2008 was a huge year for rock ... and 2009 looks like it could be even bigger. So all this week, we're taking stock of the things guaranteed to rock this year. From the triumphant returns of some of the biggest bands on the planet to a handful of up-and-coming acts that we're expecting big things from in '09, we've got it all covered. This is Rock Week, on MTVNews.com.
Once upon a time, even the hugest bands on the planet were bands no one had ever heard of. They had yet to rock arenas or unite the globe or even ride on a tour bus with a working toilet, for that matter. They were just a bunch of kids with a single press photo (usually taken against a brick wall) and a whole lot of possibility. It didn't matter that the odds were stacked impossibly high against them. It was almost better that way.
These days, things are different. Thanks to the vast frontier of the Internet, practically every band has been heard by somebody, which makes the concept of them "rocketing to success" seem rather antiquated. And, perhaps dulled by nearly three decades of "Next Big Thing" articles, we tend to roll our eyes further back into our heads with each "can't miss" contender foisted on us by the music industry.
That said, please allow us to do the very same thing. Because, really, the Next Big Things have to come from somewhere, right? So while we're going to refrain from the hyperbole ("This band will change your life!") we are going to go out on a limb and say that you'll be hearing a whole lot from these guys in 2009. From
Who: The 25-year-old songwriter/producer grew up a guitar virtuoso then switched to making beats after being taken under
Something to Say: "Let It Rock" crossed over to the pop, rock and R&B charts and reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, but unlike most chart fare, it's actually about something: "It's a song about the hypocrisy in the world, and I'm saying that when I come through, I'm bringing the truth," Rudolf explained. "I use the parable of the Prodigal Son, because I want to expose all the fakes out there — in the music industry, in the world, anywhere. A lot of people think it's a party record, but it's not."
Good Non-Answer, Dude: As a kid growing up in Manhattan, Rudolf worshipped at the altar of Eddie Van Halen and Jimmy Page, so he knows a thing or two about guitar shredding. But what does he think about his labelmate Wayne's playing? "He's on his own path. ... I've done a couple of songs for his new record, and they do lean a lot more rock, and he's coming at it hard," Rudolf said. "As a guitar player, he's sounding good. I'm a different kind of guitar player, you know, but he's on his own path."
Who: Two Ivy League-educated smart-asses with a penchant for spacey, horned-up electro pop, Maxwell Drummey and D.A. Wallach met at Harvard University, named their band after a sculptor and caught the ear of
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Check back Tuesday for the first of our looks at some of 2009's most-buzzed new acts, as Rock Week continues on MTVNews.com.