bands vs artists

Shade

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Some times i listen to a band and think, ok these guys are playing music to play music. Sometimes i hear a singer or a band use it as a form of expression.

I've always heard the label 'artist' and 'musician' as kinda seperate. For instance, i don't think green day is an artist. Where a band like NOFX, uses there music as an art. Kinda like going through the motions vs truely expressing yourself. Lately i've come across a band that had an album triliogy, where it told a story, and the last album, the title of each song combined forms a poem. For me, you don't have to transcend the music, but i feel an artist is when your using any paticular medium to express yourself. And there are alot of artist both popular and unknown who it feels like they arn't trying to express themselfs, there trying to create a persona, or do something fun, or fuck around, or make money, etc.

What are your thoughts? What do you believe the difference between an artist and a standard musician or simple band?
 

Violet

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Yeah. I believe there are musicians out there who pour their soul into their music, and I believe there are guys who play instruments and try to write chart-topping hits.
 

mcsmc

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Every form of art has people in it for the money and people in it because it's what they love doing.


...I figured this out a LONG time ago.
 

Shade

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totally missing the point. what do you feel the requirements are...what are neat things you have seen artistic wise, what are some of the bands you feel are artists vs bands you think arnt
 

Fishypancake

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Being in a band, I found it hard to take myself seriously as a performer if I just sang songs about things I thought about, every song I wrote was modled after a life experience. I try to not only voice a message, but to do it creativly, and still be able to entertain the people. I do it for the fun of it, not to make any money [making it was nice when we did though]. I like to be heard, and I think that is where the motivation to be seen as an artist, rather than a musician comes into play. Musicians focus on making their music perfect, just leaving it as really good music. Artists focus on leaving you with something to either think about, or do, or whatever the message may be.
 

KommieKat

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Playing an instrument makes one a musician with the necessary practice and skill that comes behind it. Music is a form of art therefore a musician is an artist, so I feel.

I would imagine some bands are in it for the fame and money it brings.
I think Nirvana is a classic case. As soon as they became famous, Kurt Cobain didn't like it and became to detest it, eventually leading to his suicide.
 

Hardwood

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Playing an instrument makes one a musician with the necessary practice and skill that comes behind it. Music is a form of art therefore a musician is an artist, so I feel.

I would imagine some bands are in it for the fame and money it brings.
I think Nirvana is a classic case. As soon as they became famous, Kurt Cobain didn't like it and became to detest it, eventually leading to his suicide.
QFT
 

Hardwood

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Sorry, me no understand. Plain English please.
QFT is an acronym for "quoted for truth" (I think I explained this to you once before) I want to make sure you can't recant this.
You will see why I am sure soon enough.
 

mcsmc

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totally missing the point. what do you feel the requirements are...what are neat things you have seen artistic wise, what are some of the bands you feel are artists vs bands you think arnt
Tool is definitely artistic, as well as Green Day. Happy now?


On the other hand, these snickerdoodles taste fucking awesome.
 

Shade

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Tool is definitely artistic, as well as Green Day. Happy now?


On the other hand, these snickerdoodles taste fucking awesome.
No, that was pretty much a retarded post with little or no thought behind it.
 

Shade

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Being in a band, I found it hard to take myself seriously as a performer if I just sang songs about things I thought about, every song I wrote was modled after a life experience. I try to not only voice a message, but to do it creativly, and still be able to entertain the people. I do it for the fun of it, not to make any money [making it was nice when we did though]. I like to be heard, and I think that is where the motivation to be seen as an artist, rather than a musician comes into play. Musicians focus on making their music perfect, just leaving it as really good music. Artists focus on leaving you with something to either think about, or do, or whatever the message may be.
I think i like both of your and buddah's answer. For me, i think at some point people have to choose. Become a 'serious artist' which, like you said, try to make the music perfect, and technically brilliant, as well as the perfect mix, and sound and message. To make music 'just to express themselfs' where you just write when sounds right and have fun with it, and the dreaded 'for the money'. Which they start realizing that they can write something that means something to them, or something that may mean something to alot of other people, or sound good to alot of other people. I think this is selling out. I think when bands change there sound, it's where they have made the choice. Such as nofx and less then jake have never changed their sound, Green day changed there sound after there underground stuff, tori amos and trent resnor have yet to deviate, where bands like the rolling stones have changed there style 2-3 times. It always interests me, for as much as people say they don't listen to sell outs, or this or that, it feels often they just got attached to a bands direction and wished it stayed that way.

It's hard not to take music seriously when you get made millions, its hard to just take it for fun, and its hard not to write for other people when you have audiances of millions. I think this is where coban had the problem. To many people related and liked his music, so he didnt know if he was writing for him or them anymore.
 

mcsmc

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No, that was pretty much a retarded post with little or no thought behind it.
Just because I don't use a million words to express one thought like you do, doesn't mean there wasn't thought behind it, Bozo.
 

