Talk:Independent music

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Requesting complete rewrite[edit]

The article has really low quality. I have just rewritten the introduction and see that the first section is a direct copy of this website: I suggest we use that website and as two major sources for a complete rewrite. Anyone want to help out? CheesePlease NL 16:51, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

I can't be bothered, because the topic is huge and would take months of work and hundreds of thousands of word for the British indie scene alone. I will not that, in its current form, the opening "Indie and technology" section gives the impression that the article is solely about modern internet-distributed independent music; it skips from the invention of the phonogram straight to MySpace. -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 18:15, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

A list of bands[edit]

Hey, how about a list of Indie bands, shall i add one? Heck, i just do it

We have a List of indie rock artists. Putting a list here would be problematic, since this article is more about "indie" as a concept in music. That's why only the genres associated with it are listed. WesleyDodds 23:30, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Indie music[edit]

This doesn't make a whole lot of sense:

"Meanwhile, major labels often retain independently-oriented artists who are given greater creative independence, and who receive considerable critical acclaim. Some notable major-label artists of this sort include Radiohead, Pulp and The Flaming Lips."

Is the meaning here that majors sometimes signs indie bands? Then it should just say so. Do all indie bands on majors get creative independence? No, of course not, and they don't necessarily receive considerable critical acclaim either.

The list of examples seems chosen at random, better candidates would be Husker Du (the first, more or less), Sonic Youth (the most discussed in indieworld), Nirvana (biggest unit shifter) and Royal Trux or Melvins (most unlikely). --The User Formerly Known As 4 june 2005

  • The meaning was more that independence of the Big Four major labels is not necessarily a cut-and-dry predictor of artistic independence, significance or merit. AFAIK, Radiohead were never technically an indie band, but signed straight to EMI, and Pulp and The Flaming Lips released some of their arguably most significant work on major labels; with Nirvana, it was more a case of a major buying out a band after their big success, which is not what I was getting at here. I've added Sonic Youth though. Acb 08:51, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Many aspects of the article are POV - for example the arbitrary placement of Vancouver at the top of the 'scenes' list - perhaps it should just be a list of links to individual 'scene' pages?? Also, it calls Pitchfork 'facist' at one point. 06:52, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Also, there's no reason Toronto shouldn't be on here - I'm not "indie" enough to know all the bands, but I know Broken Social Scene has a massive buzz all around North America. 06:54, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

The scenes are basically a small sampling that whatever editors chose to write about over the years, often with favoritism showing through. I actually cut and pasted that section from the Indie rock page because it makes more sense being placed here, but certainly feel free to heavily rewrite the sections since they're not of the best quality. I've been working on these pages but there's still a lot of work that can be done. WesleyDodds 11:50, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree that toronto should be on the list.


thank you for adding to "Indie as a lifestyle" and refining the ideas inside

"dance punk" and indie dance[edit]

Is dance punk really an offshoot of indie dance, or an independent evolution? What exactly is "DC Punk"? And what specifically does "dance punk" in this context refer to? Atari Teenage Riot? LCD Soundsystem? Acb 23:56, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

The DC punk movement started in washington,DC and was the birth place of Straight Edge. dance punk refers to bands like VHS or Beta, The Killers, and the Bravery. I am not sure if it is an offshoot or an evolution JCS 20:28, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

  • If so, you should link it for those who aren't familiar with that particular scene. Also, a better place for that may be in the Indie dance article than the Indie (music) article. Acb 13:55, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Shameless Promotion[edit]

I think that there's some shameless promotion of the iPod here. Is that necessary? I just want to call attention to it.--Seth Goldin 29 June 2005 16:13 (UTC)

I have changed the following sentence:
"Somewhat contradicting this, portable digital audio players such as the iPod have become popular with some adherents of indie music, because of the practical benefit of carrying one's record collection in one pocket"
to its current state to avoid the use of the term ipod, which seems to have become synonomous with the term 'mp3 player' which is, ultimately, incorrect. hope this is better. --allthesestars 04 July 2005 14:29 BST
Wouldn't it be better to use the term "portable music player"? MP3 isn't the only format, and it's even rarely used in music stores, which typically want to add copyright protection. I think it's bad to make "MP3" define portable music, but unfortunately most people do, so I guess this is a question of using popular terminology (to aid understanding) instead of correct, accurate terminology that may slow interpretation by the common people. -Wild Bill 19:44, July 18, 2005 (UTC)

Logic and Clarity[edit]

Indie (music) and Indie Rock pages need to be either merged into a more comprehensive and elegant whole (both pages are too narrow in scope and lacking in clarity), OR developed into seperate and distinctive articles. Indie (music) should be much broader in scope than it is, and Indie Rock should be more accurate and focused.---bobo 01:38, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

  • I agree, I think maybe a more in depth article regarding the "indie" ethos would help maxcap 18:21, 1 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Disagree. Indie pop, Indie Rock and Independent music are 3 different things. Netrat (talk) 10:16, 14 August 2008 (UTC)


The anonymous edits made recently from were made by me; I didn't notice that I wasn't logged in until after I had made them.

