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Singer / songwriters of metal

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by Daybreaker, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. Daybreaker

    Daybreaker Red, Hot, and Heavy

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    I've been asking this question to alot of people lately. Do any of you guys know in metal, a solo artist that isn't "just a singer" or virtuoso guitarist. Examples of these would be Joe Lynn Turner and Yngwie. I'm trying to find the Springsteens of metal. The Bruce rocks his Esquire and sings and writes. Yet when you hear the name Springsteen you don't think of super solos, you think of the man, and songs. That's what I'm looking for, a name, a face, and songs, not a drummer gone solo, not a singer gone solo, and not a Chris Impellitetitititiererei type of guy.


    The closest I can come to an answer for this is Devin Townsend.

    I've had some people say that the reason there's so few solo singer songwriters in metal is because "you have to have a band" for metal to "you have to be a virtuoso if you want to go 'solo' "

    I really can't think of other people that fit this description, in metal.
     
  2. Spiderpact

    Spiderpact West Bench White Trash

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    I'm not sure if I fully understand the criteria, but I agree largely with what "someone" has already told you. There are very few musicians in the world of heavy metal that could perform exclusively by themselves. (except for, guitar gods, and Mambo Kurt for any of you Wacken-ites :lol: )Quite frankly its the nature of the music.

    I think what we have instead is individuals who create for the whole band. There are tons of metal musicians that although they belong to a "band", they are either the primary writers, or the exclusive writer's of that band's music. Here are just a few examples:

    Satyr - Satyricon
    Tomas Forsberg - Bathory
    Tuomas Holopainen - Nightwish
    Jari Mäenpää - Wintersun
    Arjen Anthony Lucassen - Ayreon
    Ihsahn - Ihsahn/Emperor
    Kai Hansen - Gamma Ray
    Dave Mustaine - Megadeth

    The List literally could go on forever.

    So its my opinion that the reason it's tough to think of the "Springsteens" of heavy metal, is because the style of music rarely allows for just an individual to perform. But there are plenty of singer/songwriters who write exclusively for a primary band, or in Devin Townsend's or Arjen Lucassen's case, they have different musicians all the time.
     
  3. Cheiron

    Cheiron Member

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    And Bruce has his E-street band.
     
  4. StewiesSexyParties

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    Hopefully I'm understanding the question right, but when I tried to think of a person in the metal world where you think of "the man and the songs" as opposed to virtuostic playing by solo musicians, the guy that came to mind was Ozzy Osbourne. Not that he hasn't played with some incredible musicians, but for a lot of people the man and the songs seem to be what comes to mind first. Also, when people think metal, many think Ozzy.
     
  5. J-Man

    J-Man Old as Yoda

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    Marco Heitila - Nightwish/Tarot

    Andreas Blomqvist - Seventh Wonder

    Michael Poulsen - Volbeat

    Daniel Gildenlow - PoS
     
  6. Rider of Theli

    Rider of Theli The Hellequin

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    Jon Oliva - FTW! :worship:
     
  7. Dolamite S. Biffle

    Dolamite S. Biffle Biffliest Person Ever

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    QFT
     
  8. sh0kr0k

    sh0kr0k Active Member

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    Yes, definitely Arjen Anthony Lucassen for sure! I don't know if I understand completely, but I think Hubi Meisel would fit nicely into this category as well. Singer/songwriter/producer/does everything under the sun.
     
  9. Magius

    Magius .................

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    Luca Turilli
     
  10. Stingray11214

    Stingray11214 OSA Triumvir

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    Tobias Sammet would fit in that category.
     
  11. 5150

    5150 Member

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    The obvious answer, Jorn
     
  12. BlackRoseMetalHeart

    BlackRoseMetalHeart Metal Mistress

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    I think a lot of good examples have already been listed (Arjen, Tobias, and Jon Oliva being some of the best examples IMO), but I would also think Dio might be eligible for the list, although I'm not certain how much of the actual musical development he is involved with beyond the lyrics. Can anyone help confirm or deny this?

    Except for when Bruce ...

    • wrote albums that were almost all or completely acoustic (Nebraska, Ghost of Tom Joad, Devils in Dust)
    • did acoustic solo tours
    • dropped The E-Street Band for 10 years and got a more youthful replacement band (Human Touch, Lucky Town, MTV Plugged)
    • wrote songs for movie soundtracks (Streets of Philadelphia, Secret Garden)
    • did his tribute to Pete Seeger album and tour

    Don't get me wrong I love the men and women of E-Street and think that they are all incredibly talented individuals, but Springsteen does all the writing and is completely capable of being an independent artist apart from them.

    The fact that Springsteen being able to see so much success on his own with or without the E-Street band is not only a testament to his (and their) talent, but also due to the lack of ego he and the E-Street band members posses. He knows how much he owes them and they know how much they owe him.

    It's a lot more difficult to find metal musicians who don't have an ego and would not take issue with one member doing all the songwriting, naming the band after that one person, calling all the shots, etc. In metal, if something like that does happen it's usually considered more of a "project" than an actual band and rarely does it last as long as the tenure that Springsteen and The E-Street band have seen being together for over 30 years (still over 20 years if you discount the disbandment from of E-Street from 1989-99, although I've heard Bruce say in interviews that they technically never disbanded, just decided to take different paths for awhile).
     
