Nails And Metalsucks: The Battle Continues.
‘Member when Metalsucks tried to use Nergal of Behemoth as clickbait and Nergal shut them the fuck down by providing evidence of their sensationalist clickbait-y ways? I member. I member how I ecstatic I was despite me not being a fan of Behemoth even though for the record I enjoyed the hell out of their “The Satanist” album.
So what has happened since then? Ever since that incident against Metalsucks, it has been a game of ‘hurry-up-and-wait” for other artists to join them. Everyone’s eyes have been searching to see who joins in the fight with Behemoth and standing up to everyone’s favorite Brooklyn hipster bloggers. Then all of a sudden on Twitter for the past two weeks none other than Todd Jones of Nails starts ranting and raving like a madman and just letting it all out on social media. People and blogs such as myself stood with Nails and Todd Jones and as usual everyone else who fucking hates Nails called them ‘crybabies’ and ‘edgelords’, etc. Rather than everyone taking a step back and see where they are coming from, it was the old “call someone an overused buzzword” game that also includes dog-piling. Never mind the fact that Metalsucks drew first blood, not Nails. Todd Jones’ manic tweets were messages that seemed like he was wanting to say certain things but due to the character number limit and his tweets being disorganized, he promised that a full official post on Nails FB page would be available to read and any blog or media outlet that had the guts to post or talk about this particular issue(s) to basically spread the word. Before I even go into anything more than that, lemme just post what Nails said:
***ANY MEDIA OUTLETS WHOM REPOST, PLEASE LET US KNOW SO WE MAY ACKNOWLEDGE YOU***
How did we get here? An article published on June 26th, 2016 titled “Todd Jones from Nails is a Scene Bully” (http://www.metalsucks.net/…/todd-jones-from-nails-scene-bu…/) is the logical start. But what caused MetalSucks to host a narrative that positions me, and Nails, as championing a “Meathead and Proud” movement? I’m here to set the record straight on exactly that and why no one should support MetalSucks or Blast Beat Media.
Nails is not music for meatheads, anti-intellectuals, elitists, Neanderthals, or bullies. His words. It is the opposite. Associating aggressive music with regressive values, anti-intellectualism, et al is a trope that should be destroyed. Stating people who make aggressive music exude these values is as dated as the term “meathead” so perhaps we should have made the connection to backwards thinking earlier. What Nails does attempt is to be an alternative to the mainstream, to the everyday niceties that seem to choke 99% of humanity. It’s abrupt. It’s blunt. It’s raw. I am all of those things. Not always to my benefit, but I accept it and also acknowledge that I prefer this state of being to the alternative.
Despite MetalSucks co-owner Ben Umanov’s assertions, and implications through his not-so-subtle contextual sites posts then and since, I am not the kid who beat you up in high school. I am also not the one who ran away from the fight. So here we are, where MetalSucks has positioned us in a “bully/bullied” scenario where Nails, and myself specifically, are the antagonist and… who then is the bullied? Is it the woman who doesn’t fit MS’s definition of what a Nails fan should look like? (http://www.metalsucks.net/…/todd-jones-from-nails-scene-bu…/) Is it any number of other artists who have been the subject of TMZ-like coverage of them as people that has become a signature of the site? Or is it the critics I have engaged directly about incorrect statements?
Let’s start here. Why are you writing this, two and a half years after this article was published? We should explain what Blast Beat Network (http://www.blastbeatnetwork.com) is for all of you who don’t know.
Blast Beat Network is an advertising company which includes two-handfuls of music news/blog oriented websites (such as Metal Injection, Cvlt Nation, The Pimp Rock Palace, of course MetalSucks, etc.) in which Blast Beat Network is affiliated with. They perform a really great service where basically a business can approach Blast Beat Network, pay a fee, and have their product advertised across all the affiliated Blast Beat Network sites. Any company who wants their product advertised in the metal/hardcore/punk subgenre would be their bread and butter. Labels, booking agencies, merch companies, ticketing agencies; any company with a product that they could sell to Blast Beat Networks “viewership”, so to speak.
