The stigma against local bands


Jan 11, 2006
I find the stigma against local bands interesting. As if they are throwaways. Maybe this is because most local bands die in less than a year. Maybe its because they play so many local shows that going to see them is something you do to be part of a local metal scene, rather than necessarily because seeing them live is something special.

Of course, there are local bands that make it big. They started playing together in some small venues and they had a strong local following, then one day an album was made and a label thought they could exploit this band to make some small profit.

But often, you'll see if people suggest a band for others to listen to and its a "local" band (not necessarily even local to them!) they won't even give it the time of day.

These people want national/international acts. Its almost as if its better than you have member spread across the universe and never play a live date until after you are on a major label. Because if you are a local band, well you must just suck. Everybody knows that labels get the most expiremental/original bands, whereas local bands are just playing the flavor of the month and following trends hoping to be seen! (I'd say sarcasm. But this is true often enough.... but I meant it sarcastically since labels often follow trends too when signing bands i.e. "Oh look Century got X band. We need a band that sounds like X!")

Maybe this rant goes nowhere. But its something that has bugged me, because I like finding new bands. I search all the time. A lot of the bands I find are small-town bands that have only played in one locality. But most won't even give them a listen because they don't know anybody in the band, and because they don't think it deserves a listen since some label hasn't found them first!
I can relate to this, and the problem weighs the heavier when you are from the backwoods like me. A band like Flowing Tears (who had it going quite well some time ago in Century Media, but recently left due to lack of support/success) whose members are more or less neighbours of mine here from the province...I could never take them seriously for these reasons. I was the more stunned when Jim once had an album of theirs in his poll due to the production.

But what do you do when you come from an urban area? Does a citizen of Chicago laugh at his own metal scene (with not only a few great bands)? - I guess no, so is it really a factor of urban/rural areas?

Let's maybe call these "local" bands "pastoral metal", haha! (recent album "Backwater Park":lol: )
Most local bands blow by any objective measure, and people in local scenes generally vastly overrate the bands in 'their' scene. So yeah, someone's local favorite is going straight to the bottom of my 'to listen' pile.

The truth is that any metal band that hasn't created some sort of non-local buzz within a year or so probably isn't bringing anything of significance to the table anyway.