Wednesday 8 July 2015

Editorial: July, 2015

What's in a name?

I've just read an interesting interview with Dez Fafara of Coal Chamber, whose live show I reviewed recently. One of the topics that came up was of course that now much derided label “Nu Metal”. Well as genre classifications tend to attract a lot of heated opinions it was interesting to read his thoughts on how the second wave of “Nu Metal” bands did for the genre as the second wave of “Grunge” bands did for the Seattle scene. But after all of it he doesn't mind the label anymore than is post Coal Chamber band Devildriver being tagged as "Groove Metal". It's a story that has been repeated ad nauseum throughout the history of music. It happened with pretty much every genre at one point or another.

But the truth is everyone likes something new to jump on board with. Everyone seems to want to be on the ground floor of the next fad. And that's always going to be the case. The reaction when everyone realises that suddenly the genre has been watered down by record companies wanting to cash in with dull derivative acts whose albums you may or may not have bought (I'll hold my hands up to owning a few Limp Bizkit albums at one time) is often disproportional and directly linked to the next genre gaining momentum. As a fan that creates what I call “the guilty gap” where it seems where people treat certain acts that they once invested a lot of their time and emotions in as their guilty pleasures to be played at night, in the dark, or relegated to the mp3 player. Which seems strange, because if it is something personal to you, you shouldn't have to hide your love for it. It may be “uncool” but fuck it, the reason you're into alternative music is because you're uncool.

Every new generation has it's gateway genre as well. That one that everybody over or under the ages of 13-18 just don't seem to get. After “Nu Metal” it was “Emo” and so it goes on. But if that's what opens the next generation up to the scene, fair play.

But going back to the example of “Nu Metal” look at the bands it spawned; Slipknot, Korn, System Of A Down, Deftones are all still around and selling millions of albums. Static-X may be sadly gone but not after becoming an influential act in their own right. Now Coal Chamber may have come back after a decade away but I've not been to a metal club in that all that time that hasn't at least spun 'Loco' once a night. And the label seems safe and sanitised for use once more.

The truth is good music, and talent endure. And eventually people learn to love their genres. It's a testament to those bands who, even if their mainstream success wanes, can still carry on, preserve their legacy and deliver to the fans. Originality, innovation and passion are what count and those are the bands that endure the storm.

Right, now that rambling train of thought is over finally, it's time for the usual compilation plug. First of all, don't forget we're looking for bands for the next compilation. Secondly you can still download the previous albums on out bandcamp page for free!

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