COLUMN: Creating the ideal indie rock band


Ryan Meyer, Columnist

In honor of Halloween, I wanted to try and create the ultimate Frankenstein’s monster of indie rock bands, taking the best qualities from some of my favorite artists and emerging with a band that probably wouldn’t sound good and could potentially wreak havoc on a world tour.

First off, I should address what I want the atmosphere surrounding the band to be like. I want the grandeur and magnitude of artists like U2, but I also want the mystique that permeates the stark soundscapes of Joy Division. Also, the more music the better, so I need this band to release high quality records multiple times a year, in the vein of GRMLN.

The guitars need to have a variety of tones and styles to ensure that the band creates as many walls of sound as possible. I’d like to include the jangle of Real Estate, the melodic, extended leads of Television and the fuzz of DIIV’s “Deceiver.” These styles need to all cooperate in the span of a four-minute song in order to ensure mainstream radio play.

I’ve considered a couple of vocalists to front this band. On the one hand, you have Brandon Flowers of the Killers, whose impassioned desert imagery can rise above the aforementioned guitars. But on the other, you have the biting sarcasm of Florence Shaw of Dry Cleaning, whose delivery often doesn’t rise above rhythmic speaking. After much consideration, I’ve decided to go with both of them.

Obviously, none of this would work. The beauty of all of these artists and their music is that they comfortably settle into their own niches, besides the Killers, who are probably going to try everything before they break up or retire. Dry Cleaning is at the top of the modern post-punk scene, DIIV reinvented themselves with a cathartic shoegaze record and Television’s guitar playing will stand the test of time as the best of the CBGB’s era. U2’s inflated arena rock works specifically in that setting, and Joy Division’s legend is partially influenced by the story of their frontman, Ian Curtis.

Trying to create a monster like the one I described would have a similar quality to that of putting on all your favorite records at once. It’s much more enjoyable to listen in sequence or pick a record or CD off the shelf that has a quality that no other artist or album can claim.

The beauty of music is how much of it there is, and how there truly is something for every moment, every feeling or every season.

Ryan Meyer is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at [email protected] or at 581-2812.