Thursday, November 12, 2015

Violation: Devaluing Negative Opinions of Music (7 Reasons We Don't Have to Live in a Basement to Hate Your Band)

Pictured above: Not your mom's basement. 

Let's say you're on social media talking some shit...

I mean, of course you are. You are -- or at least you're trying to be -- a true Metal elitist right? Any limp little Nancy could spend their time listening to good Metal music. Just sitting around chilling to Xasthur or some shit. Oh wow, good for you. Round of golf claps for the happy listener over here, everyone. Maybe you should buy some Bose speakers so you can just sit back, relax and really enjoy yourself. Immerse yourself in the lovely sound, you complacent, satisfied fucking priss.

Fuck that noise. Literally. What makes me a true Metal warrior is the fact that I spend countless hours listening to, forming an opinion, and then complaining about shitty fake Metal. Someone's gotta do it. The sort of complacency and indifference to improper thinking that you open-minded pusscakes keep preaching is how the Holocaust happened. These scene queens aren't going to go around Hitlering up my genre with goofy trends unabashed. Not on my fucking watch.

What's the point in trying to listen to good Metal anymore anyway? They stopped making it in like 1998. I've heard it all and now I've got work to do.

"But Brenocide's here is a post where you mention liking something produced after that..." Oh yeah? You dweebs always go around telling everyone my blog is "satire" and not to take it seriously. So let's just say I was fucking kidding when I said that. The only bits of satire on this blog were the moments when I ever hinted at being anything except the greatest Metal fan that ever lived. Joke's on you, fart pie.

Not that I would care to know, but if anybody these days is producing Metal music that can qualify as even somewhat listenable, it's because of true Metal foot soldiers like myself, tirelessly discouraging musical bullshit with everflowing internet venom. You're welcome. But I digress. Let's get back to you on social media fighting the good fight like you're supposed to. Inevitably, you're gonna get some push back from the sorry sucks that don't understand everything they like or do is dumb and bad. High chance, you're going to get something very similar to this statement tossed your way among the carnage:

This degenerate numpty wrote this a couple months ago in response to my takedown of Neill Jameson's pro vinyl post. It wasn't because I was trashing Krieg that she said this, but it's the exact kind of shit you would see someone say if I was trashing Krieg. To make this more relevant, I'll do it now: Fuck Krieg. There we go. Anyway, Jameson's post was a short tirade that I thought was a poorly thought-out, open-ended take down of Metal Sucks' Vince Neilstein's anti-vinyl postwhich was itself a poorly-thought out piece in support of streaming music. Long story short, the only smart person involved was me. Just like always.

Teal here shared her baseless non-thoughts during an enormous back-patting circle jerk of Jameson's internet pals getting together and stroking each other over how I disagreed with their favorite underground howler. I challenged Neill's position with research and facts. They challenged my position with how I'm a "non musician". Because in order for you to understand the basic arithmetic behind how badly record companies fuck metal artists, you have to be the metal artist getting fucked. Makes sense.

Anyway, eye-roll worthy comebacks like these are just one of many types of what I like to call the

"Performers On Stage Envy Rebuttal"

Or P.O.S.E.R for short.

This out loud assumption is a silencing technique used by music fans (and sometimes artists) to try and devalue your opinion as an informed, free-thinking listener and individual with a negative stance on any form of media. People who support the artist or are the artist immediately assume that because you are sharing a negative opinion regarding said artist, you are inherently envious of their perceived "success" in the artform. We can also classify this as "haters gonna hate logic". It only works if everyone involved is a complete fucking moron. Speaking of complete fucking morons, anybody remember Sonic Syndicate? (Me neither!)

To refresh our memories, here's a gem several years ago from The Unguided vocalist Richard Sjunnesson directed towards me when I made fun of his former band for getting butthurt over us trolling them at a show:

"But by all means, let them have their little sexist hate society in peace. They won’t achieve anything worth mentioning in the duration of a lifetime anyway. At least our achievements and hard work took us all around the world, while they were busy jerking off to their 2-channel tape recorders in their mom’s basement. I can understand their jealousy, as we got handpicked by their favourite band to tour with them." 

Oh yeah, so jelly over here, I'm practically a doughnut. Your band is factually the worst music in the history of the artform. You actually managed to make something like Atreyu even worse:

I'd say that's an achievement worth mentioning. Just like the Holocaust was. There that is again! See how this all ties together nicely in the end? Jealousy has never once had anything to do with how much I consistently hated your haircuts throughout the years, Richard. The same will always be true of your overdone 2004-era metalcore music. More like The Ungood, am I right fellas?

