians.

I often find myself at parties, sitting down in a corner whilst the rest of my friends dance to music that I didn’t even know existed. At these parties I’m either hiding things or asking questions about the songs that are playing in my head. This is what that internal conflict in my head is like: Katy, you really don’t know the newest Flume song. Stop pretending you do. Why the hell are they pulling each other closer in the backseat of a rover? Katy, stop thinking about the fact you’d rather be at home with Martin, you’re having fun!  Also, why the hell did you name your bass Martin? Compared to the rest of my friends I’d rather be jamming out to Biffy Clyro who I’d love to see live because of the fact they play instruments, whilst they’d rather be acting like absolute nutters to Monster by Kanye West. I’ve seen this with my own eyes. Let’s just say, I’m still traumatised. They don’t understand why I don’t listen to the same music they do because they don’t know how it’s contributing to the death of live performances.

I, personally, want the musicians who can actually form music that involves real instruments. The bands that use guitar chords and piano keys are still making music and playing live. Yet, these bands have been around for the last ten years. It’s also the reason why they are still headlining music festivals today. People crave being able to listen to live music that isn’t made by fake electronic noises that have ruined a whole industry. Bands like Coldplay, Radiohead and The Who are still on tour and playing live because that’s what being a real musician is.

My question is: what happens when these bands decide to stop playing live or making new music? When they decide they’ve made enough money or simply get too old to handle the stress of touring? What are we left with? We’ll be left with these losers who think that pretending to spin fake DJ decks after they’ve pressed play on a laptop is what playing live is all about. These days it’s hard to come across people the age of 16 who know who these bands are. They go home and listen to Skrillex because he’s ‘interesting’ and ‘really knows what music is about’ without realising he was the lead singer of the band From First to Last who were known for their intense guitar riffs and emo hair. Now, he makes his living off of standing in front of DJ decks with his flat cap on backwards playing music that most likely isn’t even his. But he’ll turn them into, I hate to quote the 40 year old man, ‘duv-doof’ music that will more than likely still be making your body throb 2 days later. Although, I wouldn’t mind this feeling if it was caused by real instruments.

Sonny Moore before he was Skrillex.
The strongly opinionated but talented front man of Oasis, Noel Gallagher has also questioned what the music industry will be left with after talented 90’s bands start to retire. Gallagher states that he “finds it disturbing for festivals and youth culture in a way” because of the fact that we will be left with these people who play behind fake DJ decks.

The festivals a lot of people had come to love like Big Day Out and Soundwave have come to an end in the past couple of years. At these festivals bands like Blink 182, Good Charlotte and The Offspring were able to tour and play for thousands of fans. These days we’re stuck with Stereosonic and Listen Out which allows for the genre of electronic to help live music die out. Not that I’m against a party but any festival that ends up with a bunch of teenagers mobbing people like Listen Out, isn’t a youth culture that I myself want to be apart of. I’m also not saying that Big Day Out was a safe place to be but I’d rather be enjoying the music not worrying about who I was going to have to run away from next.

I’m telling you that there isn’t many things in this I world that I wouldn’t do to be born in another generation. A different generation where technology hasn’t completely ruined live music and the culture that surrounds it. If you believe that technology is our only way forward in the music industry, then you are going to be responsible for ruining it. Live music will slowly die out due to the fact that technology has become a large part of the music industry. The once great art form will become distilled, waiting for a time where talented musicians will rise again. Whilst the majority of my generation will be craving to see Skrillex live, I’ll be waiting for the days where festivals with live music will once again be guitars and drums, not a guy behind his sampling pad. I, for one, can’t wait for that day.

– Katy.



One thought on “The cause of death for live music? Technology.

  1. I’m a musician that plays an acoustic guitar but I use a loop pedal so I can perform live. The technology you criticise has allowed for many new musicians to create their art without having to be in a band or pay someone to fill it in for them including the well-respected musician Ed Sheeran who uses a loop pedal to play live. Without the loop pedal, my music career wouldn’t be alive.

    Isn’t music a form of individuality? Music has changed into many forms over the years. Technology has provided many new ways to make music, to make art. Not only has it provided these new forms of instruments, it has provide new ways to record, stream and share music. It has enabled the music industry to change and develop into something that allows people to express themselves, even in the form of electronic music.
    At a touch of a button anyone can create, share and even record music. You stand on little humanity as you deny someone’s passion is credible without realising you share the same one. It allows for people with passion to create what they want. Just because it doesn’t seem meaningful to you, does not mean it isn’t meaningful to the person who created it.

    The need for such music festivals such as BDO and Soundwave has become so small due to the money it costs to create such events isn’t worth the money made. People have grown with the times, maybe you should to. These electronic artists are still playing live to people who want them to play live. People you call real musicians have stopped playing because they’re either riddled with bad drug habits or simply because no one wants to listen to them.

    Also, using Noel Gallagher to back up your argument was a mistake, the man has no respect for anyone including his own brother. Maybe Skrillex has grown out of his emo phase, that you so clearly are still in!

    Music is Music Katy, let it grow.


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