I think we need something to come along and shake things up. It’d be nice for a wave of bands to come along again... It’ll come from nowhere as it always does, and it’ll just be mates starting a band.
Record label bosses are not taking on enough guitar bands at the moment as they take too long to form a fan base.
This week Jim Chancellor of Fiction Records, a subsidiary of Universal, has spoken to the BBC about the state of guitar bands futures, claiming it doesn't look too bright.
Looking at the Official Charts Company’s data the top five selling guitar bands of last year were Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Florence and the Machine, Coldplay, The Foo Fighters and Mumford and Sons; none of which were debut albums.
According to the BBC, in the top 35 best selling albums of 2011 The Vaccines were the only rock band with a debut album to feature (with their album What Happened To The Vaccines). This shows that guitar bands are possibly becoming a thing of the past, because in years gone by the top 40 would have been bursting with album successes from bands like The Editors, The Arctic Monkeys, The Kaiser Chiefs, The Fratellis and many other bands each with their debut albums that you don't seem to get any more.
Speaking to BBC Newsbeat Chancellor said: "The problem is everyone [record labels] is looking for instant results from a new signing. What we've tried to do at Fiction is help bands through those phases. We try and nurture talent. As much as it is difficult to get heard the White Lies record sold really well and so has the Snow Patrol record in a climate where it's been tricky."
In the Top 40 singles chart this week (according to the Official Chart Company) there are only two guitar bands charting, Coldplay at number 2, and Maroon 5 at number 12. There is a severe lack of guitar-led music in the main charts. The album chart shows a slightly better statistic with seven guitar bands charting, but the highest charted is Coldplay at number 4, then next after that is 15, 16 and 17 with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, The Vaccines and Kasabian, so out of these bands only one is a recently established band with a debut album.
Guitar bands haven't gone into total meltdown; The Maccabees are currently number 1 in the mid-week album chart, and are set to knock Adele off the number 1 spot she has returned to for the 28th time in the year with their third album Given To The Wild.
During 2011 The Wombats album This Modern Glitch peaked at number 3 in the album chart and enjoyed great success. Although debut albums aren't seeing great success or multitude just by sequential guitar band albums charting shows there is still a hunger within the British audience for that genre of music, and it's just that new bands are struggling to emerge.
When asked about predicting what's going to happen to music in 2012 by NME, Manic Street Preachers Nicky Wire said: "I'd love to think there's a guitar band out there like The Pistols, a Clash or a Nirvana, but there hasn't been one for a long, long time and you've got to worry that there's a generation out there – the masses – who don't want that kind of music."
So for the negativity that Chancellor is putting out towards guitar bands futures it does seem there may be a counter uprising to re-assert dominance on the music scene of the country once again. Organiser of the Reading and Leeds
Festival Melvin Beann answered NME's question with: "There’s a suggestion that guitar bands are going to die out, but I actually think that's the opposite of what's going to happen. I think a breed of guitar band with angrier lyrics and probably a harsher sound is going to have resurgence."
A light in the tunnel seems to be forming. Kasabians Serge Pizzorno said: "I think we need something to come along and shake things up. It’d be nice for a wave of bands to come along again - it feels like it’s been enough time now and we need some new people with some fresh ideas. It’ll come from nowhere as it always does, and it’ll just be mates starting a band in school with a few guitars. And it’ll sound like the future again, like it always does. It always seems to start that way. I think everyone’s just waiting for it to happen."
This is a point well made, and seems to be a very possible, almost likely thing to happen. In small clubs up and down the country groups of school kids are indeed getting themselves together and playing their instruments and music to small crowds of people. Sooner or later a few will break out of the small clubs and be recognised and gather a following and make some classic guitar band music that the British chart is much in need of.
Hopefully more record label bosses will hear what Chancellor is saying and either by feeling threatened or inspired start looking out for these smaller bands and take them on a the beginning of their careers rather than waiting for them to receive a cult following before going anywhere near them.