Have you ever had a conversation with someone that pisses you off? I’ll assume you’ll answer yes to that. We all have. One that quickly comes to mind is an old friend who used to criticize me for essentially enjoying music other than metal. I guess I’m pretty comfortable calling myself a metalhead. But guess what? I also happen to think that Lady Gaga released an insanely good album this year. Uh oh. Guess that makes me a fake metalhead, huh? If you believe that, you may be a music elitist, and guess what? You’re annoying.
Thankfully, elitism hasn’t completely defined my experience with most metalheads, as the ones I’ve met have been very open-minded about music. And it’s our shared love of it that brings us together, regardless of the genre we like. One of my closest friends is an avid lover of all things Pop – and even though I’m personally unfamiliar with half the artists he listens to (and vice versa), our shared love of music and concerts means we can talk for hours.
My point is that you should just let people listen to what they want. What are you accomplishing by shitting on someone else’s music taste? I have a Facebook friend with an odd obsession for commenting on every article they see about Greta Van Fleet. The comment is always the same: “Led Zeppelin rip-off.” Okay. Cool. Original thought you’ve got there, pal. The funny thing is that I even kind of agree. They aren’t my thing, personally. But if they’re introducing a younger generation of kids to rock music, how is that a bad thing? Maybe through their discovery of Greta Van Fleet, it’ll lead them to classics like Zeppelin or Sabbath.
I think bands are starting to agree. Right before the whole world went to shit in 2020, I was pretty stoked for a tour that was ultimately canceled, featuring Carnifex and 3TEETH. Those bands aren’t necessarily vastly different, as they both have a heavy sound, but a tour featuring a Deathcore and Industrial act isn’t the most common thing you’d expect to see. Also, Deftones were going to take Poppy on the road. Duo Jatekok are two pianists playing beautifully mellow and classically-inspired tunes – and they were touring with Rammstein! Tours that blend musical genres are awesome – and I hope it’s a trend that continues once this pandemic bullshit is over.
Wait a second… Am I the one coming across as a snob here? Is shitting on music elitists an act of elitism itself…? Have I become the very thing I hate?
Joking aside, maybe I care too much. But also, I don’t. I’ll always listen to the music I like and would never let someone influence my tastes – but I’d hate to think that someone out there has to hide their love of a band or artist for fear of a few dickheads who’ll judge them for it. That’s really the only point I’m trying to make here – don’t be a musical mean girl (props to fellow Bucketlister Talia for her great rant on cliques and elitists in the music scene).
I also feel that I should point out (because I’m sure someone will misconstrue the point of my rant) that I am NOT shitting on people for preferring a specific type of music. Being a dedicated fan of one music genre, whatever it may be, does not make you an elitist. It’s pretending that you’re somehow listening to the holy grail of music, and anyone else that doesn’t share your opinion is somehow beneath you, that makes you a dick. You don’t HAVE to like pop music, rap, indie, country, etc. Just stop judging people who do.
Also, I like Deafheaven. Sorry, Black Metal elitists. (I’d need another 500 words to rant on that. Maybe another time).
Written by Dominic Abate
*Edited by Chris Aitkens