What Happened to Michigan Metal?

Originally posted May 4, 2011 at 5:08am on Facebook, just in case you missed it. Plus it needed to be added to the library on here.


There was a time when I spent every weekend at shows throughout Michigan. I would catch The Nain Rouge at the Wesley Foundation in Mt. Pleasant one night and be at Jamestown Hall in Saginaw the next to watch See You Next Tuesday and For the Fallen Dreams before anyone knew who they were.


The most amazing thing about these shows, besides the music, was the sense of friendship and family that was exhibited. Every band would support each other and there was none of the ridiculous hostility that has found its way into the Michigan Metal scene today. I have seen bands publicly denounce another band for not being tough enough, not being “metal” enough and not selling enough tickets to name just a few on an infinitely long list.


I find myself asking, “What happened to the days of family?”


The only answer that makes sense to me is this, my friends: We stopped being a family when we started caring more about money and appearances than we did about the music.


To all the bands constantly asking, “Why aren’t there any places to play shows anymore? Why do we have to sell tickets? Why is there no moshing or hardcore dancing allowed anymore?”


The people who paid to see you got tired of coming to a fashion show instead of a concert. The venues couldn’t afford having a band that couldn’t bring in an audience. Quite a few people I know have stopped going to shows because of hardcore dancers who target people who are actually watching the band instead of acting like they have something to prove. There are people who will argue this point with the often heard excuse of, “If you can’t handle it, get out.”


Why go to a concert just to cause a fight, send someone to the hospital, or knock someone’s tooth out? I’ve seen all three events happen in one night, all caused by the same group of people who complain when venues get rid of moshing. We create the problems ourselves and then complain when someone else has to solve them.


There is a small glimmer of hope at the end of this proverbial tunnel. Bands are helping each other out for the first time in a long time. Shows are slowly becoming more abundant, although they are still nowhere near as common as they were just a few years ago


My point is this, people: If we want to bring the metal scene back to the glory days then we have to start being a family again. Buy merch, hang flyers, and for the love of all that is unholy, do not just use social networking to try to make it as a band. If we really are going to save this scene we need to stop bitching and get off of our asses, before it’s too late.


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