Why Do We Hate Some Bands and Artists?
Yeah, sure, we all have bands we don't listen to, whole genres of music we ignore, artists who just don't do anything for us, and so on. But those aren't hated, they're just indifferent. However, there are those select few who seem to get singled out for a rash of Internet hate-dom. Why? What's so special about this one group that thousands line up just to boo them? Here, we'll try to explain some of that. Put on your flame-roof longjohns and step this way...
NOTE: We do not hold any of these views as our own. We're trying to explain WHY people who hate xyz hate xyz, not that they're right, justified, or anything (or even wrong!). But we expect we're getting flamed for this one anyway no matter what we do. Can we have a sense of humor about it please?
Bands get hated because...
They're too commercial.
This is hard to explain. The Beatles, Elvis, Guns 'n' Roses, they are commercial, no? Yes, but there's a line you don't cross, and once you cross it, you can't go back. It's the part where a band makes it so obvious that they're only in it for the money and the art means nothing to them, that there might as well be no reason to listen to them at all. At some point, KISS whored themselves for publicity just once too often. The new version of this is Nickelback, so corporate, so pandering, so phony, and worst of all, so behind-their-time, that they strike many people as the aural equivalent of a fast-food cheeseburger. A very recent example, whom we won't name because we don't want to throw gas on the fire, is a young girl who bought the services of a music-video production factory, and it somehow went hate-viral everywhere at once.
They're aimed at a younger demographic.
This is pretty easy to figure. Teen/ tween pop, girl groups, boy bands, they all get hated by the older set and worshipped by the teeny-boppers. The extreme version of this is when the demographic is preschool; remember the backlash against Barney? When you see songs like "I hate you, you hate me; let's hang Barney from a tree. With a knife to the back and a loaded .44; no more purple dinosaur.", you know there's some hate there. We will always have our Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus; we will always have their haters.
The band is OK, but their fans are pathetic trash.
Admit it, some of you liked Radiohead a whole lot better before you met their arrogant, pushy, down-talking, bigoted fan base. When people treat you like you're an inferior life form simply because you do not listen to the same band they do, that reflects badly on the band. Everything is black and white with these people; either you fanatically love their little cult indie group or you are evil infidel scum who deserves to die in a fire. There's a bunch of bands we could mention but it's bad enough we had to say the first one just so you'd know what we mean.
The lead artist has made a bad PR move.
Prince had a lot more fans before he started suing mommies for posting videos of their toddler dancing to his music. Metallica had a lot more fans before they made cry-baby wet-blankets of themselves because about five people downloaded their BitTorrent back in 1999 when barely anyone knew Knapster existed. Fred Durst keeps what few fans he attracts at bay by constantly having charges of assault, battery, reckless driving, and generally being a jerk. You get the picture.
Band's OK, but the genre has stigma.
Two words: Nu Metal. If Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were alive today and chose to make nu-metal music, he'd be booed off the stage before he even opened the lid on the piano, simply because the genre's so widely panned. Ditto for many other niche genres.
It's a completely unrelated backlash coming from a different fan base.
This one's the weirdest of all, but it's easy to test for: are there comic-book fans involved? If so, fumigate for the little cockroaches and move on, ignoring the outraged cries. An example is Amanda Palmer (of Dresden Dolls and Evelyn Evelyn fame): she used to be adored and admired everywhere she went. Then, in 2010, suddenly all this flaming rage and hate came out all over the Internet about her. What changed? She married Neil Gaiman, associated with the Sandman comic books. And thousands of 14-year-old, zitty, basement-dwelling, mommy-sponging, socially-awkward losers gagged at the idea that their beloved super-hero comic books would forever be contaminated by her icky icky girl cooties. Oh. Look for these in any hate backlash where none of the above make sense, and there'll be comic-book fans lurking under that last rock.