What Bands Have Been Able to Grow Their Style Without "Selling Out"

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by tedtan, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Most bands tend to find their sound and stick with it, but some are able to grow their style/sound over time while still sounding like themselves. Led Zeppelin did it; their early albums don't sound like their later albums, but they all sound like Zep albums. Metallica did it with their first several albums (KIA through AJFA), but then changed their sound pretty drastically for the black album, and even more with subsequent albums. Opeth followed in Metallica's footsteps, with Orchid through Ghost Reveries being a solid growth progression, but then they changed their sound with Watershed and even more drastically with Heritage.

    So my question: what other bands have been able to change and grow their style over the course of their careers without "selling out" (Metallica) or completely changing their sound (Opeth, In Flames, etc.)?
     
  2. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    Trivium

    Come at me bros.
     
  3. rifftrauma

    rifftrauma Trapped in time...

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    Deftones
     
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  4. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    Mastodon, kind of anyways. I'm not big on the "moderate prog with Ozzy vocals" current stuff over the sludgy, mathy old stuff, but I don't think they've sold out.
    The Dillinger Escape Plan was always adding new sounds, new songwriting styles, but still stayed pretty grounded where they came from.
     
  5. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    None.

    There's always a group of complainers.
     
  6. coreysMonster

    coreysMonster So long, Germany!

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    Very true. To some people, "selling out" means actually recording in a studio, because that's not kvlt enough - and I personally don't think Metallica ever sold out.
     
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  7. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    AC/DC. They've re-recorded/released their first album 15 times.
     
  8. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    I could see how some would feel like recording with the symphony, cutting their hair and recording a Bob Seger cover, and performing with Lada Gaga, could all be signs of selling out.
     
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  9. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Whitechapel. They had a rocky album, otherwise people seem to still really like their new stuff.
    Blind Guardian going from speed/power metal to more folk metal
    Judas Priest... Jesus. :lol: From blues rock, to progressive rock/metal, to pure heavy metal, to hard rock, to speed metal, to glam metal, then back to speed metal...
    Machine Head. They had two shifts, I'd say. The first one involved selling out though :lol: They were more groove metally in the '90s, and of course they went nu metal with Supercharger and The Burning Red. But then with Ashes, they started to lean back to their classic '90s sound, and then The Blackening came where they were pretty much straight up thrash.
     
  10. ArtDecade

    ArtDecade John Bohlinger's Dank Stash

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    Blink 182 and The Go-Go's.
     
  11. Leviathus

    Leviathus Psychotic Monster

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    Nine Inch Nails
     
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  12. fps

    fps Kit

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    The state the music industry is currently in, I don't even think selling out is a valid term any more.

    I also agree that Metallica didn't "sell out", whatever that even means, they have just written the music they wanted to and had the balls to ignore all the hate that inevitably comes with genuinely being famous and popular.
     
  13. MerlinTKD

    MerlinTKD EIght.Fold.Path / Hinge Theory Contributor

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    Been listening to a lot of Korn lately, and I've got to say, while they've made some missteps along the way, can't say it was ever in service of "selling out", and god knows they always sound like themselves, and no one else.
     
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  14. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    I think its impossible for them to sell out as long as they still let Fieldy play bass.
     
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  15. Lindmann

    Lindmann SS.org Rectangular

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    Slipknot maybe?
    I don't know where selling out begins and it's even harder to tell when a band had so much success over the years.
    But I think when slipknot developed from new metal to a more mature and rocky style they improved a lot but were still retaining their sound.
     
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  16. PBC

    PBC Composition Ontology

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    These bands I feel have changed dramatically sonically since their inception but still sound like "themselves" more so than the general band evolving.

    Dark Tranquillity: Gallery - Projector era, then they sort of honed in a lot of stuff for Haven and it's been developed, refined, and expanded with every released.

    Soilwork: Similar situation but added more metalcore-ish structure culminating with Natural Born Chaos which was their transition album, been evolving ever since.

    Paradise Lost: Death-doom to more melancholic Gothic (if that's even a genre) high quality for both styles.

