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Hinders Marshal Dutton - Interviewed

By Mitch West

Marshal Dutton of Hinder at Barnato Lounge Photo Credit: @jrad.arts

For over two decades, Marshal Dutton has been navigating the ever-changing landscape of the music industry. As the lead singer of the rock band Hinder, he's experienced both the highs of multi-platinum success and the lows of an industry in flux. We had the chance to sit down and talk with Marshal before Hinder hit the stage at Omaha's Barnato Lounge where Dutton opened up about the obstacles facing today's artists, the band's long-awaited new album, and his own journey in music.

Dutton's path to becoming a professional musician was an accidental one. "I put a band together called Faktion, and then we got a record deal. I just kind of accidentally got sucked into the music industry," he recalls. His transition to Hinder came about similarly, initially producing for the band before stepping into the lead vocalist role.

Throughout his career, Dutton has witnessed firsthand the seismic shifts in the music industry, from the decline of record sales to the rise of streaming and social media. "For new bands trying to start up and get a bunch of [fans], it just seems much more difficult these days," he laments. "There's so much content these days. We're just inundated with content constantly."

The proliferation of music creation tools and the democratization of the industry have been a double-edged sword, according to Dutton. While it has lowered the barriers to entry, it has also saturated the market, making it harder for artists to stand out and build a sustainable career. "It's almost like, if you want to stay, keep your name in someone's mouth, you have to release a song every month and constantly be promoting yourself," he says.

Despite these challenges, Hinder has managed to maintain a dedicated fan base, a feat Dutton attributes to their early success and live performances. "We love playing live," he emphasizes. "It's just kind of the school that we came from. But, you know, Hinder is kind of fortunate enough to be a fellow almost grandfathered in."

However, Dutton recognizes that the live music experience itself is under threat, with audiences increasingly experiencing concerts through the screens of their phones. "No live performance on YouTube or anywhere, it compares even remotely to what it feels like to be in a room with a bunch of people and a loud rock show with energy," he said.

As for new technologies like AI-assisted music creation, Dutton remains skeptical, preferring the traditional approach of honing one's craft. "I come from the old school where you learn how to play instruments and we spend a lot of time doing that, getting good at it, and then learning how to record ourselves," he explains. "That to me is just easier and easier to not have to know much about music to create music. There's something cool about that. I'm not criticizing it, you know, but that's kind of for younger artists."

Despite the challenges, Hinder remains committed to their craft, with a new album on the horizon – their first since 2017. "We've got a whole record just about ready, and we're going to record one more song when we get home," Dutton reveals. "Then we just need to get it mixed and mastered, so hopefully by mid-summer, we'll have a record out."

The album's release has been delayed due to various factors, including a management change and the COVID-19 pandemic, but Dutton is adamant that it will see the light of day this year. "I know we said that last year, but I'm sticking by it, damn it! It's going to happen."

As for advice to aspiring musicians, Dutton is pragmatic: "The first thing I would say is it's not something that you can just not live without. The music industry is a tough place. It's an uphill battle. I mean, you have to cut a lot of corners and be willing to not make a bunch of money. It's really hard to become successful, and it's not for the weak-willed."

Nonetheless, Dutton remains passionate about his craft and optimistic about Hinder's future. With a new album on the horizon and a dedicated fan base behind them, the band is poised to navigate the ever-changing tides of the music industry, one gig and one song at a time.


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