So let's look at just a few out of many pointed reasons why the POSER is a weak argument made only by complete wastes of space and air, and you should have no issues overcoming such frail objections to your sturdy, elite musical opinion:

1. Musicians Are (generally) Broke Losers

Teal pointedly asks "who is this guy?" concerning me. I suppose it's a fair question. I'd definitely want to know who I am too. I am awesome. However, she totally goes on to blow her chances of getting to know quite possibly the coolest guy anybody could ever meet when she assumes that I'm "a nobody, a non musician" outright. She suggests this without a lick of evidence to suggest either of those things. What if I was a musician? I could be Alexi Laiho over here, for all she fucking knows.


But the major implication she or anyone with a similar comment makes here, is that anybody who isn't a performing artist is "a nobody". As if musicianship is somehow the pinnacle of human existence; something we all aspire to as human beings. I mean, I shouldn't have to state the obvious, but I'm at least a writer. That's a thing. Maybe I just like writing stuff?

Fact of the matter is, you'll never find a bigger group of nobodies than underground metal musicians. It's not 1987 anymore. Nobody who plays modern metal these days is going to enjoy the same long-term financial success of the big-haired shredders of long ago. Shit, nobody who plays modern metal these days is going to enjoy the same long-term financial success of a Starbucks barista. 

Deafheaven is a highly popular punching bag among us metal elitists. And rightly so; as far as underground groups go, they're enormous. (I guess...) At the time of this writing, they have over 100k+ likes on Facebook, 21K+ followers on Twitter, and Dream House has the better part of 1.5 million listens on Spotify. The Sunbather album cover has even been notoriously featured in iPhone advertising, and with the recent release of the critically adored New Bermuda, they're climbing even higher to peaks of greater exposure. As far as extreme music goes, these guys are on top of that world. They have the sort of fame that most dive bar playing metal musicians could only dream of.

Now let's take a look at the dump they live in:

Skip ahead to 2:40 if you have issues with high blood pressure. 

In this 2014 Noisey interview, the band gushes about how they finally make enough money to earn their own independence from just their music. But as the video reveals: Facebook likes, Twitter follows and streaming listens aren't dollars. These guys sleep inches away from each other all together in some shit hole apartment. Lead guitarist Kerry McCoy's sleeping arrangement is a mattress on the floor with a curtain for privacy. That's the only place he gets to bang his groupie girlfriend, who will ultimately leave him when she finds out how great it is to be taken out to dinner or driven around in a working car by a guy who's a "nobody".

This is what financial success is defined as for a metal musician: barely fucking eating. Borderline homelessness as opposed to just homelessness. 

I get what you're thinking, though. "Money isn't everything", right? I can see how you feel that way. Maybe you might feel as though the money doesn't matter at all. Each individual thinks about this stuff differently. Which brings us to my next point...

2. Success is Subjective

Pictured above: "a nobody... a non musician..."

Because there is no more cash to be made anymore in the metal industry, today's artists are driven by only one thing: fame. They yearn for exposure. More recognition, more followers on social media, more attendees at shows, it's all about getting yourself out there, spreading the word. They know Metal at its most popular doesn't usually yield a livable wage, so they're willing to make no money as opposed to some money if it means more people know who they are. It's all a game for glory, and it's a rigged one. That's where record labels come in. They promise you as a musician all the dewey-eyed groupie pussy you can stand. You just need to sign away every red cent related to your craft, and they'll make you a star!

So bands take the bait. Over and over again. They still live with this archaic concept that getting signed is "making it". Yet they are reimbursed only with Instagram hearts, blog interviews, and chicks sending them nudes on Twitter. Meanwhile, some Rigs of Dad 40-somethings are paying their mortgages by playing cover songs at weddings, and the bride-to-be had no clue who they were 15 minutes before booking them. 

Let's say I don't give a shit about fame or being worshiped by a mass of simpletons. Imagine that? Let's say I don't actually care if half a million shit lords drown me with compliments every time I take a selfie of my scruffy, pock-marked face. That shit is nice, but no amount of internet backrubbing is gonna pay my fucking rent. I hate people. I hate attention. The last thing I want is to be recognized while I'm out trying to enjoy myself. I hate when people I know recognize me and want to come talk to me, let alone some random pleb I've never met in my life and I have nothing to say to. That's not success to me. That sounds like a deeply rooted insecurity where you seek validation through everybody noticing you. You're not metal gods. You're attention whores

LOOK! Somebody LOVES ME!
How I measure success is my personal financial independence and security, how often I get to relax, a working internet connection and motor vehicle, and knowing where my next meal is coming from. Sex is a plus. I have it with one woman instead of a hundred, but that's because the health of my genitalia is a measure of success to me as well. I like to buy shit like anybody, and I like to watch horror movies and listen to maybe some Metal sometimes. Oh and yeah, I like to play guitar a lot for someone who's a non musician. That's it. That's all I need to be happy. I don't need some goth-faced addlepate telling me I'm missing out on a genuine lifestyle because I'm not huffing farts in a van full of unshowered douchebags.