Shade

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Just because I don't use a million words to express one thought like you do, doesn't mean there wasn't thought behind it, Bozo.
The word count wasn't what i was getting at. You neglected to explain anything reasons or thoughts behind why the bands are artists.
 

badutahboy

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I think i like both of your and buddah's answer. For me, i think at some point people have to choose. Become a 'serious artist' which, like you said, try to make the music perfect, and technically brilliant, as well as the perfect mix, and sound and message. To make music 'just to express themselfs' where you just write when sounds right and have fun with it, and the dreaded 'for the money'. Which they start realizing that they can write something that means something to them, or something that may mean something to alot of other people, or sound good to alot of other people. I think this is selling out. I think when bands change there sound, it's where they have made the choice. Such as nofx and less then jake have never changed their sound, Green day changed there sound after there underground stuff, tori amos and trent resnor have yet to deviate, where bands like the rolling stones have changed there style 2-3 times. It always interests me, for as much as people say they don't listen to sell outs, or this or that, it feels often they just got attached to a bands direction and wished it stayed that way.

It's hard not to take music seriously when you get made millions, its hard to just take it for fun, and its hard not to write for other people when you have audiances of millions. I think this is where coban had the problem. To many people related and liked his music, so he didnt know if he was writing for him or them anymore.
It seems to me that using your logic, the beatles aren't "artists".. Their music was far from technically perfect...

IMO, being an artist means actually caring about the product you put out. For some musicians, that's an intricate symphony of sound.. For others, it's guitar thrashing metal, and for others, it's ultra emo music which is lyrically beautiful, even if it's musically weak.

The reality is that there are lots of different aspects you can choose to focus on as a musician, and it's not fair to say that you're only an artist if you focus on a particular aspect, while everyone who focuses on something else is a sellout.


I Have a really hard time with the "sellout" term anyway.. Almost all musicians are trying to find popular success. Those who find it are usually labeled as sellouts by those who haven't found success, with little legitimate justification.
 

badutahboy

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Also, regarding changing your sound.. what's wrong with that? Through the past 15 years I've gone through numerous musical phases.. I've gone through classic rock, current rock, metal, punk(old school), pop punk, and even country, jazz, and blues.

I'm more inclined to believe bands that NEVER change their sound are the sellouts. They're totally 1 dimensional and want to stick with what made them famous. Artists take risks and expose themselves.. sellouts just want to keep releasing the same stuff over and over.

a great example of an artist.. smashing pumpkins.. They started out with an indie rock feel that garnered them a strong cult following. They evolved into a solid rock sound that made them famous and sold a LOT of records... then they proceeded to delve into techno, a move which ultimately drove most of their fans away, yet they kept at it for 5-6 years after most of their fame left.

Depending on your perspective, Corgan may have sold out when he formed Zwan,w hich sounded just like old Smashing pumpkins.. but many believe he went back to his roots after letting his band get dragged in weird directions by James Iha and D'arcy.
 

Shade

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It seems to me that using your logic, the beatles aren't "artists".. Their music was far from technically perfect...

IMO, being an artist means actually caring about the product you put out. For some musicians, that's an intricate symphony of sound.. For others, it's guitar thrashing metal, and for others, it's ultra emo music which is lyrically beautiful, even if it's musically weak.
I think its more the motivation. Are you writing, producing, and putting an album out there for the fans or you? Take a band like NOFX. There rarely about the 'perfect' mix/recordings. I think the majority of the obession for the perfect recording comes from a buisness or fans perspective, where the perfect sound comes from a artists point of view.

The beatles where interesting, and i really believe they where artists. The where the first to experament with suround sound by using mono recordings, and switching them from left to right. Thats pretty fucking artistic. I don't think you have to produce the best version of a song to care about your music though. I think whats important is the song itself.

The reality is that there are lots of different aspects you can choose to focus on as a musician, and it's not fair to say that you're only an artist if you focus on a particular aspect, while everyone who focuses on something else is a sellout.
I Have a really hard time with the "sellout" term anyway.. Almost all musicians are trying to find popular success. Those who find it are usually labeled as sellouts by those who haven't found success, with little legitimate justification.[/QUOTE]

It seems the majority of the REALLY popular folks, besides pop acts, wern't. Take jewel back when, take Social D, take Rage Against the Machine, Bob Dylan, Nirvana, beastie boys, etc. Most of the fuckers who changed the music scene wern't looking to make money. I mean the beastie boys more or donate all there money away anyways. I think there is a huge difference between playing what you feel, and what sounds good to you, and what sounds good to others. The music loses it's soul.

I think sellout is overused yes. It seems to be used everytime anyone adjusts anything musicly. I think it applies when being a musician becomes a job. You can make a technicly perfect album, with very catchy lyrics, and not give to shits about it. IE: "Can't play this song on the radio by NOFX". I have a hard time calling Britney spears, or anyone like that an artist. I do however feel Justin Timbland or whatever his name is, is an artist. The difference? The guy still sings and writes at home, stuff that will never be recorded.

