Wednesday, July 11, 2007

this is why call it a clunes arent huge.

i'm more aware than anyone knows of the irony of me doing this here. so, by way of an introduction, here's some mindless buggery. i'm listening to slipknot, and its fucking fantastic. they may get a lot of stick, but as far as modern metal goes, this is actual perfection. if i was at a party, and i was drinking, then this is the rekkid i would want on more than any other. in fact, thats my perfect party situation. myself, neve and the benji, sitting down on our own in a room, away from the rest of the party, getting over excited at metal. so many brilliant memories.

but thats not what i'm here to rant about tonight. oh no sir, we arent going down metal nostalgia road just yet. thats a story for a time that is yet to come. instead, tonight i will rant about something that millions of people rant about every day. i will use the same sentences as every other person does, and i will reach no conclusion. i will lose my way towards the end of this, so be warned, it'll be a bit jagged. but hey, that makes the 4/4 all the more exciting doesnt it.

i went to a gig this evening. this gig took place at the haygate, in wellington. i went primarily for devil and casey jones, but more on that later. the first band on were unknown to me, and i feel that is how it will always be. i think its best for all involved really. now dont get me wrong, they could play their instruments, there was no technical problems and the playing was fine. but, and here is the beginning of the bandwagon jumping, they were playing something that was very very painfully 'now'. they played their, i dont know what the term is, we'll just say its crap. you know the type. its got little bits of metal in it, some guttural vocals. then they have the choruses, usually sung by someone other than the frontman. they have little quiet bits. they have some stops and starts, where they all get to jump and do kicks, and the guitarist might even do a guitar spin. the probably have songs with enigmatic song titles that are open to interpretation and lengthy, and i have no idea what the lyrics are about. anyway, i hear the heckles 'shut up john, at least they are up there, i dont see you doing anything there'. well, that isnt my point. my point concerns these people.

the crowd. this band had a decent crowd. i say decent, by decent i mean local gig decent. which means that all the people who paid to see the gig were inside when they were playing, a majority of whom were standing near the stage. from teh descriptions given above, im sure you can picture the audience. research would suggest that the favourite bands of these people will be along the same lines as the band playing at that time. there was a bit of what seemed like choreographed dancing, and everyone had a lovely time. the band seemed to know all the people who were down the front, and everyone was smiling at the end. now, i dont have a problem with that, everyone has the right to have fun, that much is true.

devil and casey jones played next. now, im a big DaCJ fan, this much is true, so maybe i'm a little bias, but this bit confused me. before DaCJ start, 90% of the audience go outside. and stay there. no attempt to come in and see who this band are, what they are about and what they play. DaCJ, a band that you can watch set up and actually have a good think about what they might sound like, as opposed to instantly knowing when the hardcore breakdown is coming. so, a little logical math goes like this. first band must be local, and have brought a lot of friends, who have watched their friends play their set, and everyone is happy there. again, nothing wrong with that, not at all. but this 'watching friends band', added to a list of favourite bands who all sound the same, the same as this band, leads me to my question.

are these people music lovers? and this isnt just to this group of people at the gig tonight, in many ways, it goes to a lot of people who attend gigs now. but, and please, correct me if im wrong (i'm not, but we will leave that dangling), is it more of a fashion thing than a musical love? of course it is, it must be. there is a big fashion streak through the middle of the whole thing, from the music to the aesthetics. now, im stating the obvious again, but think about it. a gig, 90% of the people there wouldnt be deemed as music lovers, merely there to support a friends band (there is nothing wrong with that, supporting friends is a good thing) and then to have a fun night with said friends and alcohol.

but maybe, just maybe, this is an insight as to why the decent local bands continually get disillusioned with local gigs. devil and casey jones are the perfect example. yes, again bias, but still, hear me out. i first came across devil and casey jones about 5 years ago. nu-metal was big, very big. the band that was on first tonight, 5 years ago they would be wearing big shorts, would have short spiky hair or long straight hair, and would be playing chunky riffs followed by chunky riffs, with lyrics about despair and angst. yes, stereotypes, but thats what we're playing with here. 5years ago, devil and casey jones were playing music that would be described as being DaCJ-esque. it's pop, but its intelligent. it's witty and eloquent. it has melody, and it rocks, and it's real. entirely real. they couldnt do anything other than that.

fast forward to today, 5 years later. the bands around them are playing the flavour of the day, and DaCJ have continued the evolution of their sound. they take no influence from the fashion around them, and instead play honest, passionate music. and they are ignored, entirely ignored. tonight, they played to a handful of people. a mixture of friends and the other bands. the paying audience made no attempt to view the band. some cunt even walked across the front of the stage reading a (fashion) magazine. i shit you not.

and that kinda summed it up for me. the majority of the music listening public will always have one eye on fashion. you already know this, and the chances are you have spent a large part of this epic epic rant convincing yourself this doesnt apply. certain things i have said apply to myself, definitely, of my 3 favourite bands in the world, 2 share many of the same musical characteristics.

again, i wish this went somewhere. i'm angry, because a band that should be huge have finished, and they finished as they spent most of their time, being ignored by the people around them. tonight was everything that is wrong with music, music today and music in the past, and inevitably music in the future. there will be a devil and casey jones in every part of the country, and they will always be lost because they are playing honest, passionate music, as opposed to a mixture of fashion bands. and people dont want passion, or love.

because music lovers are dying out, and the majority of people who are viewing the fresh seeds of your local scene arent there for music.

Jonty Bills