I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
Q:you should make a post that says "I am a female and I'm not a feminist" or something along those lines so maybe some feminists realize that there are tons of us and we aren't a tiny non important demographic (as I was told by a feminist today)
Let this be the master post. Reblog if you’re a female anti-feminist.
Are you serious?
Being a feminist means you believe the women are people…
I think I deserve every EQUAL RIGHT a man has.
I’m also for LGBTs!!
Civil rights baby!!!!!!!!
I dont think you’re up to date on what feminists are doing.
Feminists fight to hurt men (not just radical feminists either) (this info is from oratorasaurus)
Father’s rights group want shared parenting (equal custody) to be the default if both parents want custody and neither parent is unfit. They feel that men should not be punished for being men, and that women should not be awarded custody to their kids simply for being women. Currently women are awarded primary custody almost all the time, even if the husband was the stay-at-home Dad and the woman was the breadwinner.
Feminists fought against this. You can read NOW’s own statement here. Also note their usage of anti-male lies, i.e. “fathers are abusive, don’t give them custody.” That is from 1997, but still remains valid today.
Men want protection against false rape allegations. They feel that a man’s life should not be ruined simply on the allegation of a woman who may be a vindictive liar. Currently, a woman can accuse a man of rape for no reason, and the man’s name is splashed in the paper and his life is ruined. So, they fought for laws granting men anonymity until charged with the crime of rape—not convicted, just charged.
“The London Feminist Network is a campaigning organisation uniting London based feminist groups and individuals in activism.”
Men want an end to the justice system favouring women simply because they are women, and giving men harsher sentences simply because they are men.
Men want equal treatment when victims of domestic violence, and to not be arrested for the crime of “being male” under primary aggressor policies.
Feminists fought against this by trying to suppress evidence showing that half of domestic violence is done by women, by threatening the researchers with bomb threats, death threats, etc. Modern, younger feminists are doing it as well.
And sadly, they were successful in this effort of propaganda. For decades, and continuing today, violent men are (rightfully) convicted and punished by the state, while violent women are left to freely terrorize and harm their partners.
Men want female rapists to be arrested, charged, and convicted with rape. In Western countries, women are rarely punished when raping men, due to the biased legal system. In some countries, women cannot be punished when raping men, since rape is defined as a male-perpetrated crime.
Feminists fought against this in India, arguing that “there is a physicality [in] rape” and that it would make things “more complicated for judges.”
Feminists fought against this in Israel, claiming that changing the law would result in men filing false rape claims.
Men don’t want to be thrown in jail because they lost their jobs and temporarily cannot pay child support.
Feminists fought against this, trying to lower the amount to $5000 before a man is guilty of a felony for not paying child support. If a man loses a decent-paying job, he will now be a felon, go to jail, lose his right to vote, AND be unable to find future jobs—if he cannot regain an equal-paying job within a few months.
Men want equal economic support and help from the government. When the recession hit, male-dominated fields like construction lost millions of jobs, while female-fields like education and healthcare gained jobs. So the government proposed an economic stimulus for those fields.
Feminists successfully fought against this, arguing that it was discrimination to support men, and caused the government to give money to women who didn’t deserve it. Hundreds of professional feminists complained against the “sexism” of helping men (who had lost jobs) and not women (who had gained jobs).
A representative of the Michigan National Organization for Women testified in opposition to the Revocation of Paternity Act, which stopped the old law which stated that if a woman was married and cheated on her husband, the resulting child is considered to be legally the husband’s and the biological father had no legal rights to fight for custody or parenting time with his biological child.
As you can see, the claim that feminism fight for men’s rights is a blatant lie. Don’t believe any feminists that say that. Feminists fight for women’s rights. That is a good thing. Feminists also are happy to harm men’s rights, as shown above. That is a bad thing. Feminism is about female privilege, not equality.
Some may argue that these cases of feminists harming men is not “representative” of feminism. I ask you: Are there any cases of feminists helping men? No. Yet, there are many cases of feminists harming men.
It is reasonable to conclude from these facts that feminism fights to harm men.Also, I think it was incredibly rude of you to interrupt my post like this. I was actually trying to find out how many anti-feminist women there are and you ruined it. I would not ever reblog a post designed to find out the number of feminists with a remark that tries to be edgy and “oh but ur wrong!!” on Tumblr because thats fucking rude af. It would be best that you delete the post and comment you made because…if you want I can debate you and prove you wrong on anything about feminism.
Wow, I actually have no idea what to say to this. I always thought the feminist community was fighting for what was good… This kind of makes me question my ideals as a feminist.
You’re not alone there, I’m not sure what to really think about this either.
Dont feel bad or confused. This is just the face of feminism. May I suggest egalitarianism?
I’m not a female anti-feminist (sorry), but this pretty accurately describes why I call myself an Egalitarian and NOT a Feminist.
Police assaulting student protesters at last night’s demonstrations at Senate House in London, Dec 04, 2013.
