In my eyes, there are two types of elitists when it comes to metal.
First up there’s the ones who, no matter how much jazz they listen to, will always f*****g love metal. They would -die- for metal, and are the truest of the true. They understand the concept of wearing a different band hoodie to the t-shirt they’re wearing and would never wear the t-shirt of the band they are going to see. They are open to new bands of similar genres, but are also reserved in terms of their taste. Most of the time, if they love a band, it’s because they have been listening to them for years and not just because their boyfriend likes them, or they read it’s the new “cool” thing to like in Kerrang!.
The second, is the type who ruins elitism for the elitists. The type of people who are stuck in the dark ages and believes that their favourite band who they have been following since they were 15 are now sell outs because they are playing to more than that ten people. The sort of person who will only like bands that no on has heard of – just so they can be “elite” and instantly decides that they hate Children of Bodom and Cradle of Filth (even though they own all their earlier albums) because small children now like them.
There’s a fine line when it comes to elitism. I believe it’s about liking what you want to like and sticking by that.
A few examples here, my path into the metal genre, when I was a wee child of 12/13 years old came through Carcass and Children of Bodom. When I was younger, these were the best bands in the world! Unfortunately, the latter Bodom albums were less to be desired and I really did not like them. Part of me felt as though some of these tracks were written, solely to “fit in” to the current scene. On the other hand, Carcass experimented with Swansong and Heartwork. I don’t believe they did this for the purpose of becoming “sell outs” and that perhaps they were genuinely trying something new out. It was a vast leap from their early grindcore era, but they were obviously enjoying themselves, which is what counts. I am not afraid to say that I very much enjoyed the Heartwork and Swansong era and following on from that, I love their new album.
Another example is Behemoth. Now I have followed them from their earlier black metal stuff to their newer stuff – I love each and every album they have produced. The first 4-5 times I saw them live, it was to a small room of people, no more than 15. It was truly epic and such an intimate experience. One of my earlier memories was watching that at the old Edwards No 8 in Birmingham and the stage was no more than a “step”, I was headbanging and hit my head off Nergal’s guitar. Moving on from this, I saw them at Hellfest and Bloodstock Open Air with a beautiful set up and stage show. Although it saddened me that gone were the days I could see them in intimate venues, I was proud that they had got to where they are today. After all, making music should be a love and what better way to earn a living, than to do something you love!
Although as a band Dakesis aren’t in it for “the money” it would certainly be nice to be able to live a comfortable life and get something back for all the hard work we put in. My appreciation for other bands has certainly grown since living the life myself. All my annual leave would be taken up on tours and gigs, we would have to find petrol money to take us up and down the country, the wear and tear on our vehicles. Money to pay our accommodation when out of town not to mention the hours we put in when writing, recording and rehearsing. On top of that, we have all the costs involved with releasing an album and merchandise.
So next time you see your favourite band play to 100,000 people, don’t be a dick. Take a moment to appreciate all the hard work they put in, not only for their love of music, but for their love and respect of you – their fan.
Above all – keep it true.
Totally hellbent for elitism without being an arsehole
I have wanted to write a post like this on my blog for a long time! Totally totally agree with you! When I reviewed Within Temptation’s 15th Anniversary gig at the end of last year, I got a couple of comments on how much they felt the band had ‘sold out’. Ok, their sound has changed over the years, but standing still is worse that changing beyond recognition in my book. Who wants to listen to the same thing over and over again? (Status Quo and Beach Boys fans maybe, but hey ho!).
I think it’s OK to try out a new direction – after all, if you don’t enjoy it, why do it? Glad people are inclined to agree with me though and thanks for leaving us a comment :o)