We believe that online streaming, music networking and self determined online playlists - last fm, spotify - (our very own sister company SonStream.com) etc will have the effect of bypassing, and therefore neutralizing, the immense power big budget marketing campaigns majors could once throw behind any one of their acts. With enough money, a record company could sell even the most mundane mediocrity to huge numbers of hapless punters before they even had chance to consider if it was 'actually' any good or not!
Ironically, the internet hurls so much ‘hype’ at the audience that any 'work' becomes devalued and disregarded. The little boy cried wolf. There is now so much choice the individual has to choose – under such pressure; does the individual prefer mediocrity, or brilliance…?
Modern music is all too often over sanitized – technology is suffocating the art not enhancing it. Modern ‘record production’ more often than not; sounds big in sound, but, flat in performance. Recordings 'punch', but lack 'dynamic'... Tracks are always in time, and always in tune, and subsequently lack that essential human hallmark – feel...
Make no mistake though; this is no time for a moment of 1970's cheap Malcolm McClaren spin – “'rock 'n' roll' must be played bad to be good” - or misguided progressive jazz-rock ethos – “the more suspended fifths the better”. 'Feel' simply means that it “feels” good – it's achieved when a band like Booker T play together for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week for 10 years – getting paid to make every performance pay. The same can be said for The Beatles, The Funk Brothers, The Clash, The Specials etc etc etc
Put even more pedantically, great tracks happen when the collective ‘feel’ from a group of individual musicians bends and adapts, instinctively to each other’s performances. A producer’s role was to guide and elicit that performance from the band. The producer is now an Engineer: a lousy performance is the expected default – to be fixed by software and engineering sorcery. Songs are now engineered, not produced...
Our musical philosophy has always been to try and capture the ‘live’ feel of a true ‘rock ‘n’ roll / soul / R & B’ performance – if this means sacrificing certain aspects of contemporary ‘production’ value etiquette, then so be it - and for the good! The guiding principle in the SONS sound is that the song should ‘feel’ like a song – the performance should sound like it’s been performed.
The album is fundamentally obsolete and as such, our emphasis is on making singular individual tracks work in their own right.
In focus with this principle, is the need not to have our production team (including the band) distracted by anything other than the music. Minimum attention to artwork, no flashy videos. no front cover of the NME, no world tours after one hit single and one half written over produced album never to be heard again. Just genuine rock & roll & rhythm and blues, soul & beat music.
Live performances ('genuine' – (no auto-tune allowed!)) will be a cornerstone of the Sons Experience but, will take place, selectively, only when the whole Sons team is geared to making such events truly notable.
On occasion, when wholly justified, we will issue albums – on blu-ray, HD, and Heavy Vinyl only. The album ‘experience’ was after all, when artistically successful, one of the most sublime creations of the 20th Century.