Thursday, July 29, 2004
In “A Motley Vision” William Morris posted an interview with John Hesch (who I consider to be a good friend). The interview was great reading, and John’s personality as the practical artist shone through quite brightly!
He said some things in one question that (in the words of Bullwinkle) “Got my dandruff up!” Not in the ways that many people expect, in that I would disagree with him, however. I’m right behind John, singing in the choir!
AMV QUESTION: In your opinion, what genres/types of music are underrepresented in the LDS market? Or to put it another way, what advice would you give to an up and coming LDS musician who was looking to distinguish him or herself from the rest of the field?
JH REPLY: Rock music is underrepresented. KZION has a show called theFriday Night Edge where we play 2 hours of LDS rock and/or edgier type music. The show has been on hiatus lately because I can't get my hands on enough LDS rock music.
MARK'S KNEE-JERK REACTION: Which is a crying shame. I really believe there is an audience for it. But that audience has to be awakened. It’s a “chicken or the egg” kinda thing. The LDS musicians don’t produce rock music because people don’t buy it. But people don’t buy it because there’s none being produced.
But in recent times, the fact that the RM and the Singles Ward soundtracks were on the Deseret Book bestseller shelves (at times) as #1 and #2 for weeks at a time tends to tell me that it can sell, if it’s there.
JH: Good contemporary music is hard to find. Dance music is hard to find. We should be giving stakes around the world an alternative to dance music that is not value based but there is none. Good LDS jazz music is hard to find.
MH: And it needs to be dance music that’s REAL dance music. I really like Jericho Road, but their beats aren’t as strong or as aggressive as what people want to dance to. That’s why I don't think it's getting played at dances.
It’s funny, but if you want dance music that really thumps, you have to reach for the parody, “Sons of Provo” Isn’t it interesting that we only get it right when we’re making fun of ourselves?
JH: The genre that is completely saturated is inspirational music. Obviously inspirational and sacred music is the foundation of LDS music. But so much of it sounds the same.
There are a few artists lately that have maintained the inspirational feel but have created a unique sound. Artists like Alex Boye, Jenny Phillips, Hayley Anderson, and Dustin Gledhill.So often I receive albums from very anxious and talented LDS musicians who did absolutely no homework and created a CD filled with versions of "His Hands" or "Window to His Love." I have 5 versions of "Window to His Love" on KZION. Great song but how many times do we need to record it with no substantial difference in arrangement?
MH: I know I’m going to get into big, big trouble when I say this, but do we really need another Afterglow? Michael McLean? I mean, he’s great, but we don’t need another one…
So, those are my rants.
A call to arms! If you like rock and you’re LDS, go buy some LDS rock! Listen to it a lot and tell your friends about it. If you’re a musician, go make some LDS rock! And then tell me about it so I can buy it and listen to it and tell everyone else about it!
*whispered*, and by the way, go to http://LDSRockMusic.com