Point-counterpoint, 13.5.14

Point — Brian Kelley of Florida-Georgia Line:

All I am going to say about that is that we’re fans of music, too. Either like it or don’t like it. It is getting old with everyone trying to analyze what country music is. If you look back from day one, it has always evolved. You talk about sprinkling different genres and other genres – you look at Johnny Cash and Elvis, they’re both rock ‘n’ roll. They’re both in the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Counterpoint — Eddie Spaghetti of the Supersuckers:

It (modern country music — ed.) sounds to me like mid-’80s heavy metal. For me, that’s what country music has become. It’s all bombastic explosions on stage. Replace the Sunset Strip with a barbecue and a pickup truck. That’s country music now….With the music, we have purposely tried not to evolve. Our influences are bands that have kind of remained remedial and have stuck with a formula, bands like AC/DC, The Ramones and Motorhead. Those are the three bands that we have emulated. We write songs that sound like The Supersuckers. We don’t want to grow too much. I hate it when an artist makes a record and talks about how much they have grown on it. That is code for saying that they now suck.

Interesting. I think that’s probably the first time I’ve ever heard anyone claim musical evolution is even remotely a bad thing, but I must say he has a great point. He could have very well said, “We write songs that sound like country music. We don’t want to grow too much. I hate it when ‘country’ artists make records and talk about how much they have grown on it. That is code for saying that they now suck.”

And I can’t say much about the Ramones or Motörhead, but I’ve heard more than a few folks accuse AC/DC of making the same songs or albums over and over. Same goes for George Strait. But anyone with even a remote familiarity with those artists’ catalogs knows that’s not the case. They found their core sound and stuck with it. You might even say they made it their…musical identity. And you know everyone, no matter their tastes in music, could name more than a few artists and bands who started out great but “evolved” right out of what made them great and into utter mediocrity, and even pure suckitude in some cases. Brian Kelley may think he sounds pretty smart talking about evolution, but he doesn’t. He just sounds like a hack trying to justify what he and his fellow hacks are doing to country music. And yes. I know. Luke Bryan might well say that “music fans are less inclined to stick to just one kind of music these days,” and there’s some truth to that, but if you really think his or Florida-Georgia Line’s mixtapes really have any Hank or Conway, then I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

Oh, and there Jerrod Niemann goes again, trying to be all philosophical and high-minded, talking about “getting people out of their comfort zone.” That’s really some way of spinning the sale of Electronic Dance Music as country. He should have been a used-car salesman.

(h/t Country California)


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