The Worst Bands In The World, Part IV: Dot Dot Curve
Fronted by a nerky manchild called Spanky (I shit you not, that’s the name this guy uses), who openly refers to himself as “dat nigga from DDC” and consisting of insipid Apple Beats and songs about how good he is at sex, how crunk he is and how all the “haters” can suck his dick… it’s just fucking terrible. When you’re a white boy from Buttfucksville Indiana, you should not be using the n-word, and there’s a reason the people Spanky calls “haters” exist; that reason is bands like Dot Dot Curve. It becomes a self-perpetuating cycle of crapitude, Spanky denouncing the haters leading to more haters leading to more denouncing leading to… gah, my brain really fucking hurts.
Moronic raps overlaid with screams more akin to the sound a Chihuhua makes whilst being buggered by a Rottweiler, set to utterly generic and cheap beats, isn’t worth anyone’s time. If Dot Dot Curve were trolls they’d probably be worthy of a golden butthurt award (an award that doesn’t, but should, exist), but, alas, they are entirely sincere in their desire to make you want to jump in front of the next express train as a means of escape from their bullshit. It’s actually really difficult for me to describe Dot Dot Curve musically, because there aren’t really any reference points - it sort of sounds like The Black Eyed Peas would if you took out all the hooks and replaced Fergie with a tone-deaf 70’s robot. Chuck in some random ‘screams’ (I use that word very loosely) and I suppose you’re about there. Frankly, I’d rather listen to D4nny tripping over his own tongue and failing to find anything remotely approaching a beat than something like “ThisDick”, which, as you’ve guessed it, is Spanky and his equally moronic co-offender Jaywreck telling all the ‘haters’ (i.e. anyone with functional ears) to suck his dick. Thanks, man (and I use that word even more loosely than I used the word ‘screams’, because he’s more like a thirteen year old who never grew up), but I think I’ll take a fucking rain check on that one.
Seriously, people… What the fuck is wrong with you that you’re buying this shite!?
Dot Dot Curve - RocketShipToTheMoon:
The Worst Bands In The World, Part III: Capture The Crown
Listening to bands like Pig Destroyer is a cathartic experience, seeing them live even more so. With crap like Capture the Crown, there isn’t even really a sense of catharsis from all that anger. It’s just sloppy, unfocused, adolescent and - frankly - boring. “Waaah waah waaah I’m going to slut-shame you because you sucked some other guy’s diiiick *pig squeal* you whooooore.” Fuck off, mate, and come back when you don’t sound like a whingeing fucking fifteen year old.
Welcome to sin city bitchesPlease refrain from throwing your fucking body off the sideFasten your fucking beltsBecause this is going to be a rocky ride
You’re nothing moreThan a self-centered whoreYou’re nothing moreThan a self-centered whoreHow does it feel bitch!?
So we’ve moved onto implied violence against a woman being referred to only by misogynistic means and reference to her - percieved - promiscuity. We know nothing about her, or her ‘crimes’. Apparently that’s not important though, because she’s a whore and a bitch, so any douchebaggery towards her is entirely justified.
I’d ask you where you’ve beenBut would you know where to begin?It’s time you had a changeBecause every night is the fucking sameEach time you go to bed you meet someone newI swear to god mateWho could think highly of you?
I could say you’re the only oneThen I’d be lyingI could say we are dead and doneBut I know you’d only be cryingThere’s only so much I can doTo try and fix youTo try and fix you
Your time is upLook me in your eyes you slutYour time is up bitchYou filthy fucking cuntYou filthy fucking cunt
I don’t think I need to tell you why that little section is fucking disgraceful, do I? “slut”, “bitch”, “cunt” and more implied violence. Taken in context with the next bit… I’m getting ahead of myself…
If only you knew this one was for youIf only you knew…Face down ass upThat’s the way you like to fuckThe way you like to fuck…(fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck)
I could say… etc.
Open your eyesSee the worldYou’re not daddy’s little fucking girlOpen your eyesSee the worldYou’re not daddy’s little fucking girl
Either he’s saying it’s her fault he’s now violently raping her (possibly anally, as her ass is mentioned specifically) because she acts like a spoiled brat, or he’s saying he’s her Daddy and she’s old enough for him to fuck. Either way, I feel a bit sick really.
Buuuut yeah…I think that you can pretty clearly see why I find this kind of thing REALLY fucking objectionable, and why I find it even more objectionable that the ‘target audience’ for these bands is largely teenagers - and even more specifically teenage girls. I see it on facebook with passive-aggressive statuses - “LOL at you liking Josh, you have fat thighs and you sucked someone off in the toilets you chubby slut. Get a grip.”, is it really something we should be culturally reinforcing?
Maybe I’m reading too much into what is, in essence, a piece of shit song written by morons and presented to the world like a turd on a fine china plate. Then again, maybe not.
Capture the Crown - You Call That a Knife? This is a Knife!
How Not To Promote Your Gig, Part I: Likewhoring for Fun and Profit?
