I've heard this comment before by other music fans. People who say, "I liked that band BEFORE they became popular, now I just don't." I totally understand this comment if it is merited. It does suck when a good, original band goes commercial after they obtain fame to try to keep their fan base going. I used to be an extremely loyal Black Eyed Peas fan, but to me their sound has just gone down the hole into a typical pop music format. Will.i.am has even stated in Rolling Stone's article "40 Reasons to Be Excited About Music" that music should be created with the thoughts of how it can be used to help market stuff in businesses. Oh, I could rant about that one for a while, but I have to remain focused!! The point is, yes, there are groups that sell out, and yes, it's incredibly annoying when they do so.
However! Arbitrary statements about how an indie or obscure band is suddenly going to suck just because they have gained popularity in the main stream are completely uncalled for. Yes, yes, we all know that all good bands get into the music business solely for their deep love of creating and producing music. But you know what? If they were in the music business just to create and produce music, they wouldn't seek a record deal. They would stay in their basements with their day job, earn enough money to buy equipment for their own recording studios, and produce their music that way.
When a band seeks a record deal, they are saying to the world that they think their music is special, and that others should hear it. Hey, if they earn some money doing it too, that would be great as well. They know they have talent, and they want to prove it to the world. There are artists and bands who are purely interested in the notoriety and financial gains through the music industry, but I think it's safe to say that bands like Arcade Fire are in it 99% for the music.
So why on earth wouldn't they want to become popular? Why wouldn't they want as many people as possible to listen to their music? They didn't become a band for the sole purpose of providing YOU, disgruntled fan, with music. They made albums to share their music with as many people as possible. Along those lines, why on earth wouldn't they want to receive the prestigious award of Album of the Year for The Suburbs? That's just like saying an academic shouldn't accept any honors for working so hard in school because now their ego is inflated, and they're going to produce mediocre work.
Not only that, but bands like Arcade Fire NEED to be pushed into the limelight! Anyone who has heard music nowadays and has any sort of taste has to be able to tell that most main stream music is just bland mush. Everyone has the same voice, the lyrics are all similar, instrumentally each song sounds like a plagiarism of the next. I am confident that bands like Arcade Fire are not going to sell out commercially. Can you see them suddenly making some sort of electronic dance song that could possibly be a rip off of Ke$ha? Of course not! If their sounds goes down the tube, it isn't going to be because they won a Grammy. It's going to be because the creative process failed in that particular instance.
Look at the Beatles. They were incredibly main stream, won award after award throughout their careers, and yet their sound continued to flourish with each and every album they created. There is not one Beatles album that sounds the same. Why is this? Because the Beatles were true musicians, and were making music to make music.
So please, let bands get popular, and don't bitch about it. Let them gain the fame that they deserve for all their hard work. If their sound does go down the hated commercial path, then they weren't the innovative band that they were supposed to be, and it's their own fault. Let's allow bands to be rewarded for their efforts, and hopefully inspire them to create even greater things in the future. If we're lucky they'll inspire the next line of musicians in the future, and we'll hear even greater music as time goes on.