A Time to Die, 6/21/04


A Time To Die

by Iann Robinson

I recently read an article in A.P. magazine with the band Atreyu where one of their members said some really ignorant and stupid things. The kid’s name was Alex Varkatzas and he said, and I quote "I fucking hate Metallica-flat out, fuck Metallica, fuck Black Sabbath. I don’t give a fuck about the fucking "roots". Those aren’t my roots, so I don’t fucking care. Green Day was more important to me you know?". Now before any of you internet-loving-wanna-bes start clamoring for my head, I’m not attacking this guy Alex’s right to not like Black Sabbath or (early) Metallica and if he wants to really put it out there that Green Day are more important than those two bands, that’s also his right. My beef is with "Fuck Metallica and Fuck Black Sabbath" and the "Those aren’t my roots" claims. Now I don’t know Alex, and based on his band I don’t wanna know him, but he needs to understand that without those two bands, there would be no Atreyu, no Bleeding Through, none of these types of bands. I met the Bleeding Through guys and they seem to have a much clearer understanding of what the term "influences" really means and how their hybrid sound was influenced by bands like AF, Cromags, Cryptic Slaughter, Void, Negative Approach and that all those bands listened to Black Sabbath, old Metallica and early Slayer, bringing the feel of metal into punk rock and creating hardcore, which is basically a more violent form of late seventies punk rock. To say what he said shows quite clearly why Atreyu and most other bands in the so-called "hardcore" world suck today-they don’t even understand the genre they’re playing in. For those who don’t know, Atreyu are one of the many bands that claim hardcore when really they just sound like average metal with some kid whining over it. Bands like Atreyu, Bleeding Through, AFI, Avenged Sevenfold and the like always seemed to me like they were playing from the heart which I always appreciated, I never thought they were any good but hey, at least they meant it. The problem is that these kids, with their hip fashions, piercing and mall-esque scene are claiming to be from the same universe as the hardcore scene that shook up the world in the early to late eighties, and that simply isn’t true. Hardcore and punk have gone from something that spit in the face of the status quo, to becoming the status quo. Hardcore is a scene now, a teenage right of passage that takes it’s place amongst the trends of bobby socks, poodle skirts, hippy beads and tie dye, it means nothing anymore in any relevant way and these kids are disrespecting it by writing bad metal and calling it hardcore. It’s not just me, cause I’ll be honest, I got into hardcore at the tail end of the 80s, where it wasn’t as underground but still honest and passionate, so I’m not Mr. Old School either. That being said, I do have friends who’ve been there since the heyday and most of them hate what’s become of hardcore and how all their hard work has led to these snot nosed suburban brats turning what was once a thing of beauty into lunchroom theme music. Bands like Sick Of It all, AF, Madball and others who are keeping the hardcore ideal alive aren’t in the press or on MTV or Fuse, not like these hybrid fashionista bands are. So how could true hardcore bands not be involved in the "growing hardcore scene" we always read about. Well it’s simple, that’s not hardcore, it’s something else, something that needs it’s own identity, an identity far from the term "hardcore". The problem is that nobody has been forced to re-think this genre because it’s really easy to just call it hardcore and be done with it.. So in order to solve these problems, I have come up with a solution, it’s a radical one but it just might work. Let’s have a National Moratorium for the term "Hardcore", let’s bury it in a nice green field and let it die with dignity. We’ll have a huge funeral, invite all the legends of the genre to speak about it’s influence in their lives and then slowly lower the term and the genre into the ground where it will be at peace for all eternity. Once it’s buried then these young kids can sit around and pow wow over what to call it now. "Fashioncore", "Screamo", "Shit In A Blender", whatever they want. This will also help the future generations of music lovers to see what real hardcore is as opposed to what it’s become. When it comes to hardcore I want my grandkids to hear Cromags and AF, not Atreyu and Thursday, I want them to know about Black Flag and Minor Threat not Avenge Sevenfold and AFI. Don’t get wrong, there’s nothing wrong with those bands per say, I’m sure they are relevant and life saving to a large group of you out there, but they are not hardcore, it’s just that simple. So if we bury the term and idea of hardcore then the kids can have their own thing to build on and it won’t keep polluting the memory of one of the greatest musical movements of all time.

PS Atreyu were named for The Neverending Story, does that irritate anybody else besides me?

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