Friday 5: What 5 Artists Are Next To Retire From Touring?
Happy Friday, MetalSucks reader! Welcome to MetalSucks Friday 5, our awesome series that appears every Friday (duh) on MetalSucks (duhh) and involves the quantity of five (duhhh).
Here’s how it works: A list of best/worst/weirdest/whatever five somethings is posted by one of your beloved MetalSucks contributors or by one of our buds (like you?). Then you, our cherished reader, checks it out, has a chuckle, then chimes in with a list of the same. No sweat, just whatever springs to mind, k? (Just like that movie about those losers working at a Chicago record store!) After all, it’s Friday — the day dedicated by the gods to mindless, fun time-wasting.
Today, let’s guide some old horses out to pasture!
This week, an iconic metal guy hinted at his imminent retirement from touring. What artists are about to join him (or should be)?
Anso DF, MetalSucks senior editor
Each of us must grapple with our own decline. As we age, our art struggles to bridge generations, to elude staleness, and to maintain its grip on our own interest. And it shows, it always shows. That’s why it can be sad for fans to witness a rock band in its descent into nothingness. Not everyone will notice, but at least a portion of your audience will spot your autopilot setting, your private pledge to “do your best” when you once never settled for less than brilliance. That’s why it’s easy for an iconic band to attempt a crowd-pleasing reunion or return to an abandoned style: Its members relate to hardly anything and would be excited by everything connected to a band they started in their teens — per the march of time and maturation — so it’s hardly a tall task to half-heartedly do what fans want. Fans, meanwhile, are less willing to move on, so demand is persistent. All relationships end too late.
It makes sense for Metallica to tour: Each member is at work recouping a seven-digit number of dollars that got sucked into oblivion by an iffy festival, a failed feature film, and Lulu. Elsewhere, not all big Thrash metal bands are limping in the social media age. See Testament. Or, for a crystal clear comparison, just set aside consecutive days to take in a set by Slayer then one by Anthrax. Side by side, these two legacy acts may be playing the same sport, just not in the same league. One is pounding down the baseline like Pete Rose, the other is dutifully touching bases in a mode of self-preservation. One’s a practiced veteran, the other is missing signals and all too happy to bunt.
Mystique is elusive and Ghost’s vibe depends on it. Preserved admirably over three album cycless, it may be unsustainable for a fourth. So a withdrawal from touring — or at least a hiatus — could be around the corner for this supernova band. Or maybe Ghost momentum can propel them through middle age (like Seinfeld). Or maybe a big change awaits their fans. What do you think?
In 2015, a fan’s enjoyment of a Megadeth concert is directly proportionate to his/her awareness of peak Megadeth. That is, for a fan that’s late to the party or hindered by geography, concert attendance may be worth the hassle and cost. That means that an end to Megadeth touring would most benefit Dave Mustaine and gang — not us. After all, if he’s compelled to tar his support staff in a way that endangers their future employment, then we may conclude that dude is over it and hasn’t admitted it yet.
In Devin Townsend’s place, I’d struggle to stop touring and to redouble my efforts at creating. I’d consider the not-small following I built from almost nothing over the course of two stressful decades. I’d also fight the urge to see how much further it could go, to bigger venues, sweeter merch sales, and mainstream acclaim. Then, conversely, I’d get excited about all the fun shit I could do instead of sitting in cramped dressing rooms and farty buses. For example, an album each month for the next 20 years.
Your turn! Have a great wknd!