Defiance to Conformity
Or in other words...
“open resistance to behaving in accordance with socially accepted standards”
I’m not a rebel. I want to be who I am though without having people tell me I should be something else. Through the past close to 3 years, Two Bad Apples was a project that was loved by many and forgotten by even more. Trying to please everyone, we did that in some cases where the demographic was similar, but largely failed to be memorable (in my opinion) or keep people in their seats until the end of the night, totally blown away by the band in the front of them. It wasn’t a terrible project, but I know now that by trying to please everyone you really don’t fully satisfy anyone and I, the performer am left not having a clue what I really like. People would ask all the time, what do you like the sing, and I truly didn’t have an answer because how am I supposed to tell a 70 year old woman that I really love The Offspring and then go into an acoustic rendition of Come Out & Play... or tell the country fan that all I feel like singing that day is Heart because it really showcases my voice... I really didn’t have an answer ever because I was in the mode of pleasing my crowd. To the 70 year old woman, my favourite song might have been some Janis or Patsy and to the country fan, well let’s break out some Carter and Cash and get everyone dancing. That worked and at times it was fun. We had a Two Bad Apples show this past weekend and we still have a few Christmas parties that I’m sure will be a lot of fun. But truth is, I’m sick of pleasing everyone.
Feel Good Jacket as a band, we have an album out - and it’s a great album if you ask me, but we also do a bunch of covers. Some people seem to be confused on this. Yes, we play more than just our original material. We cover a ton of bands all from 1990-2010 ranging from Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Queens of The Stones Age to more danceable stuff like No Doubt, The Killers, Fallout Boy, to pop punk classics that (if you grew up in that time) you’ll know every word to like Sum 41, Green Day and yes of course The Offspring. We do What’s Up and Enter Sandman, Tweeter & The Monkey Man, One Headlight, and Creep. So many hits from this span of 20 years, we can’t get them all in. We’ve gone and found all the best songs and play them every night to crowds who ask us if we can play Sweet Home Alabama just one more time... because we live in Alabama????? We specifically avoid classic rock because who needs another classic rock band? I don’t! I was watching a band play in St. Albert one night and they were killing it. Playing awesome rock from the 90s - Alice In Chains and bands like that. Awesome. Then they played Working For The Weekend by Trooper... Good song, but totally killed my mood and I think we left about 1 song later. It made me realize that in trying to please everyone, I’m really just teasing a whole bunch of different groups and not really giving anyone what they want. I know not everyone wants to rock out to Billy Talent and Our Lady Peace like I do, but some people do. Some do and don’t even know it! When we were up in Taylor, BC a week ago people were shouting “play some 70’s” to which I replied, “we only play 90’s & early 2000’s”... disappointed, they hit their phones to figure out what music actually came out of that era. WOW and realized Bush, Rob Zombie, Sublime, The White Stripes - THE CRANBERRIES - all these bands have super hit songs that people don’t remember because they’re not constantly shoved in our face like Lynyrd Skynyrd. These people who had asked for classic rock were now singing every word to every song we played. And I was satisfied because I actually was playing what I wanted to play.
Getting an audience on my side is the easy part. Getting into a venue when everyone wants the same old classic rock cover band with maybe a bit of country is so far the most challenging. Agents, well they try to be helpful, but what can they do? They’re looking for the cookie cutter band too. We are anything but cookie cutter, which is a good thing, but it’s hard starting a movement. I’ve done the math - someone who graduated high school in 1990 is 46 right now. That’s prime audience for the early 90s music we play. From what I can tell, the demographic that goes to the bar now is 18 - 55 - which is our demo give or take. I don’t want to tell older people that their time is up, but I will say, you’ve had a good time. Now let me have mine. Right now if I wanted to go out, I either have to find some tiny venue where they let a punk band play (for free) just to have a good time or go to a dance club and listen to electronic music (no thank you) - or go listen to the cookie cutter cover band that is everywhere. Why can’t I create the type of entertainment that is obviously missing from the scene without being told I need to be more like everyone else? I don’t think any band coming up compromised who they were. If Metallica had played classic rock in the bars, we wouldn’t have Metallica.
I’m not shitting on the cookie cutter bands. These bands are filling a need to be, as one agent called it, a “Middle of The Road Party Band” - yeah, works great for weddings, events etc. They probably get all the bookings and should. We did it with Two Bad Apples. So good for them. They should keep going. But some people have to open their eyes and see that their bar crowd is starting to avoid them because they’re sick of Mustang Sally. They should see that a new wave of “classic” music is coming and it is from the 90s. That’s almost 30 years ago!!!! It’s classic. It’s time to bring it back. It’s time to give the next generations music that reminds them of their youth instead of always hearing music that we weren’t alive for. There’s no nostalgia in the 70’s for me. And as far as I can see, I’m the one going out to the bar now. So wtf. Time for me to get something I like instead of trying to please people. So I will continue my fight against what every one else thinks they want and only give what I want to give. If people want millennials to come out to the bar, there has to be something for them there. Everything that wants to have a long life must evolve, so let’s get on it. Evolve.