“Their older stuff was better…” “Their music isn’t the same anymore. They suck…” “I listened to them when I was 13” “Are they even still relevant?”
With all these 90s punk rock bands making a comeback (Blink, Sum, GC, Simple Plan) these phrases have been rolling around the interweb non-stop! As a music journalist, and an all-around music enthusiast, I have always been interested to know why fans just can’t let things go- “Why did Tom leave blink?” “Mayday were better when Jason Lancaster was in it!” “This is good, but it would have been better if (insert old band member from 6 years ago) played bass” – move on, seriously.
If you come into an album with the intention to hate it because your beloved band member is no longer involved, you need to stop, drop and roll away from your computer, because you shouldn’t be putting yourself (and all your Twitter followers who have to hear about it all day) in that negative situation.
So, if you are constantly comparing old lineups and albums with new lineups and albums, here are 4 things to remember. And please, take them into account the next time you leave a hateful, poorly spelt YouTube comment.
1. Musicians leave bands – Musicians leave bands all the damn time! Yes, it’s upsetting and yes, we wish they didn’t. But they do. Get over it. If you still like the band, cool. If you don’t want to support the band anymore, cool. But don’t beg them to bring a band member back so they’ll be “good again”. Like it’s their call anyway! Ever heard of this little thing called free will?
2. It’s cliché as hell, but bands do grow, and their sound does mature and evolve – Bands don’t ever sound like their debut album. If they did, they probably would have only made it to 2 or 3 releases before everyone was like, “for fuck sake! This again? All your goddamn songs sound the same!” It’s nice to have some variety. If bands didn’t change their sound, we would get bored really quickly—no matter how good they are. Besides, it’s their band. If they want to become a death-metal-pop-dub-step band, well… it is what it is. I guess it’s time for you (and definitely me) to bow out.
3. You think their “earlier stuff was better” and now they are “trendy and mainstream”? Cool, but not everyone agrees with you – Don’t be that one dude who hates on people for liking (your idea of) “irrelevant” bands. Like the fucking Goonies, music never says die… except maybe disco.
4. Keep an open mind – Like I said, if you expect a band’s new album (with new members) to suck, it probably will. Most likely because you won’t actually be paying any attention to the music itself, and instead be all emo about the behind-the-scenes drama. That’s not what it’s about. Just listen to the music free of judgements, and if you hate it, you hate it. Write a bad review, tell all your friends (off of social media please), throw it out the window (if you still even buy CD’s) who cares. Just don’t be a pretentious a-hole about it.
So, amigos, you can either get on board or jump off the train, but don’t kill everyone else’s musical vibes because your bugging out over a new sound or lineup.