The reason why outsiders think metal is for idiots

Yeah, real mature…

Jeff Tandy from independent thrashers Birth A.D. has apparently ‘just realised’ that his band will be in Liturgy’s home town of Brooklyn, New York, and indeed home of their frontman, and self-styled black metal philosopher Hunter Hunt-Hendrix. Quite maturely, Tandy called out Hendrix to a fight, via a Facebook page entitled ‘Hunter Hunt-Hendrix, Come Fight Me!’ The page was full of brash statements from Tandy, consisting of further callouts, insults and mock images of what he’s apparently got in store for Hendrix, with plenty of non Liturgy and Hendrix fans baying for the transcendental visionary’s blood. Here’s what Tandy said:

“I’m calling you out, Hunt-Hendrix! I’ll be at Martyrdoom Fest in Brooklyn on June 30, 2012. I hate you. I hate what you do. Come down and we’ll fight!… I will feed you all the Brooklyn sidewalk you can eat, HHH. I’ll show you the side of black metal you don’t have the fortitude or will to explore. Seriously, I will fuck you up.”

I’m not HH-H’s biggest fan, not by a long shot. I find his musings on black metal and indeed elements of his band’s music pretentious and somewhat elitist. By the same token, there are aspects of their music which are sheer genius. But that’s not enough to put me off Hendrix and his diatribes. Does that mean he deserves the treatment he’s got on that page? Absolutely not.

This is exactly why people on the outside have a problem with metal. Yeah we try to paint ourselves as the intelligent bunch, but in actual fact what we have here is Hendrix, somewhat farther along the evolutionary scale (at least in thought and vision), getting heckled, taunted and pilloried by a caveman and his orcs via a social networking site that, wisely, were quick to take down the offending page.

Of course. trolling is nothing new, but this is quite a low. There’s clearly a lot f people of the lowest common denominator who are happy to back this proposed act of violence in actual name – not a user name, but their actual identity. It’s like metallers picking on emo kids again, only this time its aimed at supposed hipsters, in this case Hendrix, whose only crime (aside from some pretty controversial views on black metal) was to be at the forefront of a revolutionary take on the genre via a band so divisive yet incredible (at times) that the case for whether Marmite is good or bad suddenly looks easier to decide.

Tandy might be part of ‘trve’ black metallers Averse Sefira and once a live member of Krieg, but what makes him more qualified on black metal matters than anyone else in the scene? That he’s effectively trying to reduce the debate on black metal to a slugfest achieves nothing, zero, squat, and its stating the obvious to say its pathetic, boneheaded and devoid of actual balls. And even if Hendrix did turn up, what’s to say he wouldn’t clock Tandy, rather than vice versa?

Hopefully this silly incident will be forgotten about and people can continue to argue about metal in a normal, disorderly fashion. It’s not big or clever to pick a fight, and less so on Facebook, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a little jealousy involved with Liturgy’s success, and Tandy’s presumable incredulity that a man with such polarizing views happens to be on their way to relative stardom. Tandy can preach ‘kvlt’ and ‘trve’ all he likes – but those words will never befit empty threats, and we all know violence never settles a true debate.

Peter Clegg
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4 thoughts on “The reason why outsiders think metal is for idiots

  1. Pingback: Silence for Mitch Lucker, please « We Must Obey

  2. I just came across this for the first time, and I was struck by the fact that hipsters seem to love irony but cannot grasp parody. I bet you’re one of those guys who cites facts from articles published in “The Onion”, too. Suits me, you’ll be one more easy kill when society collapses.

    • I occasionally look back on this piece and wondered who actually gives a toss any more? Fair play, I’m happy you found us and more than fine for you to come forward to put your point across and set things straight. Even if you’re not serious and weren’t serious about this, there’s still people out there all too ready to jump on the bandwagon and oblige in the mob mentality which I guess its important to differentiate from. I’d have been much happier if this article discussed where black metal is now, rather than a sideshow on one person and his band not following type and apparently being an idiot for doing so. Except it wasn’t.

      We’re not ultra serious. The tone of the article isn’t supposed to be personal – even though I see that it appears that way – isn’t one to discuss society or hipster chic and nor is the whole site. It’s two guys from dull, gray northern England filling their limited spare time reviewing heavy music and discussing points of interest within heavy music, not ‘Brave New World’. Or ‘The Onion’, for that matter.

      • Ok, I’m with you. If nothing else, it seems like we understand each other better. My brand of humor is jet black, and anyone who knows me or my work gets it, but I’m well aware that it can be lost on outsiders. And I really believe that making an example that points to the larger problem is an effective way of generating consensus.

        The reaction to this stunt was highly polarized (“Oh my god, this is hilarious!” vs “Oh my god! Somebody call the police!”), but it created discourse and got people talking about the bigger implications. As I stated in an interview on the subject, I sometimes forget we live in a world where the absurd presentations of pro wrestling and MAD magazine are no longer pop culture standards. One could argue that this means I’m out of touch, and my response is that I simply refuse to give into the current culture of angsty self-obsession that makes everyone into ineffectual cowards who are desperate to have everyone else like them.

        Anyway, thanks for your response. I’m always interested in an intelligent discussion, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first glance. I will say I think you’re barking up the wrong tree in a huge way with the bands you support on this blog, but that’s your business of course. Cheers!

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