Rock fans reflect on the changes of rock bands as the 25th anniversary of albums approach


Carmel’s School of Rock will host an “Albums of 1991” show to commemorate the 25th anniversary of many rock albums.

Dave Lawson, instructor and co-music director for Carmel’s School of Rock, is directing “Albums of 1991.” The show, which had its debut on Sept. 10 in the Britton Banquet room, will feature albums by Nirvana, including “Nevermind,” which will have its 25th anniversary on Sept. 24. He will also work with other bands’ albums also celebrating the silver jubilee for 1991 albums. Like “Nevermind,” many of these have been remastered, such as U2’s album “Achtung Baby,” Metallica’s album “Metallica,” Pearl Jam’s album “Ten” and R.E.M.’s “Out of Time.” Lawson said 1991 was when many bands were transitioning into a new style of music and out of the ‘80s style, and that style of music still resonates with young listeners today.

According to Andy Clarke and Thomas Landolf, School of Rock members and sophomores, they both joined the program so they could learn how to play instruments in a band environment. Clarke said his music taste revolves around what his friends listen to. Landolf and Lawson both said they grew up listening to rock music from bands like Nirvana. This got them interested in playing and Lawson interested in teaching students about this music genre.

“With Nirvana, especially with ‘Nevermind,’ I think they made a whole breakthrough with their music. Rock wasn’t the same after them. (Nirvana) changed everything and how people view rock today. It was the big thing that got people into the genre,” Lawson said.

Lawson also said it was interesting how teens today can still share similar music tastes.

“I can’t believe it’s been so long but yet kids today are still listening to (Nirvana’s) stuff,” he said. “Classic rock is just as appealing to teens as the music that we listen to now, which has more of a mainstream vibe to it.”

“Nevermind” was remastered in 2011, and according to Lawson, remastering albums is beneficial, depending on the bands that are being remastered. As an instructor, he said he often uses Spotify to help with teaching. While many of the albums on there are remastered, he does not mind. He said that with Nirvana, there is not really a huge difference since they are pretty set with the guitar, bass and vocals, whereas while remastering other artists like Bowie, one can hear a very distinct difference from the original.

Landolf said he agreed with Lawson in that one does not want to change too much of what was already composed because it then takes away from what Nirvana’s lead singer Kurt Cobain and his band originally had in mind for their album.

Lawson said, “I think having to polish up music to make it more appealing and modern isn’t the best way to go about things, especially when being a fan of a certain artist or band. I have mainly listened to things in their original form, so when the remastered versions come out I’m just wondering ‘Why?’ because everything sounded fine before, so I would consider remastering albums pretty negligible.”screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-7-33-24-am

Landolf said he thinks rock and roll has changed specifically due to the media and how society views the rock and roll genre today. Lawson said when rock was first starting to be a more common genre, it was viewed as “dangerous.” He also said when rock was first expanding and becoming more popular in the 1950s, there was just so much going on in the country.

“You had these white people singing songs like African Americans, you had African Americans performing in front of white people, then you also had people expressing their sexualities through songs,” Lawson said. “So I think rock is still the same with how they use music to express themselves but now it’s just been changed to appeal to the audience. Over time, just (about) everything changes. Thirty years from now, the rock that we know today will not be the same. If someone were to go back 30 years ago and blare some Kanye, people would be so confused as to what they’re listening to. They would probably think that it’s made by aliens.”

Clarke said certain types of music leave different influences depending on when listeners tune into it.

He said, “I feel like (with) all types of music, as it ages, more people idolize it a lot more, like how some people think that music today is trash. I feel like back in the day there were probably a lot of trash artists but it’s just over time all the bad bands sink and all the good ones are just more remembered … and so that’s why people like and remember older bands like Nirvana.”