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Sold Out

Many of you who read this might say something along the lines of, “Hey, this guy’s a freakin' hack! He’s ripping off one of the other articles on this site!” and to you I say -not exactly. While my topic does bear a resemblance to that of an article that Wayfarer wrote, it’s not a rip off, but more of my own take on it. What is it that I’m writing about though? I haven’t even gotten to the topic and I’m already decrying myself as a plagiarist. Well, the topic of this article is one that plagues the metal world on a daily basis. It has to do with selling out. I for one feel that the term is thrown around all too loosely. The classic example that everyone uses is Metallica. Why is it that Metallica are regarded as sellouts in the metal world? I myself used to refer to them as such until I actually opened up that closed narrow little mind of mine, and started thinking for myself for once. There really isn’t anything that defines Metallica as a sell out band in my mind. Sure the music is a lot different, and sure, they make lots of money, but so what? Making lots of money doesn’t make you a sell out. Changing musical styles and tastes don’t make a person a sell out. And as for Metallica’s suing Napster, I both agree and disagree with it. I think it’s good to expose people to new music, but I think that it can also hurt the musicians, especially the small time bands that are just starting out. While it might get them a wider fan base, it also allows for smaller sales, because let’s face it, if you go to a music store, and you see some cds you want, and one of them you have a burned copy of, and the others you don’t have, which ones are you going to buy? The new music, of course. And that can hurt that band. It is also the property of the band. They make the music, and they are trying to make a living off of it, so why try to ruin that? But, going back to the topic, Metallica didn’t sell out at all. They broadened their horizons, and decided to play some things that were, gasp, different and not metal. I think that makes them less of a sellout band, because here they are going against the expectations of their fans. The true sellout bands are the ones that play shearly for money, not because they like music. These include groups like Nsync, Britney Spears, and all of these other formulated pop outfits. The people in these groups don’t even write their own music, they just do as they are told, and it’s all a commercial thing. And another thing, just because a band gets on Mtv doesn’t mean that this band has sold out. I myself am in a band, and sure, I’d love to go out and be able to make a living off of my music. I wouldn’t mind making lots of money from my music, but the whole thing behind it is that I want to do it because of my love for music, and while my band is a metal band, we experiment a lot, and try to draw from many various influences that, surprise surprise, are not metal at all. We do what we do in the name of musical creativity. I don’t see how a death metal band could sit around and play the exact same stuff over and over again, or any true musician for that matter. I love to listen to classical, jazz, blues, and rock. Whatever it is that sounds good, and has some sort of interesting quality to it. As a matter of fact, I recently purchased a flamenco guitar cd. It amazes me. Am I a sellout for not liking only metal? By some metalhead’s standards, and admittedly by my own a few years ago, I would be. Too many metalhead’s keep their minds shut off to outside influences. To me, music is life, and I enjoy many types, and sounds. And one of the great things about metal music is that it is so diverse. You can mix it with any other style of music, and it is still metal, but you can’t do that with any other form of music. If you mix in jazz and classical, you still have either jazz or classical. Or blues and punk, it will probably be more punk. But metal can have some jazz thrown in and still be metal. Expand your horizons, metalheads. I did and there really is a lot more out there to listen to. Who cares about selling out, and image, and petty things like that. If the music is good, listen to it. Don’t back off simply because it is popular. That is the path of the true sellout; one that refuses to open his or her mind to new experiences.

August 19, 2002
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