Write Now: Indie Rock Stands For Cohesion

Indie rock.

What is it about those two words that attracts musicians?

Could it be about being a trailblazer?

Could it be about non-conformity?

Could it be about being your own boss?

Could it be about creativity?

I may argue it’s all of the above.

Not too long ago Indie rock stood for something.

And for good reason.

To me, Indie rock still stands for something.

Do you remember the TV shows of the 1990s? Most of the dramas were filled with music by Indie rock bands. Because of a few alternative bands that crossed over to mainstream, the TV industry seemed to cash in on the movement. It proved to be a right move as some shows even broke in new artists. I guess it was a win-win situation at the time because the show was getting new, good, timely music, and the artist or band was getting exposure — and lots of it.

Indie rock or independent rock is associated with independent music labels, that all but disappeared from the music business. It may be that anyone with a digital audio workstation like Avid’s Pro Tools or Apple’s Logic Pro, can record a song anywhere but in a professional studio. And for a lot less money.

Now up-and-coming bands produce songs available for download straight to one’s computer or smartphone. These bands are in charge of their own song distribution.

Indie rock, which can be interchanged with alternative rock, may be what drives bands toward their goals. But what happens when those indie or alternative bands become popular and begin to earn some money? Are they not considered independent because they gained popularity. With popularity those acts were said to have become mainstream. They sold out. But I may ponder that they were mainstream, but in the indie genre.

I think it’s about perception.

Once an Indie rock band goes from being a regional act, to an opening act, to a headlining act, the band is said to be successful. The members have made it. But success is only for a finite amount of time, and then, maybe, the band begins its downward spiral because of some unforeseen circumstances.

But that’s where Indie rock bands are resilient. Musicians know how to promote themselves. Because of their independent roots, these musicians, know how to keep their public relations engines running. It may be also about the lure of a crossover where an Indie band or artist can be in the mainstream while never becoming detached from the genre referred to as home.

Indie rock bands have a loyal following and they are adding more loyal followers to their fan bases. Because of fan loyalty, some Indie rockers still consider themselves indie rockers and enjoy something that many rock musicians aspire to obtain — longevity.

With all the subdivisions of rock music, one can get lost. I get that more than anyone. There are so many subdivisions, it’s hard to just to listen to music anymore. Somewhere, someone is saying that you have to listen to this new band. And somewhere, someone else is saying you have to listen to this other band. It’s a constant barrage or information. It’s like walking into a grocery store on an empty stomach and deciding what food to buy. Because one is hungry, one may want to buy everything in the store.

Although the independent labels, and some mainstream labels too, may have ceased operations, bands continue to perform live and record while searching for more people to play to.

Because one distribution channel may have ended, other channels are seeking to take its place.

I believe the independent spirit is alive. It’s just undergoing a transformation of sorts. And whatever the new genre may be labeled, the musicians and bands will continue to do one thing — share their messages with anyone who wants to listen. People connect music to their lives. It reminds me of an oxymoron and the irony of being independent together.

I believe Indie rock stands for cohesion.