Nashville has long been known as the country music capital of America, but the city is seeing a revolution in music tastes. DIY indie music is reigning at the moment as a reflection of the anti-establishment attitudes of the youth. Young Nashville musicians have come to value their creative freedom and ownership of their work, so they are rejecting the exploitation of the primarily country-based music business that has ruled the city for decades. Self-recorded albums, basement studios and concerts performed in living rooms are becoming more and more commonplace.
An abandoned barbershop now known as “DRKMTTR” has become a key location in the new indie scene. This volunteer-operated venue entices young music lovers with its relaxed rules (there is no age limit despite the fact that alcohol is often present) and its anti-authority atmosphere. Local indie bands such as Idle Bloom play there often. In a recent interview in Rolling Stone magazine Olivia Scibelli of Idle Bloom says that the main idea behind the new Nashville scene is “taking out the middleman.”
The middleman has had full control of the Nashville music scene and its profits for quite a long time now. In the 1950s, the major record companies took over Music City with the creation of the Nashville Sound: a successful coup of country music over the rock ‘n’ roll craze that had been dominating music charts nationwide at the time. The country music moguls have been in charge ever since. But their empire is crumbling under this new indie revolution in which rock ‘n’ roll once again rises to prominence in Nashville.