With a heavy heart I must inform everyone that I am no longer part of Alter The Press.
I would like to thank all of those involved in ATP, both past and present. I would especially like to thank Jon Ableson for giving me the opportunity to be part of the site from day one, and for letting me help it grow to what it has become today, i wish the site all the best for the future.
I would also like to say thank you to all the bands, labels, PR companies, and anyone else I have worked with over the last three years. I look forward to working with you again in the future.
Last week a British newspaper, The Guardian, released an article that claimed rock was dead, after statistics revealed that only three "rock" singles made the top 100 best-selling singles of 2010. What followed next was a poorly researched piece, where the writer suggested that the major stadium rock act; in case the example used was Bon Jovi, would not be around for much longer and that "Promoters are panicking" because of this. Whilst the three "rock" singles were Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin'', 'Hey, Soul Sister' by Train and 'Dog Days are Over' by Florence + the Machine; three tracks that are in my opinion more pop then rock.
I'll admit rock music as a whole isn't as "mainstream" as it was but to declare it "dead" is plainly ridiculous. Yes single sales are down, but in reality how influential and important is the single format in the digital age? For many bands I would think not much. Of course album sales do play a part in declaring a bands success but so does ticket sales, and from a fans perspective the live music sector is rather strong at the moment, with more bands touring more often and more festivals springing year after year.
In addition claiming that the era of the stadium rock band is over is terribly wrong, just look at the likes of Muse, Foo Fighters and Green Day who in the last few years have held major stadium shows on their own. On top of that rock/alternative music make up a large proportion of the UK festival market, with Leeds and Reading, Download, Sonisphere and even the Slam Dunk Festival growing on a yearly basis.
Whilst the UK "underground" scene is incredibly strong and thriving, with endless bands to be excited about. Most notably bands such as We Are The Ocean, Architects, Lower Than Atlantis and Blitz Kids have been tipped for bigger things in various circles, including this very site. Some UK bands are even breaking through into the "mainstream" for example You Me At Six and Young Guns; both have been given regular national radio airplay.
Add to that the fact that numerous UK bands are making themselves known across the Atlantic; Bring Me The Horizon and You Me At Six have been involved with major North American tours, whilst the likes of Gallows and The Blackout have played the Warped Tour in recent years. Whereas Epitaph Records, a major US independent label in recent times, have highlighted the growth of independent British rock, with Bring Me The Horizon and Frank Turner making a strong impact on the label, whilst up and coming punk band, Sharks recently joined up with Rise Records to form their own label.
Some maybe wondering, "if rock is still going strong, why aren't the figures showing this?" The internet maybe an easy target to blame for the downfall in both singles and album sales, but it has brought out positives. As previously stated more bands are touring; although some don't have a long shelf life, thanks to the online methods such as social networking, blogs, webzines etc, bands have been given the opportunity to be given more exposure. The knock on affect is clear to see, more tours, more festivals and more bands getting heard. Whilst as a fan and a writer it is hard to work your way through the good and the bad, on the whole its a fact that British alternative music is thriving.
Whilst some newspapers/publications are still waiting for the new Arctic Monkeys or Oasis (as much as I have a soft spot for Brother, they're more or less a poor intimation of classic Oasis,) and at the same time hyping up the latest series of the glorified karaoke contest that is (the) X-Factor, those who are fans of rock and alternative music in general and are willing to delve beyond "the mainstream" know and realise that rock isn't dead. Its a genre that will never die. It's been here for a long time and whilst the growth of hip-hop, rap, dubstep and other genres are currently making the bulk of said mainstream, declaring rock dead is a terribly foolish mistake. A stupid as it may sound but "Long Live Rock".
The past 7 days or so have made me feel exhausted. Working 6 days straight then spending my only day off slightly hungover (which dosen’t help), add to that only getting 4-6 hours a sleep per day and spending hours preparing these new compilations (ok that might be a slight exaggeration).
Nevertheless I’ve personally been working and preparing these compilations for the past few months, so for me I hope people actually give a shit about them and don’t ignore them for whatever reason. I know that may sound selfish, but it’d be nice to know mine (and everyone who has helped ATP!) work means something.
So if you and anyone you know likes great music and compilations with a healthy dose of variation, tell me them to spread the word about these new compilations.
‘ATP! 2010.03’ and ‘ATP! 2010.04’ are available to download here.
ALTER THE PRESS! 2010.02 gets its officially release today and is available as a free download right here.
The compilation features 32 of the best and up and coming bands, that we definitely think you need to hear. From the pop-punk greatness of Title Fight, Basement and They Sink Ships to charming indie sounds of fun., Portugal The Man with the likes of Sainthood Reps and O'Brother bringing the alternative rock.