I used to like metal shows. When I was a child. I haven't been to a show in ages because live death metal doesn't sound good; and unless it's depressingly local fare, it's just a mass of idiots geeking out over their favorite celebrities standing somewhere in front of them. "OMG you guys it's Karl Sanders! OMG I'm gonna cry!!" Jesus Christ, grow some dignity you cuntsucks. Just about the last place I want to be is up there getting idolized by the pussants who listen to this shit. I don't yearn to be adored by weirdos. In fact, a lot of people don't. Don't feel like you've struck some chord in assuming people always wanted to be a famous rocker on world tour just because they have something negative to say about someone who's doing that.

Long and short of this point; people have all different lofty sorts of dreams of various possibilities. Some are smaller than others. Stability is what I wanted, and nothing is less stable than going out and "touring the world". I might sound like a boring fucking robot to you artsy special butterflies right now; but what everyone playing music fails to realize is they can't live like this forever. You're gonna need to be "boring" someday too. You're gonna need an escape plan when you inevitably end up with nothing. Sure, you went to Europe or Japan and you got to see some shit, but did you really enjoy those places? Did you go to the best restaurants, see the best sites, uh, go to the best restaurants? (Why else does anyone travel, seriously...) The next time I take a trip to an exotic location, I would save, and plan, and enjoy myself. I would do this on my two weeks paid vacation I'm allowed every year at my current job and get drunk and eat my way across the land. What do you get to do as a touring metal band? Is sleeping in a van you rented in Germany that much more special than sleeping in a van you own in Minnesota? Oh yeah, I'm dripping green with envy over here. Fuck off.

3. You Don't Have to Create to Criticize

Here's a common form the POSER can take from Dave Mustard himself. We see here that Dave is butthurt on Twitter over a fan giving some fairly light criticism regarding the world's worst Megadeth record. You make even the slightest comment regarding how you don't think someone's music is up to snuff, and you get met with "Yeah? Let's see you do any better."

You're gonna get this more frequently from artists than fans, because they're the ones that know first hand the difficulties associated with making music. Yes musicians, we get it: writing, playing and recording a good album is so hard. I'm sure rolling out of bed at the crack of 1pm to sit in an air conditioned studio practicing your cookie cutter guitar riff is just an intense labor of love. Which is exactly why it's such a bummer for everybody when you put in all that time and effort to produce something, and it comes out total ass.

But who am I to say anybody's album is ass? I'm a non-musician after all. How can I properly gauge the quality of a piece of music if I don't have the necessary experience to fully understand its production?

Because I have two working ears and a fucking brain.

The entire human race needs to absorb this fact I'm about to share, so spread the word as necessary: People can have opinions of things without knowing how to make said things. When's the last time you referred to something as a "piece of shit"? (Your stepdad doesn't count.) Your car, your phone, your computer, your bike, your tablet, your microwave, your TV? I guaran-damn-tee you that you had some complaint about some piece of equipment today somewhere. 

Now, how completely fucking unreasonable would it be for me to assume you should know exactly how to build one of these contraptions before you were allowed to properly share a negative experience with one? Do you see Ford or Chevy going around telling people "fuck you, let's see how the car you make runs" every time there's a major recall or bad review of one of their vehicles? No. At least not publicly. You are allowed to talk about how your computer sucks when it crashes and you do it often. Even though it's probably your own dumbass fault for infecting it and loading Internet Explorer with toolbars that track your every move. That's beside the point. Nobody has to be an engineer to recognize poor quality. Your experience as a consumer will always be enough. 

It's right in the semantics: When you produce something, even music, it is a product. MegaDave's music is a product, and the man with the negative opinion of it is the consumer. He is an unsatisfied customer, as was anyone who was displeased with Super Collider. When Megadeth fans worldwide expressed their disdain for that album, Megadeth should have recognized it as the blunder that it was, and used that information to make the next album better. Better music means satisfied listeners and satisfied listeners means higher album sales. Instead, they unapologetically put out Dystopia as a follow up. Now, everyone with good taste is officially done with Megadeth. That's a whole group of people that could be paying for albums that aren't now. Profits down the drain. But oh well, Mustaine and the snobbish musicians like him don't give a kernel of shit if you like the music or not, because they're the artists and you're not.  

Mmm, fermented with the tears of fans, vintage '97. Good year. 
It might not be a very good example, because Dave Mustaine has a net worth of $20 million. He's set for life and can do whatever he god damn pleases, because he comes from a period of time where playing metal music was totally profitable. He made all the money back when there was money to be made, and he doesn't need anymore.  He could release nothing but albums of fart tracks here on out, and as far as I'm concerned, that's exactly what he's been doing.

Modern metal artists, however, can't afford to have this attitude towards their listeners if they want to live off their craft. They need as much positive exposure as they can get if they intend to sell tickets and albums. Bands are up for any amount of public scrutiny because they are putting up something for sale. They need to see themselves as the businessmen or women that they actually are, and they need to see their listeners as customers. A common concept in marketing and business, is that if a customer is happy or satisfied, they will tell one other person. But if a customer is unhappy, they will tell five other people. If you were running a business and you called a customer a "fucking loser" because they didn't like how they were being treated, and proceeded to ask them "how's their fucking business going?", it wouldn't matter how shitty that customer was being. Everyone would think you were a fucking asshole and not shop at your store.

