Thursday, August 25, 2005

Musical differences

Since I did Melodic Turn yesterday, I decided to talk about another term from back then. This one I believe was used by bands more than writers, but it appeared in the metal mags all the time as a reason for why a band member left or a band broke up. Sometimes it was a real reason like when Helloween went through a major line-up change in 1993. They spent two albums struggling with a musical direction because they were divided on the musical direction of the band. It ended with two members leaving and the band replaced them and went on without further issue. Now it seems like Motley Crue and Vince Neil both claimed musical differences as the reason for Neil leaving in the early 90's. Yet when he did his solo album Exposed, it sounded like watered down Crue. So how could he leave because musical differences and then do the same kind of music? In this case (and in many others), the term musical differences was used a kind of "no comment" response. Usually it would come out at a later date that it wasn't musical differences, but rather it was "we didn't get along", "he was a drunk or used drugs to a point where it interfered with the band" or "he was or became unreliable". These tended to be the more common reasons for a band member leaving rather than musical differences.
I have been frustrated by things that Scott Ian from Anthrax has said in the past. However, I do give him some credit for how he explained Anthrax's line-up changes. He explained Neil Turbin's ousting from the band by saying that he (Turbin) wouldn't sing anything he didn't write. He explained Joey Belladonna's ousting by saying they didn't think Joey had a heavy enough voice so they wanted someone else. He may have been doing more blame than needed and I may not agree with the reasons, but at least he was honest and I can respect that. If I ever decide to stop doing this blog, I definitely won't list the reason for ending it as "musical differences".


Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I think in a lot of cases too, it was just an ego thing. The "musical differences" were just a matter of who called the shots on some simple little details. "Musical differences" makes it seem like one person wanted to get popier and the rest of the band wanted to get heavier, but it was probably more often just an ego struggle over the length of a guitar solo or volume of the vocals or some other detail.

6:56 AM  

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