Let’s get another series of poorly-written diatribes going, this time about the way bands are promoted, particularly at shows (but branching into other areas too). As usual, you can send me hate via the ‘Questions’ button next to the post, or in compact form to my twitter - @Lex_Innokenti
I realised that every fucking time I look at my facebook there are at least a dozen bands I’ve gigged with or friends of mine have gigged with begging for people’s votes, ‘likes’ or whatever in order to secure a slot on some random bill somewhere, or for a non-Battle of the Bands format – I’m actually going to cover those separately at some point - competition (the worst and most egregious offender being The Red Bull Bedroom Jam, which I’ll cover in some detail some other time, along with Surface Festival too) to win whatever prize is on offer this week/month. I used to see it as being a necessary sort of evil; after all, everyone who wins, or does well at, one of these competitions gets an opportunity, right?
But, you see, the more I think about it… the more I think these things are a bad fucking idea and do more harm than good – on a purely basic level, I see so many of these things nowadays that I very, VERY rarely bother actually ‘voting’ or whatever (I’ll address this point in more detail on a post regarding the king of this trope, though, the aforementioned Bedroom Jam). Let’s start with a really common one - the competition to get the opening slot of a bill somewhere, often just a multiband event in some unspectacular venue, but occasionally a very minor festival. Brace yourselves; this is gonna be a long read…
There’s an adage that “all promotion is good promotion” but that’s not really true. If I were, for example, to promote my band’s latest single in ‘Sheepdog Weekly’ magazine, I can be sure that I’m not going to get very many people buying it as a result. This is an extreme example, I know, but I’m putting it out there for illustrative purposes.
So, let’s say your hypothetical event (we’re going to call this Scamfest from here on, for ease of writing) is taking place in Birmingham. You put out there that bands can earn the opening slot by sending you a photo, votes are taken by how many people ‘like’ that photo on your page (which they have to like in order to see that photo in the first place) – you generate traffic to your page, the bands spam the shit out of links to your page to get their friends to vote, and – in theory – more people come to your show.
There are four bands (there’d probably be more than this in real life, but for the sake of my sanity we’ll stick to four) competing for the opening slot, who we’re also going to give names for ease of reference – Septic Leg, a classic Death Metal band from Falkirk, The Wizard’s Sleeve, a melodic power metal band from Bristol, Straight-edge Hardcore bruisers Temperance from Birmingham itself and Casanova Rickroll, a spandex-clad and very trashy hair band from Surrey.
Realistically speaking, the only ones who are guaranteed to bring anyone to Scamfest if they win are Temperance, because any band is going to be hard pressed in this day and age to get anyone outside their inner circle of WAG’s and hangers-on to travel particularly far to see them play a 20-minute opening slot. Worse still, if it was a hardcore-laden bill anyway then a large proportion of the people coming to see Temperance were probably coming anyway – they are, after all, hardcore fans who live in Birmingham and Scamfest is obviously a big event in their calendar, right? If it isn’t a hardcore show then a lot of them won’t bother because who goes to a show and pays full festival/door price for an all-day event to just see the opening band and then fucks off?
Now, you can see that I’ve been very deliberate in picking genres that are fairly distinct from one another. This is because the average Septic Leg fan is not really going to be that interested in any of the other three bands. Let’s assume that each band gets a total of 100 ‘likes’ on their picture, except the winner, who just edges it with 110. That means you’ve had 410 people overall go to your page, click ‘like’ and then click to ‘like’ the photo of the band they are a fan of… sounds good, right?
Except that I can practically guarantee that 300 of those people definitely aren’t going to be coming to your show because the band they clicked ‘like’ on didn’t win. Not only that, but how many – realistically – of the 110 votes the winning band got are going to translate into ticket sales? I can assure you that, not only is that dependant on who won, but how far away the winning band has to come from. If it’s Temperance, you might be as lucky as to get 10 – 20% of their voters showing up (probably less). If it’s Septic Leg… you’ll be lucky if it’s 2 – 3% (and those two or three people are probably girlfriends/boyfriends/wives/husbands).
If the four bands in question were the same genre, you’re still left with the same numbers – most of those people voting, particularly those voting for a band from far away, and those voting for the bands that don’t win, just aren’t going to bother coming.
Ultimately, what that means is that your competition has generated you absolutely no revenue, and you may actually have ended up with a band completely inappropriate for your event – imagine if, for example, UK Tech Fest had run this competition… and ended up with the decidedly un-techy Casanova Rickroll winning? Not that I think they’d be dumb enough to put themselves in that position, but as an extreme example it still holds up.
Worse still, you’ve ceded control of who plays your show to people who are probably not going to show up. Do you really trust their judgement on this? Septic Leg could be the single worst band in the history of Death Metal (conversely, they could be the greatest… but if that was the case, why not just book them in the first place?), whilst Casanova Rickroll could be the second coming of Van Halen (with Dave Lee Roth); you’ve just been forced to book a band that might not fit the bill, are horrible and aren’t going to bring anyone with them, at the expense of a band who are brilliant, may actually fit the bill and even if they don’t will still probably draw a modest crowd in Brum in future as a result of the positive exposure they’ll end up getting. Competitions don’t fit ‘the long game’ of establishing yourself as a promoter who puts on good shows and fosters a sense of loyalty (in essence, gaining your own fans rather than relying solely on the fans of the bands you put on), therefore they don’t really benefit you at all, full stop.