Also, regarding changing your sound.. what's wrong with that? Through the past 15 years I've gone through numerous musical phases.. I've gone through classic rock, current rock, metal, punk(old school), pop punk, and even country, jazz, and blues.
Actually i was saying that nothing is. I think its an indication of the choice. Why change the sound? It's either to exparament with something new, to regain popularity and make more money, or you as a person evolving. Making a song similar to the 'song that sold' seems to be a trend of one hit wonders, and is the number one reason they stay one hit wonders IMHO.

I'm more inclined to believe bands that NEVER change their sound are the sellouts. They're totally 1 dimensional and want to stick with what made them famous. Artists take risks and expose themselves.. sellouts just want to keep releasing the same stuff over and over.
Defently see your point here. Especially for sounds that arnt truely unqiue. One of the coolest things is watching a band try something new, even if it's fucking bad. I'm not saying changing the sound is bad, im saying thats usually when they are at risk. When bands go from a unique sound to something more common, i'm usualy incline to think they sold out. It's true that some bands find their own sound in more common music, but take simple plan. From punk to pretty much pop. Yet the lyrics and album are all very much focused on one of the band guy's current situations and it's an obvious form of expression. I can't write that off as a sell out. I can with green day, however they occasionally make something thats obviously artistic, despite my hatred for the band.

a great example of an artist.. smashing pumpkins.. They started out with an indie rock feel that garnered them a strong cult following. They evolved into a solid rock sound that made them famous and sold a LOT of records... then they proceeded to delve into techno, a move which ultimately drove most of their fans away, yet they kept at it for 5-6 years after most of their fame left.
See this i feel is the epitimy of an artist. I've had the chance a long time ago to hang out with my cousin who opened for them when they where still in the indie rock era. From what i remember they wernt very serious, they wernt rigid about anything but they took music seriously. The attitude was probly best describe as a saying in that paticular circle of artists in chicago 'some songs just have to be made'. I think people like that are happy that there music is appreciated, and happy that fans like it. Ultimately they dont care. They write and play for them. I think for me thats the definition of an artist. What you make a song if no one heard it, would you still write if no one paid you, or cared? Though i don't think likeing the fans, fame, or reaching people is inherently wrong, i just think when it becomes the focus, you lose being an artist, and just become part of the buisness. Look at tori amos. she has song about a single event for what? 20 years now? She has yet to give a shit about record sales.

Depending on your perspective, Corgan may have sold out when he formed Zwan,w hich sounded just like old Smashing pumpkins.. but many believe he went back to his roots after letting his band get dragged in weird directions by James Iha and D'arcy.
See thats where sold out is over used. I think logicly, he would of ditched the band a long time ago to go back to his roots if it was just for cash, or recognition. I also think going back to an original sound can't make you a sell out. Or atleast it never seems to be the motivation. From what i've seen original sounds are made from one song that you really put your soul into. It 'sounds right'. Nightwish and Lacuna's Coil pretty much did the same thing with the whole goth symphonic thing because of a song and an idea. both have tried new things, but they always end up in the same place. A perfect reflection of there soul. Because whatever song that was, was a relfection of there soul. It's weird, cause sometimes when you listen to certin artists you can hear that one song in all other songs, reguardless of chord progressions, technical changes, new instraments, new directions, new styles, genre's etc. Actually Dream Theater makes a musical joke about it, by playing a refrain from other songs of theres in one of john pettruci's 30 minute long solo's.
 

badutahboy

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Here's another issue for you...

Are country stars artists? Most of them don't write their own songs... so again, according to most of what you've presented here, they're not artists, and they're only in it for the money...

However, I think that another aspect of the art is presenting something that encompasses how you feel, and making it relatable to others.. Even if it's not your original work.

I think that a lot of bands can be considered artists because of how they relate to their fans (and most country musicians fit this description)... Take a band like Good Charlotte, for example.. they're the absolute stereotype of party guy, frat boy bands... Their songs are mostly obnoxious, void of any real meaning, pretty much party anthems. However, they really care about their fanbase (not in a "gotta keep them hooked to keep the $$$ rolling in" way), and they show it. they put on a great concert, even if you don't like their music... They've also delved into a couple serious songs which address issues affecting their fans... (Go check the video for their song "hold on" on yahoo launch for a great example)...

They may not be "artists" in any musical sense, but they definitely make performing an art.. If they weren't musicians, they'd still be doing something public, because they genuinely care about their fans on a personal level.

I think a lot of bands that most "Adults" hate (all the pop punk, emo, screamo, etc) are really concerned with relating to their audience.. Their music may be weak, but I'd still call them artists, because their aim isn't just to get rich.. It's to have an outlet for their own passions, thoughts, and feelings, and to relate to others through their music.