The need of an artist to keep on growing as an artist (or just to Sell Out, to simplify things).

Sell out: 

Anyone who sacrifices artistic integrity in an effort to become more successful or popular (generally in music); someone who forgets their roots.

“They sound nothing alike like their previous records”, “I liked their first records, now they are popular I don’t listen to them anymore” or even “they plainly sold out” – These are phrases I’ve heard before from Hardcore Fans from certain bands. Well, maybe they weren’t that much of a true fan to begin with, and, second, artists need to grow up as well. (third, there are some pretty stupid comments from metalheads regarding “sell out” bands, “I don’t like them, therefore, they suck and they are sell outs”, believe me, they exist.)

Well, yeah, there are bands and bands, some change progressively and change little from album to album, but when you compare their first album with their latest release you notice the big change. There are others that drastically change from one day to another (from an album to another, rather) and there’s the completely other side of the coin too, bands that never change and “remain” true to their core and their roots forever and ever forevermore (some that always seem to manage to remain true to their true sound, reinventing themselves and always sounding fresh and others that just rip-off their sound again and again into eternity).

What’s the right option then?.
Well, none is, an artist releases music as he pleases, if s/he (or they) like to sound just like always or like to change from release to release, good for them. If they like to change from decade to decade, good for them as well. Who are we to judge? I understand we are their public, we “love” them and they “love” us. But this goes beyond, it is not about selling out or some shit like that. (though sometimes it is the case.)

Let me put Metallica as an example (whoa! What a surprise, Metallica in a post like this? Who would’ve thought !).
Metallica dramatically changed their sound (“sold out”) when they cut their hair and released Load/ReLoad (some claim they “sold out” by the time the black album came out). Well, first, I think they were pretty rich by that time so, I don’t think they changed for money,maybe to some extent to appeal to a wider audience. With that being said, I sincerely think Metallica’s change in sound is due to them (or some of them and the others followed) wanting to do something else, looking for new horizons and what not. A genuinely need to “grow up” as an artist. If they continued doing Master of Puppets-like albums, then that, to me, is to sell out. Doing things you don’t really wanna do just because of the benefits it will give you. (Though I do believe it was due to the circumstances, if Cliff would have never died, they a) would’ve released more thrashy records or b) Cliff would’ve left the shit out of Metallica)

Hell, I’m still waiting for Master of Puppets 2, but I’m pretty sure if Metallica just released “Master of Puppets” albums, then they’d be criticized for “How the never change”. There’s always something to say.

I wanna make it clear that I’m not a Die-hard Metallica fan, I listen to them from time to time (mainly their 4 first records) and I truly do not like their newer material, some songs from Death Magnetic are cool though. I just used them as an example, since they’re pretty well-known and stuff.

It is very selfish of us, fans. We LOVE them, but we love them the way we want them to be, otherwise next, sell out, poser.
Yes, this may be an exaggerated example, but it is not that far from reality. Sometimes when bands just change and the listener does not like their new sound at all, they just label them as posers and go into the next cool stuff to hear (AKA poser ,ha).

Here’s the thing, a true fan of any band will recognize their needs and their quest for more, they will accept that and embrace this into their minds and decide to listen to it if they like it or not listening to it because they don’t. A true fan will never bash their favorite band because they have changed (within the reasonable, of course) or because they are now listened by a far wider and bigger audience, that’s just plain stupid, dude.

after all we all grow up, in some way or another, and we all change from time to time. It is legitimate for artists wanting to do the same with the product they make.

Love them of hate them, just listen to the music you like and leave the prejudice behind.

Please do tell that I’m talking about true Artists here that are truly looking for new horizons and new sounds to add into their music, not hyped-up built pop stars that serve as puppets for their record company (yes, ones like those also exist in the Metal world).



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