Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ben Weinman Makes Oversimplified Statement Of Complicated Issue, But On The Whole, He's Right

Came across this article earlier. Ben Weinman from Dillinger Escape Plan sat down for an interview with Premiere Guitar and said, among other things, this:

"Metalcore, mathcore, metalcore, whatevercore band uses the same exact guitar simulation tone and drum samples. Meshuggah is great, but you are not Meshuggah—stop!"

Ben also had this to say regarding the scene in his day compared to today:

"Metal and hardcore are more exciting now than they’ve been since the mid ’90s. It feels like formulaic, over-produced, soulless “metal” is being seen for what it is, and an exciting resurgence of underground hardcore and metal is emerging. The underground grindcore and hardcore scenes are starting to resemble something similar in ethic to what I remember when I was coming up with Dillinger: Bands are creating music and playing shows knowing there’s no way in hell they’re ever going to be on commercial radio or played in an Apple commercial."

What I'm getting from these statements (albeit the sentiment is poorly worded) is that he's referring to all the "Black Veil Brides" of the world (yes, I totally share his displeasure of seeing that bullshit run rampant and watching these wimpy trust-fund kids get their garbage pumped on the radio therefore distracting the masses from where really good metal comes from) out there getting signed to big-budget labels and swearing fealty to their managers by agreeing to do what they say, when they say and how they say.

This is what results in the most "accessible" bands (the ones that get all the radio play, tour expenses paid, and ridiculous numbers of albums sold) being ones who aren't particularly talented or imaginative, but rather who is backed by the most money or who is guaranteed to turn a profit.

That's not an environment fit for music to be made, honestly.

And he's completely right about the underground scene being fucking exciting. It is. It's more exciting, perhaps, than it's ever been. And it is because no one is expecting to make a zillion dollars out of this, they're in it for the music. To create something that is theirs, original, or a new take on an old idea.. something that resonates with others, no matter how many or few others that might be. That's why some of the best music is written by bands that stay true to themselves and don't compromise their integrity by putting themselves at the mercy of a label, and thus are kept underground for fear of these independent artists chipping away at their bottom line.

And he's right that people are starting to recognize this pattern inside and out of the music industry. Times, they are a-changin', and all over the world there are those waking up and realizing that people with exorbitant amounts of money do not have your best interests at heart - whether you're talking about music or politics.

(Excluding the subject of vaccinations... there's no evil scheme in place there. Vaccinate your damn kids.)

There's been a shift happening, in my opinion, clear as day to behold ever since the year the Mayans predicted apocalypse. Really, they were just depicting the death of an era.. not literal death, as in a doomsday-type scenario. It meant our mind's eye would be opened, for all of us; that the world would begin the slow process of drastic change. The proof is in the pudding - even though us pagans have known that all along. Waxing philosophical will get me nowhere right now, so I digress.

I really think, though, that before attempting to comment on something like this that warrants a complex explanation to follow, maybe that person should wait to address it until it can be written down and revised first before conveying their sentiments verbatim. It would cut down on a lot of confusion, no? Doubtless there will be people who will be angry at the headline-grabbing statement used to capture your attention on the original article without understanding its true meaning.

In summation: It is a really exciting time to be an independent musician. Stay true to yourselves.

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