Why are promoters so afraid to book what they actually want to promote these days? Why are people who don’t enjoy metalcore, or pop-punk, or whatever, expecting me to pay to come see some random metalcore or pop-punk band they don’t actually want to listen to themselves? How is that an enticement? Personally, I want to play a show because the guy or girl booking that show thinks my band kicks ass and wants other people to hear us, not because a couple of hundred people who won’t actually come clicked ‘like’ on a photo of my ugly face. Am I now in a minority there?
So, promoters, here’s my challenge to you – next time you’re thinking of running a competition for an opening slot, DON’T. Instead, if you have a slot free and no band to fill it, ask the bands who are already playing the show for suggestions. I’m 100% sure that they all know at least one band who’d fit the bill, kick ass and will perhaps make you a bit of scratch in future. Not only that, but you’ll look like a clever motherfucker when everyone in the audience starts raving about the brilliant unknown band you stuck in the opening slot. Win all-round, don’t you think?
P.S: Someone really needs to start a band called ‘Casanova Rickroll’ now.
The Worst Bands In The World, Part II: BrokeNCYDE
"I got these bitches all tipsy trying to sex meI know they want it, alcoholics are some sex freaks[random string of hip-hop slang and a list of high-end luxury goods]If you want me baby feel me in'Cause I don't waste my time with lesbians”
The beats are dreadful, just really dreadful, there’s barely any varience in their output, and they have so little to say you start wondering if it’s possible to unsay things. They somehow, as skinny white boys from New Mexico, manage to tick every box on a checklist of awful rap music cliches (listing material objects as a lazy way of padding out verses, calling women denigrating names, bragging about their collective sexual prowess in a deeply unsexual way) and awful scene band cliches (all women are sluts and/or bitches, haters make us famous, crappy screams make us hardcore). Not only that, they’ve frequently toured with Blood on the Dance Floor (more on those musical abortions at a later date), meaning that they can take pride in having been part of the worst tours in the history of recorded music (at least since Razorlight last toured, anyway).
BrokeNCYDE - Freaxxx:
The Worst Bands In The World, Part I: Design The Skyline
Part one of a series of however-many-the-fuck bad bands I decide to want to rape my ears with then write about. Youtube links at the bottom for those who are equally masochistic.
Also, please send me your hate. It’s like air to me.
I love me some progressive metal.
Correction: I love me some good progressive metal.
And this is anything but good progressive metal.
Design the Skyline are the metalcore answer to Opeth, and they fucking suck. Signed to Victory Records (who else? Victory these days seem more intent on trolling the fuck out of people who listen to the kind of bands who used to be on Victory - Taking Back Sunday, for example - than actually signing anyone with a modicum of talent), their debut single ‘Surrounded By Silence' was ill-concieved, scattershot, messy-as-hell and scene-as-fuck (seriously, these guys are so 'scene' it makes my teeth ache). Their album was a pathetic attempt to address the (justified) criticism levelled at them, and as such is as conformist as it possibly can be. The idea that these be-fringed, neon-stringed guys could in any way hang with, or be grouped with, the likes of Opeth, Meshuggah, Neurosis, Between the Buried and Me and so on and so forth is so fucking laughable as to actually be tragic.
I wonder if these bands actually realise that the autotune fad is going to date their music like fuck in the future?
Metal Machine Music: Demographic Alternative and The Death of Art
This was originally titled “Demographic Alternative Music: The Commercialization of Counter-Culture”, but I decided that I’d actually revise it somewhat and repost it on here with a new title. Those of you who’ve read it on my blog (or on http://www.metalmouth.net where it originally appeared as a ‘Runt Rant’), see if you can spot the differences.
So, in the wake of a lot of artists like Nine Inch Nails and The Dillinger Escape Plan opting to either go it alone or form their own imprints, the major metal labels are coming under increasing and unfavourable scrutiny from many who had previously viewed them as, if not completely altruistic, at least less exploitative than the more mainstream music industry (which is generally considered about as exploitative as the average pimp, and only about half as moral).
It’s pretty evident that in recent years the major labels have been struggling to catch up with modern technology and the ability of artists, particularly those with proven success under their belts, to circumvent the need for a major label either in part or in full (they were probably too busy doing blow and “auditioning” Ke$ha, if you know what I mean… And if you don’t know what I mean, I mean they were fucking Ke$ha) - bands nowadays can use specialist sites to drum up funds directly from their fans, and distribution now doesn’t actually need a physical medium (all you need to do is upload the files to iTunes, Spotify, et al and your music is now out there for all to consume without the significant investment needed for printing or manufacturing costs, even if the royalties on Spotify in particular are smaller than Piers Morgan's cock. Given that the artist recieves VERY little from the sales of physical music media when signed to a major label anyway (see, for example, the picture Matt Heafy tweeted last year of a Trivium royalty cheque he recieved for the princely sum of less than a dollar)… why fucking bother signing to a major if you have an established fanbase these days?
I’m not going to talk about the revolution social media is bringing about in the metal and alternative music worlds (not today anyway), with “pay what you like” albums from the likes of Radiohead (yeah, I know they’re not metal, fuck off) and the aforementioned NIN, or (going back a few years) the Myspace ‘success’ stories like The Arctic Monkeys and Enter Shikari. Nor am I going to talk about the impact of torrent and p2p sites on major label profits, and the increasingly morally reprehensible behaviour of the BPI supposedly in response to this (fascinating though the whole argument is).