So Nuclear Blast Records, Metal Blade Records, Relapse Records, Season of Mist, all of your favorite online merch retailers, a large amount of metal/hardcore/punk based businesses either currently pay or has paid them in the past for ad space because their reach is really impressive and it’s easy to do.
In addition to MetalSucks, Ben Umanov co-owns Blast Beat Network.
Why does this matter?
In one hand, Ben and MetalSucks are taking money from businesses to advertise their product with Blast Beat Network, and using the other hand to turn around and undermine these releases by writing hate-pieces on artists with Metal Sucks.
Yes; you read that correctly. Labels/MGMT/Booking agencies/show promoters are unknowingly or indirectly paying Metal Sucks to write these articles about the bands whom product they are promoting.
Here’s a real-world example which demonstrates this point:
We recently read about how MetalSucks planned a story alleging that Behemoth frontman Nergal had Nazi ties
To say you hold or support the values of any person you ever took a picture with…it’s not even a stretch, it’s a fucking warp. Regardless of what your ethics are, let’s look at this from a business perspective…
BEHEMOTH is obviously a huge band in the underground metal scene. You know what that means? Record labels are financially invested in a big responsible way (imagine SOMEWHERE in six-figure range). Ultimately, this type of investment is great for our world at large. Stay with me.
Why would Metal Blade (the label responsible for U.S. release of Behemoth’s newest album) want to give Blast Beat Network money when MetalSucks is going to turn around and attempt to tear down Metal Blade’s artist which they have a ton of financial responsibility with?
Furthermore…Ben Umanov also manages the deathcore act Rivers of Nihil. Rivers of Nihil is signed to Metal Blade. Being that Ben represents Rivers of Nihil, Ben is the one speaking to Metal Blade on the band’s behalf. After contacting Metal Blade to request support for Rivers of Nihil, he’s actively attempting to harm Behemoth and take money from Metal Blade. How’s that for business ethics?
WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE? WHAT DO I DO?
I don’t have the power to make anyone else do anything, but I for sure as fuck won’t have any financials from Nails go to Blast Beat Network IN ANY WAY, and BY ANY MEANS.
I’ve already had discussions with all the people whom we have business agreements with and they are on board that no money that touches Nails will ever go to Blast Beat Network. No press from Nails ever goes to any of the Blast Beat Network affiliated websites. No bands with booking agencies who pay money to advertise with Blast Beat Network will play with Nails. No label whom advertises with Blast Beat Network will sign Nails. No promoter whom advertises with Blast Beat Network will book Nails. That’s what the fuck this has come down to.
HOW THE FUCK ARE WE ALLOWING THIS TO HAPPEN?
The metal/hardcore/punk businesses and communities are funding MetalSucks by giving money to Blast Beat Network.
As people in bands, as people who run labels, as people who book tours, as people who sell/consume merchandise, as people who follow these sites, we need to take control of where our money goes and we can’t give money to those who treat us like garbage. This music is not a commodity for vultures to pick from. Do not support Blast Beat Network and MetalSucks. Tell your labels. Tell the person who books your bands. Tell the labels you buy from. Tell your friends.
�This is not big business. This is not the mainstream. Stand up and be counted.
There is an awful lot to unpack here. I will try to tread very carefully to articulate my defense of Nails and on-going argument against Metalsucks.
First off, let’s start from the beginning. There’s something I personally want to be known about Esoterica Codex blog. The incident with Metalsucks originally shit-talking Nails? That was one of the primary reasons why Esoterica Codex was created in the first place. Not the ONLY one mind you. EC is a natural reaction to wanting to get away from sensationalist and clickbait-y shit that passes off for journalism and as an alternative outlet for underground music of whatever kind. A total throwback to the fanzines of yesteryear where it was a no man’s land of total support. Now like’s get to the actual discussion.
