As one half of what is arguably the most successful duo in music history, John Oates knows his stuff. But, when he claims the album format as we know it is outdated, should we sit up and take notice?
He’s decided, rather than going into the studio for months writing and recording songs then releasing them as a complete album, to instead offer a year long subscription to his website, and release a new song exclusively each month. He’s calling the project, The Good Road To Follow.
Oates said about the project, “Don’t get me wrong, I still love the idea of an album, but I don’t know if the world has time for it anymore.”
“Well, you know, the world has moved on, as we all know. Digital delivery systems and the virtual world has sped up our universe and our way of thinking, our way of working, our way of acting, our way of relating to each other, and music has followed suit. And, in a way, it’s come back to the beginning. It’s back to singles as far as I’m concerned.
Oates continues: “We’re experimenting. We’re looking at it a little bit differently. We’ll release a song every month, and then maybe come out with a physical EP. Maybe there will be a series of EPs. Really, it’s uncharted territory. We’re just going to take it as it comes.”
“Word has kind of spread since I’ve met other people, I’ve told them about the project and people seem really excited to get involved with it,” he told us. “So The Good Road To Follow has a lot of these exits and stuff - so far, not many potholes and stop signs, which I like - and it just keeps on going. The idea is that maybe I’ll just keep on going down this road and just keep releasing songs and as long as there are people out there who listen and care, it’s gonna be great.”
With that in mind, his latest single, “High Maintenance”, is collaboration with rockers Hot Chelle Rae. It was co-written and produced by Oates and the band’s members. It mixes traditional pop with modern production and sounds.
Oates said about the group, “It was exciting to feed off their energy, and it took me back to the days when Daryl [Hall] and I were part of the sound of pop radio.
“Not only are these guys talented and dedicated musicians, but also young men of character with a respect for the past and a clear musical vision for their future.”
"What I really was excited about was to get to experience the way they make a record. I wanted them to produce me. I wanted to jump into their world and see how a modern pop band really makes their records."