• Axl Rosenberg

I understand that musicians have bills to pay and mouths to feed like anyone else, and that if there’s a way — any way — for you to make your living by playing music, well, that’s pretty fortunate.

Still, I’m always a little put-off when a musician I admire either has to or chooses to squander his talent by playing with some crappy band. Does anyone really believe that there aren’t better ways that current Korn-holers Ray Luzier and Shane Gibson could be spending their time?

So. Recently two more dudes I admire have joined bands I could live without: Kris Norris, formerly of Darkest Hour, has joined Straight Line Stitch, apparently on a full-time basis, while Gil Sharone, formerly of The Dillinger Escape Plane, plays on the new Otep album, Atavist. (I don’t get the impression that he’ll be touring with the band or anything like that, though.)

Again — I get it. A paycheck is a paycheck, and playing third-rate nu-metalcore or whatever probably still beats working at the mall. And the upside I see to this is that if the money pays for these dudes to make their own, presumably superior music somewhere down the road (like Gibson’s awesome band stOrk), well, maybe this deal with the devil is worth it.

But I can’t help but be bummed. Sorry. It’s the artistic idealist in me. Especially when I hear something like “Drunk on the Blood of Saints,” the new Otep song featuring Sharone on drums (snippet above) — I mean, why even hire a dude like that when the drum parts sound like they could be played by pretty much anyone?

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