I’ve taken down the tutorial section of my YouTube page because I’ve noticed a growing trend online where so many up and coming musicians are no longer learning, but rather just imitating what everyone else is doing. In my opinion this is going to oversaturate the genre with even more copy cats, and less original innovators.

Do you ever notice how metal has been sounding exactly the same lately? The kick drums are all created using the same samples, the guitars are all using the same amps, and so on. Even independent musicians are using programs like EZ Drummer and settling for the stock samples to put on their full length albums.

This is the wrong direction, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to inspire metal musicians to take a stand and explore other options. Don’t do what everyone else is doing, and dare to venture into unknown territory. We all know what a fast guitar solo sounds like, we’ve heard all the blast beats, and we certainly have had our fair share of similar sounding screams.

If we as musicians start using generalized templates in our music, we are setting the bar extremely low for future generations. Instead, we should look for new techniques and methods of creating these sonic landscapes. Has anyone tried using a jazz kit to record a black metal song? Most likely not, because popular trends tell us that our drum kits need to sound a certain way.

The only way we will progress as a genre is if we explore what we have yet to see and hear. Heavy music should be exciting and inspiring, not bland and repetitive. Metal fans should be able to recognize a band just from a few seconds of hearing their record. I love bands like Type O Negative and Pantera because you will never ever find anyone else like them. Many will try to imitate, but why would anyone want to listen to a half ass imitation when you can have the real deal?

All I ask it that those who are quick to reach for the easy way out, think before you do that. If you want a great guitar tone, don’t reach for some video clip online of what someone else considers to be a good tone. Open up your ears and start messing around with settings on your own terms, and make it work. The same goes for drum sounds, and if you can’t get a real drummer, don’t just settle for stock samples. Tweak them until they sound like something you’ve nevIer heard before.

If you get a nervous pit in your stomach, don’t turn back and take the safe route. Many artists will do this when exploring new territory, and quickly back away because it’s safer to produce something that people are accustom to hearing. Use that fear of the unknown to drive your creativity forward. Be that one person who had the guts to release an album the likes of which we have never heard before.

I always say you can’t drive forward by looking in the rear view mirror, so stop looking for what feels safe as a musician. Express yourself with no fear, and absolute confidence. Only then will you progress as a truly unique artist, and only then will we progress as a genre.

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