Thanks to the mass eruption of social media and YouTube our opinions are no longer sacred. God forbid you dislike something for valid reasons because you're going to be swarmed by a mass of fanboys jumping down your throat. So, that leaves us with a long-debated question of what the differences are between being a legitimate "Fan" and being a "Fanboy." Let me set the tone for everyone. Back in the year 2000 as a weekly treat my dad would take me out and let me buy a CD if all of my chores were done and if my grades were acceptable in school. I quickly built up a nice little collection and started to run into bands I had never listened to. Cold had just released "13 Ways to Bleed on Stage" and a co-worker suggested I grabbed it. Instantly it became one of my most favorite albums; which it still is. The next week I grabbed their older self-titled album and loved it just as much. One could say I was a "Fanboy" at the time - I'll get to the dividing line momentarily. I'd tell everyone in school just how awesome this music was and expected everyone to like the same thing. Keep in mind it was high school - I had yet to experience the reality that cultures vary greatly even in a small group of people. If someone said they hated Cold I'd jump their **** and get frustrated over something so immature. Fast forward to the present. Between military experience, living on my own, and being almost constantly drunk through my party years, I quickly realized that almost no one has the same taste of music as I do. Given the wrong place at the wrong time (especially with drunk people) things sometimes got heated. Now I like to say I'm more open about all different kinds of music (except rap) and recommend bands as a friendly suggestion and nothing more.
Dividing the Two
Being a Fan:
In order to be considered a fan of a certain band you're obviously very familiar with their style and you're not afraid to say "Hmm... This is by far not the best I've heard, and while I do not like it, I'm glad they at least put a new album out." Tool is a great example. A lot of true Tool fans I've read comments from in UG articles said something along the lines of "I'm happy with what I have so far. If it takes them another 5 years to release something so be it. I'll have something additionally worth listening to that I know they've taken their time on to make my listening experience just that much better." A "Fan" is always happy with what they have and if they don't like something they can still accept it. ("Lulu" anyone?) Metallica fans typically don't like "Lulu" and aren't afraid to say it's not their best album by far, but they still respect the band.
Being a Fanboy:
When Cold released "A Different Kind of Pain" I was mature enough that I no longer listened to them because it was "a band that not many people liked and/or knew about," it was for their actual music. I did not like the said album (and absolutely despise their newest "Superfiction") and left a simple comment stating that I had been a fan for years but I wasn't pleased at the direction they were going - I respected it but I had the choice to listen and I didn't care for it. Immediately I had an ambush of replies ranging from "You just hate them because they're trying something new!" to "F*** off you **** **** **** (insert your own bad words)." These people jumping my stuff, like I had once done myself, are what we consider "Fanboys." Maybe they legitimately like the music, maybe they secretly dislike it, but either way they take the defensive position because you're "Disrespecting the best band in the world!" Tool fanboys are easily distinguishable. "It has been too long!" "We need another album!" "I wear their shirts every day to show my love and they're not releasing another CD because I want them to!". A fan, as mentioned above, is quite content with what they have. Let me prove a point by being honest. A few of my least favorite bands are: U2, Rush, Rolling Stones, AFI, and Jane's Addiction. Yes, I probably mentioned a band that you might like a lot. A fan would simply respect my opinion, a fanboy would automatically label me as a "musical idiot" and proceed to belittle me. The same can be said for a few of my favorite bands like: NIN, Tool, Periphery, Stone Sour, and (gasp!) Theory Of A Deadman. I'll leave you with this. Post a band and/or album that you like that has some mixed reviews; or a band and/or album you dislike that has mass appeal, and we'll see who the "Fans" and "Fanboys" are. This is my first article and if you'd like me to write about something specific I'll be more than happy to do so.