*holds hand up*
The thing I have in my hand is what is commonly referred to as a Can of Worms. In this post, I shall endeavour to attempt an opening of said can with my personal opinion on music today and my relationship with music... past, present and future.
When I was little, I had no relationship with any kind of music but music was always played in my house. My mum was (and I suppose still is) a HUGE Elvis fan (for crying out loud, I have Elvis's middle name!), my uncle was a rock fan (mainly Saxon, Def Leppard, that sort of stuff) and I was exposed to a wide and varied amount of music. But me... I had no opinions on music at the time. I grew up in an area where dance, happy hardcore, gabber, trance, pop, that sort of stuff was always played and if you weren't a fan or weren't into it as much as the other kids, then you were always on the outside. To be fair, I really couldn't give a crap.
As long as I had my video games, then all was well in the world.
The thing is though, over time, I started to find my way into liking music. A relationship which is as strong as ever.
To make something clear from the start, when it comes to music, I'm somewhat eclectic. I will listen to everything from AC/DC to Daft Punk, Mad Capsule Markets (google them... do it now. I see you and you aren't doing it!) to Mozart. Within Temptation to Eminem to Gorillaz, it doesn't matter. However, I'm finding myself becoming somewhat of a..... I don't know, a snob.
And this... this I do not like.
Even though I am eclectic, I would consider myself more of a fan of Metal, in all of it's forms. It doesn't matter if it's thrash or djent, nu or old school, Swedish or Japanese, it's all good to me. I started on my musical journey at the age of 5 or 6 years old with a band that still holds a place in my heart. Pink Floyd. To me, the lyrics, the tempo, the beat, everything appealed to me. I knew they had split many years before I was born, but I didn't care. My uncle owned a copy of Dark side of the Moon on vinyl and I... ahem, "Borrowed" his copy. I put in my headphones, lay on my bed in my room and put the stylus on the turntable. At that point, I found myself lost in a world that I never knew existed
A world of music.
I still listen to this album. It's always on my iPod or my phone or anything that plays music. If I build a playlist, at least three or four tracks will be on there. Their greatest hits album is one of my favourites (Wish you were here is one of the best Pink Floyd songs EVER... I'll pop the video at the end of this post). But as time when on, I found myself wanting to experience different kinds of music. So, thats when I started to listen to everything that my grubby little mitts could get there hands on. I discovered what I did and didn't like. I found that I was very selective with what I preferred. I knew at a young age that I DID NOT like the songs that were in the charts (A trend which continues to this very day), I did not like pop, dance, or anything that my peers liked. I didn't like the things that everyone else did. I formed my life around the kinds of music which other people at the time didn't like or know. I was liking bands before anyone else found them or thought they were cool (OMG, I was a hipster and didn't know!) and to me, I didn't want to share something that I thought was my little secret. I thought that if I did, then everyone else would like it and it wouldn't have the same effect on me as it once did.
So along came the year 2000. I was in my last year of secondary school. I wore baggy jeans, hoodies, trainers and skateboarded. I also had an MP3 player surgically attached to my head. Nu-Metal was constantly blasting in my brain and Papercut by Linkin Park was my personal national anthem. I would go into class on school days with that MP3 player turned down low while I did whatever was required during the day and as I worked, I drifted away into the music. It sharpened my senses and elevated my mood. This was at a time when my mental health was at it's worse point and it acted as a distraction from the fact that guaranteed during that day, I would be physically assaulted by bullies. Music allowed me to drift away and to be honest, it still does.
I'm 33 years old. I've been to one concert in my life and feel as if I've missed out on so so much but I've made up for it with the vast collection of music that I have accrued over the years. I have a 1TB hard drive where at least 3 quarters of it is music. I've tracked down songs that I've heard in films and tv shows that I've never heard before that point and downloaded them and loved them. As I sit here typing this, I am playing the Iowa album by Slipknot from 2001 and remembering being at an IT training course, sitting in the corner of the room, playing a shareware copy of Doom on multiplayer that someone had installed on the network without the administrator knowing. It was my go-to gaming album.
Here is where the snobbery bit comes in. I still do not like the music that is in the charts. When I say that I do not like it, I cannot stand it. I get that different people like different stuff, I mean, variety is the spice of life. The thing is, when I hear things like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry and that sort of thing, all I hear is cash register sounds. All I hear is manufactured songs by manufactured artists. Before you slate what I said, Yes, I know that they will have worked to get where they are and that people find pleasure and support in listening to the songs and you know what? Fine! Good... you've found yourself in a position I was in when I found the artists that I liked. For crying out loud, my wife loves things like Steps, old school R&B, things like that. I just personally cannot find the thing in it that you find. I can't find that click point and I recognise that people feel the same way about the music I listen to. I know one person said that the music I listen to is... and I quote... "Random, aggressive, angry noise that appeals to school shooters" (Could believe they said that!)
Maybe it's just me being a whiny old git.
Anyway, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the kinds of music that is around today and what you relationship with music is like. Tell me if I've being a whiny old git or if I sort of have a point. I'd really like to know.
Now, as promised, here is that Pink Floyd song I mentioned