You don’t know me and by the time you have finished reading this you will probably will despise me. Today Download Festival announced the first of 3 headliners and you all lost your shit. I mean it’s not like they announced Taylor Swift or something, they announced a balls-out rock band.
I first came across Avenged Sevenfold during their Waking The Fallen album cycle at Leeds Festival in 2004, when they played the tiny Lock Up Stage. I had heard their track Unholy Confessions and loved it so I piled into the tent full of expectation. What I got was smashed about the head with punk infused metalcore, painful circle pits and unbridled passion from the smallish crowd. I have been a fan ever since. You will be getting that on a stage 10 times bigger and from a band 10 years further down the line.
One of the biggest insults I read amongst the endless tweets of derision was that Avenged were only popular because their drummer died. Are you for real? Avenged have got there on the back of relentless touring, record making and being all round hard working guys, to say that they are in this position because of the death of a founder of their band is stupidly disrespectful and offensive as Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan was one of the finest modern metal drummers around. Yes, their latest album got to number one in the UK but consider this: they did it on no commercial airplay support, they did it on word of mouth and more relentless promotion. And yes, their album does sound like a lot of traditional metal albums all fused into one but surely as “metalheads” its what you want? I mean doesn’t every Iron Maiden album sound the same as the last? Yet you love it when they do it, raise the double standards flag people.
Consider this: If most “metalheads” had their way the line up would always include one of Iron Maiden, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne or Guns N Roses in a merry circle until time stopped, but without Andy Copping giving a chance to other bands (like he did last year with Rammstein) like Avenged Sevenfold the scene would stagnate and die. It’s as simple as that. There is a cluster of other bands still in the under headliner category that are capable of taking that next step but without someone taking a chance they never will. Those bands include the likes of Machine Head, Stone Sour, Killswitch Engage, Deftones, Lamb of God and Bullet for my Valentine. All of which need to step up their game another notch to get to the highest echelon. Another reason to rejoice is the fact in a time when most bands aren’t bringing much of a set up to big arena shows and the like, Avenged have a massive touring set that’s been part of their Hail To The King, bringing more of a visual element to their set to back up their impressive sound.
In short, stop being narrow minded cunts and actually go enjoy it, if you don’t want to see Avenged Sevenfold then don’t. There will be three other stages to check out. Or don’t go to Download full stop, maybe your “protest” will cause Andy Copping to abandon the plan to blood new talent! (I doubt it though judging by his replies on Twitter). The other alternative will be to go and watch this band you have slagged off behind a keyboard and be prepared to have your opinions changed. I know where I’ll be.