WHEN KEEPING IT REAL GOES WRONG: GOD FORBID’S DOC COYLE ON REVIVAL TRENDS
A couple weeks ago, I did an interview with Metal Injection for a retrospective on the highlights, trends, and cultural significance of the heavy music scene from an insider’s perspective concerning the last ten years. Near the end of the interview, I was asked if there were any sub-genres or trends that I didn’t like, or that seemed to get on my nerves. I thought about it for a minute, and generally annoying things like nu-metal or screamo or stale metalcore just seemed obvious and an easy target, when something dawned on me. I was generally annoyed by the whole ReThrash scene.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Municipal Waste, and have enjoyed the likes of Warbringer and Toxic Holocaust on occasion. I consider myself a diehard original thrash fan, counting Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Testament as some of my all-time favorite bands that really imprinted themselves on my musical DNA, displaying exactly what great heavy metal should embody. After this interview, I kept thinking about this, and realized that what perturbed me wasn’t the music at all. I liked plenty of these bands. What I really didn’t like was when any type of retro trend gets way too much credit without bringing anything significantly new to the equation. So I guess my real beef is with metal critics, blogs, websites, industry aficionados, and publications, all of which tend to have an over reaching obsession with nostalgia. Not to play favorites, but I am also equally bothered by the metal media’s constant stroking of the stoner rock scene, AKA 10,000 bands that all sound like Black Sabbath.
As a musician who wears his influences on his sleeve, I certainly have no problem borrowing a thing or two from the past. But taking someone else’s entire playbook without adding any pages, and masquerading it as a badge of purity, comes off as obtuse and elitist. Being heralded as a second coming by faux hipster writers makes this all the more puzzling and frustrating. Now I know what you’re all thinking – “This dude has sour grapes because all these retro bands are getting more fanfare than his band.” And you are all exactly right. =) I think I take it a little personally because God Forbid opened for Anthrax on their reunion tour in 2006, which was an incredible tour, except for the LA show where there were these 17 year old kids in the front row wearing their Suicidal hats flipped up with patch covered denim vests and white high tops falling asleep on the barricade and flipping us off. This was my first exposure to this new school thrash scene. I just found a significant amount of irony in that these kids felt we didn’t stand up to a level of purity to a scene they weren’t even around to experience.
Sour grapes aside, after killer new releases in the last couple years from Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Testament, and Exodus (I’ve heard some new Anthrax, too, and it’s sick!), I realized we don’t need to reignite thrash. The originators are still holding it down and with the huge excitement over the upcoming American Carnage Tour and Big 4 Sonisphere festival shows, it proves that this is what people really want anyway. So what do you guys think? Am I crying over spilled milk or do I have a legitimate beef? How credible are revival trends?
Check out God Forbid wearing their influences on their sleeves by visiting them on MySpace.