to hoserhellspawn

gotham

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May 1, 2001
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I don't want to make this a personal attack or anything and want to keep this on a purely discussion level, but I do have a problem with the post by this hoser guy in the "hopefully" thread.

To say that "the American scene seems to have put out very little quality music... well, ever? " is not even worth commenting on, it's such bullshit. Have you ever heard of a guitarist named Hendrix? Even the follow up line "At least as it pertains to the past few years in the metal genre, the U.S. is really stagnating creatively" is also bullshit and just points to a lack of knowledge by this guy. I'm hardly an expert but even my limited knowledge considers the American scene as vital as any country. How about Agalloch, the whole Dark Symphonies scene (Autumn Tears, Novembers Doom, maudlin of the Well, Rain Fell Within), Neurosis' "Time of Grace" was voted the top metal album of the year by Terrorizer magazine, Dying Fetus and tons of other underground death, then there's the whole prog-metal scene (not my favorite but still very popular worldwide), of which Dream Theater are considering gods.

Furthermore, while many metal bands (hardly all but a lot of the more famous ones) from a particular country share a similar sound, American bands however embrace a wide variety of metal styles. Look at the Norwegians (my personal faves), they specialize in "avant-garde" metal (Ulver, Arcturus, Solefald, Dodheimsgard, Fleurety, Atrox, Shellyz Raven, in the woods..., Green Carnation, etc.) and "true black metal" (Emperor, Darkthrone, Carpathian Forest, etc.). The Swedes have their own death sound, the Austrians have a Napalm records fantasy/black sound (Summoning, Dargaard, DVKE), the Italians have a theatrical sound (Devil Doll, Ataraxia, even Rhapsody), the Germans do cornball power metal, the English do dramatic doom metal, the Poles do "raw" black/death (Graveland, Behemoth, etc.), and to be honest I don't know what the Canadians do (I only know Townsend and Cryptopsy). The American scene doesn't have a dominating style and maybe that's why someone with a limited knowledge thinks that nothing's going on here. But shouldn't it be considered more creative, not less, that there are so many different scenes in the US? The Americans have provided so much influence to the creation of metal (Metallica, Slayer, Death, Morbid Angel) that it's pathetic to complain about their scene simply because there isn't an underground metal band now that is the top band of the moment.

Finally, about all that "notion of capitalism and the "American Dream" breeds crappy commercial music - artistry seems low in priority" shit, save it for an audience that really cares about your opinions regarding American society. This is a metal forum, not a "Canadian self-esteem is so low that we have to focus our dissatisfaction on external targets" board. Get back to me when a Canadian team wins the Stanley Cup, maybe in about 50 years.
 
You confuse me. You said that this was not a personal attack and you wanted to keep it merely on a discussion level, and then end your message with an attempted little cheap shot about Canadian teams and the Stanley Cup. I could go on about that in a diatribe of rebuttals, but, like you said, this forum is about metal, not North American cross-49th parallel relations.

I end my post with "Note: I do make a lot of generalizations here, and acknowledge that I may very well be ignorant to strong contradictory arguments." I made a lot of generalizations there. I acknowledge that there may be strong contradictory arguments that I may be ignorant to.

Dark Symphonies scene? I'm not familiar with it. There may be some really good American bands there. I've never heard of them. Jimi Hendrix is considered the greatest guitarist ever. I like his stuff, he's good. Dream Theater are gods, I list them amongst my favourite bands on one of the other threads. They are American, yes. This isn't my point. You seem to be a big connosieur (that's probably spelled wrong...) of American underground metal and there may very well be some good stuff there, but most of the other people in that thread seemed to agree with me. We could all be equally ignorant, I suppose, but...

My argument wasn't "Canada is great. Woo hoo!". My argument was pertaining to the circumstances in Sweden that seem to produce quality bands out of that country. I was pointing out that Canada and Sweden are very similar in terms of climate and government and that Canada DOESN'T seem to have nearly as many great bands as Sweden does, despite a larger population. I was using Canada as a comparison to discuss what makes Sweden unique, because it's what I know about.

