Thursday, July 14, 2005

Telling Friends Their Band Sucks


So I've been in a new locale for a good six months plus now and I gotta tell ya, I'm scared. Scared of WHAT, you ask? Whelp, it's getting to the point where I just can't hold back any more. I mean, there are just some bands in town that fucking suck and I have this overwhelming need to tell them in exact detail just how bad they are, I wanna shout it from the mountain tops. It feels like a public service, these bands NEED to know and if no one else is gonna tell them, than it might as well be me.

The problem is, a lot of the people in these bands are, at least to some degree, my friends. Now, I used to tell bands just exactly how badly they sucked all the time and I never batted an eye, it was easy, it was fun. The thing was though that I made tons and tons of enemies. I was seriously disliked and it took years and years to properly condition them, to make it so they could even remotely tolerate the often times harsh critisizm that I'd hurl their way.

I feel like such a coward for not speaking up about these shitty bands, I've always been the FIRST call a band shitty, but now, well, I just don't know anymore. I don't wanna repeat all those steps all over again. I was hated and/or misunderstood for years and frankly, I'm quite tired of it by this point. I went through my "asshole" phase just like tons of people here, but the thing is, I think I've outgrown it at this point(never got me laid, anyways.....Or well, the girls that were attracted by that stuff creeped me out).

So I mean, the question here is: where do you strike the balance? To what degree can one tell the truth in public without alienating tons and tons of people? I'd like to think that my friends are healthy and secure enough to take some critisizm, but I know better. I mean, rock'n'roll is just a bunch of fucked up, immature douchewads... There's no way I wouldn't loose friends by being honest. I've already had more than my fair share of enemies, I wanna find a better a way.

It's sad, but we all know that so much of the scene is built on lies. It's about being nice to someone's face, and then cruelly cutting down their band(or their personality) when they aren't around. How can one be honest IN PUBLIC without offending all the emotionally crippled dipshits?

It's such a conflict... I'm just "mature" enough to fully identify the problem, but I'm not healthy enough to actually break free of all. I hate to admit it, but I still "need" the scene, I'm not ready yet to just give up on the world and become a hermit. I still have very real problems and conflicts and I am more than aware of why I am drawn to and stuck in "the scene".

I think another reason why I'm hesitant to tell friends just how shitty their bands are is because past experience has shown that I'm just too good at that type of thing. It's always hits way too close to home for people. Time and time again, stuff I have said to people has REALLY stuck with them, years later even they're still upset about it. Like for example: once I told a guy what I thought of his band(a shitty NOFX rip off) when he asked me, and I made him fucking cry. Yes, I actually made him cry. Then every time I saw him for the next two years, he'd bring that whole incident up again. Later on, I found out that he was seriously bummed out for like two months afterwards and had nearly quit his band. Ya know, and I thought I was taking it easy on him with my accessment there of. I could've easily been way more cruel if I wanted to. His band sucked, but he was an okay guy on overall. I felt bad that he so was bummed out by what I said.

It's a hard line to strike, between being an asshole or a liar. I know a lot of us, myself included, have held up the character of "the asshole" as some type of romantic and/or comedic figure, but in reality, at the end of day, you don't wanna be an asshole. An asshole fucks your girlfriend just to piss you off, he steals your beer out of the fridge at a party right in front of your face and then he laughs about it. Das ist nicht gut...

You don't wanna compromise your opinion but you don't wanna be a sadist, either. You don't wanna just be purposely cruel. It's a narrow line to walk. And it's especially hard to do when yer analysis of a band is paired with a critique of the personalities involved. Ya know, something like "Band A sound like a bunch of dumbfuck pop-punk kids who heard the first Beat record and liked the Exploding Hearts and have now decided to play power-pop even though they know absolutely nothing about it, what a bunch of fucking imposters. Every naive rookie mistake is present in their material, their instincts are horrible." People are definetly gonna be offended by that, and yet, it's the truth, how else can you properly explain just how shitty the band is without including that type of stuff?

Furthermore, what do you do when you LIVE with people like that? You see their record collections, you know what they listen to regularly and you are just horrified at how awful and LAZY their taste in music is. "How are these people allowed to be in bands?", you ask yourself. And I don't know about you, but it's really hard for me to keep my mouth shut in such situations. I mean, I know I can easily withstand a good evisceration, but I doubt a lot of these kids could. And as far as roommates go, I've always been a firm believer in the policy that "you shouldn't piss in the water you have to drink out of". You don't want to make a really uncomfortable living situation for yourself...

It seems like compromise is the only real answer, but theres no point in compromising when it comes to music. Compromise just leads to generic sounds being allowed to exist and ESPECIALLY in this day and age, the last thing any of us needs is another "okay" band. There are so many really great bands out there and it's so easy to get access to their music nowadays, no one needs to waste any of their time on something thats any less than "amazing" ...

It's a very basic conflict there:Don't wanna compromise, HAVE TO compromise, CAN'T compromise... WILL EVENTUALLY MAKE MANY, MANY ENEMIES.....