Question Of The Week: Get In The Ring
It’s an ancient argument: To rock musicians, journalists are pedantic parasites, frustrated losers who play loose with the facts and pass off opinion as fact. No writer has ever made a record, they say, so that disqualifies any of them from having a clue of the demands on a pro rocker. On the other hand, those who comment publicly — and, in some cases, professionally — on the music industry claim the role of watchdog and consumer advocate, bravely telling shoppers when some self-worshipping “artist” is full of shit and/or trying to sell some to you. They’d grant that, yes, the truth hurts — especially those surrounded by fawning yes-men and weird groupies who find that performers are convenient targets to project their personal desires on — but maintain that, hey, take it like a grown-up. Only a needy attention-hound would be injured about an objective view of their output and conduct. And so on.
This may never change — especially now that the internet exists as human history’s greatest vehicle for insults and self-righteousness — but what are we to do? Shall we settle this like dignified adults? Can we turn the clock back to the era when an affront to one’s dignity was resolved with a duel? Could we silence the Mustaines, Taylors, and Grohls once and for all? Welcome to today’s Question Of The Week, authored by MS superstud Kip Wingerschmidt!
Inspired by a hilarious blog post in which a writer lists bands he’d like to fight, we asked our staff:
$5 million will be given to charity on the condition that you engage in an officiated, regulation MMA match against a heavy metal artist. Who shall you take on?
Put up your dukes, bigmouth!
The member of Korpiklaani who propositioned me during an interview at a festival in Germany. I had just turned 22 and was working for one of the biggest metal magazines in Europe. He was over 40, married, and pathetic. Fuck off forever, you disgusting troll.
Phil Anselmo. Why? Because I have nothing against him. Quite the opposite, I like and respect him. I’m a lover, not a fighter, so if I’m trading officiated blows with someone — and perchance getting my ass beaten — I’d prefer someone who I could shake hands and have a beer with afterwards. If fighting someone I truly detest, Mustaine or Varg or whoever, I would do everything in my power to actually murder that person, by any unfair and dirty means necessary, and if they beat me it would be a blow to my pride. But Phil is into boxing and is someone I’ve always admired, so I figure it would be a fair fight that would end with a hug and a bloody photograph.
Glenn Danzig. Seems easy enough. One punch and done. On a personal note: Love the music. All his bands! Most of his albums (admittedly haven’t given anything beyond Danzig 4 a chance). But the bad side: “White Devil Rise.” His quest for Satanic kitty litter. Oh, and watching him a few years back at NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom, and dealing with his insane need not to be photographed. (Don’t get me started on the contract his management made the photogs in the camera pit sign.) His hired on-stage muscle flashed laser pointers at kids taking camera pics/video … and eventually his goon starting jumping into the crowd to harass repeat “offenders.” We get it. Camera adds ten pounds. But still. Stop being a goddamned son of a bitch.
Randy Blythe of Lamb Of God. Right before the starting bell, my robe would drop to reveal me clad only in neon orange hot pants, so Blythe would immediately deflate, and then grasp the nature of our duel: Silly slapfight. He’d still be shaking his head in disgust when blam! I pounce; while administering savage tittytwisters I’d answer his wails thusly: “Oh you’re such a martyr!” He’d reply, “You’re useless! Journalist! And you’re sweating sunblock all over me!” Me: “Oh, save it for your book — it could use a millionth courageous fight against adversity by Stand-Up Randy.” Blythe: “Let go! Stop yanking my chest hair!” Me: “Why don’t you and your own voice get a room somewhere and consummate your boundless love!” Blythe: “Look who’s talking! At least I sing songs between my blabbing! OW! Your fruity ass is crushing my nose!” Me: “Is it that your nose hurts? Or are you just saying that cuz it’s your approximation of the words of a caring, mature role model?” Blythe: “Scum! I have a clear shot at your nuts! Say goodbye to your dreams of raising little loudmouth oversexed name-dropper hacks!” Me: “Just don’t throw me off the stage!”
Finally my love of fruity post-metal and crabby basement black metal works in my favor! Obvious opponents would be the guys from deafheaven or Justin Broadrick from Jesu (and Godflesh, but they don’t fit the narrative). But the opponent who’d best match up with me would be Neige of Alcest fame. I’m not really a fighter (and the last time I watched a UFC bout, I saw a man’s leg shatter), so the playing field would have to be level. And in Neige’s case, it’d be a downward slope. A 40-minute slapfight would ensue: I might emerge victorious, but it’s more likely to end in a sad, pathetic draw. Neige would go home and write a beautifully transcendent collection of songs to purge the experience; I’d write another mean review about a perfectly fine doom metal band.
DAVID LEE ROTHMUND
Angela Gossow. I won’t have to let her win cause she’d beat me to a pulp but damn would it be a good pulp.