I just stumbled over a youtube interview of one of my childhood heroes the other day... Whitfield Crane from Ugly Kid Joe, who have a new EP out and are back together rocking and rolling!
He said something that brought back thoughts I had recently.
The question, if we can expect a new full length Ugly Kid Joe album sometime soon, he answered with "No. Never".
Whit explained that, to him, it wouldn't make much sense, since on the one hand UKJ is a catalogue band, meaning, they're known for what they already recorded over the years and people want to hear exactly that material when they go to a show, and on the other hand, he claims that on every album of great bands from the 90s there are fillers. Songs that are not really good enough to be released as a single. Songs that just make the album an album, quantity wise. So full royalties were being payed.
Do it... think of albums you like... are there fillers on them?
I would have to say YES... but to me, and now comes my weirdo train of thoughts, sometimes fillers help an album being awesome, they help songs to stick out and you grow to them until they are no fillers anymore. Let me explain:
I don't know how you listen to a newly bought album, but when I was a kid and got really really excited about a new release, I would do the following:
I would put the cd in my stereo and rush through the tracks, sometimes even fast forward to the choruses and then, when I found a song/melody I really liked, I could have listened to that song on repeat for at least as long as the whole album length was.
Then later, I'd pay more attention to the other songs and maybe even find one that's a lot better... it sounds funny, but that was the way I listened to albums back then... it doesn't mean that the ones I picked first would stay my favorites, but most of the time, they did...
After my not so chronological album plucking derby, of course I'd listen to the record in full length... but I could tell right away my personal hits... song 1 always cool, song 4 and song 9 are awesome... yeah, better skip 7 etc... then later come back and find out 7 is not too bad either...
Looking back, it seemed that I spent a lot more time absorbing and having fun with an album than I have today...
Why is that? Do I like music less? NOPE!... are the bands out there all shitty? NOPE!
I can't give a complete answer to that... and don't get me wrong, I still love music and I still buy a lot, but it's been quite a while since I went on a repeat marathon on a record.
Actually there is one thing I found interesting, and now it gets back to Whitfield Crane's theory.
I'd like to reverse it...
Maybe we need fillers!
Maybe it makes us appreciate the great songs more and makes us feel good about finding them?
Maybe they stick out more like that!?
I have an example: When the band The Calling came out, it was a good band. So I bought the record (Wherever you will go, Aaaadrienne etc). I blindly bought there second album, and... it was good!
Catchy melodies, good musicians, good sounding production, no filler.... I know I listened to it a lot in the car...there was nothing that annoyed me... and: I CAN'T NAME YOU ONE SONG!!!
I'm sure I could sing to a lot of them when they're on, but right now... nothing... no melody no lyric, and if so, I don't quite remember if that was on the first or second album.
I don't have little attention span or anything like that... I just can't remember a single song... I noticed that with other records too, not that I can't remember anything, but that I got bored rather fast but couldn't understand why, because I liked that band, the songs were good and so was the production...
Do we need fillers sometimes to reset and focus? Have good songs stand out to be great songs?! What do you think?
Love and lights,
Whit Crane Interview Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALnYpGMnTdU
Listen to Ugly Kid Joe - America's Least Wanted!
New EP: Stairway to Hell