Good morning and I hope you all had a happy jewish independence day! Mine was great. I spent it reorganizing my storage space. Not quite the blowjob contest I was hoping for, but still pretty excellent.
I read an interview with my friend Chicken recently. He plays in Dead to Me. They’re a great band. The song Arrhythmic Palpitations is truly one of my faves. The big anthem in that song is so devastatingly awesome. Now, intentionality means nothing one hundred percent of the time when you’re talking about creative endeavors, so what Chicken meant when he wrote the line “don’t let all the reasons why you’re here become the same reasons why you don’t stay” is irrelevant, but I read it as about the most heartbreakingly beautiful entreaty to someone to curb their enthusiasm for their addictions, whatever those may be. It’s awesome. This is not the purpose of this entry, to talk about people I know and enjoy the company of and the various songs they’ve written. Just saying, just throwing it out there before I get to the point. Just pointing out that I love and respect Chicken from DTM quite a bit.
Because see, I read this interview yesterday, and man, Chicken sounded like a real dildo.
In this interview, conducted by Punknews.org, Chicken asserts that bands that rip off/look up to/sound like Bruce Springsteen are “ruining’ bruce springsteen for him. He asserts that it’s a ton of bands doing it, and that he doesn’t have any problem with anyone, he’s just into talking shit, so he’s gonna say what he feels. Hmmmm….
Okay, let’s get all this out of the way right up front: I LOVE talking shit. Love it. Hell, I’m doing it right now. AND I don’t give two fucks about Bruce Springsteen or the bands that sound like him. I’m not springing to the defense of my favorite troubador/band here. AND, just to be PERFECTLY clear, I’d probably rather listen to Dead To Me than Bruce Springsteen about 99% of the time, BUT really dude? Someone’s ruining Bruce for you? Really? Like, the same way that all those bands on Fat ruined NOFX? Like the same way Rancid ruined the Clash? Like the same way Dead To Me ruined the second generation fat sound? What a crock of horseshit. There’s nothing about, say, the Gaslight Anthem (who IS the band you’re referring to, and all the shucking and jiving in the world isn’t going to make anyone think otherwise) that should have any fucking impact on your opinion and/or appreciation for Thunder Road. AND, I know you know that AND I know that they don’t. What happened here is a classic case of a shit talker biting off a chunk too big to swallow and then suddenly making up bullshit backpedaling excuses for why he said what he said, trying to defuse and diffuse the situation by pretending he was talking about a wide swath of people rather than just one specific band and generally trying to sweep it under the rug while still maintaining an “I just love to talk shit” kinda attitude. Well, no. No, no, no, no. You don’t get to do that. Hate on motherfuckers all you want, but don’t soften the blow when you get called on your shit. Apologize like a man or stand your ground. “They’re ruining Bruce for me.” fuck off. That’s piss poor, man. I expect better of you.
There’s no shame in acknowledging your influences. In fact, more bands should. There’s this unspoken rule that you can’t mention out loud any band that you’re influenced by if they’re anywhere near being your contemporaries. Bands never want to say that they are influenced by the bands that they sound just like. When a new ‘melodic hardcore’ band comes out, they’ll never say “oh, it was the first major label Rise Against record that really helped define our sound.” They’ll instead point to some bullshit in order to make it seem like they’re doing something more creative than what they’re actually doing. “oh, we listen to lots of Sammy Davis and lots of Judas Priest and so we combined those sort of melodic elements with the sort of aggressive drum machine blast of late era ministry but we used a real drummer.” No you didn’t. You heard “Give it All” when you were in the mall shopping for a new belt. And that’s fine. Hell, that’s AWESOME. More people SHOULD admit their influences. There’s no shame in it, and despite what some would have you believe, there’s no way that aping a sound has any effect on that original sound’s relevance. Period. I mean, fuck. I figured out how I wanted my voice to sound by listening to the bassist of the Goo Goo Dolls sing and trying to imitate it. Did I ruin “Hold Me Up” for anyone by doing it? I was straight up imitating him. No. I didn’t. Know why? Because my output has nothing to do with the output of someone else.
SO, in conclusion, Chicken, stop picking on bands that aren’t as cool as you and for gods sake, talk shit with a little more dignity. See, we, Chicken and I, are cut from the same cloth and I think of him as a good friend even though we never get to talk/see each other these days. He’s a shit talker, so am I. We play similar styles of music, we play bass, we’re one of 2 singers in our bands that are on Fat Wreck Chords. Let’s face the facts, we’re soulmates. So, that means this lazy shit talking of his is in danger of sullying MY shit talking, and I can’t have that. Besides, is Gaslight Anthem really the fucking fight to pick? They’re cool, man. There’s fucking idiots out there screaming about jesus over 6/7 mosh breakdowns for fucks sake. Let’s shit on those fuckers, man. Oh, yeah, I know…Coco from Gaslight loves his Jesus too. Whatever, not the same thing, man. You know who I’m talking about. Those guys with the liprings and the hairspray. Chicken, you, me versus those guys. How bout that? Huh? Huh?
Okay, this should cause me enough trouble today. Oh, and take notes. This is how you get up in someone’s face via blog.