Thursday, January 22, 2015
Napalm Death Penalty
With their new album Apex Predator-- Easy Meat to be released in just four days, Britain's grindcore giants Napalm Death have stirred up a little bit of controversy.
I was looking at their Facebook page and found this. Apparently some Australians were caught trying to smuggle heroin into or from Indonesia and now face execution. The band is directing their followers to a page where people can sign to try to lower the penalty. Indonesian president Joko Wodido is a self-professed metalhead, so the band's hoping they'll have some leverage on his judicial decision making.
This is a touchy topic. You have two horrible things here: drug dealers and the death penalty. Of course, no one's saying "let them free," but many of the band's fans are calling out for blood. Looking at the post, almost every other commenter is saying "let 'em fry!" But that's the very thing the band is against. One commenter struck me the most. He said he's been a fan of the band since the very beginning, having bought all their albums and seen them live multiple times, but the thought of letting these people live in his country sickens him enough that he will drop his support of them.
What gets me there is that this dude, if he's such a huge fan of the band, should have known what their stance on this topic was. Perhaps it's the fact they're directly targeting this incident that hits so close to home. Napalm Death has always been a political band, taking on a broad array of topics. They don't have gruesome lyrics and demented album covers just because it's cool; they do it because it's the shock we need to open our eyes and grasp the terrifying truth of our reality.
A lot of bands have gotten flack for standing up on their soapboxes. Robb Flynn muses about his views on racism in America and got some of the same flack. I get it: a lot of people use music to escape that. However if a guy is going to voice his opinion, surely you can find a way to separate the man from the artist. You can disagree with him and still like his music. For me, the devils are Dave Mustaine and Ted Nugent. The dude are great guitar players (fuckin' stellar in Mustaine's case), but I cannot for the life of me get behind their misguided views. And if you disagree with him the Nuge, he'll straight up call you names. I know because it's happened.
Ted Nugent has called me something along the lines of a pussy libtard.
Music has ALWAYS been intertwined with the political machinations of the world. I touched on it a bit in my German metal essay, but that's just the tip of the ice berg! Nearly every musician you listen to will espouse some kind of commentary on society or the world in the lyrics. It's not all dancing and "I'm gonna get drunk and talk about what a bitch my ex is" and stuff!
Music tells a story, and that story is the human condition.
Deep, yes, I know.
Anyway, I want to know your thoughts. Would you not listen to a band you loved simply because you were on opposite sides of the political spectrum? Is there a song that has stoked your passion on a particular problem? Let me know in the comments!