I just watched a viral video from an English band The Mentalists. It’s been getting a bit of press lately, but as I watched it I couldn’t help think that this band has found a new way to sell out, without selling out.
The video is laced with hooks for the internet.
- The song is a cover of a hit song.
- The “instruments” consist of iPod touchs + iPhones.
- The ladies are easy on the eyes and they do their thing well enough that people would pass it on to their friends.
Some music marketers lose their shit over this type of thing. They see the instant hook factor and are all for a band risking their credibility to gain some more MySpace plays, some visibility and blog press. But this is a band of musicians right? They want their own music to be heard through their own instruments, not through blog friendly Apple products.
For me it’s kind of like going on American idol and attempting to come out of it as a legitimate musician. It doesn’t really happen that way. You sell your soul for that initial flash of publicity but your left with your pencil in your hand if you want to start doing things your own way. They want you to keep being that one trick pony.
For some artists this sort of thing might work. But The Mentalists appear to be real musicians. They sing well, play well, and have a growing career. It seems a little desperate to get noticed. In this new music economy you don’t need to sell out because the institutions artists used to sell out to are dying or are dead.
Hoover is in favor of using covers to bring people to your music. But this viral hit business is something different. It’s riding the coattails of whatever is trendy and popular. It lacks authenticity and authenticity is the the only way artist will sustain careers in the future. Be real.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE7fiUREyZ0]
Take Control of Your Music