I feel like the best possible thing you can do as an artist is treat someone who doesn't like you as an unsatisfied customer, and it has literally never happened. Imagine if someone was acting like a complete shitlord on your local deathcore band's facebook page, giving everyone grief about how much they sucked, and the band responded to him by saying "We're sorry to hear you didn't like it. Thanks for the input, though." Holy shit, I would buy those guys' album regardless of how I felt about their music or their entire genre. Not to mention such a comment would take just about all the wind out of a troll's sails.

A little professionalism goes a long way. How could anyone trash a band that actually apologized if you didn't like their music? Sure, people might do it just for the sheer novelty of seeing it happen, but such a complete impossibility will always make more sense to me than "fukk u loser go jerk off in ur moms basement while we tour tha world and live our dream". And because musicians resent the idea of the professional lifestyle, they do everything they can to act against it. They do this because...

4. Musicians Believe Every Job is "Soul Crushing" because they Never Worked a Real One

I can feel this body DYING all around me!
Let me just preface this point by saying there are plenty of creative types who daylight as hardworking professionals. Even my old buddy Sjunnesson spent many years as an electrician. However, many metal musicians spend so much time focused on their craft that they neglect what many people consider basic necessities: money, education, health, stability. It's always about the music for these guys, everything else be damned. As much shit as I talked in this piece so far, I do find that sort of initiative immensely respectable. You do what you guys do for the love of the music, and without you, there would be no metal scene. I get to sit here from the comfort of my home, enjoying the fruits of your labor. For this I am thankful and I applaud you.

The issue I have is the rhetoric between these artists, who refer to day jobs that don't have anything to do with creating art as "soul crushing". This sort of phrasing was used in the Neill Jameson's article that I had mentioned previously. He tells "In order to continually deliver music to the world, there has to be a near endless cycle of touring, merchandising, and working soul-rushing (sic) jobs in order to finance activity".

I can't begin to speculate what Jameson does for a job, or even if he has one outside of black metal vocals. For all I know he could just be posing behind that record store counter up there. What I can assume is that he probably doesn't have a very stable career besides being as active a touring musician as he is; any real job would shitcan you for leaving to go on tour for months at a time. Performing artists take what they can get, given their situation. They pick up odd jobs or shitty retail gigs that any unqualified sap off the street could do because their resumes don't exactly evoke confidence in hiring managers:

Hiring manager: "6 months at Arbys, 4 months at Sunoco, 5 months at Hot Topic, how come you only stay with companies such a short period of time?"
Rockstar: "Because my true calling is shredding guitar on stage in front of all of my adoring fans."
Hiring manager: "And how do you think that's going to apply to your work here at Subway?"

At least you still get to be an artist.
When you give your all to your band, you don't have time to develop yourself professionally otherwise. Most of us start out working the shit jobs in retail, food service, mowing lawns or warehouse work. We can agree these sorts of things can be easily considered "soul crushing", although even that sentiment is relative. They are often long hours with little pay, no benefits, and there really isn't a lot to feel fulfilled about there. Band members who give the other half of their lives to playing music trap themselves in a shit job limbo, thus convincing themselves this must be how the rest of us feel all the time doing anything but music.

However, if you put in the hours, acquire skills, education and experience, you get better jobs with better pay that are more up your alley in terms of the type of person you are. This sort of thing can be more difficult for some people of different socioeconomic backgrounds than others, and I need to acknowledge that; but being smart with your time and effort in any situation will pay off for you in the long run. Millions of people work fulfilling, purposeful, life-affirming jobs, all the while not being death metal players. Holy shit, imagine that.

Even if you are stuck in the sort of scenario where you're busting your ass at low level employment and you think your job sucks; it's important to remember there is no shame in hard work. You do what you gotta do to pay the bills, that's part of being an adult. Artists feel the opposite. They believe they stand on higher ground than the rest of us, because they don't lend themselves to working life. They flake out of typical adult responsibility to go party with their buds in a van for weeks to months at a time. All while mocking us for acting like cogs in the corporate machine, because we don't spend all our time playing deathgrind in dive bars. 

Whether they're living the dream or not, life on the road sucks. Band members quit like clockwork, on all tiers of fame and finance. They do it in hopes of achieving the lives that the rest of us already got a head start on. It's a grass is greener situation that has broken up a multitude of headlining acts, let alone mid-tier metal bands. How can you suggest the venom I spit is laced with envy when you got all these musicians ultimately wanting what I have when they figure out band life doesn't work forever?

