As those reading this may or may not know, I work for an ezine entitled THE INTESTINAL FORTITUDE. The Intestinal Fortitude is essentially the ezine companion piece to the ANDRIODVIRUS & SEAN SHOW radio show/podcast.I do the occasional opinion column, but often focus mostly on reviewing, analyzing, and commenting on music. It’s a job I was if I was interested in doing last September or so, and having just started to slither out of a severe and bad spell of agoraphobic depression and writers block, decided “sure.” In fact, after having been m.i.a. for so long I was ecstatic to be invited on board (as I still am), especially considering a recent “incident” that occurred due to one of my reviews (there IS a point here, just stick with me).
Last week I did a review (I will leave names and distros out), but it was an (admittedly) harsh piece, done in a deliberately satirical form, even STATED AS SATIRE within the review itself. The piece got posted, as always, and the band/PR Firm did not like what I had to say one bit. In fact, they contacted my editors, and initially accused the review of being slanderous, etc. In fact, they did EXACTLY what I SATIRICALLY said “might” happen, be there a slight bust to the “rockstar” ego someone doesn’t like.
And it’s not like I was reviewing some completely new band just getting their shit together and trying to get the name out there as artists of sound. I was dealing with actual “Top 40”-types. (again names I won’t mention for sake of the once satirical piece that was entirely misunderstood/mis-contexted – – – and the “subtle” threats made by the Firm – – – which I entirely SATIRICALLY predicted in my review – – – which they ACTUALLY made.) These are bands that have been around since the 90’s/early 2000’s, clogging the airwaves with the same sounds and interchange abilities for close to 20 years. One would think that such high-end radio charting and live selling acts that have been around so long would have a thicker skin. MY INTENTION WAS NOT TO INJURE ANYONES FEELINGS, but to question why “hard-rock” in general has just stayed the same, NOTHING MORE.
It was requested by the PR Firm that I NO LONGER REVIEW material of theirs for THE INTESTINAL FORTITUDE. Now there is a whole mess and the Firm may or may not continue to send materials for review and people to interview. Realistically, I can drum up enough of my own, were they to do as such, as can my bosses, etc., but that’s kind of neither here nor there. It was also requested if they DO continue to send promos that I NOT review them.
Thankfully my editors have stood behind me 110%, something I am very grateful for, and I’ve been told to just keep doing what I do how I do it, which is fukking awesome. THE INTESTINAL FORTITUDE, and all related, is just that. There is no backing down or brown-nosing.
When I write a review, I write it FOR THOSE WHO READ IT, meaning, I’m NOT going to say I like something when I don’t, or that it had some wondrous quality that it didn’t, so that said distro or label or artist doesn’t get their panties bunched AND sell bad music (IN MY OPINION) or art. No. You’re going to get EXACTLY HOW I FEEL about what I am listening to. Anything otherwise would be a disservice, and dishonest, to those who are taking the time out of their day to check out my rambling whatever.
On top of that, there are my feelings about WHO HAS THE RIGHT to critique another person’s material, of any kind, be it writing, music, painting, poetry . . . whatever. THE PERSON WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO CRITIQUE IS HE WHO HAS BEEN THERE THEMSELVES, BECAUSE IF YOU HAVE NOT, then you have no clue just what all exactly is involved. I do, and still don’t know everything. I’ve released music from my own bands, played for other bands, toured, written lyrics for others, had 30+ stories published, a novella, at this point written a good (at least) hundred or so reviews and analysis’ of both film and music, and made several short films, put out my own legit print magazine, among many other things. The ENTIRE BUSINESS OF ART OF ANY KIND IS BRUTAL. It is entirely a double-edged sword, a double-sided coin, a Catch 22 squared to the 6th. I know, I’ve been doing this some 25 years now. Honesty and integrity have disappeared from most art forms, unfortunately, the almighty dollar being the New God. I refuse to let myself fall into that trap; I watched it happen to others and it can be ugly. It’s not what I am in my soul or person. I write what I write, from my gut, and when reviewing, NEVER with the intention to HARM ANOTHER BEING IN ANY WAY. IT IS SATIRE, WITH A PURPOSE.
IF THE READER CAN’T GRASP THAT, THAT IS ON THEM.
Vincent Daemon, writer, editor, musician, photgrapher, film/music buff and historian, and rabblerouser, can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 as well as his spontaneously updated blog of writing news and nonsense THE WRITINGS OF A DEPRAVED MIND http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/ Some of his music can be painfully experienced at http://www.reverbnation.com/vincentdaemonsageofdesire3 His email is firstname.lastname@example.org