1. Title Fight - Symmetry
2. The Dangerous Summer - Where I Want To Be
3. fun. - At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used To Be)
4. Portugal The Man - The Dead Dog
5. Sainthood Reps - Condor
6. O’Brother - Aurora
7. Walter Schreifels - Arthur Lee’s Lullaby
8. John Candy - Confession Boothes
9. They Sink Ships - Tired Eyes
10. Maycomb - Whatever Happened, Happened
11. Death On Two Wheels - Take It Away
12. Burn The Fleet - Fictional Children
13. Viva Sleep - In Front Of Lions
14. Sam Little - Fallin’ (Northie Remix)
15. Jimmie Deeghan - Like A Map
16. Elephants - For Laika
17. Pharaohs - Decorex
18. The Goodnight Anthem - State To State
19. Pianos Become The Teeth - Quit Benefit
20. Basement - White Elephant
21. Grown Ups - Pears
22. In Bear Country - Sinkin’
23. In Gratitude - In All Dishonesty
24. The Smoking Hearts - George Street Wrestling
25. The Guns - All Aboard
26. Make Me King - Every Truth or Dare
27. Stars Of The Search Party - The Culprit
28. Hope & State - The Ever True
29. Hurricane Bells - This Year
30. Post Harbor - Shirakashi
31. Nicholas Stevenson - Cold Calls
32. Hello Hollywood - Now I Wonder
To kick off the first of our new exclusive ‘ATP! Acoustic Sessions’feature of the site, we are more then proud to present the New York indie/pop band, fun. performing ‘All The Pretty Girls’ and ‘At Least I’m Not As Sad (As I Used To Be)’, taken from their debut album,‘Aim and Ignite’.
Whilst sitting in Starbucks today whilst flicking through the new issue of Rock Sound and not paying much attention. The above image suddenly caught my attention.
ALTER THE PRESS! IS MENTIONED IN ROCK SOUND MAGAZINE
I know I say print is dying but for a website like ours, this is a big(ish) deal for us, as it is a magazine with Nationwide distribution (and maybe more). In addition to this, it is alongside establish names like Kerrang!, Rock Sound, Big Cheese, Punktastic and Spin in a printed publication, which by many is still considered more influential and important that online press.
So go and buy Rock Sound (because the brilliant Futures album is included for free with it) and go and buy Person L’s “The Positives” because it’s “a wonderful album”.
Personally I agree with the fact that way 'breaking news' is done has evolved and that is affecting magazine and newspaper publishers. Although some of them are embracing online media (credit goes to NME and Rock Sound magazine).
As writer for a music website; I don't consider myself a journalist or blogger nor do I label Alter The Press! as a blog, I am all for online music news reporting as I often believe and say that we live in an "instant society", as growths in technology and the media has enabled us to have information at our disposal whenever we want it. In the year 2010, we as people want information and we want it now!
Thankfully with online media and social networking sites, this is possible. Just look at the story of when Michael Jackson died last June. Web traffic overall was 20% higher than normal, simply because people wanted news there and then.
However as the Alternative Press piece states, reporting news instantly can have it flaws (trust me I would know). Errors, inaccurate and false information are common mistakes but these soon can be rectified at a click of a button.
The effects are summed up in the article by Jerry Graham of Warm Fuzzy Publicity:
The internet "brings amazing and new possibilities for promoting record releases and tour dates. However, because of this, we are sadly watching music magazines and television channels go out of business. People want their music news now, and they want it for free."
For several years now the internet has both helped and hindered the music industry. Nevertheless Graham is right when music sites can help a band in some form or another. I can think of several bands who would be nothing, if it wasn't for there constant appearances on sites like AbsolutePunk.net and attractive MySpace page.
I remember listening to one of Alternative Press's podcast interviews. AP founder Mike Shea was speaking to Francesca Caldara (Equal Vision publicist), who made a valid point for music sites/blogs which was along the lines of that, only 15 or so people may read an interview with a band on some site but they may go on to buy that album, go to a show, link the interview elsewhere etc, and on the whole have an affect on that bands career, whether it be big or small.
Again like the above article states, the growth of music blogs/sites can be competitive (again I would know) and it is great when you (think) you're the first to report a story. However I personally dislike sites like SupJustin, as the majority of the time they are merely speculating or reporting gossip/rumours. I'll admit that AlterThePress.com does re-post these stories, but we always a.) link to the original source and b.) label it as a rumour. In some way sites like them are like tabloids; founded on rumour, gossip and slander.
On a personal end note, I hope Alter The Press is considered by some as a credible source, and I know we can't win everyone over, as at the end of the day we're just one of hundreds and thousands news reporting websites/blogs in a battle against numerous Goliaths.
Prior to their sold out headline show at the London Camden Roundhouse, Alter The Press! were fortunate enough to sit down with Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low for an in-depth interview.
Alex spoke to ATP about growing up in the UK, 'Nothing Personal' getting to #4 on the Billboard Chart, dealing with success, being given the 'Blink-182' tag, signing to Interscope Records, new material, building a moat around his house and more.
ATP: But in a rare instance you get the situation where, recently a girl paid to find out your home address, waited outside your house, took pictures of your dogs through your windows and even after that, knocked on your front door asking for a picture with you. Alex: That set me off a little bit. That, in my eyes, was crossing the line. I think what people forget, is that we are humans, and you forget that you wouldn't do that to just anyone. It's like, 'Why would you do that to one of us?' It definitely crossed the line, freaked me a little bit, but kids do foolish things. I think she learned from the mistake, based on the bashing that she got from her peers online. It's more of an eye-opening hint of what's to possibly come, if the band continues to grow and have the same kind of success. But again, you can't live your life behind walls. It's a risk, but it's not going to affect my life, I'm not going to live my life like a hermit.