Originally Posted by foolsgold1986
I think in the end it is an ethic rather than a sound even if there may be a tangible similarity with their sound. I think it is a do-it-yourself type of mentality. Like even the "indie" artists that are on major labels started at the bottom with small labels creating cred. I think an indie band should be the belief in resisting being a commodity rather than art. Like the normalization that is used by a lot of major bands. I think that is a prime example of prefering to commodify your music than creating a better experience with your sound. It would become too much about making sound that is highly sell-able but does it have a long ability to be appreciated to be loved. How quickly are mainstream music is forgotten for that new act.
I think a label should not be judged by its size but by the way it fairly treats its artists and promotes the creativity of its artists. The dedication to create art. I know art is hard to define. I think it is something that makes me go awww. I know that is very imprecise but that is how I experience it. I think music should make me feel empathy or sympathy that after I listen to it I am a better person for doing it even so very slighty. If it does not for me it is not worth my time. Of course, we all take different things from music so art is perspective. I am saying is what is mainstream I don't get that.
I think the original definition of indie music and what it is today or what we believe it is can be two or three very different aspects.
Originally, Indie was defined as small labels vs. large (mainstream labels).
Rough Trade Records was maybe the first label to which the word indie in the context of music recording first appeared or was credited. Johnny Marr of the the Smiths has been quoted many times, that the Smiths was the first indie band ever, although I don't quite agree on this statement since bands like the Buzzcocks released albums on this label a couple of years before the first the Smiths album was released.
Anyway, the Smiths took their sound and their freedom how to produce their sound, independent of the control that at a time that was extremely dominated by major labels, to an artistic level where their albums actually sold more records than many artist, very popular, belonging to the major labels. In some ways they did become mainstream..
Things have changed and I do to a certain extend agree on that indie music almost 30 years later can be defined/interpreted in many different ways, subjectively as well. All that I have experienced, is that the definition of what is indie music has expanded to much more than what it was 30 years ago where it was primarily associated with post-punk, new wave, early electronic/synthpop music etc.
At that time, the sound/feel of indie music was very much opposed to the traditional interpretation of popular music, we are speaking within a few years/ a decade or so. The artistic/creative/originality level is very much implicit and may have increased in later years, or not.. There was also a rebellion going on at that time, coming from a young generation against almost anything established or conservative. Very much like in the sixties, yet different. This was a major part of the sound and all included. This is not happening today.. not the way that I have experienced it.
To comment your last sentence that I took the liberty to bold :-) I didn't get what was mainstream in the 80's either and I still don't, but I'm also not included in their target group and neither are you