    Katatonia: Death-doom to whatever you'd call what they do now.

    Cradle of Filth: Principles is pretty straight-forward black, then there was Dusk which was black + symphonic elements and it's been getting more gothic/extreme symphonic. You'd could call this selling out but I've found them to be consistent, plus their recent era they've been on a tear.

    Darkthrone: Have alternated and changed a whole bunch of times but have been consistently awesome. You'd never think the group that gave Transylvanian Hunger would put out something like The Underground Resistance.

    Avenged Sevenfold: Went from metalcore to more hard rock while still sounding like themselves.

    Behemoth: Don't know if you could count this one, since Satanica sounds like a completely different band than Storming Near the Baltic. However, harkening back via Satanist and such, they've developed and evolved.

    Anathema: Death-doom to Prog rock. This might be too much of a musical switch though.

    There's probably plenty I missed, you can even make the case for Meshuggah from Thrash to whatever you call it now.
     
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  17. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    Are there any circumstances when a band can do a cover of a popular song, and have it not be considered "selling out"? Genuine question.
     
  18. mastapimp

    mastapimp SS.org Regular

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    Destrage is a band I feel has retained their sound well from start to current day. They have a unique sound that has become more refined with their last 2 releases, but is still satisfying to a fan like myself and definitely sounds like good ol' Destrage.

    Soilwork has kept me as a fan year after year. They have evolved but haven't yet sold out to me. I'm amazed at how well they've maintained their style considering the high volume of member turnover.

    Revocation. Another one of my favorite bands that has maintained their identity while evolving their song writing after every release.

    Queens of the Stone Age also comes to mind. When Nick was booted from the band, they lost some of their edgier identity with the screaming vocals, but I really enjoyed their last few albums, which i can't say the same for In Flames or Opeth as the OP pointed out.

    I also feel like Stone Temple Pilots changed their sound between releases (especially their first 3) but still retained much of their style. They always had some interesting Jazzy chords and grooving bass lines that kept part of their identity intact. They have a new singer now, but the same 3 founding members, so they still sound like they have more or less the same style. I got to see them live in college when they were supporting No. 4 and having such a varied catalog made for a terrific show.
     
  19. MerlinTKD

    MerlinTKD EIght.Fold.Path / Hinge Theory Contributor

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    You know, "selling out" can mean so many different things to different people (as was mentioned above)... I guess, for me, I'd say it was "compromising/sacrificing artistic integrity solely to make more money", as opposed to "becoming less extreme" or even "making bad art". Basically, chasing a trend in the hopes of being more popular.

    So, maybe Metallica sold out, to some degree, with St. Anger, but it still came out unquestionably Metallica (if if questionable artistic quality). Their covers struck me as more lazy, than selling out. Machine Head jumping on the nu-metal bandwagon sure seems like a sellout move, but I have to respect how they've ended up.

    So covering a popular song, I'd say it depends: it could be selling out, or it could be a legit creative move that has the added bonus of a degree of built in attention.
     
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  20. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR Dread it, run from it....

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    Mastadon - Have they changed their sound a bit? Yes. But they've retained their core sound and improved their skills on their instruments and writing immensely.

    Korn for sure. Not big at all on their albums without Welch but they picked right back up where they left off when he came back.

    Metallica. They didn't sell out, they got older. I really do think they just did what they did because it's what they felt like doing.

    In Flames. Yup, I said it. They've been around for 20 years, why expect them not to do different things. Siren Charms wasn't a favorite of mine but Battles and Sounds of a Playground Fading are great albums, while A Sense of Purpose is damn near my favorite. I've been hooked on them since 1997 and they're still going strong imo. Anders doesn't scream and growl throughout whole albums but actually sings, oh what a travesty. lol

    Slayer. While the last albums of theirs I actually care for was Diabulous, they've taken the AC/DC approach and haven't strayed much.

    There are a lot of my old school favorite bands that have eventually became disappointing but if it was due to selling out, who knows. Bands should do what they want, if they lose my attention that's fine because it's not their obligation to make the music I think they should.
     
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