Finally, the U.S. is the most capitalistic and commercialized nation in the world. This wasn't intended as a big "Anti-American" shot, I was simply suggesting why there may be the lack of strong artistic heavy music currently coming out of a large country as compared with a smaller one like, say, Sweden, based upon the bands I knew of. I figured since the American media is saturated with Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys, good musical influences might be harder to find there. The same could really be said about Canada, as we basically get all of your media anyways. You say there are good bands coming out of the U.S. Alright then, I'll give you the benefit of a doubt that you know good music and what you are talking about. Although I won't retract any of my prior arguments, I stated openly at the time that I don't know everything about everything and that there may be good contradictory arguments. It is you who took this nationalistically and personally, my friend, not I. My Canadian self-esteem is quite high, especially with who I have to compare us to, but I thank you for your concern.

Have a lovely day
- HoserHellspawn
 
I think I can honestly say even though there are some good North American bands, we don't even scratch the surface of coming close to as many in Scandinavia.
In regards to the difference between Canada and the US. I am American and prefer going up to Canada "Toronto" for shows and checking out music stores. Even Much Music is better than MTV(and let me remind you , Mtv sucks all the way , I don't remotely like it), well ofcourse there are alot of the same shitty music but atleast they have a metal show where I have seen some cool videos (Carcass, My Dying Bride, Morbid Angel, Napalm Death,etc)
 
heheh.. great thread, I'll add my two cents.

Why is it that much of the world seems to dislike americans and most everything associated with the place? I've met plenty of yanks and have found them to be good people, so why the stereotype? True, the society and culture seems superficial and inherently self-serving, but I don't think this is an accurate reflection of the people themselves. Sure the american pride thing is wearing thin and grates on everyone's nerves, but most americans aren't the empty idiots portrayed on ER or Friends or Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

Personally I don't seem particularly fond of any music out of the US, it seems to have as much insight and care put into it's creation as a ford focus. Sure, I went through my slayer phase like everyone, but I'm talking about *real* music with real depth and emotion, not just pure brutality or pure talent. Everytime I hear someone talking about how great Dream Theatre are I want to puke, if N'Sync were talented and pretentious musicians they would sound like Dream Theatre. Who the hell cares how well you can play when your musical style resembles much of the horribly empty commercialism which has become somewhat of an international trademark of american music?

This is not to suggest that the US is incapable of making real non-commerical music. What I think is happening there is that the capitalisim-gone-insane state of the society is not very supportive of original ideas. So if you are in a band in the US and score a record deal I think it's more likely that the money-hungry producers would turn you into an opening act for limp bizkit or some crap like that. I would go so far as to say that I think the real talent in the US is overlooked in favour cheesy commercial acts all in pursuit of the almighty buck. It seems to me record companies outside of the US are more willing to take risks in unchartered territory and that the quality of the music (and not just it's commercial appeal) has more weight. So my theory is that there is tonnes of great talent in the US, maybe more so than any other country because of it's size and weath and free time, but the commercial pop culture and desire for coin either modifies or completely overlooks this talent in favour of any lame knock-off of any commercially viable act. It still pisses me off that Sony US signed Echolyn and then promptly dropped them after they failed to ship the right number of units, doesn't *music* mean anything to them? I have reason to suspect it doesn't. As for Dream Theatre, I have a tough time believing that these guys are as cheesy and commerical as they are on purpose, I don't think anyone that freakin talented could be that cheesy without money being the prime motivator. Even their artwork and band photos look more like Britney Spears or Pepsi ads than having real substance. I think they are complete sell-outs, like just about everything is, even Yes (aside from a few albums) are cheesy commercial crap. One look at any Opeth CD and it's obvious they are doing it for the love of the music. Mikael was rooming with his friend and working in a record store during the making of MAYH, does this sound like a man out for fame and fortune? Dream Theatre seem too busy having their hair permed and makeup done to do anything as creative and non-commercial as Opeth. So when I personally think of the US contribution to the prog metal scene I get this mental picture of Dream Theatre in full glam metal attire and eye shadow and it makes me want to toss my cheerios. At least Kiss has the courage to admit they are sell-outs and did it all for the fame/money/women. But people like all sorts of stuff and that's cool, I'm just giving my opinion here. Sue me, hehe.

