The Sword Are Probably Looking Forward to Playing Boston
As a professional cranky fuck, I have a love/hate relationship with moshing. I would personally rather actually watch the band that I came to see, but even though moshers can be irritating in their complete lack of regard for the physical well being and general enjoyment of others, I don’t begrudge them their right to a (relatively) healthy outlet for their aggression. Or, put another way: I just accept moshing as “one of those things.” (And maybe it’s just the shows I’ve been going to, but it seems like there has been a drastic decrease in karate-moshing over the past couple of years — which makes the whole thing just that much more tolerable as far as I’m concerned.)
That being said, I do think that while there are plenty of bands whose music was made for moshing, there are also bands whose music is really not moshable — and those are the bands at whose concerts I do get really irritated when fans try to fuck shit up. Like, if you’ve ever started a circle pit to Baroness’ “A Horse Called Golgotha,” congratulations, you are a supreme asshole.
So I completely sympathize with the stance of The Sword’s vocalist/guitarist, J.D. Cronise, who tells Decibel:
“There’s a lot less aggression musically, and that was kind of calculated. It has occurred to me multiple times over the years that we’ve been playing live that when I hear ‘Battery’ by Metallica, my instinct is not to put my head down, run in a circle and shove people around me. That to me seems bizarre and kind of silly. When other people hear songs like that, that is what their instinct is to do. To me, that takes away from a musical performance when there’s accomplished, talented musicians onstage performing songs for you; to engage in this totally unrelated physical activity to me is disrespectful, in a way, to the rest of the audience that doesn’t want to do that, and to the band on stage that are trying to perform for you. We kind of wanted to dial back the thrashiness a little bit in the hopes that people would sit still (laughs) to a degree. Still rock out and bang their heads and enjoy the show, but not take it to such an extreme, adrenalized level where they kind of act like lunatics.”
He goes on to say that he prefers “a sea of banging heads” to a sea of running-smashing-crazy fans, and even asserts that moshing can be distracting to him as a performer. I suspect that there will be fans who are immediately upset by this stance, but again, I think you need to consider the band — The Sword’s music is really not at all mosh-appropriate, so Cronise’s position makes a lot of sense to me.