The word “djent” in and of itself is enough to bring any meaningful discourse to a grinding halt, as you can see above. Like it or not, it’s a thriving and lively force in metal culture and it’s best to come to terms with it now, because it’s unlikely to fade for another year or so, and even then you’re going to have the same sort of second and third gen revivals and knockoffs that metalcore has been seeing. Then again, everyone has their opinions and is entitled to them, but it’s always hilarious when someone gets a little too excited over something as trivial as this, especially if they’re in a position of celebrity. Enter one Randy Blythe, vocalist of seminal metalcore band Lamb of God.
The PRP has ran a colorful news piece this past weekend that highlights Blythe’s twitter tirade, where he touches on lack of innovation and the always controversial djent (and apparently a knock at crabcore as well):
“THE STUPIDEST name yet for ANOTHER “genre” of metal. If you call yerself “djent”- cap yerself NOW”
“THERE IS NO SUCH FUCKING THING AS “DJENT”. ITS NOT A GENRE. I’m sorry, it’s STUPID AS FUCK. Metal already WAY over classified.”
“…all this BULLSHIT “Deathcore” & “Djentcore” & fucking “Cantplayinreallifebutcanonacomputer-core” it’s just a NAME”
“People can call themselves WHATEVER THEY WANT- it’s fucking heavy metal- this sub-classifying shit is a pathetic attempt to say that you are re-inventing the wheel. YOU ARE NOT. ITS FUCKING HEAVY METAL. Get over it. “Djent”? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”
“I can say that I am a fruit bat, copy fruit bat movements, & soon all my friends will too. Then we will have fruitbatcore. Can we fly? NO.”
“No, Meshuggah is NOT “djent”. Meshuggah is MESHUGGAH. FUCK.”
Alright, I must say that had it not been for an almost teenage-like angst hatred and an overall inability to take any sort of high ground (“cap yerself”?! Seriously? I haven’t heard that one since the Jessie Slaughter incident), Randy could have made a sensible and respectable argument without making an ass of himself. Any stance on djent is one I can see and respect if you can articulate your point properly without looking like an angry child who doesn’t want to share his toys and snarls at other kids for getting too close to his side of the playpen.
Blythe, you do realize that elitists and detractors were saying the same thing over metalcore? There are people who insist with every fiber of their being that you’re not in a metal band nor a respectable musician. I’m not one of those people, but you’re looking like someone who thinks they know about the goings on in a genre that goes way over your head. Sure, you’re super successful and you’re even touring with Metallica now. Crazy stuff! Perhaps your perception of metal is stuck with classic bands and leads up to metalcore’s rise and sort of tapers off? This is the next wave of metal popularity, and being so angry about it makes you appear like you’re just off base and out of touch.
And I for one enjoy classifications and qualifiers that describe a sound. Sure, “djent” sounds silly— so did “metalcore” when people were still using it, and “nu-metal” before it, but like it or not, some people like the idea of attaching certain tags (which is exactly what they are) to certain sounds in an effort to find (or avoid) bands that play similar things. You say “it’s heavy metal” (which is an archaic term, by the way), but without the sub-genres and classifications, we’d all be so hopelessly lost unless your idea of metal is very narrow. In a genre as wide and varied as metal, you can’t just throw it all under a giant umbrella unless you’re talking to an outsider who wouldn’t know the difference between death metal and metalcore. For those of us who know better, the differences are plain as day.
In the constant search for new and exciting music, we need specificity in what we’re looking for. If I like bands like Tesseract and Periphery and want to hear more, I’m going to need specific descriptions of what they sound so I can find bands that do similar things. Like it or not, the word “djent” is what stuck. If you want more similar bands, you can’t just do a last.fm search for “metal” and find what you’re looking for. For example, I like Tesseract and Periphery. Under Blythe’s logic, I’m going to search for “heavy metal” so I can hear more of the same genre of music! Nope. I’ll likely end up with Metallica and Black Sabbath, both of whom sound nothing like each other, let alone like Tesseract, Periphery, or whatever I was meaning to find. I’m going to search last.fm for “djent” so I can hear Uneven Structure and Vildhjarta as well.
This can be applied to any given subgenre or buzzword in metal. You can’t call “deathcore” “death metal” because it’s clearly not the same. Death Metal fans don’t want to hear breakdowns; Deathcore fans do. Sure, at the end of the day, we’re all fans of metal and extreme music, but the genre is so vast and expansive that we need subgenres and buzzwords that fit specific sounds so we can find what we’re looking for. And someone whose rise to fame was riding the wave of metalcore to the top, Blythe has no place to be an elitist in a genre he’s only barely a part of by those same elitist standards.
To put if simply and in an easy way for everyone to understand:
Black Metal = Metal.
Death Metal = Metal.
Black Metal =/= Death Metal.
Obviously, you can fill in black/death for X/Y. So there’s my final word on that.
Also, for a dollop of delicious irony, Randy got some unwanted attention due to the post by ThePRP and ran another twitter rant on the subject of his twitter rants getting news coverage.
“INCREDIBLY, me arguing briefly over something as INANE as “micro-sub-genre-izing” on FUCKING TWITTER is now “news”. Who runs these sites? I mean REALLY- this is what passes for “news” on these websites? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME, what are you, twelve? You have anything else? I mean ANYTHING of substance to put on your website other than a FUCKING TWITTER FEED? Are you The Inquirer now? Is that what it’s come to? You cobbled together a few tweets from different exchanges I’ve had & made it NEWS? My fucking God. Do you EVER LEAVE THE BASEMENT? Wow. Opinions as electronic headlines. No wonder this world is going down the shitter. GO OUTSIDE. Put that on yer fucking website.”
So naturally, ThePRP ran a news post on that as well. Good lord, the news has gone meta!
That’s the price you pay for your celebrity, Randy. And nice logic on the tired basement dweller comeback. The same thing could be said about your Twitter rage. COME ON RANDY, TURN OFF YOUR CAPSLOCK AND GO OUTSIDE. FUCK. IS THIS WHAT PASSES FOR PROFESSIONALISM THESE DAYS? GOOD LORD.
Put that on yer fucking twitter.