Fear Of Rock- why have the Mercury Music awards routinely ignored metal? There is no excuse this year with breakout British metal band Bring Me The Horizon being left out.
What is it with the Mercury Awards? there’s always a feeling that something is missing. A lot of things.
There’s nothing wrong with the list, plenty of good stuff in there but from a very narrow niche – suburban music, good taste music.
There is a Fear Of Rock.
A terror of the sonically alive, and it’s been going on for some time in the mainstream.
This is underlined by the Mercury Music nominations. Whilst individually most of the music in the list is ok – all lumped together it’s, as someone astutely pointed out on a debate on Louder Than War, ”Ëthe new boring’.
Somehow they forget to include the dark and very heavy Sheffield based metal band Bring Me The Horizon in the list of nominees.
This is more than an oversight. Bring Me The Horizon are breaking out huge. Their Youtube page has up to 20 million hits just for one video. They represent the biggest alternative culture in the UK and they should be in the list. Their last album was number one in Australia and a top 20 album in both the UK and the USA. This fact should be recognised and celebrated. Why are they excluded? Why are they being denied all the attendant media overkill? Is there some cultural editing going on here?
It’s all a bit, well, nice, a bit tame. It is like if the Mercury Music awards had existed in the middle of punk they would have chosen Fleetwood Mac, Yes, and Fairport Convention and all punk and post punk had been roundly ignored. It’s like if it had been around in the fifties and trad jazz would have been the choice and rock n roll been roundly ignored. The Mercury Music Awards are strange anyway – good taste for the chattering classes decided by a panel of judges and given an amazing amount of media coverage – even more than Glastonbury!
The BBC’s excellent coverage of Glastonbury is great but what about Sonisphere? Barely mentioned anywhere on the TV or attendant websites – why? The biggest bands in the world were playing there! The same happened last year when AC/DC – who have the second best selling album of all time after Michael Jackson and way ahead of the Beatles were totally ignored whilst a middle ranking indie band who sell about 10 000 albums get all over the TV by playing Glastonbury and are constantly lauded in the press and then given the full Mercury treatment. This has to change. We can’t keep having the story of music rewritten for the sake of ”Ëgood taste’.
Alternative radio is just not alternative – how much rock music do you hear on XFM and 6music? Both stations have excellent coverage of indie music but rarely stray beyond this. I know bands who have been told that their music is ”Ëtoo noisy’ for XFM! But XFM’s remit is alternative radio – so what is this alternative? Mainly bland indie music – indie which now means watered down jangly guitars on a major label – hardly independent; independent of what?
The cutting edge of music in 2011 occurs at the fringes of metal – black metal has morphed into folk and dubstep and electro creating new ways of listening to music – most indie is trapped in set style; this is also unreported and denied. Why?
Why are bands like System Of A Down or Rammstein (both bands who sell 20 000 tickets for a gig in Manchester – far more than the Strokes ever could) denied any radio of press? Is all the mainstream media in the hands of elder indie kids?
It’s not that it matters about winning a Mercury award. Awards are for gold club lovers! But it’s the mass attendant coverage that is crucial.