unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)
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Old 25-09-2013, 01:57 AM   #1
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unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

I often notice when I read interviews of artists I really like (mars volta, tool, pink floyd, reznor ) or whatever they talk about their influences and often mention these more underground artists like swans or can who are really raw in their energy and spontaneous as well as having a unique sound yet theres always this divide when it comes to song writing.
When it comes down to it I feel that the music of Tool for example is really more beautifully constructed as is pink floid's, reznor, etc and I feel their albums just have this massive volume of great songs where as the underground artists have these tracks that may have served them artistically but are almost an annoyance to the listener (although they do have some good songs)
Some may argue that the more famous artists are making more "accessible" music that is accepted by a wider amount of people and maybe but I really feel that they just make better music. The downward spiral (nine inch nails ) has all the raw energy of any underground band but the songs are just better I feel. A warm place (reznors instrumental piece) just shits all over any of those masturbatory sound scapes some of those less known artists seem to like throwing into their albums.


What do we make of this? Does it mean that the second category are just better plain and simple? Are they consciously catering to the pop sensibilites of a particular song structure? Are the underground people better artists for having less of a filter in what they put out?

What does it mean for you in how you approach music


Very interested to hear all of your thoughts on this.

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Old 25-09-2013, 02:02 AM   #2
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

Its all subjective. Some people really dig tunes that I'd just call noise...then on the other hand you have people like David Guetta. Variety is the spice of life.

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Old 25-09-2013, 02:22 AM   #3
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

man Swans are the best band ever..




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Old 25-09-2013, 03:48 AM   #4
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

I don't like NIN. [shrug] Never have. So yeah...pretty subjective.

In lieu of what you posted OP, I'd guess that you're thinking it's better music because of the production value/money they put into it, not how good the people are at composing the music...or am I mistaken? Becasue that's how it came off.

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Old 25-09-2013, 04:01 AM   #5
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
Its all subjective. Some people really dig tunes that I'd just call noise...then on the other hand you have people like David Guetta. Variety is the spice of life.
As much as I love to hate on Guetta's music, I have to give the man props for being good at networking/business side of things.

I mean, with music like that, he has to be.

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Old 25-09-2013, 04:03 AM   #6
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

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Originally Posted by Blingley View Post
As much as I love to hate on Guetta's music, I have to give the man props for being good at networking/business side of things.

I mean, with music like that, he has to be.
Sure. Lots of those guys are marekting and image masters.

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Old 25-09-2013, 04:07 AM   #7
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

Ministry....that's all I have to say about that.

carry on....

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Old 25-09-2013, 07:51 AM   #8
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

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Originally Posted by henryspencer View Post
I often notice when I read interviews of artists I really like (mars volta, tool, pink floyd, reznor ) or whatever they talk about their influences and often mention these more underground artists like swans or can who are really raw in their energy and spontaneous as well as having a unique sound yet theres always this divide when it comes to song writing.
When it comes down to it I feel that the music of Tool for example is really more beautifully constructed as is pink floid's, reznor, etc and I feel their albums just have this massive volume of great songs where as the underground artists have these tracks that may have served them artistically but are almost an annoyance to the listener (although they do have some good songs)
Some may argue that the more famous artists are making more "accessible" music that is accepted by a wider amount of people and maybe but I really feel that they just make better music. The downward spiral (nine inch nails ) has all the raw energy of any underground band but the songs are just better I feel. A warm place (reznors instrumental piece) just shits all over any of those masturbatory sound scapes some of those less known artists seem to like throwing into their albums.


What do we make of this? Does it mean that the second category are just better plain and simple? Are they consciously catering to the pop sensibilites of a particular song structure? Are the underground people better artists for having less of a filter in what they put out?

What does it mean for you in how you approach music


Very interested to hear all of your thoughts on this.
Taste, plain and simple.
You don't like the same thing as those people, no worries, you prefer a more pop/mainstream/accessible sound they brought to their influences, there's nothing wrong with that.

I saw Swans play live twice in the summer and the first time it just made us piss our pants. We thought the song and set was ending as we arrived but 25 mins later it still wasn't finished. It kind of seemed like all their songs went straight into an extended outro of meandering pretentiousness and inflated ego but the second time I knew what to expect and enjoyed it a lot more. Besides, Beastman (percussion/ethnic instruments) and Sauce Boss (bass) were hugely entertaining.
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Old 25-09-2013, 09:25 PM   #9
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

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Taste, plain and simple.
You don't like the same thing as those people, no worries, you prefer a more pop/mainstream/accessible sound they brought to their influences, there's nothing wrong with that.

I saw Swans play live twice in the summer and the first time it just made us piss our pants. We thought the song and set was ending as we arrived but 25 mins later it still wasn't finished. It kind of seemed like all their songs went straight into an extended outro of meandering pretentiousness and inflated ego but the second time I knew what to expect and enjoyed it a lot more. Besides, Beastman (percussion/ethnic instruments) and Sauce Boss (bass) were hugely entertaining.
Can we go so far as to make the statement that those "less accessible" artists are some what poorer song writers?
I really do want to say that because you look at a swans show vs an old early tool show and they are similar in this whole psychological darkness and heaviness, both have interesting textures and are very unique but each tool song sounds different and they lead in all these different directions and flow well and seem to engage people more. I see this comparison being the same as nine inch nails vs underground industries acts as well as a sort of Aphex twin/ Boards of canada/ Flying lotus VS Stockhausen or even the less listenable autechre.

