What is a band?

I’m not overly into music but I do have bands and artists I enjoy, both past and present. However, a few recent events involving two of my favorite ones have been quite curious and has me asking “what is a band?”

Early this year, Steven Page, one of the founding members of Barenaked Ladies left the group to persue a solo career. His contribution to their catalog of songs and their sound is without question, as is both his and their future. The four remaining members released a live album recorded in March with Keavin Hearn stepping up his vocal efforts along with Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan, and Tyler Stewart as well. They are all talented musicians so I have no doubt they will be able to develop a new style and voice and look forward to the fruits of their labors.

Separately, one of my favorite bands, Information Society, set up a Twitter account (along with the rest of the globe, btw) to communicate with their fans on upcoming events and other info. Personally, I think that kind of use for Twitter is quite valuable and I follow several sources who use Twitter similarly.

The part that got weird is the fact that “they” followed me back. That is normal etiquette in Twitter but it was a bit surreal when I received notice that I was being “followed” by a “band” I have enjoyed for over twenty years. It’s a strange fusion of old and new. Of course, the account is managed one of the members (my guess is Kurt Harland) but it’s still a bit odd. Now if I could only get them to come out here since I haven’t seen them in concernt since 1987 at Disneyland grad night at the Tomorrowland CafĂ©.

So, is a band a brand and is only measures by their product or are they identified by their individual members and creative contributers? Will BNL still be BNL without Steven? Of course. Was InSoc the same group when it was just Kurt and Paul Robb had moved on? Yes (albeit with a different sound). I will say their newest album, Synthesizer, which marked the return of Paul Robb and James Cassidy, is my favorite and I blogged about it before. Ultimately, I suppose it doesn’t matter. I’ll most likely keep following both of them no matter what (or who) they’re made up of.

Update: In my old post that I referenced, I said that I saw InSoc in 1989 and not 1987. I went to grad night both years (once for my graduation and once for Becky’s). It must because I’m 40, but I’m not not sure which year it was. Was it even them? ;-)

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