What I’m interested in this time round is the increased commercialisation of metal music and a shift in the demographic targetted by the major labels as a result - further evidence, as I’ll demonstrate, that the major labels are so unable to grasp the notion that their business model has changed fundamentally in the last ten or twenty years, that they are now self-defeating entities castrating themselves because their bollocks itch. Instead of moving with the times, they’re trying to lock everyone back into their monopoly through dodgy copy-protection, dodgier lawsuits and even dodgier attempts at legislation (SOPA and PIPA anyone? Thank Dio those got defeated… for now).
There are a few very clear signs this is going on; open up a Kerrang! Magazine from any time in the last three or four years, for example, and tell me what you see; where once there was a magazine that catered to all of metals’ myriad sub-genres, Kerrang! now has a target demographic of, apparently, girls in their early teens. Their pages are dominated by caffeine-free diet punk like Green Day, cod-controversial rock bland Black Veil Brides, Tom Delonge's middle-aged yet oddly youthful face (does he bathe in the blood of virgins? I think someone needs to look into that) and a seemingly identikit cast of splay-legged, be-fringed pretty boys in bad sleeve tattoos calling women 'sluts' and 'whores' over endless breakdowns (for those that consider themselves a bit 'edgier', apparently, even though the only edges on them are those swooshy hairdo's and the odd spiky guitar). We now live in a musical culture where a major source of information (and say what you like, Kerrang! still is one of these, for all its flaws) can completely without irony call Billy Joe Armstrong the second greatest rock star of all time - not just currently alive, but ALL TIME.
Let that sink in for a second, why don’t you? The guy from Green Day. Second greatest rock star of all time, according to Kerrang! All-fucking-time. What in the FUCK was the author of that abortion of a fluff piece smoking that day?
Billie Joe Armstrong second greatest rock star of all time. I shit you not.
Aaaanyway, detached commentator head back on again… What this overwhelmingly points to is that the major labels (who have the money, still, even if it’s less of it these days), rather than seek out exciting new musical movements, are intent on saturating the market with glossy, over-produced tripe that will shift by the shedload to a demographic not known for its good taste; witness the meteoric rise in popularity of the excremental ‘crunkcore’ spearheaded by Blood On The Dance Floor (complete with an - allegedly - pedophilic singer with a penchant for 13 year old girls) and Albuquerque New Mexico’s finest, BrokeNCyde, for a good example of where this leads. Shitty autotuned vocals reciting lyrics about fucking over generic beats and horrible screamed bits to make it ‘edgy’… but actually no more ‘edgy’ or ‘controversial’ than 95% of Rihanna's output, and she's considered a role model to young girls who presumably aspire to be shit, scantily-clad singers and have the ever-loving fuck beaten out of them by Chris Brown (yay!).
Apparently this over-auto-tuned, over-processed abortion of a ‘style’ - which takes the worst elements of gangsta rap (misogyny, the glorification of excess, materialism) and adds sub-metalcore screams, bad hair and makeup (and that’s just the guys) and shutter shades is where the money’s at; Dot Dot Curve and Eskimo Callboy are 2014’s Beatles and we’re the squares who just don’t fucking get it, man!
At least with nu-metal we got a bunch of ‘good’ bands (Deftones, System of a Down) for all the lumpen dross. The ‘emo’ movement gave us a Thursday and a Brand New for every twenty horrible Hawthorne Heights moan-rock bores. Hell, we even got Whitechapel in exchange for the existence of Asking Alexandria and Escape the Fate…. With ‘crunkcore’, what do we get?
Most damningly, I know precisely one person over the age of sixteen who listens to these bands (and that one person has the mentality of a fouteen year old and is exactly as rockfuck stupid and annoying as a 22 year old behaving like a fourteen year old sounds); ninety percent of their fanbase seem to me to be girls aged between twelve and fourteen who wish to set themselves apart from their peers, somehow to appear more mature, by cheerfully referring to themselves as “bitches” and “sluts” and viciously defending the honour of their chosen idols with meaningless nonsense like “h8rs gonna h8” as though this constitutes an actual argument, all the while posting endless pictures of themselves on social networks making gun signs with their fingers and romanticising self-harm as a form of “expression”. Tumblrs full of slit wrists and soft-focus pornography, quotes as ‘uplifting’ as Dulux Magnolia paint and endless ‘dreamy’ pictures of their anodyne idols
Makes me feel really old, man… I remember when the high point of a 13 year old girls life was getting to go to town with her friends and no parents in tow - now they’re posting pictures of themselves in their bras on BrokeNCYDE's myspace and tweeting about how much they want to lick Dahvie Vanity's dick like an ice cream stick (ugh… just typing that made me feel a bit nauseous).