I'm never gonna be a successful rock musician. I'm never gonna tour the country, let alone the world, and I'm never gonna make a name for myself on any level of fame outside of the few people that read this garbage. I have learned to be satisfied with my role in life because...

5. We Can't All Be Artists

Pictured above: Hopefully not a gyno. 
Recent studies show that modern day children don't want to grow up to be doctors, firemen, police officers, teachers or scientists. No, they want to be famous. Just about all of them. We live in a digital age where young minds are consistently bombarded with entertainment media on multiple fronts: music, television, movies, video games, social media, YouTube, these are what has become important to a kid; and it's the only kind of dumb shit they want to get themselves involved in when their entitled little minds refuse to grow up. So when you're telling young millennials that their music sucks in any given comment section, don't be surprised when they all tell you how you're just mad you're not a rock star like the members of Motionless In White or Black Veil Brides. They think that you're envious of famous people, because that's exactly how they all fucking feel.

In the United States, we only have ourselves to blame for the expectations of our children. We spend every second of their existence filling their impressionable little minds with unreasonable garbage such as "when you grow up, you can be anything you want to be!" Just look at this hasbeen fucking anti-vaxxer hack up on stage telling all these kids that are drowning in college loan debt not to get the practical, honest job; but the lofty dreamy bullshit artsy one that they really want:

No. This shit isn't true. It was never true, a first world economy as a concept simply doesn't allow it. Jim Carrey might not think that "accountant" is a very fun job, but Christ, we need accountants. Corporations need newly educated accounting majors to replace old retiring ones, and here this fucking cunt is on stage shaming a room of young capable minds out of something like it. But before even considering all the corporate positions, we have to recognize that someone out there, somewhere, anywhere, needs to be willing to be paid to pick up garbage. We need garbage men. We literally totally completely factually need them. Even if we could get robots to do their job for them, who's building these robots? All the millennial daydreamers are too busy earning subscribers on their bullshit "Lets Plays" of Sonic games on YouTube, or their spending every ounce of their free time trying to get an Orange Amplification endorsement. So how about it, can Dave Mustaine over here build us an accountant garbage pickup doctor robot with his fucking records?

Yeah, that's right, let's see your robot, Dave. Fucking show me your robot, you smug WORTHLESS. COCK.

That's right. Worthless. Dave Mustaine and his entire genre of guitar noodling face puckers are not a necessity to any of us. They're a luxury, a nice little extra, their shit is just for fun. They are trained monkeys here to clap and dance and entertain the rest of us after we spend all day busting our asses at our real jobs. How much money they make from it is irrelevant. The same goes for pro athletes. On the hierarchy of human survival, arts and entertainment comes dead fucking last. A metal musician's contribution to society is easily overshadowed by the kid who has to collect grocery carts from the parking lot. That poor slob with his minimum wage gig does what he does to make it easier on the rest of us to buy our food. His contribution is small, but at least it's somewhere on that chain. Not once did listening to Washington is Next help me anywhere along the line in putting food on my plate. In fact, modern Megadeth music always puts me at constant risk of losing my lunch. Never, ever even once should you let a musical artist convince you that they stand on higher ground than you. They're just clowns in different face paint.

Okay, yes, fine, the arts are important. But so are janitors and construction crews and nurses and farmers and everybody else. My younger brother is an EMT. Just a couple weeks go he CPR'ed some mother fucker back to life. He desperately smashed a man's ribs with his bare hands so the guy could live to see his kids the next day. The guy survived! He didn't kick it that day because my brother decided to be a certified Emergency Medical Technician instead of being some shitty deathcore bassist. So if my bro wants to go online and say your music is stupid, fuck you, he is fucking allowed. 

What about me? As I mentioned in passing somewhere before, I fix copiers for my 9 to 5 day job to pay the bills. I'm obviously not saving lives, but the American workforce still needs documentation on paper. Hospitals need a working printer to print out a prescription for the pain meds for the guy who had his ribs cracked during CPR so he could live, so hey, fuck you, I helped, I guess.

Sure, it might not sound like an awesome, life-affirming career to you special butterfly big dreamers, but I've always liked taking apart and fixing stuff. I've felt this way ever since I was a little kid. At family holidays my mother always tells people stories of how as a toddler I would take apart the remote control or the toaster to see what the insides looked like. (She leaves out the part about smacking the shit out of me for doing it.) Just kidding, Mom, stop reading my death metal blog. I admit it's always a phenomenal feeling for me when I spend several hours completely disassembling a piece of equipment, finding the problem, repairing the problem, and reassembling it back to a properly working machine.

