Sunday, June 30, 2013

Black Veil Brides Getting Busted Matters: Quit It with Fake Cabinets

I know. I've never been very nice about Black Veil Brides being a band. I hate their music, I hate their style, and over everything else, I hate what they represent. The commercialization of heavy metal music makes me take a massive, doom-scented rage shit right in my camo pants. I have a very me-me-me personality, and I don't like a lot of people liking something that takes from things that I like. Or putting bands I actually like on fashionable t-shirts for fashionable, mainstream people to wear. Sorry, you have to pay your dues to truly appreciate the Def Leppard shirt you're wearing. Even I'm still working my way up to that. No, I'm not saying I actually like Def Leppard. I'm saying I don't actually deserve to yet.

So BVB is a terrible thing I hate very much. Which is why whenever the band faces any sort of backlash or scrutiny, my brain releases the same sort of endorphins one would experience when eating birthday cake, or enjoying an assisted orgasm. BVB bashing is equally moist and delicious on both accounts. So of course, when photos started circulating the internet of the band getting busted for using sans-speaker dummy cabinets during their performance on Warped Tour, I couldn't light those candles fast enough. So rich. So decadent:

Happy Birthday to me...
Despite how eternally great it feels to be handed more reasons to put these lipstick-wearing queefbags down another peg; members of the musical blogosphere, being the sound intellectual types that we are, couldn't have played devil's advocate for these butt puckers fast enough. No one could hardly wait to point out the very sobering fact that major rock and roll groups have been doing this sort of thing for decades. We seem to have no issue shamelessly backing up any garbage act, so long as we get a chance to portray ourselves as time-tested, in-the-know, musical specialists. Slayer, Kiss, Judas Priest, Van Halen, Kiss, Iron Maiden, Manowar, Kiss; all bands totally guilty of the same sort of aesthetic trickery. Shit, even our favorite Black Metal joke band Immortal got called out for the exact same thing several years ago:

You can't handle the TRVTH...

Even BVB themselves couldn't wait to fire back at those accusing them of their very real bullshit. Underwhelming vocalist Andy Biersak, leapt onto his Twitter and posted this little gem in the band's defense:

Thus implying that when someone has tattoos, we skeptical types assume they're lying about what their skin really looks like. Have no fear, Andy. Nobody in the universe doubts that your batman tattoo was a bad idea you made all on your own. The band even went the additional mile, turning their empty cabinets around during a set to give a stern "fuck you" to all of those internet haters that hurt them so deeply square in the butt:

Along with this picture, Biersack additionally wrote: “Through some magic of technology even though our dummy cabs are turned around and empty WE STILL PLAYED A LIVE SHOW. Dear clueless cred police meatheads, the cabs are staging meant to enhance the stage show, but since you couldn’t get that we figured its time we show you what’s behind them. Now sadly it’s time for you to find a new thing to hate BVB about. We play live through DI profiling amps and you’re idiots. By the way amplifiers and speakers are two different things..unless your super cool “core” band has found a way to plug directly into cabs.” 

I just quickly want to rebut that I don't hate you fellas because you used fake cabinets. I hate you guys because your music sucks.

With that said, the argument from BVB and bloggers alike stood strong. Walls of fake cabinets is business as usual; this is the oldest trick in the book, this has been done by a countless number of legit hard rock acts. It's for stage presence, it's for aesthetic, it's part of the show, it's "aesthetic volume", it's a way to fill up all the black and empty stage space without using ovens and dishwashers a la Rush.

Shut the fuck up.

Seriously. All of you. Shut your ever-undeserving-of-cake-holes. These aren't arguments. These are barely excuses. These statements from BVB are nothing more than the ramblings of a live group attempting to hide their shame and embarrassment. You fans and bloggers pointing out how other live acts have done this sort of thing for decades isn't even scratching the surface of a satisfactory justification. This sort of live performance bullshittery is on the same exact level as Lady Gaga lip-syncing and Miley Cyrus using doubles. It was stupid and insulting when Kiss filled their stage with a wall of their own redundant pine boxes back in the late 70's and it's even worse now. I wouldn't in a million years change my stance on this if you told me that my favorite musical act of all time did this sort of thing. I would just tell you that they were worse for doing it.

Black Veil Brides getting busted for fake cabinets matters. It matters because it's opening a dialogue. It's starting a conversation about what listeners consider acceptable of a live rock performance and what they think isn't. A lot of you are easily writing this off as just part of a stage show, as part of the entertainment. A wall of speakers is just something we associate with those old MTV arena rock music videos, and it's what we come to expect from a larger-than-life, loud rock performance. Who cares if it's all for show? None of you are allowing yourselves to fully absorb the inescapable fact that this is, and always has been a direct insult to your intelligence as a concert-goer.

Bands like BVB are no better than clumsy magicians who had their simple tricks revealed. When called out for their shams, they grabbed their squashed dead doves from their collapsible cages, and with the grace of a mad cow disease victim, wagged the corpses wildly in the air shrieking "FUCK YOU HATERS IT'S JUST A SHOW". You as concert goers were never meant to know those cabinets were fake. They were planted there to convince the audience that they were what was firing out the massive sound that was being produced by completely different means. No matter how you want to spin this, BVB's fans were being lied to, and exposed lies warrant apologies, not excuses.

This sort of thing, even so slightly, can harm a band's reputation and make them seem a lot less authentic. And for what? Showmanship? See, what makes for good showmanship are things that are capable of actually adding to the entertainment. Pyrotechnics, goat skulls, some lady who's willing to participate in some blasphemous cross action. I hope I'm not only speaking for myself when I say that just having a lot of speakers on stage isn't really impressing or entertaining fucking anybody. The only people in the crowd you would possibly impress with such pointless smoke and mirrors are the other musicians. Guys who look up and wish they could afford or have room in their garage for that many fucking Marshalls. That's it. Consider a typical BVB fan for a moment. Do most of them even know what a guitar amplifier cabinet really is or what it does? If the stage was void of these false speakers, would anybody notice? I wager that the majority of their hormonal teenage eyes were much too busy being fixated on the tight jeans showing off Andy's Biersack.

This goes for every musical act possible. Even the ones who play good music. Fake cabinets are just superfluous excess. It means your band has too much money to spend on shit that doesn't matter or help your cause as an entertaining live act. It's an insult to the concert-goers who are led to believe you're any louder than the PA system allows you to be. It's an even greater insult to the smaller acts who struggle to afford the three or four real cabinets they use on stage, which aren't too far off from your non-imaginary setup. We pay, quite frankly, too much fucking money to see you people perform your music live. The least you can do is stop finding stupid ways to bullshit us. 

Now sadly, it's time for me to go find a new thing to hate BVB about. I'll keep you posted.

- Brenocide \,,/