Thing is, I don’t really object to there being an area of alternative music that goes after this age group; let’s face it, it’s been going on a very long time, as the career of a band like Green Day or Blink 182 will attest, but it’s never been as cynical as it seems to have gotten in the last couple of years… Where a fourteen year old ten years ago might’ve wet their metal heads on Linkin Park or Limp Bizkit and progressed from there into the realms of the darker and heavier and more skullfuckingly awesome (I myself started off with Marilyn Manson and KoRn before turning fully to the dark side around 16 with my first Converge album), I’m increasingly confronted with 17 /18/19 year olds who revere Suicide Silence and Chelsea Grin as the be-all and end-all, with no appreciation for the roots of the genre or its actual luminaries - overhearing a guy in a Miss May I shirt once; a guitarist in a local band, no less; dismiss Machine Head's “Davidian" as "shit, where’s the breakdowns?" was a particular moment of WTF? for me. The bottom line of all this genre segregation is that our local scenes are stagnating, with local bands influenced by a very narrow spectrum making derivative music devoid of innovation that crowds out the genuinely interesting.
Where does the blame lie there? Sure, you can argue that the cream floats to the top, but from personal experience it’s become a lot more difficult to catch a break unless you have a floppy fringe and your tabs look like binary.
I can only really lay the blame at the doors of those music “journalists” who do things like hail Black Veil Brides new “saviours” of metal: - who are these mediocre twatbags saving metal from? What was so fucking wrong with a genre that has elevated, in recent years, bands as creative, potent and peerless as Opeth, Mastodon and Lamb of God into the big leagues? Why does it need saving? From whom?
To find the answer, of course, you have to look at the root of all evil;
Justin Bieber money. Metal has traditionally been a genre for young men. These same young men are the group most likely to illegally acquire music through torrent sites, a truism that the music industry has, like the film industry, failed to adequately deal with (again, castrating themselves because thir bollocks are itchy); they hand-wring because it impacts their profits, because the old model no longer works. Instead of realising that established artists like Trent Reznor are actually writing off album sales in favour of money they’ll actually see from touring and merchandizing, they lament the loss of physical CD sales in favour of mp3’s. In a digital age, the CD looks increasingly obsolete, and the record labels simply haven’t adjusted to this sea change in a positive or well thought out way, instead turning the people they’re trying to sell to against them through lumpen, heavy-handed and ludicrous legal action and attempts to stymie internet freedom. It’s reactive behaviour, not proactive, and it’s the artists who are suffering for the labels’ fucking idiocy. Yeah, people shouldn’t steal music, but they’re going to because the labels have managed to devalue music to the point where a large proportion of people view it as a disposable commodity - buy this greatest hits album we threw together with one shit new song and one shit new cover song! Only a tenner! Doesn’t even have liner notes! Buy this Motorhead box set Lemmy himself is publically calling a “fucking rip off” and refuses to endorse! Eat our shit and call it chocolate you fucking peons! - because that’s how it’s being presented. Gatefold vinyls are now intangible binary and music has lost its sense of ‘special’, by and large. Am I alone in thinking that’s a bit of a shame?
In any case, what this ultimately means is that the record labels go after the less tech-savvy in pursuit of their dollar; a fourteen year old girl is much less likely to understand what a torrent site is, or how to use it, than a nineteen year old boy, and is much more likely to spend their pocket money on a CD (or a legal download). Fourteen year old girls, too, are highly unlikely to listen to Opeth or Mastodon, favouring more the twin beasts of easy accessibility and conformist rebellion offered by not-punk and contrived edginess; Capture the Crown trump Iron Maiden in their minds, so that’s what the record labels offer in a vicious cycle that can only end in decay and creative bankruptcy. CD sales are a much larger source of revenue to a label than they are to a band, so it becomes all about maximizing the making of money instead of actually producing records of quality (not a new thing, but much more egregious these days, sadly); witness the aforementioned ‘Best of’ and ‘Greatest Hits’ compilashits that bring nothing new to the table, save yet another CD for the label to shill, this time aimed at the casual fan who just wants all the singles but can’t be arsed - or isn’t technologically minded enough - to buy them all individually off of iTunes, but with a couple of bells and whistles - a cover of a shit eighties song, or a ‘lost song’ to draw in the die-hard completionists too. Those bands creating music that will last the test of time are being strangled by those creating music that won’t last til next year; how many of us will remember Miss May I two years from now? How many of us will remember Hey Monday? How many of us are honestly gonna notice when they disappear?
There’s a strange irony to it, though, that it’s not the fourteen year old girls who’ll be in the front row at Bloodstock next year howling their lungs raw along to Jamie Jasta and Phil Anselmo. Nor will they brave the English weather to go watch Gehtika escape their day job drudgery and beat out their frustrations musically for no money at the Arse & Trumpet in Scunthorpe on a thursday night (which is what people like us do, because this isn’t a fashion statement to us, it’s a state of being). Most of them will get older and lose interest, for whatever reason, in the disposable nonsense being spoon fed to them by the music channels and magazines like Kerrang!
And you know what? When they’re gone, we’ll still be here to count the toll that the not-music’s taken on our beloved lifestyle. We’ll still be here, but will we have anything to listen to anymore? Or will it simply be a further derivative, another group of meaningless young men willing to suck the corporate cock for their six months at the top of the teenagers wish-list? Where is the next Machine Head, or Slipknot, or Metallica? Can we honestly see Black Veil Brides or All Time Low headlining arenas in five years time? I don’t think so.
