If it’s up to Jay Jay French of Twisted Sister, the answer to that question is no. He doesn’t believe classic rock and metal acts from the 70’s and 80’s should invest time in new music. That includes: making new music, and touring it. He says,
“I mean, they can justify it all they want but no one cares. Let me tell you, you’re a bunch of stupid fools if you think that anyone gives a s–t. They don’t. They say they do but they don’t. Which is why most of these classic bands make a new album, go out on a tour, start out with five songs from the new record, after a few weeks there are two songs and then they just want to play that one new song and get it over with. Because no one knows it and no one gives a s–t about it, and they’re delusional to think they do.”
This is a long held debate in the rock community. While musicians themselves are divided on the subject, the fans are too – even more so. Some love seeing what their favorite band is “up to now,” and others are purely interested in older catalogues.
In recent years, we’ve seen examples of “older” bands finding new success with new
material, and, some flops. One of the most recent examples of “new material success” is Megadeth‘s Dystopia. Though they’re “older,” their brand new album was still selling a record 10,000 copies in the US, fourteen weeks after its release. Furthermore, the success was highlighted by Dystopia earning the number three spot on the Billboard 200 charts at its debut.
Aerosmith‘s Music From Another Dimension is another “new material from an older band” release that comes to mind. Though it debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200 charts in 2012, it quickly slid. It sold just 63,000 copies in its first week, and less and less as time went on. By Aerosmith standards, it was a bummer.
Perhaps the question we should be asking is, “who do we want new music from?” Sure, bands love playing new material to keep things exciting – but given my previous examples, there is an obvious divide in opinion on the subject when you look at it from a “band by band” basis. It just might be that Megadeth fans were “ready” for new stuff, and Aerosmith ones prefer older hits.
Regardless, we, the fans, shouldn’t limit bands to doing solely one or the other. We might be putting them in the “novelty act” file too soon.
It should be a band decision to create new material or not. Let’s be open to whatever they give us, then decide.