Interview with Guitartist John Connor of Ravenlight
By Mick Michaels
COSMICK VIEW: Hello, John! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it's greatly appreciated.
CV: Do you feel Heavy Metal music in general is viewed differently by fans in Europe compared to fans elsewhere, especially in America, and if so why?
John Connor: There definitely seems to be a more mainstream appreciation of Metal in Mainland Europe…the UK would be quite similar to America in that it generally would get airplay on specialist radio, and whenever a metal band manages to break into mainstream radio, it can feel like a bit of a novelty.
I’m not sure why that is the case, but it feels like it's a shift at a cultural level. From the outside it always feels like things in America always want to be bigger, which doesn’t always mix with more niche communities.CV: Has Metal splintered into too many sub-genres in your opinion, thus, making it harder for newer bands to actually classify themselves as one style over another? Is it confusing for fans as well?
JC: I can’t say I think there can ever be too many sub-genres, but I think listeners and bands should just accept there is more range within those sub genres. More bands are jumping between genres now, so the lines will always be increasingly blurry, so when people are discussing, is it death metal or is it black metal, is it symphonic metal or is it power metal. I don’t think outside arbitrary labels for marketing that it should matter too much. CV: Can an artist truly be unique? Some would argue there is no such thing as being unique; that it’s nothing more than a compounding of influences making an artist who or what they are. Would this then say that artists today are destined to be just copies of those who have already come to pass?
JC: I think every once in a while an artist comes along and it feels like they are truly unique, but I’m sure if they were asked, they would be able to clearly cite their influences. I think a huge example of this outside of metal is the musical Hamilton, when a rap musical hit Broadway, everyone within the world of music theater were blown away by this “unique” musical…while Lin Manual Miranda is happy to explain exactly where each influence came from. I think the distinction between copying and creating something unique, how you use the influences and make them your own, but the old adage is true, everything is a remix. CV: What do you feel makes someone a “rock star”? Does being a rock star automatically make one iconic or are the two completely different in your opinion?
JC: I think the notion of a Rock Star is getting increasingly outdated, back in the day, there would be artists who kicked off, got huge record deals and became larger than life figures, but that level of extremes doesn’t seem to exist anymore, especially in the world of metal.
CV: Thank you again John for spending some time
talking and sharing with our readers. It was a pleasure. I wish you all the
best and continued success.
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