Stephen Hill Reflects On Download Announcing Chase And Status
“You are so predictable. Oh boo hoo! A band you don’t like are playing Download. If only there were OTHER bands on that you could go and watch! Now you are going to be the only TRUE metal fan there! 79,999 chavs and you… in your bullet belt… being judged… by DANCE music fans! What the fuck! It isn’t called “Download the heavy metal festival that has only heavy metal bands and no one else except heavy metal bands that play heavy metal music playing heavy metal festival” for nothing you know! Andy Copping, shame on you! Why? After booking the likes of Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Whitesnake and Lethal Bizzle how could you go back on your roots like this?
So yeah, some metal fans are dickheads (and REALLY thick, let’s not sugar coat it). This time there’s a bit of a furore because, not only are The Prodigy headlining Download,Chase & Status will play directly before them on the main stage. Predictably there has been the usual kneejerk, boneheaded, nonsense from some trolls which completely conforms to every lazy, clichéd stereotype of heavy music fans. Cheers for that chaps. But, for once, I’m going to side with them.
Now, me personally, I don’t care about Chase & Status playing Download (apart from the fact that, if it is on terrestrial television, they’ll just show their whole set, one Metallica song and nothing else). I’m not that familiar with their music. I’ll go watch something else if there is a band I like on, which there probably will be, or I may see a bit out of curiosity. No biggie either way. I don’t think that makes me narrow minded. I like a lot of electronic music, hip-hop and indie and if it were someone I like, say Radiohead or Aphex Twin, I’d be totally happy with a non-metal band playing. I understand that a lot of people that like metal also like Chase & Status. Enjoy watching them, fill your boots. I also understand that there are many people that just like metal. As open minded and progressive as one could be, no one has the right to tell the people that just like metal that they shouldn’t just like metal. They are actually allowed to be like that. We are all allowed to like the things that we like. To dislike the things we dislike. Aren’t we?
I’d like to pose this question. Why is it only rock fans at rock festivals that are told to “open their mind” and “broaden their horizons”? Why are we the only ones to get scoffed at for the reaction to these acts playing our festivals by fans of other genres? Surely if metal fans should broaden their horizons and allow hip-hop, drum and bass and techno into a festival that is predominately a showcase for rock, metal and punk then shouldn’t other festivals and fans of other music do the same?
Let’s swap this round the other way. How do you think dance music fans would feel if Slayer headlined the Friday at Creamfields? Do you think they’d all be patting the booker on the back for making the festival more diverse? What about Watain playing at T4 on the beach? Do you think fans of One Direction and The Saturday’s would “give them a chance” or“try something new for a change”? Let’s get Lamb Of God on at Last Night At The Proms. Reckon all those bloated, beetroot faced Tories would be applauding such a brave booking? In all cases, no, they almost definitely would not. So why do we have to be open to something that is not and never will be reciprocated by mainstream culture. It basically boils down to “You like metal. That’s not cool. You are a dinosaur. Like this instead.” To me that is insulting and patronising.
So come on then Global Gathering, Womad, V2021, Wireless festival, GLASTONBURY! With your open minded, welcoming fans. I hear Cannibal Corpse and Biohazard are free for the festival season, fancy putting them on with James Blunt or Black Eyed Peas?…No?… oh, and we’re the narrow minded ones right?”