Monday, April 24, 2017

The Rock Otaku’s Crazy Idears 01: How I’d start a hard rock/heavy metal band!

Hello degenerates, heathens, weirdos, and deviants.  I am the Rock Otaku, and I’m here to show you worlds such as hard rock, metal, punk, alternative rock, movies, TV, anime, video games, and anything that makes us scream, shout, and let it out.

Today, I present to you one of a crazy amount of idears that either I’ve been developing for a long time and am too damn shy and awkward to just blurt them out in public, or just came off the top of my head and I seriously needed to write them down (or type) before they vanished.  This series is less about my critical side and my informal side and more about my creative side, which means thing’s may or may not get weird.  And as a warning, based on certain ideas I have, there may be profanity in this series.  But before we get started, I have a question?

Where are all the good rock bands have gone that are young, hungry, and looking for a fight?  I’m not talking about older bands from the 70s and 80s (and probably the 90s), but bands that got started now that are trying to scratch certain itches.  For this question, name a rock band whose median age is under 30 that could count as badass, aggressive, or even sexy.  Anyone?  That’s my point, all the good, rebellious young rock bands are either nonexistent, underground, or from another country altogether.  It’s as if the PC climate, Social Justice, and the rise in apathy in learning how to play instruments has led to a culture that’s docile, obsessed with awful songs that only work when involving memes, and so soft that we consider EVERYTHING offensive in some way, shape, or form.  It’s also the reason why we don’t get a lot of great comedians out there.

But when the seeds of revolution, rebellion, anger, and frustration are planted, from wonton destruction and war to anti-progress political climates, it becomes a time to fight.  Not to whine and complain about how we want things safe, or spend our day check at a rave, or even go to social media to whine and complain.  We put it into our art, we put it into our desire to explore, we put it into our need to solve problems, and we put it to music driven by loud guitars and express our kaiju-sized fury.  And in my case, some of my issues, as a result of my social awkwardness, are more sexual, societal, and based around contradictory rules.  As in, if you have to do a certain thing a certain way, and that way is not as efficient or abiding by common sense as a method I’d prefer, then I would have issues and tell someone that I should approach a task with a different method, as my mind is hardwired to prefer my method.  IN some cases, I can change it to better fit “the rules”, but If I’m less efficient or more paranoid because of them, then said rules are full of crap.

That is one case, and one idea for me has been to start or join a hard rock band (with some punk, blues, glam, alternative, and preferably metal elements) where I’d play lead guitar against songs of rebellion, bad behavior, sex, booze, wild parties, and sci-fi and fantasy media.  What do I mean by all of this?  I’ll go piece by piece so you can understand where I’m coming from.

Musical Style: While I have a wide range of interests musically in the styles of hard rock and metal, I would most likely go for a progressive power metal style with elements of thrash metal, straight progressive, American power metal, European power metal, glam metal, hair metal, traditional metal, neo-classical metal, hard rock, arena rock, alternative rock, grunge, alternative metal, and a few other genres like black metal, death metal, gothic metal, industrial metal, garage rock, and shoegaze if necessary.  Effectively modern melodic hard rock/metal with everything but hip hop and country added to the sound (and the last two would only be used of A) a joke is possible and requires elements of both genres or B) the song works better with beats or twang).  What this means is a lot of heavy riffs, high technicality, albums that serve as overarching stories (or collections of cool tales in musical form), catchy hooks, mostly melodic, empowering vocals with some harsh vocals for certain moments, shredding solos, thick bass (even if the basslines aren’t as catchy), pounding drums, and a massive, epic feel.  And while it may be difficult to gain a lot of younger aspiring musicians with this style, I can say that the goal is to write riffs and licks that are based on how we feel at the time, ranging from happy, depressed, disgusted, angry, and terrified to curious, inquisitive, confused, and triumphant.  And the music will be the main focus of the songwriting as far as getting the quality right.

Examples:  Symphony X, Pagan’s Mind, Kamelot, Angra, Salems Lott, Halycon Way, Dream Theater, DragonForce, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Helloween, Blind Guardian, Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, Nightwish, Rhapsody of Fire, Hammerfall, Sabaton, Powerwolf, Aerosmith, KISS, Van Halen, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Accept, Queensryche, Fates Warning, Manowar, Jag Panzer, Helstar, Vicious Rumors, Liege Lord, X Japan, Galneryus, Versailles, Concerto Moon, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Cacophony, Racer X, Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Dokken, Twisted Sister, W.A.S.P., Quiet Riot, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Poison, Winger, Warrant, Skid Row, Cinderella, Guns N’ Roses, Queen, Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and so on.  Or more effectively, imagine a majority of those artists mixed together into a metallic blade of shredding, intricate hard rock, and you get the picture.

