I saw this story spammed across all the major news sites today:
If you haven't seen it, I'll spare you the story. Jack White of the White Stripes and Jimmy Page of Led Zepplin said the following about music rhythm games:
"You think of the drum part that John Bonham did on Led Zeppelin's first track on the first album, Good Times Bad Times," Page said. "How many drummers in the world can play that part, let alone on Christmas morning?"
Ok, I see his point, but he's obviously missing the point of the genre. The point of music GAMES is to PRETEND you are John Bonham, not to BE John Bonham. Otherwise we'd be in a band. Making real music. Some of us professionals don't have time for all that.
Then, the other guy (I sort of hate him; hated him before now, really hate him now) said the following:
"It's depressing to have a label come and tell you that [Guitar Hero] is how kids are learning about music and experiencing music." While he added that he doesn't try to limit "which format people should get their music in…if you have to be in a video game to get in front of them, that's a little sad."
You know what, Zack White?
That may seem an over-aggressive response, but it's people that have such a limited and narrow worldview that really gets my blood boiling. What.the.fuck.do.you.care HOW people get your music as long as you get it in front of them? From sooooo many standpoints, his comment comes across as nothing more than egotistical, elitist bullshit. Let's break it down with the outline points:
1) You're a musician. Your job is to create something (music) and get it out to as many people as possible.
2) You're a businessman. You've already sold out, what do you care if you get another revenue stream?
3) You're a PR person. You have spoken negatively about a huge and growing cross-culture of fans, and a genre that introduces people to your music.
4) How could you possibly think, in the society that we live in today, that exposing people to music is bad no matter HOW it's done? With our schools consistently shrinking their programs for bands and music, as an active musician yourself, if you cared about your craft and truly wanted to see it grow, you'd encourage learning about it in every form and way possible.
Instead of sitting back behind your wall of RIAA nazis, look at bands and business models that aggressively seek to get their music in front of as many as possible. Reznor and NIN (whom I admittedly love) have done an excellent job of this. Releasing albums online AS WELL as traditional bricks and mortars, but to boot aggressively pricing their product to the point that it is TOO CUMBERSOME AND TOO MUCH OF A HASSLE TO PIRATE.
But, let's steer this back off the music industry's outmoded and outdated forms of thinking. We were talking about how Zack White *should* want everyone to have and hear his music.
But instead, he holds himself to an elitist pedestal placing himself above all those *pshaw* 'sad gamers' who happen to probably overlap with his fans, are mothers and fathers of the next generation of children yet-to-be-exposed-to-his-music and create more revenue streams that will allow him to retire a wealthy older man.
Page, I can see, doesn't get the point. I suppose what irks me even more is that Gamespot titled their piece [url='http://www.gamespot.com/news/blogs/sidebar/909182374/26930598/rock-legends-rail-against-guitar-hero.html?&part=rss&tag=gs_news&subj=6212381]Rock Legends rail against Guitar Hero'[/url]
Gamespot, what the fuck are you smoking? Page? Legend. White? Not even close. Come see me in 30 years and we'll see if anyone gives two shits about what Zack White has to say.
Now if you want to compare and contrast an educated statement of why not to have your songs in a music game, look at Prince. He cited his main reason for not wanting to list his songs as 'principle,' with the following explanation:
"I just think it's more important that kids learn how to actually play the guitar. It's a tough instrument--it's not easy. It took me a long time, and it was frustrating at first. And you just have to stick with it, and it's cool for people who don't have time to learn the chords or ain't interested in it, but to play music is one of the greatest things."
Now that, my friends, is an educated statement. He chose to think about his message and principles, and deliver something that stuck to his guns, but wasn't derogatory towards anyone.
I, for one, won't be purchasing any of the White Stripes tracks that evenutally WILL one day come to a music genre game. Not because I don't enjoy a few of the songs, but because I have a habit of using my money NOT in a way that supports douchebags.
By the way, if you doubt the validity of my personal opinion of Jack White, feel free to follow along with the example picture and flowchart provided.
that is all.