The article seems to have attracted a lot of unnotable links at the end, with people adding their favourite web sites as long as they can be (in most cases) related to indie music. I have pruned a lot of those off, including all the radio shows. If there is a list of indie-music-related radio shows in Wikipedia, it should have its own page, rather than being attached to the bottom of a somewhat more abstract article about the philosophy and cultural connotations of the term "indie" when applied to music.

I also contend that the NME and Xfm do not belong in this article given how they are not unambiguously examples of "indie" culture. NME, these days, is mostly geared towards the superficial trappings of what is called "indie" (typically imitations of New Wave and garage rock), whereas Xfm is just another commercial radio stations, whose playlists are controlled by advertisers' considerations, only geared towards a more "alternative" audience. Acb 17:05, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Amended the following to sound less condescending: "...and where commercial production teams often deliberately affect a fashionably 'lo-fi' sound." The insinuation here is that indie really is less affected, less subject to "fashion," than is pop.--WadeMcR 08:04, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Uses of the word "indie" other than the literal[edit]

This article dismisses any non-literal use of the word indie as completely wrong, which I don't think is the case. I think it should maybe say that indie is commonly used to mean a particular sound or music scene, without actually saying that those that use the term in this way are mistaken. The article should highlight that even though this is not indie as it is literally defined, it is not always intended to be used as such. What if the article shit said that shit is defined as excrement, and any other use of the word is wrong? I think, as it stands, this article is very POV, and should be altered. --Nathan (Talk) 02:23, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Look at the "Indie and Genres" section. --Bk0 (Talk) 02:50, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I've read that, anything before that is different:
"The term "Indie" is often confused with a sound that a musician presents when it is in fact the way that sound is presented or made." I'm going to change this sentence and probably a few others to make it less POV and more consistent with the rest of the article. If anyone has a problem with that, it can be discussed here and possibly reverted. --Nathan (Talk) 12:22, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

I have removed the section stating that Australians refer to their indie kids as coolsies. I've known the Sydney indie scene for many years, and have never heard that term. -- H.J.M, 8th February 2006.

--- The bottom line, though, is that "indie" only referrs to a certain sound OUTSIDE of the industry. Only pundits and fans would use the term that way. IMO, the article assumes the non-literal meaning, which is just wrong. (JRM)

Rumoved vacuous statement[edit]

I've removed this:

"In terms of music, many adherents of indie collect vinyl records, and consider them to be more "authentic" than more recent and convenient music formats such as CDs. Paradoxically, items such as MP3 players have also become popular, if only to some of the adherents of indie music, because of the practical benefit of carrying one's record collection in one's pocket. In such cases, the cachet gained by being able to express one's taste in music sometimes trumps the value of the authenticity of vinyl."

In other words, this is saying "Indie fans like vinyl and mp3s" or "Indie fans don't like CDs". Is this really a valid point?

Indie Scenes[edit]

This section needs to be more global and should probably be split into another article. maxcap 13:40, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

I merely moved it here a while ago from the Indie rock article since it really made no sense there, so if you feel it should be its own article, split it off. Or tri it down to just a few scenes. WesleyDodds 20:15, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Moved indie scenes to Indie music scenesmaxcap 20:45, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Authority for Statistic[edit]

I'm wondering where the "1 in 10 records makes a profit" statistic comes from. I have been searching the Net for a long time and I can't seem to find any real evidence that this is true. From what I can gather it's an accepted illusion on the part of the major's to ensure the continued support of governments in extending copyright terms. Anybody know any different? Geoffrey

In reading the book How To Deal the author uses the statistic as being "only 5% of major label artists ever make money." It is a very credible book and she definitely did her homework. She says one of the main causes of this is the irresponsible spending by the majors. Anyways, its a great read. Kirk. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:10, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Links edit[edit]

There are two audiences for indie music as a concept. One audience is indie music fans. Another audience are indie musicians. Some of the focus is lost on this page. By my research, I'm adding two sites that turned out to me useful to me as a musician. One is from CDBaby, which is written by a guy who is probably the most respected person in the indie music scene: Derek Sievers. Another is one of the only useful guides I've run across that's free released under the creative commons: The indie band survival guide. Maybe the external links should be broken into links for the two audiences. Thoughts?

