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Where have all the hellraisers gone?

  • By MisterCharlie Author Avatar
  • 8 February 2013

When did bands get so very, very dull? In 2012 I interviewed countless acts from across countless genres, and I’ve been staggered at just how little musicians have to say for themselves. Bland? At times I've felt like I'm being drip fed a gruel made of cardboard and Peter Andre. Why d’ya think every passing snarl from Liam tops the NME most read news for months? It’s not because everyone loves him (they really don’t – check the comments to see the constant abuse he gets), it’s because he’s a gobby, deeply entertaining lunatic who doesn’t give two shakes of a monobrow what people think, and there’s been no one new to topple him for years.

Yeah, I get that it can be (vaguely, sporadically) interesting to read about the intricate details of analogue vs digital recording, and how much ‘you’re just in it for the music’ but, look, bands – time to face the cold hard truth. Most of you will have fucked off in less than two years, back to the suburbs to a life of standard drudgery, crap jobs you hate, and shrivelling social media clout. FACT. By the time you’re 40 it will all be a fading memory, consisting of snuggle toothed Youtube channels and tumbleweed forums. Seeing as that’s the case, give yourself something to look back on with something approaching pride. Be  ENTERTAINING for fucks sake! I don’t give a shit how you go about it. Smack me in the face next time I ask a stupid interview question (for the record, I may be writing under a pseudonym, but really I’m Fearne Cotton). Tell us why Jimmy Saville is deeply misunderstood. Confess to hating every hip hop song ever made. It doesn’t matter, just have some flippin’ personality!

I blame the mp3. I’m not sure entirely why. Maybe it’s because it knackered the music industry to the point where the only way you can make serious money in a band is by jumping on the nearest corporation’s baby maker and grinding til your brain caves in. Artists have got scared that they might piss off the sponsor. Jesus! Don’t you get it?! If you’re that good you can be as rock n roll as you like and no one gives a shit. Don’t believe me huh? Two words: Kate. Moss. Actually while I think about it, here’s another fashion nutter: John "I love Hitler" Galliano. I mean, who the fuck gets drunk in public and tells two Jewish women that "People like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers would be fucking dead, fucking gassed.” Steady on John! Maybe going a bit far there mate…! But look, here he is, back in a job two years later.

Obviously I’m not saying you have to go as far as tiny hate fountain Galliano. He’s clearly a raging arsehole. But please, please take an occasional risk. Start being a little bit exciting. It’s not that hard! I see kids running around every weekend getting up to mischief, but bands in the UK seem to have completely lost their balls. Thanks Mumford. And, wait, lets get this straight, you don’t have to be playing particularly in-your-face music to be a larger than life character – look at Dylan, look at Woody Guthrie, look at Marvin Gaye, Gary Numan, Jarvis Cocker, Shaun Ryder, Bjork or Pete Doherty. Hell, look at Chris Brown. Yeah, you all hate him, but blimey, you don’t half click on stories with his name on. And for the record Look At Me Now is better than anything Peace will ever record.

If you’re in a band, and you’re a mentalist, an opinionated buffoon, or a sharply witted raconteur, I salute you! If you’ve ever been kicked out of a venue, insulted a journalist, or turned down a sponsorship deal because it made you look like a limpid corporate puppet, I salute you! If you’re having the time of your life and you’re not afraid to let the world know, I salute you! Where the hell have you been?