Saturday, May 19, 2012

Band as Business

Pearl Jam Santiago, Chile 11-16-11

Pearl Jam made news this week when the joined eleven businesses in working with the environmental nonprofit Fronterra which helps businesses calculate their carbon output and then minimize or mitigate it.  As Pearl Jam fans, we know it's nothing new for Pearl Jam to pick up the torch of environmentalism, but a seemingly innocuous statement struck some fans the wrong way and spurred an entirely unrelated debate.

Gossard said he thinks of Pearl Jam as a business, and being able to let their fans know they’re taking steps to be environmentally responsible only enhances the brand.
Pearl Jam as a business?  What happened to Pearl Jam as a rock band?  Surely, Pearl Jam makes music that they enjoy making and are proud of the albums that they release, but between that statement, and a 2009 quote from Mike McCready in Spin Magazine:
But now that we're putting out a record on our own, we're taking on the responsibility of sinking or swimming ourselves. If that means writing a song that sounds like a mainstream radio hit, we're going to do that.
... a debate has raged on.  Does thinking of your band as a business take away the soul of the band?  More importantly, does it affect the music?  Some of that depends on what you think about Rock and Roll, and some of it depends on which Pearl Jam album happens to be your favorite.

The debate will continue.  Come by our forum and join in.  Thanks to Stone and the guys, at least you'll have cleaner air to breathe you do.