I’m 26. What that means is that I’m still relatively young, but I’m not really young anymore. People who are my age can relate, and people who are older can probably remember. It’s a weird period of life, because you’re definitely not old, but you’re still way older than teenagers.
I talked to a girl the other day, and found out she was born in ’92. I couldn’t believe how mature she looked considering 1992, to me, feels like 10 years ago. But it’s not 10 years ago, is it? So am I turning into an old man? The same old man who doesn’t understand the new generation, and remembers how good it was in his day? The same old man I used to laugh at as a kid? Probably.
Here’s why: When I was a kid, CDs were relatively new to me, but my favorite band releasing an album meant I’d have to go to the store and find it. The search itself was part of the fun — Browsing through the letters, desperately finding the artwork I saw on TV, that was a quest, man. Then I’d get the album but I couldn’t listen to it until I got home. I mean, sure, I had a portable CD player (that was so high tech in those days), but I didn’t want to risk damaging the CD (it was a Sony Walkman, but for some reason I didn’t trust it with new discs) so I just waited until I got home.
So I get home and play the first song while I’m reading the booklet. Man, those were the days, right? I even touched on this subject in my interview with Megadeth’s Dave Ellefson.
But those days are over. Because today, people want things NOW. Not tomorrow, not when they get to the store, right now. This very instant. Doesn’t matter if they’re on their tablet taking a shit, or at work streaming porn on their smartphones. They want it all, and they want it right now. And without going into an obvious Queen pun, I have to mention that they expect it to be free, also. The world has changed, and even though I was down with technology since I was young, I still feel like a dinosaur.
How does this relate to Down and Mr. Anselmo? Read on to find out, although let’s not pretend like this bullshit rant is going anywhere.
We’re living in the internet age, and you’d think a semi-nerd like me, who has been online since 1997, would be the first to embrace it. But I’m starting to despise it more than anything.
Don’t get me wrong, I am aware of how much the internet helps us, and I don’t think I could go a day without being online without serious withdrawal symptoms. So it’s not like I hate the internet, hell, I’m writing on a website right now. But I don’t like its monopoly on things, especially the entertainment industry.
The fact that people are not fine with waiting a few years for an album, and they stalk and harass their favorite musicians on Twitter and Facebook demanding everything, is what annoys me about this generation. The internet was supposed to bring us together to exchange information and the wonderful world of knowledge, and what do we do with it? We argue about iOS being better than Android, and then get personal about it. Or we watch porn.
But in our porn-streaming, mobile-phone-OS-defending quest for just wasting our lives away on the internet, we also managed to bring down the music industry, and limit the way our favorite artists do things. And that’s bad, and it’s on us.
Sure, labels are greedy, and their greed and self-importance was a big part of the downfall of the music industry as we knew it, but I wouldn’t expect any better from corporate fat cats. But I would expect a bit more from us. I expected us to be less selfish, and I was wrong, because we aren’t. We’re worse.
Speaking of the aforementioned iOS, I really like Apple and their products, and I think it’s nice that they made people pay for the mp3s they download. However, I do not like buying albums one audio file at a time, nor do I like the idea of people listening to them that way.
I am not one of those guys who thinks an album is a journey, and that you need to judge a song based on the other songs of the album, blah blah blah. That’s bullshit to me. But so is getting the album one song at a time. It’s not right.
Like I said in the first paragraphs, an album should be an event, and a physical copy of that album is part of the event. Downloading or streaming it like you’re doing with porn is a bit, say, disrespectful towards the artist?
“Meh, I’ll give this a listen… CLICK… Yeah, so that’s the new album, eh?” is very far from the experience of physically moving your ass to the record store to search for it and then get it back to your house. And lemme tell you something, taking a gamble when buying an album you’re not sure of is also part of the fun of discovering a new band. I remember when I got into Pantera, I went to the store and bought like 4 albums at once, then I started wondering if I should have wasted all that money on a band I hardly knew. It paid off in the end, and the victory was sweeter, as I invested time and money into this band, I didn’t just click a plastic button. It was an emotional bond between me and this band, and that bond is gone when all you have to do is type www.youtube.com.
People might wonder what’s stopping me now from doing things the old way. Well, nothing, and guess what, I am still buying CDs and Blu-Rays. But it feels like no one else is. So I’ll have to read weeks and weeks of opinions on albums from people who downloaded the leaks, before I am able to listen to it myself, and that annoys me. And sometimes I read stuff like “Yeah, listened to the leak, not gonna bother buying it!”.
So it makes me feel like a grandpa not being able to adjust to the digital world, and just remembering what it was like when he was a teenager. I shouldn’t have laughed at all the older people that didn’t understand the internet when it first got big. Cause now I don’t understand the internet, and the sense of entitlement that comes with being an internet user. “It’s my right to get anything I want right now, for free, because I feel like it.”
Now what does all of this have to do with Down? Not much, but Phil says they don’t have time to release a full album, so they’re going for an EP. He says writing six songs instead of twelve is easier. He talks like this is the new way to do things. But he wouldn’t be doing it if we still expected full albums like we used to.
So instead of getting organized and finding time for a full Down CD, the guys will just settle for a few songs and then will move on with the other 100 projects they’ve got going. Because that’s the way we treat music now. Spend a few minutes on it, then move on to something else. We’ve taken our bad remote control habits, where we just zap through channels without caring, and added them to everything we do now. And that’s why the world is a worse place now than it was 10 years ago when I was a teenager.
Now get off grandpa’s lap and let grandpa take his nap.