So in a synopsis what I'm saying is this: There is tonnes of talent in the US, but the money-is-god society structure means very little if any of it is actually recorded and distributed. I think a real art-prog group (like Opeth) in the US would be at a definite disadvantage because 1. record companies are too busy looking for the next janet jackson to give a damn and 2. the rest of the world isn't as keen on seriously listening to anything from the americans cuz 99% of it blatant commercial garbage. I realize that most music is commercial garbage, but in the US the crap ratio seems to be much higher than anywhere else. It's gotten to the point with me (and I'm sure many other true music fans around the world) that if I find a band on mp3.com and they seem cool but they are from the US then I won't even bother to download it, I've just be disappointed too many times, it's a stigma that I think the US will never live down. This stigma exists in film as well, when was the last time you saw something as pathetic as Titanic or Independence Day from France or Germany (if you are into foreign film)? The US is very good at a lot of things, but I don't think producing original and inspiring art is one of them cuz these things aren't based entirely in money and in the US money = god (or at least that's how it seems to the rest of the world anyway) and there isn't as much room for non-money-oriented ventures such as the propagation of high art as there is in other countries like sweden.

Any thoughts?

Best wishes my friends,

Satori
 
Many a good point, Satori.

Yeah, I recently took a road trip across Washington State and met almost all nice people. The stereotype is more of a result of the "National attitude" that comes out in the American media and international relations, not the quality of the individual person. Besides, as the most powerful nation in the world they're a lot more fun to poke fun at than Bolivia. It's just human nature, really.

doesn't *music* mean anything to them?

Heh, aaaaanope. Money rules all.

Dream Theater are pretty damn commercial, I admit, but I still like their new album, so... It's not quite like Metallica (*gasp* He said the dreaded "M" word!) where they a) made grand declarations of independance from the mainstream and then exactly went back on everything they said ("We'll NEVER make an MTV video"...) and b) their music just plain got worse and worse (I, of course, went through a Metallica phase, just before the Slayer phase, actually, but, like a lot of more "serious" music fans without a background in music, my artistic tastes evolved as I was exposed, mostly by friends, to better and better music).

So my theory is that there is tonnes of great talent in the US, maybe more so than any other country because of it's size and weath and free time, but the commercial pop culture and desire for coin either modifies or completely overlooks this talent in favour of any lame knock-off of any commercially viable act.

Quite possible. However, how key is it, in today's marketplace, to sign an act, or, sign with a label from the same country that you are in? Cryptopy's None So Vile was on Wrong Again Records, as was In Flames' Luner Strain. If there are a lot of greatly talented bands in the U.S., wouldn't they be able to sign with the foreign labels actually on the lookout for quality?

Perhaps forlorn soul would be most informed to shed some light on this, as I know he has some experience with labels.
 
Well, my only argument about US metal is that there are some great bands. I don't know why they're not on foreign labels. I personally don't agree with the statement, "at least as it pertains to the past few years in the metal genre, the U.S. is really stagnating creatively." If that makes me a forlorn soul, so be it!

Nothing is going to ruin my mood today because tomorrow night Opeth is coming to the "rock capital of Brooklyn", Lamour!!!
 
I can't resist making a couple of more points:

If someone in any country of the world finds enjoyment out of Britney Spears, N'Sync, Korn, or any other Buttfuck Boys group, let them! To each his own. Music is great when it makes you feel something — happiness, melancholy, anger, sadness — no musical genre has any claim to being more expressive than any other. The truth is that these teeny pop groups make a lot of people feel happy, if you don't like it, change the channel. I don't buy the argument that the US is a bad place for exporting this type of music as long as it makes people happy. US defense shields and weapons manufacturing is a different topic altogether.

Also, you say that the stagnant cultural climate in the US leads to watered down music. Well, the most poetic, creative, vibrant scene in the world (IMO) is completely flourishing in this country: rap and hip hop. The most remarkable statements and beats have been created over the past 20 years that the rest of the world only attempts to emulate. This genre shoots your theories to dust, and if you think that hip hop is all about Eminem and Puff Daddy, try spending a week in New York City. Enough said.


