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The Acacia Strain’s Vincent Bennett on Scene Revival: “Nostalgia Only Works Once”

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The topic of nostalgia has been in the zeitgeist quite a bit lately, with band after band embarking on anniversary tours of their most lauded albums. Among those groups are deathcore pioneers The Acacia Strain, who last year toured their 2008 album Continent, along with After the Burial who were doing the same for the tenth anniversary of Rareform.

In a recent appearance on The BREWtally Speaking Podcast, Acacia Strain frontman Vincent Bennett shared his thoughts on the current nostalgia trend, and given Bennett’s generally sardonic view of the world, it won’t surprise many that he’s not a huge fan. Bennett spoke at length about how young kids tend to idolize crappy bands from past scenes they never even witnessed in person:

“Yeah, it was odd to me, cause I was there, and I saw the weird shit that happened and all the terrible bands.

“I was talking to David from Sanction the first day of tour and he’s like ‘this band’s sick, and that band’s sick’ and I’m like, ‘no they’re not.’ Those bands are terrible, they didn’t even know how to play their instruments. Kids are hanging onto something they think was cool, but in reality was kinda dumb. I don’t even remember what bands he was talking about, but a lot of the bands he was mentioning, I was like ‘what?’ Nobody liked that band when they were a band, there’s no way you like them now.

“There’s so many kids trying to recreate what happened back then, which is cool, some of the bands do a very good job like Vatican and Chamber. Bands like that are doing it great, recreating what happened back then, but then there’s some bands that are just missing the boat, and some kids are holding onto the wrong things.

“It’s really hard to explain, ’cause I was there and I understand why this kind of music went away. I don’t understand why people are trying to hold onto something they weren’t a part of. It’s called progress.”

Emphasis mine. Because how often do you see well-established artists that’ve been doing it for as long as Bennett has actively champion today’s generation as being not only good, but better?

Later on, Bennett brought the point home by talking about how people hold onto the musical preferences of their youth even as they age and become lazy with regards to new music discovery, blaming it on “kids these days” instead of themselves:

“Nostalgia only works once.  People my age, they like the bands from their childhood or their teen years because it was their first time hearing anything like that, and they were young. So it was new and everything was great because you have all this energy and everything is brand new. Fast forward 20 years and you’re still trying to hold onto that.  It doesn’t really stand the test of time because you’re not young anymore. You can’t relive it for the first time again.

“Better make more memories and new nostalgia by listening to newer bands and hearing that for the first time and being surprised and excited for the first time again. People confuse the ‘music was better when I was a kid’… no it wasn’t, you were just a kid and you thought everything was new and everything was fun. Music is better now, trust me. “

Emphasis mine, once again.

We’d like to cordially thank Mr. Bennett for not being the disgruntled, old scene dude so many of his peers have become. Well done, sir! And we completely agree with you.

You can listen to the full episode, which also features Bennett’s bandmate Tom Smith, Jr., below.

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