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What is an indie band?


Dr. J
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I realize this is a forum about jambands, but i was wondering if people could clarify for me what constitutes an "indie band." In my mind, an indie band is one that operates independent of a record label (and management company). Therefore, a band like The Golden Dogs (whom I like very much) would not be considered an indie band since they a contractual agreement with The Agency Group and a recording contract with True North Records. In most circles, however, it seems they would be considered indie since they are not under contract to one of the 4 major record labels. Correct? Under that definition, very, very few bands would not be "indie bands" Right?(disregarding discussion of style etc.)

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But aren't an awful lot of labels simply subsidiaries under the umbrella of one of the four major labels? To the best of my knowledge, True North isn't owned by any of the majors, but I could be wrong.

I think that with the advent of digital music and the increased accesibility of music in that format, the entire industry is in for a major paradigm shift, and that very soon, a lot of these labels (not record labels, but categories) will be lost or re-defined.

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I think that with the advent of digital music and the increased accesibility of music in that format, the entire industry is in for a major paradigm shift

I think you're quite right. It's the shift which is causing the lack of clarity. It's also what is causing the current paranoia among the major labels.

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Guest Low Roller

Something about an independant band in an independant land I believe... ;)

I think the true, non-bastardized definition of an indie band is a band that is not signed to any record contract that guarantees them money, relying solely on live shows and basement recorded CDs that they sell at their gigs and in the streets for income.

And that was the definition of a run-on sentence.

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I used to think 'Pursuit of Hapiness' was the definition of indie band, cause they looked and sounded entirely independent, of money and support i guess, but were still cool and rocked; 'I'm an adult now!' also may have been the theme music for that early indie show on MuchMusic with Kris Ward. but i may be wrong.

But yes, it's strange a word that should be describing a band's non-affiliation with a label, now describes the music. Kind of like using the word 'alternative', within 5 years of Nirvana's re-defining of that word. Before them the word covered everything from Ministry to NOFX.

I guess maybe 'independent' is the word used to describe bands with no label, and 'indie' describes bands that perscribe to a certain sound, but are most likely on a label.

labels are like labels. they label. uh oh, i think label may be one of those words, where if you say it over and over, it seems crazy.. ooookay. my work is done here. :P

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