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Getting Past the Industry to Love Music Again
Late Night Thoughts on the Idea of an Album
01/11/09 at 07:07 PM by Adam Pfleider
Today I interviewed David Sandström, formerly the drummer of Refused.

We ended our interview discussing the differences in recording an album like The Shape of Punk to Come in 1998, as opposed to now.

That led us into a conversation of how the recording and distribution models have so drastically changed; how bands have cut out the middle man; how bands weren't making money back then, so no one should be complaining now; and how the older punk and hardcore bands used to network by pay phones and numbers written and given to other bands on paper.

The one thing that was brought up, and interested me the most, was our talk on the death of the album. Now, this is nothing new. An argument brought on by the likes of many music writers and critics.

But Sandström brought up a new business model that he would think to see the majors possibly use in the future.

While the old standard was a single, and a series of singles became an album, and then bands began to create a testament as a proper full-length - that trend is dying.

While I'm not saying that there aren't bands out there creating great albums, I'm saying that they don't exist as much as I would like to see, but they do exist.

Sandström's idea was that there are artists who can create great songs, or singles, but when constructing an album, they fail, and only create meaningless forgettable filler. He suggest that some artists should go back in creating singles. That some band's should just release songs as they go.

With the ability to create music on your own, as opposed to "middle man" help - and the distribution and sales of digital singles out weighing full length albums - bands can still make money off of singles.

The idea makes sense, revolving back into the old standard of 45's and 78's that had an A and B side. The problem with this is set times. Who wants to go to a show to see only a few songs - right? But imagine a tour with more bands and shorter set times.

Sandström was part of one of the best records ever written for a genre that has all but dwindled itself into muck. Those bands who are still around, but started the race, are lapping those who joined later.

It was a privilege to interview such a talented musician, and a creator of a footprint of a record.

"New Noise" Video

"Deadly Rhythm" Live

(NOTE: Sandström told me he used three different drum sets to get different sounds on this song)

Also, Anton has written a great blog on his thoughts on Twitter. Please check it out here if you haven't already.
Tags: Late Night Thoughts, Albums, Marketing, Recording, Refused
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