So I guess I’m lamenting the narrowing of focus by the music channels, the music press and the music industry itself; gone are the days when I would be excited to get my weekly copy of Kerrang! magazine because it could lead me to discover a new favourite band or, at least, something really interesting; the sixteen-year-old me bought that Converge album because of a feature in Kerrang! magazine. I first heard “Scent of the Obscene" by SikTh on Scuzz after school one day many years ago. Hell, the first time I ever heard Skunk Anansie was on Top of the Pops (yeah, I’m old; deal with it), back when music on TV could be wilfully eclectic and ignite the passions of young viewers instead of treating them as a market to be tapped. When the fuck would you see a black lesbian with a giant mouth screaming at you at 7PM on the beeb nowadays? No, the true “teenage rebellion” doesn’t lie in a band like Black Veil Brides, foisted on our youth by fifty-year olds in business suits, it lies in demanding better and telling those peddling such toss where they can take their Eskimo Callboy nonsense and shove it. I want bands like Gojira, The Meads of Asphodel, Shining or Primordial thrust under my nose, stuff that makes me go “what the hell is this!? This is fucking AWESOME!”, not stuff that makes me go “well this new Chelsea Grin song is OK, I guess” when it’s actually another band who sound almost exactly, but not quite, like Chelsea Grin. What the hell is fucking innovative or interesting about that?
This is supposed to be the greatest, most imaginitive, most fearless genre of music this world will ever know, and we’re letting “them” ruin it. Fuck “them”, fuck idiot journalists who think that gonk from Green Day is a bigger rock star than Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford or Lemmy fuckin’ Kilminster, double-fuck Andy Biersack, and, overall, fuck the commercialization of our counter-culture in all its forms. We as metalheads must unite and show those idiots in their walnut-padded offices that we won’t buy what they sell us, and we have to encourage our younger cousins, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters to reject this nonsense and find music that actually speaks to them as equals, not as a commodity to be exploited for short term gain, without substance or innovation.
I’m going to go and drunkenly throw darts at a picture of that guy from Five Finger Boredom Punch I drew an eeeeeevil moustache on until I throw up all over my shoes.
Who’s with me?
How to Lose Fans and Alienate Readers; Or Why I Don’t Read Kerrang! Magazine Anymore
I used to read Kerrang! magazine and watch Kerrang! TV, you know, way back in the day. I say ‘way back’, but I have been known to buy the odd copy of the mag from time to time - usually when I’m travelling and need something to read, and can’t get hold of Terrorizer, Rock Sound or Metal Hammer for whatever reason; the thing is, every time I do, I’m reminded why I don’t buy it more regularly. It’s a bit of a shame, really, because Kerrang! introduced me to some really great bands way back in the day; I doubt I’d be into Converge or Enslaved if it wasn’t for reading reviews/interviews with them and being fascinated by the ethos and ideas behind those bands. I’m pretty sure Kerrang! was the first mag I saw The Meads of Asphodel in, too.
What a Kerrang! Cover used to look like - note Booze-related competition obviously aimed at Over-18s.
Chances are, short of a small album review, those are three bands who won’t be making an appearance in a Kerrang! magazine at any time in the immediate future, though. Which is a crying shame.
It’s hard to pinpoint the year when I started to notice a decline in Kerrang!’s quality, but the first real bands I noticed getting a disproportionate amount of coverage were Green Day (around the time of American Idiot), Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco and - most egregiously - My Chemical Romance. These were quickly joined by bands like Aiden, Youmeatsix, and Paramore. Nowadays, it’s all about Black Veil Brides and other ‘scene’ bands aimed, primarily, at young teenagers (All Time Low, for example). Gone were the days when acts as disparate as MuDVaYNe, Nine Inch Nails and The Hives would be on the cover, and you might find an in-depth interview with Ihsahn in the center section, gone were the days of taking members of Million Dead, Jarcrew and Minus out into the freezing cold and getting them to compete in an increasingly silly set of competitions. Instead, endless interviews with Andy Sixx proclaiming him the New God of Rock (he’s not even the New God of Pebble, you know), utterly straight-faced articles proclaiming Billie Joe Armstrong the second-greatest rock star OF ALL TIME, and a complete disregard for the people who made Kerrang! a loud noise in the alternative music world rule the roost. Similarly, the TV Channel has gradually phased out anything that doesn’t fit into an increasingly narrow focus; bands aimed at teenagers from age 12 to about 17.
Where did the Kerrang! magazine I knew and loved go to? There used to be, you know, content and stuff, and not just 30 pages of ads in a sub-60 page magazine. Kerrang! Journalists used to seem like the kind of people I wanted to know, wanted to be around, wanted to - perhaps - be colleagues of one day. So what the hell happened?