This is an unrelated photo of a child eating sand.
I enjoy my job, but it's hard work. Sure, I'd rather be getting paid to write black metal riffs, but even Dimmu Borgir realized that wasn't very lucrative and changed course. But it's fine, because my job isn't the only thing that defines me. In my spare time, I made this blog. It isn't traffic heavy, it isn't even very high quality. But I get emails and messages regularly from people around the world saying they enjoy reading it. My form of entertainment may be at the expense of someone else's form of entertainment, but it is entertainment nonetheless. The reason I posted a picture of Louis C.K up before is because I appreciate the art of comedy and making people laugh just a bit more than I appreciate metal music. I even started performing standup recently, and plan to do so more in the future. So in the grand scheme of things, I am a guy who has experience entertaining people on and off stage. Never mind the fact I used to play drums, bass and continue to play guitar; although these things are a bedroom hobby as opposed to some desperate attempt at rockstardom. Maybe I'll try my hand at local band stuff again at some point for hahas, but my love for playing isn't so dire that I would ever annually ruin my life by going on tour or trying to get signed.

Look, all of that stupid rambling is just me trying to make the point that as individuals, we are all very complex. We each have a variety of opinions, experiences, hobbies and perspectives. All of this means...

6. You Can't Indiscriminately Write Off Your Critics

I'm sure it was quite a comforting thought for Sjunnesson to conclude that I'm just some depressed loser jerking off in my mom's basement to a "2-channel recorder" (whatever that's supposed to mean...). After all, if there was any truth to that, he might be on to something about me being envious and resentful of all his "achievements and hard work". But what if I'm not? What if I was just a normal, well-rounded, successful and smart guy, yet I still thought his music was a hot sack of bleached assholes? Gasp! Shudder at the thought. Imagine if independent, adult, reasonable, intelligent individuals were out there openly describing The Unguided as the single greatest atrocity since humanity began composing music? What then would you do, Richard? How could you maintain this safe space where you have convinced yourself for years that everyone who doesn't like you is envious of how totally awesome you are?

These delusional chucklefucks are kidding themselves with this rhetoric that all internet trolls are "basement dwellers". It makes it easier for them to write you off as a bitter, lonely, miserable person who's hateful comments are strictly said out of some sort of clear cut spite and envious malice. Artists are fragile, tender types. They can't handle an honest criticism from someone with an educated opinion, so they essentially stick their fingers in their ears and go "la-la-la-la-la" at something that could very well be a meaningful -- albeit difficult -- dialogue regarding their craft.

Here's an example I have of this sort of thing occurring recently. YouTube guitarists Ryan Bruce (AKA Fluff) and Jared Dines started a group together known as Rest, Repose. I myself was eager to see the type of music they would produce together, as both these individuals are solid musicians. After months of many a YouTube watchers' anticipation, this was what they released:

Needless to say, reactions were mixed. While both these guys have a slew of subscribers and fans who would enjoy anything they do regardless, this was a bit out of left field for a lot of people. Ryan and Jared after all, really push themselves as metal musicians on their respective channels. I obviously wouldn't expect any of you guys to enjoy a single thing about this music, since we're just a bunch of death metal snobs (as it should be). But looking past the content of the song itself, I was surprised by how lackluster the composition and production quality ultimately ended up. I don't think it's horrible, I appreciate raw music as much as the next bloke. But these guys have channels dedicated to recording and mastering awesome guitar tone, and they charge people to mix albums for them as a part time job. The bar was set high for them. So when a lot of stuff manages to come up kinda flat in the mix of a song they produced, it not only disappoints listeners, but puts their entire reputations as engineers at stake. Would you pay someone thousands of dollars to mix an album for you that doesn't sound exactly up to snuff? Of course things probably aren't that dire in this case, but a lot of people agreed some things could have been improved upon. 

Speaking of flat, I don't doubt that their lead vocalist is perfectly capable, but the track sounded like he could've stood for maybe just a few more takes just to hit the perfect pitch in some spots. Again, I listen to black metal -- good clean music doesn't really mean dick to me -- but in the style they're going for, that sort of shit matters. The quality of the vocals was pointed out to them by several listeners, but here's how they generally reacted when being told this:

The band completely jokes off the negative reaction. I mean, sure, fuck this smug guy and his "ooh I know a professional singer teaching 6000 students ooh" comment, but what's important here is that Duane does have something to back up his critical response to the music. And to be fair, he's being really delicate with his commentary. But fuck him, whatever, he's just some troll. What does he know about anything? Why should we give a shit about what he thinks?

I can't imagine how tough it is as an artist to put yourself out there. It takes balls that not all of us have, and I do respect that. I'm sure the negative reactions can be overwhelming, especially the more exposed you become. But it's easy to forget that behind every "troll" on the internet is a real person. A person with his or her own line of hopes, dreams, experiences, and perspective. Maybe if we considered Duane as more than just another brainless troll, and actually respected him as a human being with something constructive to say, it would ultimately help the artist greatly to acknowledge him, as well as those with similar opinions. He wasn't close to the only individual with something negative to say about the singing on the track, but just about every naysayer was written off as nothing more than a hater by the band members and their fans in a similar fashion as above.

