|A decaffinated Grant Peter|
Awhile back my friend Grant Peter asked me if he could dispel some commentary on The Bigfoot Diaries. As a previous bassist for Mood Beside, Autocrat, and the now defunct A Dead Hero, he had been a fixture on the local music scene and it's not uncommon to see him at shows supporting the local acts. For the most part he and I see eye to eye on what's cool in rock and roll, and with my heavy work load as of late, I welcomed his ambition to contribute to this page. That being said, I do have one issue with his rant which you can read at the bottom of his post, which is here...
White Suburban Kids
I have this co-worker, and don't get me wrong he's a solid dude. He is polite, respectful and does his job. He plays in a band, a screaming, metalcore outfit. I have no idea what they sound like. I think he's 19 years old.
We'll bounce band names off each other and its pretty funny. He'll say "Do you like Pantera?" To which I will respond, "I FUCKING LOVE PANTERA, THE GREAT SOUTHERN TRENDKILL CHANGED MY LIFE!" (Yes, I was screaming as I said this.) Or, he'll asked "Do you like Alice in Chains?" and again, "I HAVE A POSTER OF LAYNE STALEY ABOVE MY BED!"
But then he'll do this, and it make me mad: "Do you like Miss May I?... How about The Devil Wears Prada?... Attack Attack?"
And now, it's time for the education. "Dude, those bands blow. No one will remember them 20 years from now and if they do, it will be because they are brunt of some stupid joke. How about Botch? Or Coalesce? Fucking Converge for crissakes! How about Black Flag, or the Dead Kennedys, how about the bands that originated the breakdown and didn't simplify it to a 4/4 time where the hits come on the 1st and 3rd beat?"
His response is classic, yet ultimately disappointing..."Huh? Do you like any mainstream bands?"
The short answer is no. Mainstream sucks. It always has and it always will.
Take Black Flag for example, after Damaged came out they were gaining in popularity, so what did they do? Completely shifted gears and released My War which had far more to do with Black Sabbath than the hardcore punk scene they had helped give life to. Or what about Tool? They have had Grammy nominations, been played on our very own Lazer 103.3, have sold out concert tours... These could very well be solid arguments for them being a mainstream act. I would beg to differ, however. In fact Tool might be the most anti-mainstream band that is recognized as popular. Think about it, my favorite record Lateralus, clocks in at 78:51, you're standard CD only holds 80 minutes worth of music. Their guitarist even mentioned in an interview that they did it just to piss of their record label. And how about the fact that they only release an album about every six years (vs Nickledeadroachpuddletrapt who consistently hock out a pile of shit every year and a half? PS. Fuck you Billy Gibbons for appearing in that Nickleback video).
The problem with mainstream metal/hardcore/punk/whatever core is that it's afraid. It's too afraid to do something different and is merely content to follow in trends set way back in the '
'90s (even before). For example, go to youtube and search "Botch vs Norma Jean," and you'll see how bad this modern subcore music really is.
I'll end this with a quote: "If you're in a band and you join a scene, you're already too late."-Josh Homme
Maybe you already know what my issue is with Grant's Post... Couldn't Alice in Chains be considered a mainstream band?
Maybe that's not the issue at hand here. Personally I do not have a problem with a band just becasue they are a a part of the mainstream. Being played or even featured on Lazer 103.3 (or other corporate stations) doesn't automatically disqualify a band from being cool (Alice in Chains is a good example)... It's these radio station's affinity to force down our throats the bands that do suck, which generally, is most of ones on their play lists. I have had it with the pretty boy metal bands such as Hinder, Seether, Three Days Grace and the bands that Grant listed above. The radio station's relentless promotion of these bands is what drives me crazy, and the fact that people accept these bands as legit even upsets me more. But I do get Grant's point, and I do agree with him for the most part. Tool will be talked about forever... As will Alice in Chains. They have merit to the music scene because they are innovators and beat to their own proverbial drums. Thay have set a standard and raised the bar to a level that isn't easily matched, and for that they should be recognized. Miss May I and Attack Attack... Not so much. I like the fact that Grant pointed out that nobody will be talking about these bands in twenty years. Largely in part because nobody is talking about them now.
Well... Except that kid that Grant works with. But like the rest of us, he is entitled to his opinion. And being so young, he still has time to be exposed to some cool music that he isn't currently listening too.
Thank you Grant for your commentary. I appreciate your input.
Now do yourself a favor and get that kid a copy of Go Girl Crazy by The Dictators... He'll never talk about The Devil Wears Prada again.