Metalsucks jokes(plot twist: they are not funny nor amusing) all the time about actually getting paid for clicks and likes. In actual reality, they are getting paid by record labels in ad support and then turning around and talking shit about bands such as Nails. Calling them ‘meatheads,’ and ‘neanderthals.” Which is bullshit because the gentlemen in Nails are sweethearts and I can base that pure fact on account of me hanging out for a good 2 hours with them after they played in Tampa, Florida with Gatecreeper. My entire outlook on the Metal ‘media’, which is shared by a lot, is that it just gets to the point where as a music fan you feel that no matter what band you like you will feel as if you are coming under attack from the media. This is an issue that has been building since roughly 2012. Not just by Metalsucks because there are quite a few other platforms out there that add onto this issue. That also includes fans on social media who are looking for an excuse to assert themselves and start arguments in order to make you look like a piece of shit even if you are providing reasonable and logical enough evidence in your defense. It’s bad enough that in this country of the United States of America, more than half of Americans don’t trust major media outlets and the information they give us. This isn’t exactly a new thing. It’s been happening since the Vietnam war. Nobody knows what the truth is anymore at least until shit hits the fan and we find out years and decades afterwards. And now with the internet you get so many conflicting stories on breaking news, in the words of Queensryche, who do you trust when everyone’s a crook? But when that massive level of lack of trust and disdain seeps down from mainstream society into the counterculture and the underground, it does not do us any favors. It makes our culture(not the music mind you) worst than it already is. It doesn’t matter if you’re a metalhead, hesher, hardcore kid, crustpunk, oogle, rock n roller, whatever you call yourself because at the end of the day we are all in this together. It’s bad enough when the outside world wants fuck all to do with us and our music and see all that we do positive-wise as a joke and will never amount to anything on a grand scale. Just a little footnote in the macrocosm of things at best. It’s bad enough when we can’t even agree that certain bands just rock the fuck out purely based on subjective personal taste and have to feel as one’s taste in music is superior than the next person’s. Or even the simple act of not giving shit to someone who is a new-comer and letting them experience our neck of the woods for the first time. BUT, when the very outlets we have for OUR music starts to talk down to us as if we are inferior and below them and makes us out to be the enemy and the cause of all of this unease because we buy the records and go to the shows then what do outlets such as Metal Sucks expect us to do? Do they not expect an opposing backlash? Do they not expect the same criticism reflected back? As the age-old question is asked: What came first? The chicken or the egg?
Which leads me to my next point; I flat-out admit I’ve let my nuts drag and talked my shit about Metalsucks ever since I started writing this blog. That’s always been there since the very first thing I wrote. I will never apologize for that. I’ve more or less always said that the writers are the new version of the PMRC (Parent’s Music Resource Center) in the absolute worst of ways and one of those ways is through the usage of click bait and tacky usage of tabloid tactics by trying to bait musicians to generate negative articles and think tank pieces for the sake all under the illusion that they are promoting online social justice and political correctness. Their reasoning and the lengths they go to keep themselves in business is fucking obtuse. Again, what are their motives other than to be jaded, pretentious fat, balding comic book store employees who became snarky journalist hypocrites to the things they say they stand for and preach? They stand for females rights and are pro-feminists yet they post leaked nude photos of female band members(the article still stands but the pics have been removed) and make fun of females for wearing band shirts? They preach about Metal being exclusive are against ‘elitism’ yet the very thing they do is ostracize and demonize metal fans for enjoying the records they enjoy because in the past decade their favorite artists are “problematic” or “racist” or anything else they throw at the outrage-of-the-week dartboard in their basements. They only accept and welcome those fans who are as morally superior and politically correct as they are? How the fuck is that exclusive and not inclusive is beyond me. Metalsucks acts like teenagers in middle school and pull the whole “We are more Metal than you!” argument which backfired tremendously on them. Holier-than-thou they are not. Not to mention they use that whole “either you stand with us or you stand against us” mentality that would make George W. Bush glee with a stupid Illuminati lizard-like smile. Let’s not even go into the controversy they had with the band Converge when they leaked their album without the band’s approval. Metalsucks are not pious. They are equally guilty of the very sins they feel they need to project onto people than listen to whatever they listen to. Metalsucks claim that metal has an issue with the alt-right and conservatives and that they want their voices to be silenced and gone and if you argue with them(Metalsucks’ beliefs that is) then you’re automatically one of them. When did the so-called progressive liberals that MS claim to be become the ones with the sticks up their asses? Tell me. I would fucking love to know. Tipper Gore is finger-banging her hairy crotch to the idea that Metalsucks are doing her job that she tried to do in D.C. 30 years ago with the help of her then US senator husband.