…Well, part of it’s down to me and my tastes, certainly. I’m more a Terrorizer type guy these days; when I read Metal Hammer, I usually am most interested in the Subterranea section at the back that deals with the extreme end of the scale; I’m not expecting Kerrang! to cater to that, not really. Five-page stories about Anaal Nathrakh wouldn’t shift copy - they can stick with Terrorizer, I’ll buy it and be a happy chappy. Similarly I don’t expect the TV channel to be showing the latest Cult of Luna video at 5PM, but it’d be nice if they’d show it at all, even in a slot specially reserved for more mature fare.
Some blame, too, can be on a sense of nostalgia; when I think back five or six years, Kerrang! was pretty hot on HIM, putting Ville Valo on the cover a lot, and I remember The Used featuring pretty often, too. So I guess my glasses are a little rose-tinted looking back at ‘The Glory Days’. I talked about this on facebook with Johnny Doom (the always excellent Kerrang! Radio DJ) a little while ago and he pointed out that, at 26, I’m definitely not who Kerrang! are aiming at, so being disappointed with it is kind of like me being disappointed because the Beano isn’t aimed at me, or Cosmo, or something.
Johnny’s valid point aside, I’m not alone in my criticism; there’s a lot of people out there who feel let down with the direction Kerrang! moved in (a move reflected by the TV channel, too, which actually introduced me to some really fucking cool bands - my love for SikTh is DIRECTLY attributable to Kerrang! TV). We don’t want to read about every public or semi-public utterance from Billie Joe Armstrong’s mouth as though it is earth-shatteringly important. We don’t care about Black Veil Brides to the extent that their every movement is of vital importance, that they can be called entirely without irony “The Most Controversial Band in the World” when the only controversy is in their supposed relevance to the average metal fan as opposed to their claimed relevance by magazines like, well, Kerrang!. What Hayley Williams’ wore at her last gig is not music news, nor is it worthy of conversation let alone a magazine article - only fangirls care about that shit.
Seemingly every other modern Kerrang! cover (and this one’s actually nearly three years old). Note prominent Panic! At The Disco, Blink 182 and Green Day articles.
Here’s the thing: fangirls (the seeming target demographic of K! nowadays) are not real music fans; anyone who justifies their love for a band first with an expression of how attractive they are is not a real music fan (I think Christina Scabbia is incredibly beautiful, but I don’t listen to Lacuna Coil, for example). Pandering to fangirls, the kind of people who start their defence of any act they like that comes in for criticism (no matter how justified) with “OMG FUCK YOU, THEY ARE THE BEST BAND EVER! THEY’RE SO GORGEOUS AND SEXY AND THEY LIKE TOTALLY SAVED MY LIFE!!!! x <3 x” only perpetuates the outright lie perpetuated by more mainstream music media (in itself a lie, as there are plenty of metal acts who consistently outsell groups considered ‘mainstream’ - compare and contrast Iron Maiden with Razorlight, for example) that metal is idiotic music played by idiots and aimed at idiotic squeeing teenagers with piss-poor taste. It is entirely without irony that these magazines can rank ‘classic’ bands like Black Sabbath or Metallica in their ‘top live bands’ lists whilst singularly ignoring anything else originating from the distorted side of the guitar strings. When you have lowest-common-denominator bands favoured by 14-year old girls being given sweeping coverage at the expense of, say, Opeth (who consistently sell out tours DESPITE a lack of outside recognition) then what you see is a skewed, warped and untrue reflection of the alternative ‘scene’ (and I use that word in the non-derogatory sense there) peddled by a ‘metal’ press that is actually disregarding a large proportion of intelligent music in favour of high-gloss caffeine-free diet anti-music that will be unremembered and unmourned in five years time. It’s as though we used “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” or “The Hills” to define the value of American TV instead of “Homeland” or “The Wire”. It’s hype excluding substance to the nth degree.
So Kerrang! has essentially whored itself out to quick buck record label money-making schemes superficially masquerading as ‘art’, and locked itself into a rinse-repeat cycle whereby its readership picks it up for a year or two then moves on. The squeeing fan girls won’t stay squeeing fan girls forever; in fact, most of them will probably end up taking their piercings out, ditching the scene hair and marker-pen eyebrow look and feeling ashamed that they wasted so much money on neon-bedecked, eye-wateringly ugly merch and posters of Dahvie Vanity looking like an anthropomorphic My Little Pony. Oh, and they’ll stop reading Kerrang! too, when they realise that in the grand scheme of things Tom DeLonge’s lunch menu is completely meaningless. Kerrang! has essentially become an alternative gossip column combined with a hype machine for whatever saccharine, shitty, flavour of the month band is out there at that present moment in time. Black Veil Brides have no more saved lives than any other band (and almost certainly less so than, say, NOFX who do masses of charity work), and “being unpopular with the non-fly-by-night fandom” is not the same as “being controversial”. We don’t need to have them crammed down our throats, anymore than we do Jessie J or Emilie Sande - it’s an insult to our intelligence and it just makes us, who loved you once, hate you Kerrang! So here’s a question for all those who would defend K! and its present output:
Which is more likely to be considered a ‘classic’ album in 20 years time? ‘Ghost Reveries’ by Opeth or ‘Set the World on Fire’ by Black Veil Brides?
I rest my case.
On Ian Watkins And Reactions To His Behaviour….
Our fragility is born of our acquiescence.
I am not your one.