www.whyville.net Jun 15, 2008 Weekly Issue

Whyville Columnist

Emmy's Logo Here: You Don't Own Them

Users' Rating
Rate this article

I am such a hypocrite because what irks me most is when people get all snotty and say something like "I used to like them, then they got all popular. Now they suck"

It makes my skin sizzle, yet I used to do it all the time.

Before we start, take a look at these and store this information in your big brain for later; The definition of a sell-out; from urbandictionary.com:

1. Anyone who sacrifices artistic integrity in an effort to become more successful or popular (generally in music); someone who forgets their roots.
2. The popular definition of sell out allows it to be used as an insult towards anyone in show business.
3. Compromising your integrity, usually for money. Its that simple. This word is mostly used to describe bands that go mainstream.

Most of the definitions mentioned the band Green Day somewhere in them: "Green Day aren't sellouts because despite their recent popularity, they never changed their sound. They were just never very good . . . " "Or For instance, Green Day. They are considered sell-outs because they are a punk band who was popular on MTV. Green Day never stated that they would never be on MTV, thus they are not sell-outs in that sense. They never changed their musical style for monetary reasons, thus they are are not sell-outs in the more literal sense of the word. If Fugazi were to sign up with Sony records, they would be selling out because they preach against major labels."

If I walk by one more kid with Welcome to the Black Parade buzzing out of their earphones, I am going to scream.

I'm writing this article to correct my own actions. I am guilty of this. The prime example is with the band My Chemical Romance. I've listened to them since my friend Padyn showed me their debut in 2003, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love.

And I loved them.
Some of my friends liked them to, but they were by no means popular or mainstream. Unlike now.

Then their second album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge came out, boasting the hit singles; "Helena" "Ghost of You" and the rousing "I'm Not Okay" They started to get some radio play, and I groaned when I first saw their video for Helena on MTV, but still, I loved their sound and I figured it didn't matter much if they got some fame.

And then came The Black Parade.

Oh, lord. All of a sudden, My Chemical Romance blew up. They were huge. Still are. I mean huge. They had been building themselves up for five years, and all of a sudden they hit it big.

And I was angry. Believe me, it's normal to feel that way. For a long time, your favorite band has been all but ignored and then all at once, everyone loves them. You feel ashamed to be put in a category with these people who heard one song and all of a sudden became crazy over them.

It sucks.
But it's fame, and you can't do anything about it.

"I listened to them first!" you cry. "Right," people will say, because all of a sudden, that's what everyone's saying, "I listened to them first! I liked them before they got famous!"

And then one day, I said it. What had been on my mind for a long time. My friend Mariah was raving about the new album, and I blurted, "Why do you even like them? They're such sell-outs!"

I was wrong. It wasn't the right thing to say, and after I said it, I thought long and hard about it.

I learned a couple of things, and I thought I'd share them with you. Hence this week's article: You don't own them.

If you're like me, when you really like a band, you go the while nine yards. You read their biography, memorize CD titles, track listings, and lists of facts about each and every band member, who's names you know by heart. You flip through concert reviews, tour photos, watch music videos, read band interviews. It's called major fan dedication. If you appreciate a band so much, if you love a band that much, then it's ridiculous that you aren't happy when they become popular. Think of it. They finally achieved something that other band's haven't, a huge, new fan base. And you should be happy for them. Wouldn't you be happy if your father got a promotion at work? Wouldn't you be happy if your favorite actress won an Academy Award? It's the same thing with bands. If you really understand where they are coming from, if you love what they stand for, if you adore their music . . . what's wrong with more people feeling the same way you do?

"But . . ." you whine, "They aren't the same anymore! They're such sell-outs. Their music now isn't nearly as good as it used to be"

It's called evolving. I have an odd obsession with the dictionary this article, so I'm going to give you the definition of evolving, to start off with: To develop or achieve gradually

Maybe their music isn't the same, maybe it's not what you like anymore. And Guess what! You don't have to listen to them. Evolving is a natural thing in a band's career, and sometimes they won't evolve the way you want them to. So?! Stick to the stuff you do like, and let others who enjoy the new sound continue to do so.

We know you're a devoted fan and everything, but you don't own your favorite bands. You like them, but they are humans. They can make decisions. Most aren't stupid, a few are, but what direction they decide to take their music and image, is usually the best for them. They don't do things thinking specifically thinking of fans, because their music and their careers is for THEM. They are going to do the things that benefit THEM.

You don't own them.
Other people besides you are allowed to like them.
New people are allowed to start listening to them.

You do own your ipod, although. You choose what goes on there or not. If you believe that your favorite band has become "sell-outs", then for gods sake, you have the liberty of taking them off of your play list.


Author's Note: This article was more of a rant than an actual piece, so I apologize. I hope you took something out of it, although. It was written at four different times, hence the repeating some ideas and general messiness. Ah well. We do what we can.


Did you like this article?
1 Star = Bleh.5 Stars = Props!
Rate it!
Ymail this article to a friend.
Discuss this article in the Forums.

  Back to front page