While we get a lot of funny things sent to us in the mail, we get a Hell of a lot stranger things sent to us by email. This column by Adam ‘Swanny’ Swan, bassist of Brit-djentsters, Monuments, on the disaffection of British music youth in the face of mass media music and tired, predictable 4/4 beats, is definitely one of the latter. That’s him second from the left up above. Yeah, him with the dreadlocks. The boy’s certainly got a lot on his mind….
My fellow earthbound companions, lately I’ve been noticing the ever expanding thirst for knowledge and the desire to share thoughts and ideas through the medium of our arts. To me this has become increasingly blatant, with the ongoing personalisation of music/art and entertainment for the individual, the rise of the information age providing ease of access to the modern equivalant of the Library of Alexandria at our fingertips.
Watch Monuments doing a live play-through of ‘Doxa’:
Nowhere is this more obvious than in the homely genre I find myself in – modern technical metal and alternative music, or – dare I say it – “djent”. One only needs to glance at a band’s album art, or read a passage of their lyrics to notice that something is happening here. It may simply be down to long hours spent surfing the web and scrolling through endless conspiracy theory sites in between wanking and torrenting the latest cubase plugins, but I’m starting to feel it runs much deeper than that. You can tell me to shut the fuck up, and put all this down to the frequent wanderings of an over-analytical mind, but I can’t help but feel this is a product of the times we have all grown up in, and the desire for something more.
From an early age, the vast majority of us have all been force-fed a staple cultural diet of fast-food plastic pop music for the masses, thrown out of the regularly offending media outlets and I think thats exactly what has caused this desire. This tiny little online phenomena of technical metal seems to have taken its stance as the polar opposite of what so many people have been unwillingly exposed too for so long. These kids seem to be sayin “No” to 4/4 beats, predictable chord changes and lyrical content praising materialism and the usual sexual inuendos, in favour of ideas about truth and aeons-old philosophical concepts. I find it fascinating that as soon as music has become more personal, and removed from the usual spoon-feeding that the major labels have had a monopoly on over the bourgeoisie for decades, it has taken on these very counter-mainstream traits.
Watch the video to ‘97% Static’ by Monuments:
Although many people out there have been heavily influenced by bands like Meshuggah, Tool, and Rage Against the Machine (which have helped popularize these concepts), I’m not sure if this movement toward trying to educate each other has been entirely conscious. It may very well be because people exposed to this have found it fashionable, but I doubt this. I think there’s something much more intuitive happening, and something that is greatly needed,:a repulsion of the status quo, and a re-evaluation of our moral and ethical presets on an individual level. Well, there’s some food for thought, rant over…for now.
Love you long time,
Swanny is currently out on the road with Monuments, supporting the legend that is former Nevermore guitarist Jeff Loomis on the Euroblast 2012 tour. They’ve just finished the UK run of dates, but if you’re lucky enough to live on continental Europe, you’re still in with a chance of catching this tour, which also features Vildhjarta and Stealing Axiom. Check the dates out below.
Euroblast 2012 tourdates
29 Antwerpen Twix
30 Kerkrade Rock Temple
01 Münster Sputnikhalle
02 Oslo Sub Scene
05 Helsinki Tavastla
07 Copenhagen Templet
08 Berlin Magnet
10 Prague Hoodoo
11 Budapest Dura Hurt
12 Wien Arena
13 Rome Traffic Club
14 Legnanao Land Of Live Club
Gnosis, the debut album from Monuments, is out now on Century Media.