Recently on Medium Matt Coutu asks the question in his pieced entitled, ‘Is Rock Going Extinct?’ in which he argues that the advant of Youtube, DIY recording software and the fact you don’t need to own or learn an instrument is cause for making such claims that rock is going extinct.
Rock isn’t going extinct, there will always be rock music around. It’s easy to make such claims considering when rock was a relatively new thing after branching out of blues there wasn’t really anything else around to compare it to.
Even the pop bands of yesteryear were arguably rock bands. The Beatles, The Monkees and Elvis were all arguably pop rock artists. Think of pop as more of the definition of a band that has broken into the mainstream (constant radio rotation, major label interest and controlled image) and rock as the catalyst for all major music.
Before computers were really a mainstream thing, before everyone had the Internet and before you could just download music punk bands were pioneers of the DIY ethos. Before the Internet mostly punk and a few rock bands were recording demos in their garages using tape recorders. A band would record using a tape recorder, duplicate the tape a few times and then hand them out or sell them out of the boot of their cars.
If anything rock has evolved. Rock isn’t the same drug/alcohol fuelled genre it once was in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Digital instrumentation and effects have got to a point where you’ll be hard pressed to tell the difference between a VST plugin and an actual guitar amplifier (look at Line 6’s product line-up of digital effects and amplifiers).
The Internet has definitely made it easier to get discovered and I think that’s a good thing. The more rock bands there are, the less arrogance there will be. In the 60’s and 70’s lets be honest there were only a handful of critically acclaimed rock bands and these days thousands co-exist in the mainstream all at once.
So while the wankery of being a rockstar has somewhat dissipated, just because the days of television throwing, hotel room trashing and drug binges aren’t as common doesn’t mean rock is dying or is dead. Regardless of whether you’re a rap artist or making dubstep, everything always comes back to rock in the end and if you go back a little further everything stems from blues in the end.