 
I've been struggling with this country I live in lately. I used to feel like I'd never leave the US because of the security that came from being a part of it. But those few comments that Satori made about the FACT that money = God, pretty much just drudges up those deep feelings, that I can't stand to be a part of it! Granted, the people themselves aren't the reason I feel this way, it's the society/laws/leaderships. Land of the free? Are we really free?

I know there are many other point of views on this. Guess I'm just being negative. I was just wondering mainly, where would most of your RATHER live compared to where you are now? I mean, I've been thinking of this for quite some time, and if I ever get the chance to do it, I'm going to move away from the states. Maybe near, maybe far...but I'd really like to know what others think too.

What do ya say?
 
I actually lived for 1 1/2 years in Russia, studying Russian when I was in college. It was awesome to live in another country and get away from the Stars and Stripes bullshit moronic culture of the US. Wherever you go, though, you'll always be the "American" and people will be mad at you because of it. You can't choose where you are born. Fortunately, there are places to go in the US that have a high level of intelligence and diversity, any of the major cities, as a matter of fact. I'd recommend going there before giving up and leaving the country.

However, if I could choose any place to live in the world, it's simple: AMSTERDAM. I've been there four times.
 
I would have to say that, yes. the American mainstream does suck but that there is a thriving underground metal scene (at least out here in the San Francisco/Bay Area....even with all of our venues getting closed down)...There are a lot of bands out here that perform relatively regularly (some well known ones like Amber Asylum, Impaled, Dekapitator, Exhumed, Neurosis and not so well known bands like The Gault, Ludicra, Asunder, Black Goat) all of whom cover a nice spectrum of metal.There is also a weekly show out here every Tuesday called Lucifer's Hammer which showcases both local and touring bands...and as far as I know there are plenty of excellent American bands that are active (November's Doom, Diabolic, Goatwhore, Grief, Daylight Dies (hi Jesse!), Hemlock to name a few)...I do have an affinity toward Scandinavian metal but at the same time I would like to acknowledge that the underground metal scene here in the U.S. is still thriving...Unfortunately we are totally bombarded with N'syncboybandpopcrap but I have chosen to completely ignore it (except to hear enough of it to know to stay away from it)...If that is what makes lame ass people happy, then so be it....Look on the bright side, at least we don't have to deal with them at shows... :D
Oh and BTW...what about Gorguts? They are a bad ass band from Canada
 
If that makes me a forlorn soul, so be it!
Uh, err... That seems too odd a statement to be coincidence... I hope you didn't misinterpret me there, I was referring to forlorn soul aka Jesse of Daylight Dies, who's often around here. I was kinda asking him his opinion, not making some comment at you, gotham (sorry for any confusion).

Nextly (is that a word?), to answer Opet's question, someone asked me recently if I had to live in any country in the world other than Canada which one I would choose and I said Sweden. Canada would still be my first choice, however. (although, I'm not exactly very "well-traveled"... never even been to europe... so, once again, this decision does carry with it some accepted ignorance on my part)
 
HoserHellspawn you went on a road trip across Washington State? I hope you mean across the West part of the state cause if you came to the East I refuse to believe it could of been enjoyable :)
 
Went all the way across the I-90 to Cheney, actually. Odd little town, but my buddy had some friends there. The "Fishers of Men Bible Bookstore" was a little frightening, though... as was the little gun shop selling a machete for 5 bucks...

The only rude person I met was in back in Puyallup, actually, this chick who seemed to have an attitude about my using the payphone (35 cents! It's only a quarter in Canada and that's Canadian...) next to her. She gave me the finger then stormed off to her pickup truck. I laughed at her and continued on my way.

But no, all across the state people seemed, for the most part, nice. It kinda crushed the American stereotype I had, admittedly somewhat gleefully, kept.

Note: Favourite moment - at this monument thing in Vantage, Wa., this little 5-year old girl walked past me and muttered to herself "I'm gonna go get me some dynamite!" for no apparent reason.