What I’m doing right now to get this off the ground: Thanks to Rocksmith 2014, I am able to play in various genres.  I even search out tabs and open-source resources in honing and expanding my technique while also having books on chords, scales, exercises, and progressions that I will look into.  That and I’m also communicating to people how I can play guitar while considering learning bass and keyboards.

Lyrical Style: If I can describe my way of attacking lyrics, it would be based around stuff I know, something clearly any songwriter would do, and mix it with my weird sense of humor.  If I need a song about a pretty girl, I use what I know about the prettiest girl, or I pick a waifu to sing about.  A song about boozing it up, I’d write about going to the bar, getting wasted, singing a few drinking tunes, and stumbling back home before puking throughout the next morning.  A song about societal woes, expect Jonathan Swift-esque social satire, like setting age limits in regard to certain jobs to keep baby boomers retired or force them to retire, or eating the poor to handle wage gaps while writing a cookbook for this scenario.  How about songs inspired by other media like books, movies, TV, anime, manga, comics, and video games?  I’d just sing about that, and/or mix it with more perverted ideas.

Examples:  Lyrically, the songs would be more inspired by Aerosmith, Van Halen, KISS, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, W.A.S.P., Manowar, Jag Panzer, Weird Al Yankovic, Jonathan Coulton, Flight of the Conchords, Area 11, Tony Goldmark, and Steel Panther.  Yes, I’m that obsessed with raunch, manliness, and humor.

What I’m doing right now to get this off the ground:  I’ve already written at least one song using the title as a basis for what I’m thinking, and I’ve set up more titles and themes I’d like to explore in this category.  Over time, expect my songwriting to improve.

Image: While the obvious category would be looking normal and wearing street clothes, mainly t-shirts and jeans, I’d also pay homage to the denim and leather roots of metal while incorporating punk, glam, shock rock, visual kei, and barbaric folk metal imagery such as studs, chains, spandex, teased hair (with possibilities of spiky shonen hair or mohawks), skulls, pagan imagery, Rococo-era clothes, leopard skins, and kilts.  Beards are optional, though I’m certain that a clean one or shaven faces would differentiate my band’s image from contemporary hard rock acts.

Examples:  Classic X Japan, Salems Lott, W.A.S.P., Mötley Crüe, classic and 80s Aerosmith, KISS, Van Halen, Saxon, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Accept, Guns N’ Roses, Poison, Malice Mizer, L’Arc-en-Ciel, Versailles, Dir En Grey, Alestorm, Powerwolf, Turisas, Korpiklaani, Fintroll, Arkona, Ex Deo, etc.  Effectively, I can go as light as high heels and as extreme as Rococo Vikings.

What I’m doing right now to get this off the ground:  Not much at this point, still brainstorming about this.

Album artwork: Animesque visuals that can be as basic as a schoolgirl looking into the distance and as epic as a brave party of warriors slaying a dragon.

Examples: ANYTHING by Dragon Guardian in the album artwork environment.

What I’m doing right now to get this off the ground: Does watching anime, reading comics and manga, checking out animesque or cartoon-inspired art on DeviantArt, going to comic and anime conventions, and thinking of buying a guide on manga artwork count for this?

Publicity: You know how I use Facebook and Twitter, right?  Well, I’d definitely use my Instagram account to promote my skills as well, and you also know that I’m able to do other stuff like helping build and test any band website, talking with people, and putting up flyers where possible until a record deal, may it be with a major or independent label, happens.  Plus I can use that flyer concept, as well as band meetups to try to get people interested.  If I come up with possible riffs as well as fun titles for songs, I’ll set up public and private posts for them respectively so you can see what I come up with.  Plus I can use various social media platforms to do so.

Examples: Name any artist in the modern day who is young and hungry that doesn’t use social media to promote their craft, mainly in music.  Anyone?  If not, then I DON’T want to be like those lazy bums.  Social Media is important, so get over it and seize the future with X-S Tech!

What I’m doing right now to get this off the ground: I’ve mentioned my Facebook and Twitter use, right?  Well, that’s a start.  Plus I’m definitely planning on doing covers of famous songs to prove to people that I can play.

So that’s how I’d do it.  If you are interested, shoot a message on Facebook here to start a conversation:  You can also do this through Twitter as well here:  Also here’s my Instagram:, and my Tumblr:  If you have anything to say, please put your feedback in the comments below as well as on the first two pages.  I may add something to Instagram so show where I’m at right now with this.  So be on the lookout for that.

Until Next Time, This is the Rock Otaku.  Live Loud, Play Hard, and BRING BACK PROJECT 9-6-1, ATLANTA!

P.S. Yes, this is a serious attempt at something Tony Goldmark has been doing on Twitter for fun.  Right down to the way he spells certain words.

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