White Lies shrug off reports of "death of rock"

Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:37am EST
 
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By Cindy Martin

LONDON (Reuters) - British rock band White Lies has shrugged off suggestions in the media that its genre of music is a dying breed, after hip-hop and pop dominated the singles charts in 2010.

The London trio also said they had moved toward a more electronic, computer-generated sound when making their second album "Ritual," out this week on the Polydor label, part of Universal Music.

"If you look at the actual chart, seeing a band like White Lies in there, we're a drowning pig in a duck's pond," bass guitarist Charles Cave told Reuters in an interview, going on to explain that he had invented his mixed metaphor.

But he added that rock music's poor sales performance in Britain last year was not necessarily all bad. "It seems there's either all the room in the world for us or no room at all, it depends on how you see it."

Lead singer Harry McVeigh also said the genre of rock was changing all the time, making it hard to identify and quantify.

"What people count as rock music, I don't know, it's such a small part of what I consider rock music," he said.

Music Week recently reported that there were just three rock songs in the 100 biggest hits in the UK last year, down from 13 the year before. Hip-hop/R&B was the most successful sector, grabbing 47 percent of the top sellers in 2010, followed by pop with 40 percent.

Although rock performed significantly better in the album charts, Music Week commented: "This was its lowest tally in 50 years and underlines what has been a difficult year for new rock acts, with few commercial breakthroughs."   Continued...

 
<p>A 1965 Fender Stratocaster guitar belonging to Jimi Hendrix is held up during a photocall at the Idea Generation Gallery in London July 24, 2008. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>