The Set List

The Set List
By Brian Washburn
The music scene has come a long way since the flower power, glam rock, hair metal days of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. However, a trend from those days may be making a comeback: solo acts. But these days it’s not the egotistical frontman who feels he’s bigger than the band, it’s a band member who wants to break out and put their creative intuition in the spotlight.
The most recent —who might become the most famous out of the underground music scene —is Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green (Saosin, The Sound of Animals Fighting and about a trillion other projects). Green released his debut solo album, Avalon, last week.
Green, who has been deemed by some as the best singer in the rock/emo music scene, has revamped his sound on Avalon to an extremely mellow acoustic rock with a backup band. Though he has found moderate success with Circa Survive, as well as with Saosin, Green’s solo project might be his ticket to the big time.
Some solo projects find fame, but on the other hand, several artists have left successful bands to perform in an unsuccessful, or just plain bad, solo act.
In the ’80s, Police frontman Sting started a solo act after the band disbanded. Even though Sting found success with his solo albums — much more success than the other former Police members — the songs that people remember are the ones he peaked the charts with in the ’80s with the Police.
Possibly the most notable musician who found fame in a second venture, is the prince of darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. After departing Black Sabbath and enlisting players like Quiet Riot guitarist Randy Rhodes for a backup band, Osbourne scored multiple hits.
In the modern rock scene musicians are creating side projects or solo acts, but few leave their bands.
An exception is From First To Last frontman Sonny Moore who left the rising scene band as they were about to record their third full-length album, and make their major label debut. Moore left the band to pursue a techno/electronic solo act. It speaks for itself: awful.
With the rising popularity of “how many bands we can be in” many local musicians have formed solo projects or left bands to break out on their own.
Northwest Arkansas’s own music golden boy, Benjamin Del Shreve, was originally in a Christian rock band when he left to pursue a solo career. Ultimately Shreve found more success than most of the local NWA bands combined.
The Goodnight Fight’s Justin Driggers has broken out into a solo act in a different genre — acoustic country, but he’s still singing and screaming for The Goodnight Fight.
With musicians looking for the next creative adventure in their musical career, it seems none have the time to concentrate on their original venture and make that as creative and the best it can be. Who knows though? Like we’ve seen in the past, what if the solo act is the exact thing to shoot the musician to stardom?
Final Thought: While solo acts and side projects mainly pertain to musical acts, I thought: ‘Why can’t I have one, too?’ After much preparation and procrastination, I have officially launched This blog will feature every music article, feature, review and commentary piece I write, plus some extras.

Categories: LIVE! In NWA