The biggest temptation that comes with everyone in the music industry is the idea of selling out. We all have to make a living at the end of the day, and it's sometimes a little easier to make a name for yourself by just following trends rather than staying true to what you think is cool. Balancing your artistry is never an easy thing to do...and yet these acts somehow made it look easy.
From the first time that they made a record, none of these bands have let the big bucks get in the way of the type of music they wanted to make. No matter what decade they were in, they knew what they wanted to do and made the exact type of music that would suit them, regardless of whether there was even a market for it.
And by some crazy stroke of luck, it worked every single time. When most bands were spending time embarrassing themselves in their older age, these acts managed to survive and thrive by toying with their sound in whatever way they knew how. Because these musicians found out something that most bands should learn when they're starting out. You may have a core audience, but you have to end up pleasing yourself at the end of the day. And if you have heart behind it, they will listen.
10. Alice in Chains
In the early days of Alice in Chains, things were definitely a lot different than the band that we know and love today. Instead of the sludgy riffs and the grunge aesthetic, here was a band that was much more attuned to the sounds of bands like Guns N Roses than Mudhoney. Once they came back home to Seattle though, they have never really looked back from Facelift.
In each iteration of the band, Jerry Cantrell has proven himself to be a pure riff machine, going for something that fits somewhere between the sounds of stoner rock and the raw aggression of more harsh metal acts like on songs like We Die Young and Dam That River. While many of the grunge purists would like to think that the classic version of the group died along with Layne Staley in 2002, they still haven't lost their touch in the latest iteration with William DuVall.
Off the strength of songs from Black Gives Way To Blue and even the more recent output on Rainier Fog, they've kept the spirit of their early albums intact, all while integrating the mellow acoustic side of their sound into the mix like what we got used to on Jar of Flies. Sure, the sound may be a bit dour for some to take in, but this the kind of melancholy that can somehow stay so damn beautiful.