It used to be that if you didn’t listen to a band, it was generally because their music sucked.
I’m getting really tired of not being able to listen to my favorite bands because the members are dickbags.
First, As I Lay Dying singer Tim Lambis hired a hit man to murder his wife. Sucks, man. Not to mention the response on twitter, mostly focused on how she deserved it.
It’s been a hell of a year, and I’m sure it’s not only this year. In fact, I’m sure it’s not only these bands – these are just the ones who were caught, who were publicly caught, who couldn’t intimidate and settle out of court. But this is a manifestation of the culture we’ve been talking about for the longest. (One where the assault survivor has to write a piece stating her bodily integrity is worth more than a crappy punk band. Really.)
Now, real talk – the Casualties are not that great. One of the people who first introduced me to skinhead oi told me they were the definition of poseurs, and asked me how long I thought it took for them to put all the studs in their jackets and do their Mohawks in the morning. I did enjoy me some tunes from On the Front Line, though.
New Found Glory was the soundtrack to my high school years (yes, I had terrible taste at 16. Shut up). I still pull out their self-titled CD when I’m feeling extra energized and need mindless tunes with the windows rolled down.
As I Lay Dying was one of the first metal bands I listened to and liked; I mean, come on – Distance is Darkness? The Darkest Nights? These are some excellent tunes. And they were great live – I paid some of my hard earned money to see them. And these dicks are talking about being a Christian band? The same ones who demean women and value the lives of their wives so little to hire someone to kill her, rather than getting a divorce or eating cold pot roast without complaint like normal people?
That’s the thing. I cannot support these groups that don’t place importance on people’s rights. Playing the guitar does not immunize you from being an asshole and doing terrible things, any more than dunking a basketball, running a pass or batting a strike does. It still takes me a little bit of rationalization to enjoy stuff from Attila (who talk about fucking bitches and removing the pussy from your life) or Leftover Crack (who glorify drug use and killing cops while being a strong voice against war and discrimination against LGBT folks).
I’m really tired of having to decide what music to enjoy based on who is the least terrible person. I’m tired of hearing 10 bands be crappy to women with only one yelling about treating people like people. I’m tired of going to shows where I only see one woman in lineups of 5 bands and all I hear about is her tits. If we can boycott baseball games because of assault charges, if we can fire Kobe for raping a woman, if we can impeach politicians for unconscionable conduct, surely we can find some good bands in this damn subculture of ours who can act like they care about the other 50% of human beings.
Step it up, bands. Step it up, fans. Don’t support music that demeans you. Don’t buy albums that recognize only dudes as awesome and worthy. Don’t go to shows where bands are known for taking minors backstage and doing whatever they want. This is our damn culture – we don’t have to buy into anything they’re selling us. At the end of the day, that’s the point.