There are a number of great composers these days that are rocker musicians who later turned to classical music (Lansing McLoskey, immediately springs to mind), and almost every new music performer interviewed on the My Ears Are Open Podcast says that they’re currently listening to Radiohead.
This really shouldn’t be too much of a surprise as there is so much that is immediately, viscerally appealing about rock and pop. The rhythms and harmonies are easy to follow, and its power to inspire strong emotional states with a minimum investment of knowledge and concentration (on the part of the listener) is rather amazing.
I guess for some people it’s kind of like a “gateway music” to harder stuff…
I’m not sure that I can count myself in the number of rockstar-turned-maestros, but boy did I like playing with bands ten years ago. And, not surprisingly, my early compositional energy was focused in writing pop tunes for these bands. Some of this probably came from my interest in the music, but a lot of it came from the fact that THESE BANDS WOULD PERFORM MY MUSIC! …and I didn’t have to approach a bunch of string players on my hands and knees in order to get a string quartet read.
Anyway, I am excited that a band I used to be a member of, Mrs. Skannotto, still exists (as it existed before me), and they’re still playing some of my tunes! They’ve posted a video of a live performance of “Ordinary Girl” (in a much sweeter arrangement than the one that I wrote), and they’ve just released a new disc featuring this track, and another one of my old tunes, “My Girlfriend Doesn’t Understand That She’s Still My Girlfriend” (which, understandably, they shortened to just “Girlfriend.” They probably had to pay by the letter on the CD cover printing.)
If you’re into this kind of music, check out the disc. I think these guys really get what pop/punk/rock/ska is supposed to about: