by Shelt Garner
What’s interesting about Blur — one of my favorite acts — is how their one big hit in the US, Song #2, is not really their normal song. They actually usually do moody, ruminative ballads, not rock bops.
While that happened 20 odd years ago, if you look how successful Guns & Roses continue to be performing live, then it definitely seems as though there is a pretty large untapped audience for good old rock music in the USA. Or, put another way, the audience is there but the dynamics of the modern music marketplace just don’t make pop rock tenable.
The only people willing to actually BUY MUSIC are tweeners who are so busy shaking their ass on Tik-Tok that they’re oblivious to the wonders of good old rock music. So, as such, it makes you wonder how you might change that.
There are three women I can think of who could pull of a Song #2 kind of hit — Skylar Gray, Lorde and Billie Eilish. They have very strong, very rock-friendly voices. I would go so far as to say that Ms. Gray is pretty much one slight tick in popular tastes away from being a massive rock star.
Or, put another way, if Ms. Gray teamed up with Annie Clark to write a thumping rock song, it would be a huge hit. (I keep thinking up different parings of singers because I’m desperate to listen to pop rock again.) Americans natively love a really powerful wall-of-noise rock song and the music industry is pretty much saying fuck you.
It’s all very frustrating.