There is this whole thing where people who are commenting are saying that they are crybabies because Todd Jones and Nails is speaking out and standing up for themselves 3 years after the original article was posted. And who knows maybe those people are right to a certain degree considering that Krieg’s father figure Neill Jameson wrote a piece in defense about Nails for Decibel Magazine when the whole thing erupted originally. Let’s just say for the sake of argument that Nails does not have the right and they ARE crybabies for doing so. If that is the case then are Behemoth crybabies or are they not due to them not waiting 3 years to rail against Vince and Axl of Metalsucks? Are any other bands who don’t want to give money to people for ad support who turn around and talk shit whining about an issue that doesn’t matter? If someone took your money that you gave them to support you in whatever fashion it may be, and then turned around and talked shit about you to everyone surrounding you – well wouldn’t that get under your skin and piss you off just a little bit? As far as Todd Jones pointing out MS are the bullies, he is correct no doubt. The fact that people are saying that they waited 3 years to say something about this whole thing is stupid and whiny and invalidates anything they have to make a case about is pretty null and void in my book at least. Now, this is an honest question I pose to those people who are against Nails’ argument; Are these same people (who are vocal against Todd Jones) supporters of the #metoo movement? That’s like going up to the victims of RnB’s very own R. Kelly sex cult ring and telling them to their faces that they are whiny crybabies because they waited too long to say anything about sexual abuse. That’s like going up to the faces of anyone of your friends or family who got bullied in high school or has experienced on-the-job employment harassment, or any form of abuse be it verbally or sexually waited too long to talk about the damaging effects of whatever abuse they dealt with and their feelings aren’t justified. That’s like saying I am going to tell my best friend to stop being a whiny crybaby about something that did hurt him or herself and “get over it.” The fact that people are giving shit to Nails who are the victims who have every right to stand up for themselves just proves the double standards and hypocrisy of a lot of people. People say one thing, yet turn around and try to be the authoritarian because one thing does not apply to the next person in their view be it based on personal bias, taste, or just sour grapes. Unless you have fucking video footage of Nails pissing on you while you’re eating cereal for breakfast while they held up their I.D.s and wore their own band shirts in the video, then let me repeat: they have the right to stand up for themselves in how they feel they were bullied and wrong despite however long it took them. Just because you have beef with Nails or Todd Jones and you hate their music doesn’t invalidate anything they feel they have the right to say.
Now after Axl originally talked his shit about Todd and a couple incidents shortly thereafter, Metalsucks posted a ‘manifesto’ that again made the blog the laughing stock of the Metal community. Let’s take a look at that manifesto again, shall we?
We want to be clear about what we stand for here at MetalSucks (as if there were any doubt). With that in mind, we hereby present our manifesto:
– We want to be clear about what we stand for here at MetalSucks (as if there were any doubt). With that in mind, we hereby present our manifesto:
– We have never been an unbiased media outlet, nor do we ever plan to become one.
– Those biases extend beyond the opinions of the bands and musicians we cover. We believe in progressive, liberal values, and we will wear those values on our sleeves through our writing.
– This website’s coverage extends beyond simply metal, and beyond simply music.
– We believe in an artist’s — and our — right to express political beliefs through their work. “Keep politics out of music” has no place here; politics and music are one in the same.
– Artists who espouse our values will continue to get preferential coverage.
– Artists who actively do not espouse our values will continue to get called out for it.
– You are free to disagree with us. Please continue to do so (tastefully and respectfully). Conversation is a good thing.