Other question do you think the more "accessible" artists became like that intentionally? Is it just happening as a result of their own personal value system (ie they probably like allot of more pop stuff also). What can we account for when some artists like stockhausen or the swans just masturbate out noise like that?
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Old 25-09-2013, 10:10 PM   #10
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

I will absolutely never defend the opinion that "less accessible" artists are poorer song writers. Quite often the fact that they know how to do crazy things with theory and arrangement makes them inaccessible. Again, its about taste. I tend to prefer things on that fall on the pop side of the large music spectrum.

Why would you even want to make that claim? Just because its not accessible (to you) means they aren't good musicians? Perhaps in the context of the specific comparison you make (Swans vs Tool)

People make the art they want to make. Sometimes its beyond a particular listener. I agree that, personally, there is a point where a lot of modern art just gets masturbatory and weird for the sake of weird. But I feel I'm so far removed from that world of flinging poop on canvas and calling it art that I don't even care.

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Old 25-09-2013, 10:45 PM   #11
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)


if you look into it, I believe Reznor was just riding the 'goth wave' started by bands like skinny puppy and ministry and other waxtrax artists of the early 90s (as well as copying their image and style and sound), he just dumbed down the concept enough that teenagers watching MTV would understand it....then when that mallgoth thing of the early 90s passed he went back to sappy glam pop rock music (the fragile)...

watch this..

note the similarites, a few years before NIN came out...

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Old 25-09-2013, 10:45 PM   #12
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

TOOL borrowed a lot of their 'ideas' from Coil......

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Old 25-09-2013, 10:53 PM   #13
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

^IMO that's how "underground" pop usually works...which is fine. I don't really care. But yea.

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Old 25-09-2013, 11:02 PM   #14
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

well the big difference with NIN and SP is the lyrics.. SP was more intelligent, and dark..they were like a punk band and spoke of a lot of political topics and wrote something about animal rights abuse in many songs..A great many NIN songs are thinly veiled love songs..especially on pretty hate machine, but it all seems to be motivated by relationships that didn't work or some bullshit. this is the element that made it playable on MTV..that and that 'i want to fuck you like a tortoise' song..

TOOL, are tools and Maynard's voice is the most obnoxious goblin vocal ever, ugh.. but that's personal preference..If you take away the elements that they imitated in Coil, which is the weird occultism, spirit world, pretty much everything like that, all you're left with is a rather mediocre Rock Band. . .

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Old 26-09-2013, 01:10 AM   #15
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

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TOOL, are tools and Maynard's voice is the most obnoxious goblin vocal ever, ugh.. but that's personal preference..If you take away the elements that they imitated in Coil, which is the weird occultism, spirit world, pretty much everything like that, all you're left with is a rather mediocre Rock Band. . .

because occultism and spirit world are trademarked by coil?

(for the record i love both acts)

I know you are stating opinion here but to say that if you took away Coil influence that all you're left with is a mediocre rock band is just ignorant. Taste aside, Tool is an incredibly talented group of individuals.

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Old 26-09-2013, 03:04 AM   #16
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

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Its all subjective.
This about sums it up. It shouldn't matter if the band is successful or not. There's plenty of rugged music for us noise heads in the mainstream... and plenty of polished goods lurking in the underground. Music isn't a competition, no artist can be better than any other.
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Old 27-09-2013, 04:10 AM   #17
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

Ridiculous thread is ridiculous.

Simple answer is that you have limited taste and want music to be catchy and hummable, ("good songwriting"), and therefore are not equipped to pass judgement on awesomeness like the Swans, Can, Stockhausen et al because you obviously don't get it.

(Pink Floyd don't have any meandering soundscapes in their music? Which albums are you listening to?)

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Old 27-09-2013, 05:14 AM   #18
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Old 28-09-2013, 12:30 AM   #19
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

[QUOTE=hellscion;1150841]

if you look into it, I believe Reznor was just riding the 'goth wave' started by bands like skinny puppy and ministry and other waxtrax artists of the early 90s (as well as copying their image and style and sound), he just dumbed down the concept enough that teenagers watching MTV would understand it....then when that mallgoth thing of the early 90s passed he went back to sappy glam pop rock music (the fragile)...


I would say he just loved goth and industrial music and borrowed from it. The fragile is a beautiful album and it is far from glam rock plus it brings together all the previous influences.

These videos prove my original point also since yes, they look similar and use a similar sound pallet but happiness in slavers as well as all the other nine inch nails stuff from that era just seems so much more well written than skinny puppy and ministry stuff.

I guess I sort of started this thread to bring up this idea I see allot of especially around these forums that the more underground and out there an artist is the better they are and the more well known acts have some how lost artists worthiness by becoming famous. Im trying to maybe argue that it isnt that but in fact maybe they are more "accessible" because they are just better in many ways . I dont know but I really feel that I can see this with the swans tool comparison .
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Old 28-09-2013, 12:53 AM   #20
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Re: unique underground artists vs unique well known (swans, can vs tool, pink floyd)

heh, Wow..

i suppose next you'll be telling us how awesome Marilyn Manson is..

tbh it doesn't sound like goth and industrial music is really your thing dude. perhaps something more along the lines of Kid Rock or Aerosmith..

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