Bring Me the Horizon Vocalist Oli Sykes: “We Can’t Write Music for the Fans; It’s Impossible”
UK rockers Bring Me the Horizon are a far cry from the band they used to be, morphing from deathcore origins to metalcore and then to the rock-oriented sound the band has today. In an interview with Arizona radio station KFMA, vocalist Oli Sykes spoke on the subject of fans who think that Bring Me the Horizon have changed too much stylistically (h/t Blabbermouth).
“I think I’ve managed over recent years to soften my approach to what those… It’s very easy for them people to piss you off and you’re just, like, ‘Fuck off.’ But at the end of the day they just love your band and something you did meant so much to them that they just want you to do it again. And you’ve just gotta realize that even though it might annoy you, it comes from a place of love. And rather than fighting back, you’ve just gotta appreciate that and appreciate the fact that… and sometimes maybe it even makes you question yourself as well.
“To a certain degree, we can’t be the band that we used to be. We wouldn’t know how to do it, and we wouldn’t know how to do it with any authenticity or integrity. Because we grow and we age and we mature and our tastes change, the same like the way your taste buds change; it just does, and there’s nothing you can do about that. But sometimes those people can remind you, like, ‘Wait. Are we losing what makes us special?’ And that’s what I’ve asked myself over the years. It’s, like, some people that are sad because we’re not as heavy anymore or whatever, do they have a point?”
Skyes continued to say that fan input has given Bring Me the Horizon guidance and encouraged them to stick with their true identity before, they still write the music the band wants to in order to be successful.
“There’s not many bands like Bring Me the Horizon anymore that are in the kind of mainstream stuff,” Sykes added. “And sometimes you almost wanna con… not conform, but sometimes, like our band, 10 years ago [I never would have thought] that anyone would’ve ever said our band are gonna headline festivals one day or that could be the biggest rock band in the world. And then, all of a sudden, those kind of ideas started formulating and people saying them. And that can go to your head, and then you can start going, ‘Oh, maybe we can.’ And sometimes you get so preoccupied whether you could that you don’t stop to think whether you should. And I definitely feel like I’ve listened to some of the fans over the years and, like, you know what? They’re right. We shouldn’t water our shit down. Because we’re like one of the last bands that still do heavy music right. So all that stuff just keeps you in line, and you’ve just gotta realize it all comes from a place of love and don’t let it piss you off. And at the same time stay true to yourself. We can’t write music for the fans; it’s impossible. But we can let what they say resonate with us and not just automatically, like, knee-jerk reaction of like, ‘Fuck you. We’ll do what we want.’”
Bring Me the Horizon’s setlist from this tour doesn’t include anything from before Sempiternal, so it’s not at all surprising to hear this from the band. I’ll keep holding out hope that “Pray for Plagues” will return to the live set.
If you too love old Bring Me the Horizon, check out our list of 10 songs that remind us why deathcore fucking ruled.