Links are not supposed to be about what the "audience" of an article is looking for. They are supposed to enhance the subject. Many links added violate this policy (posted at WP:External links)

Weird Links[edit]

And I'd just like to say, what's up with the links? I understand Pitchfork, but Independent Music Online? Also, the stuff above that the person suggests does in fact enhance the subject. This Online thing really doesn't. I don't getit, but that's my two cents. Other than that mistake keep up the good work. Indie all the way!!

Speaking of links, I removed the link to, since this site is devoid of any meaningful content, and really has nothing to do with the concept of indie. Newport 63 13:53, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Misleading Information Edit[edit]

Made a few edits of material in the first half of the article that could be perceived as misleading/false. Several of them were in opposition to the second half the of the article which seemed to be far more accurate.

1. Major labels very rarely allow their signed artists the same level of creative freedom an independant label does...even a large label like Sub Pop. In fact, creative freedom is one of the main factors in distinguishing an independant label from a corporate label. To imply otherwise can be seen as deliberately misleading. Removed/edited the text with those implications.

2. Several bands listed that were actually major label artists. The Strokes have nothing to do with indie music. Removed that text.

3. Despite the fact larger indie labels do go to greater lengths in the promotion and acquisition of their artists over smaller labels, there's still a notable difference in how a large independant label operates from a business standpoint as opposed to a major label. Trying to blur the line and make the two out to be subtantially the same also seems disingenuous. Did some editing of that section.

4. The usage of the term indie in the 90's was not often used to refer to British bands that were actually major label artists - at least not in North America. Just like today, it referred to musicians with releases that were on independant record labels. Made a few edits to that section.

Actually, you're wrong about no.4; in England "indie" has had clear genre connotations since the mid-80s; it's a term basically synonymous with alternative rock in general, not just indie rock. For example, John Harris' book on Britpop uses the phrase often and never uses "alternative". Even then, this page isn't about "indie" as a genre term, rather as a concept in underground music. WesleyDodds 06:03, 26 August 2006 (UTC)


The best definition I've heard for indie is "a genre of music which you only learn about from someone slightly cooler than yourself". Aaadddaaammm 10:14, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Contradictory intro?[edit]

At the start where it says

characterised by perceived independence from commercial pop music and mainstream culture and an autonomous, do-it-yourself (DIY) approach.

I do think that indie music is now part of mainstream culture to be honest. On a music tracking site such as, their charts show that indeed an overwhelming majority of it's users listen to Indie. It should just say commercial pop music. --M1xmast3r 03:37, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

It's still a perceived independence, regardless of whether that is actually the case. At any rate, though there has been some mainstream success of indie -- and the term has been snatched up and used inappropriately by mainstream media and the likes -- the vast majority is still intended as separate from mainstream culture. Also, is still not a widely used site by the commercial mainstream, so it's hard to use that as a source. Moonty 06:18, 24 December 2006 (UTC) is not necessarily a representative sample of things that the average person is listening to. For one thing, it's probably very biased towards college kids who own computers and are relatively tech saavy, which is obviously biased towards the sort of young, white, upper-middle class demographic that indie is mainly popular amongst. (talk) 20:37, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

External linkspam[edit]

  • has now added a link to at least five times now, most edits are on external link sections. Moonty 17:57, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
They've also done the same to indie rock and indie pop, it seems. In fact, nearly all of their edits since 2006-09-24 have been to external links section. Moonty 21:53, 24 December 2006 (UTC)


I really think the entire paragraph on publishing should be pulled. First, indie acts almost NEVER get radio airplay, not enough to make a substantial financial impact. Second, most smal venues they play live shows are probably not in PRO compliance, and, again, those acts are going to make more money from the show revenue than from te royalties, even if the venu IS in compliance. Not to mention that the implication that "maybe no one will go to the show" is stupid, because the artist is probably getting an upfront fee, regardless of their draw (although they make also take a percentage of the door). 17:03, 26 February 2007 (UTC) Jim Malec 17:03, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

my ex-band members brothers band got airplay and an interview this year, your view is assumed and pesimistic. also around here no-one gets payed, its either pay to play (tickets) or sell your demo for cash, there is no bonus for turning up, its like its assumed. I think indie music should be left to the indie musicians because none of you have a clue what your talking about. anon uk. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:11, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

external links to online sources[edit]

I added a link to pandora. If you feel this is near to SPAM, please have a closer look. It's a new kind of service in a new medium. You can listen for free, and any unknown artist can send them music, which very often happens. If they like it, it gets included. Apparently, pandora folks very much like anything smelling indie. The main point is that music is delivered according to pure musical features, only, no public charts or rating, so basically, Next Doors Garage Act has the same chance to get heared as Prince or Madonna. The only selection is your personal preferences. (This looks like on the surface, but is inherently different.) Also, artist get no royalty, they only profit from their equal chance on publicity. Pandora is a new chance for indies, and even never-labeled newcomers, to get heard, and there's already more kind-of-indie music in the database than anything else.

