There is something sinister about the corporate control of mainstream music

By John Clay

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Big Brother, art mutated by capitalism and the underground electronic scene, Stash Magnetic cover a gamut of subjects in their most revealing interview yet. 

We have long been at a point in culture where people live double lives, especially musicians.

Nick: Very few people are doing it full time. It’s a hundred per cent for the love and passion of it. It’s probably why the underground music culture today is so good. I think it’s fair to say mainstream music of today is horrific compared to the ’50s up to the ’90s. This actually gives me hope that by having this divide between two extremes of the “music business” we might reach a critical toxicity level and implode.

Horrific? Would we not be in danger of echoing the eternal overarching sentiment of musicians and fans of underground music?

Rebecca: Understandable, but there is something more sinister about the corporate control of mainstream music that continues to escalate with time.

I hear you. Maybe it’s the growing cynicism within the audience and the awareness of how capitalism mutates art? What are your thoughts on this tangent?

Rebecca: I hope more people are waking up to it. I think it’s coming to light more in tandem with the cracks and crumbles in the patriarchal system we are subjected to. One objective of the underground is to react to those cracks. Sometimes the light needs dark and vice versa to exist.

The issue is worth some discussion, isn’t it? What happens when a sound and a look is co-opted? What was once vital and meaningful in Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s cloakroom is now repackaged as a t-shirt in H&M, know what I mean? 

Nick: There are literally thousands of modern undiscovered bands today. Buy the music and merch directly from them. The mechanism that used to nurture new bands and bring them to light no longer exists. It has been replaced by a corporate machine that’s realised it no longer needs genuine artists to get all the money. Now they just dumb down the public to accept toxic fodder.

You guys are thankfully outspoken and keen to maintain your integrity. Can you recommend other bands that have a similar vibe on your scene?

Nick: In our scene, there are loads of great producers but not nearly as many acts that perform live. Two great bands on the scene that come to mind are Curses and Fantastic Twins.

Your music lends itself to images rather easily, and your carpentry skills were indispensable in your latest video. What did the monolithic structure represent to you and did that representation change from inception to execution?

Rebecca: The obelisk represents the artist’s personal space where the spirit dwells and insulates from the corporate insanity that rules work a day life.

I share that interpretation. How about the eye? Keen to quiz the shit out of all the symbols. Might have to warn people going into this interview that there be spoilers on this voyage of discovery.

Nick & Rebecca: The all-seeing eye, the eye of God and Horus, the eye on the top of the pyramid on the US dollar bill. Big brother watching you is real. We have entrusted our leaders, and they have failed us and disempowered us. It’s not too late if we wake up and open our eyes to the truth. We can reclaim our power.

And yet the monolithic structure, your safe place, the home of the artist is framed in the same space between curtains. I have my theories on this switch. Care to tell me yours?

Nick: Humanity exists in two realities. The one each of us was born in, and the corrupt socio-economic power structure that’s been devised for the gain of the few at the top. The video does a decent job of illustrating this. Not sure if we all intended that but that’s what we got.

Thank you, Stash Magnetic. Suffice to say there is more to speak of in regards to your decoding of this message pool we created. 

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