It’s a Long Way to the Top – Diary of a 21st Century Rock n Roll Band – Hitting the Road

Kurt Dahl leads a double life. First and foremost, he is the drummer of Saskatoon rock band One Bad Son (www.onebadson.com). Second, he is writing his Master’s of Law thesis on the future of the music industry, and how artists will continue to make money in a digital world.

The Rock and Roll Report contacted him to write a diary for his latest venture: driving to Vancouver to record new songs with Default drummer Danny Craig as producer. Below are his entries…

Friday Jan. 30 – ‘Rock is Dead, Long Live Rock’

I feel like I’m the living embodiment of Pete Townsend’s immortal lyric “rock is dead they say, long live rock”. We’ve been writing and performing original rock and roll for the past 4 years, and only now do we seem to be making some real headway in the industry.

We’re driving from Saskatoon to Vancouver to record 3 songs with some big names in Canadian rock n roll, with the hope that we might attract real investors so that we can record a real, big-time album. The 3 songs are costing us over $10,000. Such are the stakes when you are trying to cross that great divide from indie to mainstream.

For us there really is no choice. We don’t sound ‘indie’. We write rock n roll that is meant for the masses, which means that we have to jump through some hoops to make our songs sound as big as the pros, if we want to be taken seriously next to them.

But why is it that most rock created today for the masses is so bad? On our drive to Van, we tuned into via satellite to various ‘new rock’ stations, and every song sounded the same, with the same frustrated, aggressive young man type vocals. Rock is dead, at least on the radio. Naively perhaps, we think we can change this.

Just because music is meant for the masses, doesn’t mean it has to suck. Sure, the masses are asses, but mainstream rock in the 60s, 70s, and early 90s kicked ass – it was smart, fresh, and told its generation which way the wind blew. Now it’s all about forecasted sales, brand development, and market penetration. Long live rock.

Kurt Dahl

ONE BAD SON: Orange CityBuy the CD