Now i know there's lots of good links to indie music, and you won't start to collect and maintain such. However, pandora is not advertising any specific label or artist. You can't lookup, for example, who was 'most listened this week' - it just doesn't make sense in their context. For the same reason pandora will be a good link in 5 years, still, without any brushup.

And finally, it's a good idea to point fans to pandora, so they can spread the word to their favourite bands which in turn may take their chance at pandora.

If you still think it has to be deleted, go ahead. Perhaps you keep pandora in mind though. --Michael —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:07, 15 March 2007 (UTC).

I think Pandora should be there. Also, I think FreeIndie.Com should be there. That is a great site for discovering independent artists. I have found countless new artists there. It is all legal, free and generated by indie musicians. And it looks at a diverse range of indie music. If Pitchfork can stay up, FreeIndie should be up there. Pitchfork reviews the same bands over and over again, and most of them aren't even independent! The link to FreeIndie has been deleted every time I've put it up! If whoever keeps taking it down can put it back up there, it would be much appreciated.

How is Trouserpress there???

Hello again,
ya agree, the Links_edit section says it all. 
But still it would be nice to drop a short comment about why. 
Hey, don't be surprised people are sticking their inadequate 
Borscht in over and over again, if you don't leave a note. 

Please, leave a note!


...Do not elevate :)

Greets, Micha

Major "Commercialism" vs. Indie "Authenticity"[edit]

I believe that it might be a good idea to feature a more in-depth look at the conflicting views of "commercialism" and "independence" in rock music or wider popular music culture. That or a criticism of Indie music culture section. I, among many others I'm sure, do not believe in Indie philosophy. I really think the two are virtually the same. These are my opinions (informed, I believe.) If they are to be integrated into the article, then we'll just need to find adequate sources. I know they're out there somewhere.

1) ALL parts of the music business are run by profit. If money was irrelevant to the creation, promotion, and publishing of music, labels wouldn't exist, and everyone would "D.I.Y." in the truest sense of the phrase.

2) I see no real distinction between being paid a small amount to sell your music (Indie) and a large sum (Major). You're making money off of your work, same thing. Artistic authenticity is independent of this.

If the major labels simply hunt and exploit trends for the $ and bands who sign with said labels are only careerists, why does the vast majority of the most visionary and acclaimed music find release through these corporations? London Calling, Marquee Moon, The Velvet Underground catalog, etc.? One could go on and on. There are sincere people in the industry who are interested in bringing legitimate artistic expression to the public and those who sign with majors might do so for non-monetary reasons. IMO, there's nothing wrong with wanting to make money. You can maintain artistic integrity all the same.

3) I think the widespread beliefs of the authoritarian ethos and manipulation of the majors are shamefully over-wrought propaganda. Sure, it does exist, but there are different horror stories in the independent label world (SST being one, Victory Records most recently for example.) Again, the immense list of definitive works that have been released through major labels suggest that interference isn't as great as you might have been led to believe.

4) I'd suggest that the insular nature of indie record labels and the scenes that revolve around them might actually encourage the production of inferior material and are just as responsible for starting trends as any corporate bloodsucker (Emo for example.) Many run by their own code and aren't pushing progressive, innovative work.

Well? Jonas.E.B. 07:30, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

This page should be moved from Indie (music) to Indie music as other genres follow this naming convention (eg Rock music, House music, etc.) D4g0thur 03:50, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Agree. –Pomte 07:57, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Agree. --Bk0 (Talk) 11:53, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Support per nom --Cheers, Komdori 17:59, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

This article has been renamed from Indie (music) to Indie music as the result of a move request. --Stemonitis 06:58, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

I object to this move, because this page is not about a genre, rather the indie aesthetic in music. "Indie" in the genre sense is discussed at alternative rock and indie rock. WesleyDodds 07:06, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

I too object (I'm from the [[WP:ALM|Alternative music Wikiproject); Indie rock is a genre of music, indie (music) is the "attitude" as such towards independent music.

