Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Eric Church risks a big lip!
No it wasn't POTUS, who graces the new cover of Rolling Stone, who risked a big lip that got him into trouble. It was country star, Eric Church, who not only blasted fellow performers but also the senior fans loving more traditional country music.
Church who turns 35 tomorrow (5/3/12) lashes out in quite frank and profane tones. He's quoted as to tell his guitarist, Driver Williams to play Pantera instrumentals before their own set to clear out older fans.
"It didn't interest me to play for people who were 80 years old," he says flatly. "They'll be dead soon anyway. By the time you come back on tour and play again, they'll be gone."
In the piece he also has a tirade against all the reality music shows that clutter the TV:
"It's become American idol gone mad. Honestly, if Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green fucking turn around in a red chair, you get a deal? That's crazy. I don't know what would make an artist do that. You're not an artist."
and yes, he does not wish to be part of one of these shows"
"If I was concerned about my legacy, there's no fucking way I would ever sit there [and be a reality-show judge]. Once your career becomes something other than music, then that's what it is. I'll never make that mistake. I don't care if I fucking starve."
That did not sit very well with the Shelton/Lambert couple. Miranda tweeted on her account, that his quotes don't make her, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban a star and then she sarcastically thanks Eric for being part of her 2010 tour.
(All of the mentioned acts have at one time in their career either participated or won a music reality show). Lambert being the most successful "Nashville Star" participant, although she only finished third, Carrie Underwood taking the crown at "American Idol" and Keith participating in a Toyota contest and being a guest judge.
Miranda's hubby Blake, simply stated "I wish I misunderstood this." and later tweeted "Why?"
Well according to his publicist, Eric Church apologized to Miranda, Kelly, Carrie and Blake but did not take his statements back. Church is also pretty outspoken in the upcoming issue of "American Songwriter" where he states that the people at the record labels are out of touch with reality.
"Everyone tells you these people are industry experts, but you figure out that the real experts are out there in front of you every night."
And he re-iterates, something which has been said about the Nashville scene for decades, that the industry seldom has new ideas and just tries to copy what's ever successful at the moment.
"That's something Nashville always tries to do, though. If something is successful, the try to repeat it by telling other people, "He do what that guy did." I Just don't think it works that way. The first one who there, the one that cuts that path... it's always the roughest path, but I think it's got the most reward at the end."
A new music reality show is planned for E! Television, the competitors are to be found on the internet and one of the judges is supposed to be Brad Paisley.
Eric Church has a point, all these reality TV shows have nothing to do with the real life and struggle of "most of the" musicians, who write songs, record on a small(er) budget, tour in vans and try to make a living with their own original music, instead of being set-up with an immediate deal, a sound, an image, a tour bus, a fashion nanny and a choreographer who makes sure all the dance steps are in the right place. Whatever the name of the reality show, it doesn't matter, "American Idol," "The Voice," "America Got Talent" or the now defunct "Nashville Star" cater to the lowest denominator in the music biz. And yes some artists may actually come up and establish themselves as true artists, but these are the exceptions to the rule.
But in the close-knit industry that country music still is, rants like this do not make you any friends in the business. Charlie Rich was one of the first ones who had to learn this the hard way. After burning the winning envelope for John Denver, who won "CMA Entertainer of the Year," Rich's singles produced just one Top Ten hit the next year (1976).
And yes country music always had it's outlaws, Cash, Jennings, Nelson etc., but they were to a certain degree defying the system or even turning away and at this point in country music history, that was still possible. Unfortunately it is not anymore, when a few companies decide what's on the air and what's not. Eric Church may have to learn the business aspects of Red Dirt or Texas Country Music and say goodbye to the assembly line, that Nashville these days more than ever is.