Origins Cover Alan

(Une version française suit le texte anglais)


Good question isn’t it? The real answer lies in the art form itself. You can learn great techniques how to play, paint, sculpt, take pictures etc. But there’s no school that can teach you how to be creative. I call that the difference between technicians and artists.

Don’t throw me rocks! I know many good technicians are also great creators! Especially in progressive music. I’m just talking generally…

Back to my subject…

Most musicians in bands (NOT IN PROG!) have no clue how to read or write music. They barely know the names of the chords they play. They never attended a music class, learned their craft on their own and with other people just like them. This is the case for many musicians playing alone at home. But some of these self-taught musicians are more talented and very creative.

In my opinion, one thing that play in their favor, they have no clue what they’re doing and therefore are non “conscripted” by what they learned. In other words, there is no clear path and they often take the woods before reaching a point! This becomes great art and what we call classics, other less creative musicians will copy.

But these self-taught creative people often lack skills to really reproduce what they created. Therefore, any trained musician will be able to play these creations at ease and often better than the originals.

One other thing is the technology. Most bands we now call “classic” played live 20, 30 or 40 years ago when technology could not help them reproduce what they did in the studio with perfection. That can be said about The Beatles or The Who but also about Yes, Genesis or even Pink Floyd. With the help of knowhow and technology, today’s trained musicians can play live almost anything.

And the last point is very important too. The tribute bands choose their teammates for their skills while most creative artists choose their partners because of friendship and creative compatibility. Therefore, unlike a symphonic orchestra or the tribute bands, most “originals” are not a bunch of technicians but great creators!

So, yes! Tribute bands can always be better than the originals. But this being said, don’t wait for the tribute band! Your mind will remember the first time you discovered a band and think it was the best thing since sliced bread!

And it’s probably true!



Bonne question, n’est-ce pas? La vraie réponse peut se trouver dans ce qu’est l’art. Vous pouvez apprendre les bonnes techniques pour jouer d’un instrument, peindre, sculpter ou prendre des photos mais il n’y a aucune école qui peut vous enseigner à être créatif. J’appelle cela, la différence entre les techniciens et les artistes.

Ne me lancez pas de pierres! Je sais que plusieurs bons techniciens peuvent aussi être de grands créateurs! Surtout en musique progressive. Je généralise simplement…

Revenons à mon sujet…

La plupart des musiciens dans des groupes (PAS EN PROG!) ne savent ni lire, ni écrire la musique et connaissent à peine le nom des accords qu’ils jouent. Ils n’ont jamais suivi de leçon de musique et ont appris sur le tas, seul ou avec des amis. C’est le cas de plusieurs musiciens qui jouent seuls à la maison. Mais Certains de ces musiciens autodidactes sont aussi très talentueux et créatifs.

À mon avis, la chose qui joue justement en leur faveur est qu’ils n’ont aucune idée de ce qu’ils font et ne sont donc pas « formatés » par ce qu’ils ont appris. En d’autres mots, il n’y a pas de chemin clair et se retrouveront souvent dans le bois avant d’arriver à destination! Cela devient du grand art, ce que nous appelons des « classiques, » que les des musiciens moins talentueux copieront par la suite.

Mais ces autodidactes créatifs ont souvent des lacunes au niveau de la technique qui ne leur permettent pas de reproduire à la perfection leur œuvre. Ainsi, n’importe quel musicien diplômé sera en mesure de reproduire à la perfection ces œuvres et souvent mieux que les originaux.

Un autre point se trouve dans la technologie. La plupart des groupes qu’on qualifie aujourd’hui de « classiques » se produisaient en spectacle il y a 20, 30 et même 40 ans lorsque la technologie d’alors ne leur permettait pas de reproduire ce qu’ils avaient créé en studio. Cela est vrai pour les Beatles ou les Who mais aussi des Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis ou même Pink Floyd. Grâce à leur technique et la technologie disponible, les musiciens diplômés peuvent maintenant reproduire ces œuvres en spectacle à la perfection.

Et le dernier point est très important également. Les groupes hommage choisissent leurs membres en raison de leur qualification alors que les artistes créatifs choisissent leurs partenaires sur la base de l’amitié ou la compatibilité dans la création. Contrairement à un orchestre symphonique ou un groupe hommage, les « originaux » ne sont pas une bande de techniciens mais de grands créateurs!

Alors, oui! Les groupes hommage peuvent toujours être meilleurs que les originaux. Mais ceci-dit, n’attendez pas le groupe hommage! Votre esprit retiendra la première fois que vous avez découvert un groupe et se souviendra que c’était fantastique!

Et c’est probablement vrai!


Music fans: What does it mean today?

When I was young, we discovered artists via the radio or friends. Obviously, our choices were tinted by what the media would throw at us or, if we were lucky, by friends who really were at the forefront of the avant-garde. We also had access to underground publications (if these were available) to get to know new artists.

Then, it was a matter of being alert to see if the said-artist we were proud of having discovered was stopping by for a gig. And we also put pressure on the local record store to order the artists’ records.

I know I was pretty proud to own and show new records I had just bought. We spent hours listening, discussing and trying to find new music. We all wanted to be the first to own THE new incredible record of the day!

With the arrival of Internet (and social media after that), us, the “fans”, were thrilled! A quick search and we found thousands of wonderful artists from around the world! No more need to know the right guy, to write to obscure record labels or to see every show in town just in case the artist would be of interest to us. We could comfortably surf the Web from our home and get our hands on the latest wonderful release from any artist in the world.

Although it did democratize the music industry for a while, it had its downside too. Artists show their stuff but they make even less money than they used too under the “Music Business Dictatorship”…

More artists can show what they do on their own but less get rich. Or to be more precise, more artists do make a bit of money but less can make a living. The only ones still getting a decent pay are still the ones signed to the Majors…

Funny, isn’t it?

But why is that? Simply because a lot of people don’t pay for music. They can listen online, watch online and that’s way enough. So what does that tell us about the “fans”? What does it mean to be a fan these days?

I do think there are some great fans still out there buying show tickets, CDs, DVDs, T-shirts, etc. basically supporting the artist.  But some fans are so happy by their discovery that they share their findings on the Web. Not talking about it, giving it away!

The fans don’t meet to listen to records anymore. They share on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. This means they give away stuff. I can even get whole DVDs and CDs on the different social media. I just have to rip them and, voilà! I own the whole damn thing! I can even print the cover if I’m still interested in the “object”. And since most people don’t own a Hi-Fi stereo anymore – what the fuck is that, some might ask! – the sound is just perfect for the shitty iPod.

So what is the result to all this?

  • The independent artist still can’t make a decent living out of his/her work – or would need masses to counterbalance the piracy.
  • The independent artist still doesn’t have enough money to produce his/her art.
  • The Mega Big Production Companies still make money with their pop stars but only a bit less (they still have enough money to divert their merchandize which counterbalance the loss in record sales).
  • The Mega Big Production Companies still decide who’s going to live and who’s going on the dole.
  • The fans… do get more music for less money spent…

So who need fans like these?

P.S. Thanks to Existence and Eletria real fans! You know who you are! Your support is precious! I hope you enjoy our CDs. More to come in the months ahead!