Friday, April 29, 2005

Nashville: Making the Scene

There is an article at Yahoo! about "hard rock" coming from Nashville:

"People are learning that there's more here than just country," said Jerry Work, who plays bass for the metal band Gear Driven and runs a Web site about Nashville's rock scene. "It's all here. You think of it, and it's here."

Kings of Leon are getting the most attention. Composed of brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill and first cousin Matthew, the band landed a record deal with RCA in 2002 and steadily built a following, especially in England, where they're routinely mobbed by fans.

Some in the rock press have dubbed the band "Lynyrd Strokes" because they blend the Southern influences of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers with the garage rock of the Strokes.

...At the other end of the spectrum is Blue Merle, a melodic, moody rock outfit often compared to Coldplay. The group released its debut album "Burning in the Sun" this year on Island Def Jam and will open shows for the Dave Matthews Band and perform at the Bonnaroo music festival this summer.

..."Whenever we talk to radio stations or music people they always bring up the point that the reputation of Nashville is changing," Stapleton said. "They always ask questions or say, 'Hey, I heard there's a really great emerging scene in Nashville - is that true or not? Or they say, 'Hey, I hear there's a lot more than country in Nashville.' I think the reputation is starting to bud nationwide."
I'm not so sure about the whole "scene" business. I think it is more likely that when a band breaks, people go to that town and find the best bands there. It's more of a marketing thing than anything else. I will say that it is better to be in a town like Nashville than New York because it's big enough to support a bunch of bands, but not so big that the bands don't know each other. There's nothing like wanting to crush the band that practices down the street from you to inspire you to be better.

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