When a band finds themselves on MTV, do they smile in delight at the millions of fans that have suddenly fallen for them or do they hit themselves for losing thier oringinal fans, those fans who were there in the beginning? I myself, can be sure that if i were in that same position, (and im sure many of you reading this would be the same ) i would be ecstatic to have gained so much support even if it had taken years to get. Yet alot of people fail to see it from the perspective of the band, refusing to join thier band in the joy that is fame. Instead, these same people that have adored their favourite band for so long desert them, labelling them 'sellouts'.
Over the many years i have been listening to music, i have seen many bands become big. And although sometimes I can proudly support these bands as they appear on TRL, aswell as the back of 12 year olds who can barely spell TRL, i can recall many times when my support for a band slowly decreased as thier new video is repeatedly shown minute by minute on TV. Bands like Blink 182, Nickelback, Incubus, Limp Bizkit, P.O.D, Staind, Korn, The Offspring, Greenday and a plethora of others have seen thier popularity propel to heights which have made them household names all around the world. Yet whilst thier popularity among 14 year olds is increasing, the hatred and resentment from the 'original' fans heightens.
Most of these original fans will claim that the bands have 'soldout', therefore suggesting the band have changed styles and beliefs to incorporate a mainstream audience. Yet upon closer inspection, the music usually stays the same, together with the same beliefs as back in the beginning. So what changed it all? What made these fans hate the sight of their favourite bands name on the back of some little kids t-shirt?
My opinion is that it is the public that have changed not the band. The way people perceive rock music, punk music and rap music has dramatically changed over the years. Nowadays, if you're a punk fan, you are a pop fan. Pop is no longer the description for bubble gum music, music which can be swallowed then thrown away after it loses its taste. Punk bands nowadays do not yearn to sound like The Sex Pistols; they attempt to be the next Blink 182. When the Pistols were proclaiming punk before most of these new stars were born, Punk was not just music, it was a lifestyle; a 'Fuck You' attitude and multi-coloured mohicans were the attributes you HAD to have if you were to call yourself a punk. Nowadays, it seems that the kids parading around in thier punk paraphanelia are trying to keep that same attitude, yet are not REALLY enforcing the attitude. We now have Good Charlotte singing 'I don't ever wanna be like you, I don't wanna dress like you' yet the effect is meaningless, and seems rather put upon. It seems the whole of punk as we know it has changed, not just the bands. So for all these people titleing these bands that have found fame on MTV 'sellouts' they really have to look at the whole spectrum, the fact that it is not the band that is the sellout, it is the whole of the Punk genre. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on which angle you are looking at. In my personal opinion, i have no problem with the fact that punk has changed to incorporate catchier hooks and user-friendly lyrics. However, i do have a problem with the vast array of bands coming out at the moment with the same generic sound that we've heard time and time again.
With the public changing so dramatically in the music they now see as 'cool' many people who consider themselves 'real fans' are blocking their ears to each new 'cool' band. Therefore, basically telling themselves they cannot like a band if other people like it. Now, if somebody who liked a band decides not to like them because a couple million people have suddenly found themselves liking them, does that not mean that person is being untrue to themselves? effectively selling out themselves? I remember when interest in Incubus, my favourite band at that time, began increasing following the release of the third album. As i over-heard more and more people saying things like 'the main singers hot!' and 'i loooove are you in?' i began to listen to Brandon Boyd and co. less, in fear that i may be seen as 'one of them'. Yet after a while, i thought to myself, 'why am i sacrificing my love for this band just because other people choose to share that love?' and made the decision that i do in fact like them, and no amount of public adoration could stop me from doing so. If i had chosen to dishelve them from my cd stack, would i not be lying to myself, lying to my actual real feelings? The answer is very loud yes.
Another thing many people do not seem to grasp is the fact that people ARE different. You may decide that A Perfect Circle are the greatest band ever, and that Paz is the coolest bitch on earth, but that does not mean everyone else MUST. And if someone chooses to like Madonna, no matter how stupid you may think they are, they are just expressing their opinions and deserve the right to listen to what they please. Moaning about the current crop of music on offer nowadays is stupid. Yes, music on offer may be dull in your opinion, but those 'dull' musicians may well be 'exciting' or 'refreshing' to another. Your perception of cool and uncool will differ to the next man. But in my perception, deciding somethings uncool just because theyre seen as cool by other people is totally UNCOOL. Thankyou for your time.