– Silence is complicity.
– Expressing our true feelings is more important than satisfying all corners of our readership and/or potential readership.
– We will not tolerate racism, misogyny or any form of bigotry or hate speech.
– We are proud SJWs.
– We will not be bullied.
– We will not tolerate hate speech or threats leveled at us, or at anyone who reads our site.
If you strongly disagree with any of the above to the point of intolerance, feel free to take your readership elsewhere. We will not miss you.
They are against bullying only to themselves. What about bullying and harassment and everything else to everyone else? Are they against that? If that is the case by their very own logic, Metalsucks admits that they are bullies and should not be allowed in Metal. They shouldn’t have money given to them in exchange for ad support given to them by metal labels. Why? Because they are bullies. Nobody likes bullies right? So why the fuck are Metalsucks allowed to get away with their form of bullying? Why aren’t Nails allowed the same right to take a stand against people they view as the bullies or those that put Nails in the wrong position and made out to look like bullies? Was there a legit time frame that Nails should have stood up to Metalsucks and it be validated? Doesn’t seem consistent to me and doesn’t add up. Your opinion is of your own, but again to me it doesn’t add up.
There are also people pissed at Todd Jones because along with his tirade against MS, he claimed on Twitter that not only does he stand with the band Young And In The Way, but in his words that band was wrongfully accused. As of writing this particular part, I’ve gotten different sources on this topic. For those that don’t know the story goes as such: YAITW broke-up after accusations of rape and proof came out against them and MS wrote all about this of course. Now, Todd Jones came out and said that it was NOT YAITW and that it was the band Magrudergrind. Todd Jones did not address this in the official rant posted on FB, and people are upset about that as well. So where do I stand on that after I’ve used examples and comparisons to the #metoo movement and bullying and such? First I’m not a fan of YAITW so I have zero connection or fanfare with the band. But then again I would be lying if I said I am not intrigued by Todd Jones’ claim by the slightest because I am. IF it is true, then Todd Jones has more evidence to back his case up and his and anyone else who has beef with MS. IF not and it’s just looks like a case of YAITW trying to make themselves look innocent by somehow leeching onto Nails…then this is one shot that Todd Jones had that unfortunately he will have screwed up and shit will get even messier as it would be a case of believing in a source of disinformation, running with it all while in the end smearing Nails because he decided to defend a piece of shit. That one is on him, not me. Only Todd Jones, YAITW, Magrudergrind and the unfortunate victims of that case know. I just hope for Todd Jones’ sake he is correct.
Both mine and Nails’ argument is not about a music blog or outlet not being allowed to critique or criticize artists. I do that quite often. I’m guilty of doing so. Hell, that’s been a thing since the days of Metal Maniacs Magazine. Even prior to Metal Maniacs. This is about a music blog taking money from the artists that the artist’s label trusted to give ad support and then the blog turning around and using their influence in media to slam and slander said same artist and harm their presence in the scene for either reasons of money or political disagreement even though Metalsucks are constantly contradicting the very political values they espouse. And the political values they espouse are supposed to apply to everyone and not them. That is, again, hypocrisy. I haven’t even touched upon the fact that Vince Neilstien is Metalblade’s very own Rivers Of Nihil’s manager whom he just fucking slandered a fellow Metalblade artist (Behemoth) around Christmas time last year. Is that what Metalblade or any other metal label wants? When you throw money into that toxic mix on the business aspect of the music industry, it’s no different than what goes on behind the curtains of politicians, religious institutions, law enforcement, or any of sort of authoritative system that Metal, Hardcore, and Punk have railed against since Black Sabbath‘s “War Pigs.” The detractors and enemies of our little world of extreme music comes in many forms. Sometimes they carry the bible in one hand and hold government officials looking for political gain while trying to sell you ‘family values.’ Other times they welcome you to their inclusive world of fascism that is disguised as (warped) political correctness.
Anyone who wants to argue with the semantics of all of these things are more than welcomed to comment and discuss these points.