Building a person up and putting them on a pedastal can be very troubling, but it's also a bit of an inevitability. When you truly appreciate what a person does, especially creatively, it becomes impossible to separate their person from your own personal love of their creations. However, that love also creates a completely unrealistic expectation of what that person is like and when you find out they are not that person, your whole view of them comes crashing down. Worse is when that person does some awful and you are forced to reevaluate your relationship with them*. This happens to me in music, in sports, in television, in lots of things.
No, this is not what I think about Joyce Manor and stagedives.
I often write down blog ideas in a text note on my phone when I'm unable or too lazy to write them all out. Since I very rarely write blogs anymore, they start to pile up and I feel guilty about that. Also, I often have a huge idea for a blog, but forget the specific circumstance and context in which I got that idea and the prospective blog loses a lot of its steam as a result. One of these notes was about heavy metal fans and their relationship with Dave Mustaine. Well after the fact, I think that was about this idea of misplaced idolatry.
For the purpose of this blog I'm going to stick to music, because idolatry in sports is a whole fucking other thing.
Everybody has their reasons and ways of liking who and what they do and why. For me personally, I try to separate the creator from their product, so that the created is something that I can still enjoy on its own. In the case I mentioned of Dave Mustaine/Megadeth it's because I love thrash metal. I love thrash and I love it mainly for the riffs. It is extremely rare you find a thrash song with good lyrics (The intro riff and solo there. Hoo-eee) and when they are good it often tends towards comedy/satire, so it is something that I don't stress too much about. I just want to hear fast music and a guitar player that plays real fast and then song does a chug part and I wave my head forwards and backwards. That's it!
With that reasoning, I kind of have to like Megadeth. They play really fast. The riffs are hard. The riffs are heavy. The (musical) songwriting is interesting. They are part of the "Big 4" and as a result influenced other thrash bands that I enjoy. But, they lyrics are so dumb that I often end up laughing at them. And the lyrics are supposed to be serious...
I mean, yo:
My amigo Duff once asked me if I liked the lyrics of Megadeth songs (lyrics are often the most important part of a band for me) and I said no. He said "Then why don't you listen to instrumental thrash?" and I said "Because it wouldn't be the same." I don't care about the content, but I just kind of need it there.
This is because this friend only listens to bands in which he can appreciate the individual behind the performance. I shouldn't say "only" because that's not the complete case, but I feel like that has more emphasis and what is closest to the truth. I don't think this is a bad thing at all. That is his way of approaching this issue and who am I to argue? Why do I care? Does it affect me?
No. In fact I appreciate Duff's stick-to-itiveness. It's a fine characteristic and most wouldn't do that.
But it's just different for me, I don't know why. I just really don't care that much.
So, in being a fan of Megadeth, I have to accept that all of the band's music is written by a tremendous asshole, because Dave Mustaine really is an asshole.
A good illustration of that is the band's "Behind the Music". I know that's a long video and most won't care, but I promise that it is a way better watch than it sounds. Up until the Rust in Peace part, that video is vintage Dave Mustaine.
What I'm trying to get at is that liking Megadeth, or any other band where the braintrust isn't necessarily an angel, can troublesome. If you're a heavy metal fan, and especially if you're a thrash fan, you pretty much have to like Megadeth because the music is really good, despite being written by one of music's all-time dillholes and this creates an interesting fan-artist relationship.
On one hand the stereotype of metal being drunk and high and stupid and only at the show to be angry and mosh is 100% true. When I was at Heavy T.O. in 2011, the crowd watching was actually one of my favourite parts (apart from Anthrax and Motorhead KILLING EVERYTHING), because it was amazing/hilarious to see that your typical meathead-metalhead is still alive and well. Obviously these type of people don't give a fuck about what Dave is saying. Hell, they probably think it's cool/intelligent/informed.
The title track from Megadeth first album, Killing is my Business...And Business is Good!
I am a snyper (?)
Always hit the mark
Working after dark
Looking through the night
My target on you
Aimed at your head
$10.000 up front
$10.000 when I'm through
And I know just what to do
And ya know I'll do it too
Then I'm coming back for you
Back for you!
I do the "getting rid of"
Don't tell me why
Don't need to hear the truth
Don't need the lies
Now pay me quickly
And now we're through
It brings me great pleasure
To say my next job is you
Don't you know that
Killing is my business
And business is good [repeat]
You'd better believe it
Is it critical? Is it satirical? Does Dave just think calling himself a "snyper" is cool? Is it all three? Only Dave knows!
On the other hand, there are obviously metal fans who are a little smarter and know Dave is a tool, but like him anyway. At that same Heavy T.O., Mustaine brought out the plaque for the band's most recent album at that time, Endgame, going gold. As he was walking out an audience member beside me yelled "Is that the ten commandments Dave?!", referencing the sudden and drastic conversion to Christianity by Mustaine in 2003. I laughed a lot.
Quote from Mustaine after his conversion: "To be the No. 1 rated guitar player in the world is a gift from God and I'm stoked about it, but I think Christ is better than I am, anyway,"
What a guy!
I guess all I can give for the reason that myself and other people still like bands like this is that we're here for the riffs.
And Anthrax was way better live anyways.
*Relationship used very vaguely here. Ex. Me listening to an album is my "relationship" with that person.