How many bands do you know these days that are known for more than their music? Or have moved beyond music entirely?
I have been noticing a trend over the past few years that is an interesting result of the democratization of technology.
The media band. A group of multidisciplinary artists that create together in the areas of video, music, art, design, etc.
Music may simply be a part of what they do if at all.
Media here means the various ways of expression including music. Band refers to a group of artists that consistently create together for hobby or profit. Some form traditional companies and some enjoy getting together to just jam creatively.
I call this concept a media band simply because I believe it is larger than the platform that helped launch it, namely YouTube.
These bands would exist with or without YouTube, although YouTube did an excellent job of cultivating groups like this to grow. I hesitate to call them strictly YouTubers for the same reason I wouldn’t call a band iTuners.
Granted, you could argue this concept has been around forever for all the Top 40 popular bands dating back decades. But never to the degree it is available today with the low barriers of entry to produce compelling content and share it so easily online.
I want to call attention to a few examples to illustrate what I mean when I say media band. You might know some more.
- OK Go has done such an incredible job at producing music videos that their videos are more anticipated than their music.
- Wong Fu Productions is a band of three video producers who are rock stars in their own right but do not release music.
- Rhett and Link have been producing their own brand of comedy for years together and made a career of it.
- Julian Smith has attracted a roster of actors and producers that consistently produce entertaining content including ringtones, music, and merchandise.
- Freddie Wong and his partner in crime, Brandon J. Laatsch, produce a strand of action comedy involving guns, video games and explosions that has attracted Hollywood talent.
Yes, the content varies as much as the genres of music vary but I hope you see how the media band concept encompasses more than just music and video. These bands throw concerts. Julian actually plays Jellyfish live. Rhett and Link have released CDs and films. Wong Fu is practically a movement. Freddie will most likely become an action film director one day.
What starts out as a little garage band with friends can now become much more than simply a rock band. I’m sure each of these guys looked at the traditional path of a musician before choosing their current path.
The bands of the future will look more like these artists than they did at any other time previously in history.