As a contrast to Rest, Repose's reaction, I present to you Exhibit A; a one Glenn Fricker of SMG Studios:

Glenn released a track of inferior quality which he received quite a bit of negative feedback about from listeners. I never had a chance to hear said track myself, but that's irrelevant. The major difference here being that he took down the song in question and apologized to everyone, promising to rework it. Glenn's advice about not getting too close to the project I feel really rings true with Fluff and Jared's new band. Rest, Repose is Fluff's baby, his passion project. Can we say that he's being objective and fair in mixing it all himself and working with good friends as band members?

Now, I don't need to tell you guys that Fricker is an infamous whirlwind of negative commentary. He talks shit about bands, about gear, about working with musicians, and tears into just about every negative comment sent his way if the person writing it deserves to be told. With all that in mind, what sets Glenn apart as a class act is the fact that not only can he dish it out, but he can also take it. He understands the value of criticism. Just because something being said to you regarding your craft is negative, it doesn't necessarily mean that it has no value and should be ignored.

You're not doing yourself any favors as a creator by shutting out every single person who is critical of your work. Yes, some people are just mean assholes. You're never going to change that, and admitedly, that sort of mindless internet bullying is the typical fare of this blog. We're proud of that and we don't fucking care. However, not everybody on the internet is just a spiteful troll out to hurt feelings for fun. Among all the criticism, no matter how vicious, there might be something you could really afford to hear.

Even if I was Richard Sjunneson's best friend, I would tell him that his band is a ripe garbage bag overflowing with Atreyu-era knockoffs that stopped being cool among teenagers a decade ago. That's important for him to know. If he wants to continue being brainlessly derivative and denying it, that's on him. But lacking originality is something I always considered to be a fate worse than death in the eyes of true artists. If somebody told me my craft was too much like someone else's, I would do everything in my power to set myself apart in the future. It is an important thing to hear from someone, whoever that person might be, and whatever intention they might have.

I'm gonna bring this all back to Teal's comment once again. Teal speaks of me, saying "we gotta stop giving assholes with no premise or experience a mouth piece". I spent hours hopefully convincing you, that you all rightly deserve your mouth piece, regardless of your "premise" or "experience" and that Teal is an ignorant fan girl stooge with her head so far up her ass, that her head is back up where it belongs without you noticing like some sort of retard inception.

But what if I had all the necessary premise and experience to comment? What if I was an experienced recording artist with first hand information to contribute to any of my criticisms? Would that truly help my case? If you really think so, you'd be surprised to learn that...

7. Artists Don't Respect Each Other Either

The POSER gets just about all of its power from the concept that my hateful comments are out of envy. Envy rooted in the fact that I'm living as an average Joe who works a 9-5 instead of partying like a rockstar. However, if I'm an average Joe, it's easy enough to explain that I don't want to be a rockstar. My aspirations are still completely my own.

But let's say I was an underground thrash metal band member, and I gave our favorite Moto Psycho up there proper shit for the lyrics of Super Collider much like that guy Matt did. If he then asked me sarcastically "how's your latest record doing?" I would then have a legitimate answer for him. How then do you think he would react? Is he really going to concede that my opinion meant something? Is he going to suddenly respect my criticism as if I were his equal?

I don't have to tell any of you how Ol' Musty treats his equals. The man has spent decades showing us: Slayer, Metallica, Pantera, Suicidal Tendencies, these are all major headliners that Dave has famously and openly feuded with. More recently he got Rotting Christ booted off a tour, as well as Suicide Silence. He also gave the late great Dissection the MegaDave treatment, getting them kicked off a fest back in '05. The guy just doesn't give a shit about other Metal musicians, especially those beneath him in terms of fame, which is close to most of them. If you say something mean about Jesus, or step on a single one of his other perceived toes, Dave will refuse to play the show until the promoter gets you to fuck off. 

He probably wasn't all that upset. It's not like he... oh....
Aside from Mustaine, I feel like every other day I'm reading about somebody's beef with someone else in the metal community. Musicians find plenty of things to disagree about among themselves. While this usually is about issues working together on tour, it can typically boil down to Phil LaBonte calling somebody a faggot(And then going on to make this music with a straight face.)

Let's face the facts: If I was a well known musician with something critical to say about another musician, I would still be told to shut the fuck up. People would call me unprofessional, they would shame me for brewing hostility in the scene, they would expect me to properly understand the hardships of being a musician and to respect my fellow artists. To a degree, I agree with this sentiment. The rules are different if you're a musician. It doesn't do you any favors to cut ties within the industry, or publicly mistreat a band beneath you in popularity.

However, because of the blindfully supportive sentiment artists are expected to have among themselves, any negative observation I would have about an artist would be devalued even further if I was an artist as well. Let's say I was an underground Metal musician struggling to be noticed, and I said the things about Sjunnesson that I have said or did the things I did. Since I would actually want things like the ability to tour the world and open for Amon Amarth, his comments regarding my alleged envy would hold that much more weight. The chances of me being actually envious of him and his 'success' would be a great deal more likely. The last thing I ever want to do is find myself in a compromised position where I am incapable of informing you that he sucks. 

