Heavy Chat Is Heavy: Streaming Exclusivity

We’ve covered the concept of streaming exclusivity before, including our extensive deep dive on steaming services and our multiple opinion pieces on Protest the Hero’s Pacific Myth. But 2016 has seen an explosion of high-profile artists releasing exclusive, stream-only releases on platforms like Tidal and Apple Music. With industry heavyweights like Kanye West, Chance the Rapper and Frank Ocean signing on to the trend, it seems as though this might be a new feature of modern music consumption that – for better or worse – might be here to stay. So we assembled a group of editors and contributors interested in the subject to dissect the issue in our latest Heavy Chat. The conversation ended up running long, but we think you’ll find we covered a lot of ground and – hopefully – you’ll learn a bit more about the way your music consumption is likely morphing right in front of your eyes.

Don’t Forget The Fans: The Changing Music Industry and Music Exploration

I don’t think that I’d be out of my bounds when I say that most metal fans explore their genre. When you like a sound, you want to follow it as much as you can. Additionally, you can crave different sounds, and explore new things that the music world has to offer. That’s the beauty of music—you’re able to create an amalgam of things you like. In a way, you piece together your own auditory universe. And today, it’s easier than ever to explore music. The advent of the Information Age has created, catered to, and revolutionized our tastes in more ways than we realize, and with streaming services like Spotify and music-oriented websites like RateYourMusic, discovering new bands and songs has never been more convenient. I, for one, love that this is true; Spotify has been crucial in my exploration in music, to the point that it’s my go-to for all new tunes I want to try out.

But I have my doubts that this sort of freedom—or, rather, ease to explore—will last.

20 – The Original Title Was Too Long, So I Fixed It

Yeah, that’s the actual title! Thanks for listening to us for 20 episodes now! We’re going to keep going. This week we talk about a bunch of new music, including Sylosis, Babymetal, Voivod, Myrkur, Vektor and Danny Tunker’s (Alkaloid) Bare Trap! We also talk about the controversial Patreon by Ne Obliviscaris. Then we go into two topics, the balance between being in a band with friends versus professionalism, and bands that take forever to release their next albums. Then we do our now-weekly “balls deep” on Blind Guardian, which we both really love! Also don’t forget the cool people time at the end!

19 – feat. Jimmy Pitts and Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschlager

We have two very special guests today! Jimmy Pitts and Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschlager, who are involved in so many projects that it’s kind of ridiculous. Between them, they’ve worked with Christian Muenzner, Hannes Grossmann, Obscura, Spastic Ink, Scholomance, Nader Sadek, Cerebric Turmoil and many more. Jimmy’s currently playing keyboards for Muenzner’s power metal band Eternity’s End, and him and Tom are currently crowd funding the Pitts Minneman Project’s new album, The Psychic Planetarium on Indiegogo. Top notch prog metal/jazz fusion. We invited them over to have a chat about their projects, but of course it all devolves into talking about a whole slew of topics, and we had a great time!

16 – The Great Southern Careerkill

Welcome back to HPIHC! Eden’s back, and thus we’re back on track! Of course we talk about Phil Anselmo’s transgressions and the fallout that followed, new music from Skuggsja, Voivod and Killswitch Engage. Of course, there’s more Tidal shenanigans (involving Rihanna this time), then we go into our usual discussions. This time it’s about the material that supplements the experience of an album, be it music videos or supplementary material like liner notes, companion books and such. Finally we talk about the legendary Fredrik Nordstrom. Enjoy!

Deep Dive: Streaming Platforms 101

Tidal may have stirred up significant controversy last year, but critics of streaming platforms have been vocalizing their dissent since Spotify first launched just under a decade ago. The discourse surrounding streaming platforms is essentially identical to the Napster debacle of the nineties, albeit with a fresh cast of vexed musicians, an upgrade in technology and a blurrier definition of fair compensation. What the issue boils down to is this: music producers and consumers are still grappling over what the exact value of music should be in a perpetually advancing digital age. And while streaming services attempted to solve this issue, it succeeded more at complicating things further and creating a new element of the debate. In order to illuminate a highly divisive issue, our latest Deep Dive will discuss the history of streaming platforms, evidence for and against them and their utility within music consumption.

Protest The Hero want to cut out labels for good using Bandcamp’s new subscription service. But is it enough?

Since the closing of the Scurrilous tour cycle, it seems that Protest the Hero have reached an important decision: they are through with the middleman – by middleman, I of course mean the record label — and, after finding themselves in financial trouble after producing three top-tier albums, you can…