  13. Purveyor Of Evil

    Purveyor Of Evil Heavy Metal, INC.

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    Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford are both the primary writers of their solo material. Also my two favorites at their chosen craft...EVER!!!
     
  14. Daybreaker

    Daybreaker Red, Hot, and Heavy

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    Coolness, some great answers. Why the ass didn't I think of Hubi? That's a winner right there. However, maybe I badly worded the parameters of the question. Or maybe it's just confusing in general ha. I would agree that wholeheartedly Arjen, Tobias, Tuomas, and the ilk are amazing songwriters for their bands. But that's the problem, it is for their bands, Ayreon, Avantasia, etc. Like, if Arjen struck out under his name Arjen
    Lucassen, then he would be the perfect candidate. When I hear his name I think of the music and grand sweeping songs with tons of depth and layers of meaning, not guitar skills even though he is super capable.

    Maybe its me being anal, but I don't quite count Halford, Jorn, or folks like that in the answer I'm looking for, because it's not ROB Halford solo, it's "Halford" the band. Jorn falls too much into a Joe Lynn Turner kinda thing, amazing singer, writes cool stuff, but he's more a singer for hire for alot of things.

    And Jon Oliva is King Dingaling for sure, but same thing, he's Savatage or Jon Oliva's Pain, which while having his name in the band name its skewed enough for band purposes.

    I guess another non metal example of what I'm looking for is the metal equivalent of someone like Jackson Browne. Like, when I think of him I think of the dude and a piano or Telecaster, singing solo and acoustic, with a band, or however he wants on the songs he wrote.


    Shit, not only that but I believe the decision to go solo under your name, allows for so much more creative expression. Again, using Jackson as an example, man he has so many songs over the years that are light years apart from each other in terms of style, but they all have that Jackson Browne bad ass mofo vibe to em.

    Would the metal community allow a band to have songs that were old school metal ala Maiden Saxon on one half and then straight up Journey worship on the other side?

    Or on the other side of the coin, would a general music community allow a Journey inspired solo artist to get away with real honest to god heavy metal as well?

    I have long posts.
     
  15. Comic Book Dude

    Comic Book Dude Rockin'

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    Jeff Scott Soto
    Joey Tempest (Europe)....he writes just about all of Europe's material
    Michael Bormann (ex Jaded Heart, ex Bloodbound)....great singer/songwriter
    Dug Pinnick (Kings X)....great group and solo material
    Paul Gilbert ....again, great group and solo material
    I tried to pick artists who write BOTH lyrics and music.
     
  16. Daybreaker

    Daybreaker Red, Hot, and Heavy

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    Fucking Michael Bormann! Dude! Man, for his first solo album, Michael sang, guitar, bass, drummed and produced. Even now he tends to multi task a bit in the studio. To me its laughable that Jaded Heart exists without him.
     
  17. mel_progson

    mel_progson Member

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    King Diamond?
     
  18. Wyvern

    Wyvern Master of Disaster
    Staff Member

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    Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Ambeon, Star One, Stream Of Passion, Guilt Machine)
    Gary Hughes (Ten, solo)
    Marta Gabriel (Crystal Viper)
    Veronica Freeman (Benedictum)
    Doro Pesch (Warlock, Doro)
    Joakim Broden (Sabaton)
    Brandon Wright (Final Stage)
    Urban Breed (ex-Tad Morose, Bloodbound, Pyramaze)
    Beto Vazquez (Beto Vazquez Infinity)
    Andreas "Vintersorg" Hedlund (Waterclime and more)
    Tobias Sammet (Avantasia, Edguy)
    Andre Matos (Viper, Angra, Virgo, Shaaman, Andre Matos)
    Leif Edling (Candlemass, Krux, Leif Edling)
    Hari Joensen (Týr)

    and more

    the usual supects:

    Alice Cooper, Phil Lynnot, Lemmy, Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, Ian Gillan, Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi, Ronnie James Dio, Hansi Kursch, Jorn Lande, Dave Mustaine, Kurdt Vanderhoof, Mark Reale, Martin Walkyier, etc.
     
  19. adaher

    adaher Member

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    I get what Daybreaker is saying. And no, I don't think there are any equivalents in metal to a Sarah McLachlan or Bruce Springsteen. Metal is more of a "team sport".:)

    Even when a metal artist who is a singer does control the entire creative process, he tends to use a band name.

    Plus there are a couple of minor groups(or who were minor at the time) where one guy does virtually everything. I think the first Reinxeed album was like that and I'm pretty sure the first Theocracy album was all Matt Smith. But as soon as they get a decent budget they bring in other creative people.

    If you go into the world of hard rock, then there are a lot of singer-songwriters: Stan Bush, Jean Beovoir...
     
  20. edgeofthorns

    edgeofthorns 24 Hours Ago...

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    Ronnie James Dio...he's a singer, songwriter, and yet a musician. He can actually play an instrument or two, eventhough he doesn't on his solo outings.

    ~Brian~
     

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