It seems the web of defensive bullshit enveloping the metal community is becoming more apparent here. So which is it? I can't criticize if I'm not an artist because I don't have the "premise or experience". It's clear that I also can't criticize as a fellow artist because that would mean I was "feuding", "starting beef" or being "unprofessional". At what point am I ever allowed to be a person who can open my fucking mouth and just say "wow this sucks"?

In Conclusion (TLDR version):

Everybody's opinion in music is valid, and everybody is entitled to those opinions. However, everybody should expect to have those opinions challenged, whether they be positive or negative. Arguments are fine. People should learn to embrace the opposite side of a discussion as opposed to just expecting people to be sunshine and rainbows on their side of the wall all the time. This isn't about civil rights, where one side is completely inherently wrong and one side isn't. It's art. It's subjective, so discuss the fucking subject already and stop trying to ban people from disagreeing.

Yes, even when you're challenging someone's positive opinion with a negative one, you deserve equal scrutiny. If your negative opinion isn't of substance, if it doesn't have legitimate reasons as to why you don't like something, then it has no value and should be written off as passable hate speech much in the way that most critical comments are written off by the people who don't want to hear them.

And that's just it. They don't want to hear it. They rarely have a legitimate excuse in attempting to silence you beyond that. People will do whatever it takes to undermine you if you're trying to create a difficult dialogue about the quality of the media. The most common way to do this is to attack your position in life. They'll say you're unemployed, living with your parents, that you're jealous of the people you're talking shit about. They'll tell you that you have no idea what it's like to make the thing you aren't appreciating, so you have no right to not appreciate it. They will act as if you have too much time on your hands, and that's why you spend so much of it shit-talking on the internet. What's a mean comment take to write on YouTube, anyway? 4 minutes if you want to be novel about it? Most of these same people shaming you for wasting your life talking a little smack will spend nine consecutive hours watching some dumb bullshit like Parks and Rec on Netflix without blinking a goddamn eye. You're all wastes. Just accept it and stop comparing each others shitty lives. 

You don't have to be a fucking chef to think something tastes gross. In the same way that bad food wreaks havoc on your palate, so too does bad music fill your ears with misery. Chefs wants to please their diners. We are the diners of the metal community, and we're in control over whether or not your restaurant stays open. People aren't your fans until they like you, and nothing will get everyone to hate you faster than shaming other people for not being professional artists. You can't expect that sort of experience from everyone. After all, there have to be trained, employed mechanics who fix that piece of shit van you drive around every time you go on tour.

Also as just a mere listener with no experience in music production or composition whatsoever, your opinion would be the most objective, and therefore, have greater purpose. Artists are not making music for other artists, after all, they're making it for listeners. They're the ones who buy the albums, talk about the band, attend the shows, and wear the merch. Artists should strive to make these people happy, especially the ones that are tougher to please. Obviously, you can't please everyone all the time, but if you try to completely write off a listener's perspective as illegitimate because they themselves aren't creators, your concept of reality is flawed and you're a walking intellectual desert.

Thanks to Teal for being such a good sport and being the main subject for this tirade. You truly deserved it for being such a stupid asswart. Outside of the pittance I get for ads, nobody pays this blowhard for his think pieces, Teal. This isn't Noisey. If Neill Jameson wanted to whine about the scene on my platform, I wouldn't pay him dick. He would just have to want people to hear it badly enough to start typing. I maybe make $100 a year total in ad revenue from this shit hole, so after all of my hard work I get to reward myself with like an annual pizza party. You would've been invited if you weren't such a lame ignorant dipshit. Also, what about not owning CDs makes me a yuppy? When's the last time you saw somebody walking around with one of these fucking things:

It must be some sort of mini pizza toaster...

As I explained in the article you didn't read right, CD's are not only a completely dead format, they are totally fucking redundant. They are from a time period when they were the single most efficient way to distribute, acquire and listen to the digital song files of a full length album. They're just not necessary anymore. We can live stream that shit or download it all at once in minutes. You can buy and listen to just about any album from the device sitting right in your pocket. CD distribution is a completely unnecessary cost burden on bands that's propagated by format fetishists who purchase these things for the specific reason of showing off their space wasting collection to people who don't give a shit. Stream what you like, buy from bandcamp what you love.

I don't write for money, or fame. I write because I like it. You wouldn't know a single fucking thing about any of that though, Teal. Who the hell are you? What makes you think you can criticize what I write? You're not a writer. Let's see your blog, huh?

What a fucking nobody.

- Brenocide \,,/

No comments:

Post a Comment

All readers that post under the name "Anonymous" and are too frail and weak to represent themselves properly with a title, shall be deemed false metal poseurs for the remainder of their pitiful existence.