I support the move that was carried out - what you refer to is already covered in indie (culture).-h i s s p a c e r e s e a r c h 15:27, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Needs major work[edit]

I think this article needs some rewriting, to focus it one one specific topic. Independent music has always been about artists and labels who are independent of the major record companies in terms of finance, distribution, etc (at least until the majors started setting up their own 'indie' subsidiaries). All the genre-specific stuff needs taking out and putting in articles about those genres. All types of music has been released independently, from punk rock, reggae, dance music, alternative rock, folk, heavy metal, and even mainstream pop music such as the PWL stuff (Kylie Minogue, etc.). Indie as an aesthetic (if you like) is covered elsewhere in Indie (culture). Gneres are discussed in Indie rock and Indie pop. This article should concentrate on the 'business' side of independent music and what this means rather than discussing 'indie' genres. Any views?--Michig (talk) 12:36, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I completely agree. ♫ Cricket02 (talk) 17:34, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I also agree Kellysontheroad (talk) 20:24, 14 July 2008 (UTC) indie rock and indie pop describe specific styles from a specific age. I think this page should focus on the change in the business. Self promotion through social networks, alternate licensing and sponsorship models, low cost or zero cost distribution etc. Maybe also the impact on the traditional business model. On the other hand I wouldn't recommend a complete rewrite - just let it evolve?

it doesn't make sense to list genres influenced by "indie" sound, if there us no description or explanation or much mention in the article of the sound. imo.

Agreed. Its confused between "indie" music as a genre which is a vast overarching "sound" broadly covered off in alternative music, and sub genre pages indie rock, and indie pop for example and independent label music which has a long history in the US/UK going back to the 40s i think. Jem (talk) 10:33, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

redefining indie music[edit]

Most people say that indie music isn't a genre, and that it encompasses a broad range of musical styles. As such, quantifying a particular style of music as "indie" is a fallacy. This is my suggestion, it is not new or radical, it is simply not realized: indie music is defined by the person who creates it. Now, here is what I mean. Say I were to put on loose jeans, a t-shirt, and a trucker hat and go sing some Bright-Eyes. People would merely dismiss as a crappy musician and probably wouldn't even bother to classify the "art" that I am creating. However, if I put on tight jeans, a stripped shirt, a scarf, and some horn-rimmed glasses and start signing Bright-Eyes, then I am autmotically lumped into Indie. So, perhaps instead of classifying indie by its sound, we classify it by its creators. I think we can do this by saying that anyone who dresses and conducts themselves in a pretentious, nostalgic, and semi-ironic manner while making music is an indie artist. What do you all think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:18, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, wikipedia seems to have taken the approach of having an "independent music" section, which describes artists who are independent, and then branching off into articles on the various "indie" genres. I think this is a good approach - the term "indie" these days honestly has more stylistic connotations than connotations of independence from major labels, even though the styles it denotes are rather broad. So it makes sense to just describe those who are independent of major labels with the less ambiguous term "independent music", and leave discussion of the styles to several more specific articles, rather than one article on "indie" as a single genre. I'd agree that the only real unifying aspect amongst these genres is that they tend towards pretentiousness. But that's sort of an NPOV opinion, so it doesn't have a place in wikipedia. (talk) 20:45, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Not working[edit]

I don't think that this article adequately sums up how superior listening to indie music makes me feel. I mean, sure, this article is full of pretentious bullshit, but it's just not enough. Get a Pitchfork writer to add some of his pseudo-intellectual semantics, and then maybe we'll have something going. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:36, 11 April 2008 (UTC) No-one has EVER used the term the way this article does. Not since the mid 90s anyway. So we're defining a term as it was used 10 years ago....? Ok so some kids think that they're noteworthy for not liking major label music; but do they use the term consistently to describe any independent music? I doubt they do...

So the way the kids try and use the term 'indie' [independent indie rock; not "all indie rock", and not "all independent music"], that's what this article should be on imo. Is this independent indie rock an underground music? Then why are there so many of you? And why isn't 'indie music' [as it is used today] a subcategory of 'underground music'?
And so on... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:39, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

And PS i want to congratulate wikipedia for being so easy to format. I'm being sarcastic BTW; you complain about multiple edits yet it's impossible to start a new paragraph... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:43, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

I love that you all are too pretentious to see that I was mocking you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:50, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Don't get cocky. We all understood you. (talk) 19:20, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Major Labels[edit]

I've been told that, once an artist is signed to a major label, he or she is no longer "indie". They must record solely on an independent label to be indie. (talk) 18:50, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

I wish. I don't think a lot of people agree with us on that. The Of Mice and Men page still proudly describes them as indie, even though they're signed with Universal Records. By that metric, Justin Bieber is indie - he started out solo on Youtube, so, ya know, indie forever. (talk) 19:24, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

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