This morning i read an article in which Keith Buckley, singer for "metalcore-with-Southern-rock-elements" band Every Time I Die, blasted the bands he's currently on the Warped Tour with for being fake, for such crimes as having regulation haircuts and dress sense, using autotune and drum machines, and being liked by teenagers.
1. Keith: YOUR band (right) have regulation haircuts and dress sense. If it makes it easier for you, try to imagine your complex bad-ass tattoos, denim 'n' band t-shirts as merely the equivalent of "a deep swoop [of hair] that crosses your entire forehead". It's just that you work in a paradigm deemed "cool" by the tastemaker rock establishment, rather than one whose fans who have developed/are engaged in their own trends and don't care what the Metal Police™ think of them.
2. "What is it that drives you [i.e. fans of, e.g., 'crunkcore'/'glow pop'] to assemble in masses and sing along to lyrics about “shots” when you are easily five years under the legal drinking limit? Why are you buying shirts that say “Fuck Bitches, Get Money” when most of you have never: a) fucked or b) gotten money?"
Right on, bro! And why did that guy Shakespeare – y'know, that old dude who was your major in college – write about a Jewish money-lender in Venice? He'd never been a Jewish money-lender and he didn't live in Venice! WHAT A PHONY! i guess he should be condemned as a fraud and his plays discarded as false and useless from now on, right?
3. Autotune and drum machines aren't indicators of "realness" or "fakeness", they're tools designed to achieve certain sonic effects, much like distorted guitars and screaming are. Presumably you wouldn't slag off a saxophonist or a marimba player for playing a "fake" instrument. So where's the official list of Proscribed Musical Techniques, please? i'd like to check that my band is correctly following the regulations, so we can be like everyone else and not stick out. (What's so fucking great about guitar-drums-bass-vocals anyway?)
4. Technically, anyone who uses a PA or amplification, or indeed anything more than basic acoustic instrumentation is as "fake" as one another, as these are artificial processes. And hell, instruments are innately fake, even acoustic ones. They don't occur in nature. Someone had to cut a coupla trees down to fashion them lovingly into that spruce/maple soundbox so we could enjoy these campfire bro-fi jamz. And nylon doesn't grow on trees! (i touched on some of these issues in an earlier piece on – yes! – Milli Vanilli.)
5. Teenagers like your stuff too, Keith. i see that to get over this problem, you have conveniently subdivided them into "smart" or "dumb" ones, claiming that fans of stuff you don't like are mere sheep-like marketing victims, "[eating] up the music that media push on [them]", too stupid to make aesthetic judgements for themselves (unless they learn the error of their stupid teenage ways and "correct these mistakes", possibly through internment in a Humourless Hardcore Bros Gulag), whereas ones with suss and intelligence will naturally gravitate towards Hot Damn! or New Junk Aesthetic. Well that's terribly convenient, isn't it! How lucky for you that all the ones that like your band happen to be the smart, thinking-for-themselves ones! It couldn't possibly be that people make their own informed choices that you happen to disagree with, could it? Oh no.
6. "Most “artists” don’t even write their own songs."
Neither did Frank Sinatra. Nor do most classical string quartets or orchestras. And i've heard that some jazz groups play what's called "improvised" music – that stuff's not written by anyone! Scary stuff, huh?!
i can't believe it's 2010 and people are still using this knuckle-dragging, myopic redundancy as an argument.
7. "This “Glow-Pop” that has contaminated music like poison in the well simply needs to be seen for what it really is--a shameless exploitation of inexperience... It has given kids a focus, an place to assemble, an anthem and much like religion, it has given them a unifying symbol and convinced them that the more people “hate on it”, the more right they are in standing tall in the face of opposition."
Again, please explain how the above differs from your scene, except in the sense that yours has more approval from meatheaded crypto-jocks who give it the thumbs-up in irrelevant categories like "realness"? Except now you've been forced on to the other side. You're no longer the ones who get to assume the edgy outsider rebel mantle, and it's eating you.
8. Oh: and why the fuck are you still on the Warped Tour profiting from the same kids you deem to be stupid, tasteless plebs if you hate it so much? Surely you should start your own tour, the Unerringly Authentic Real Music Oh Quick Someone Suck My Dick I'm So Amazing Tour, instead? Surely to do otherwise would make you a wholly insincere hypocrite?
In conclusion: listen to Every Time I Die's turgid metalcore grunting if you want, but don't bother using the supposed 'superiority' of this as a weapon. Your group-of-choice's protestations about how much more real and unmarketed they are compared to others is, ironically and amusingly, mere marketing. But you knew that, right? After all, you're "the smart ones".