Music Snobs

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PHOTOS & WORDS: ZOE LONDON
MUSIC SNOBS. THOSE WITH A SUPERIORITY COMPLEX OVER THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OF ART FORMS: MUSIC.

I’ve always wondered why when music is such a personal, unique and special thing, there’s always someone who has to get up on their high horse about something to do with it. It’s absolutely 100% certain that absolutely no two people on this planet will have the exact same music taste. Not at all. Not when there’s millions-billions- of artists to listen to. So why is there such a huge culture that enjoys shaming or baiting people on their music choices? Especially young kids?

Now i’m not talking about those having a laugh or poking a bit of fun, because that is definitely different. That little viral thing that went round (and I think is still going round) Facebook saying ‘who to unfriend’ and then showing you which of your friends liked the Nickelback page, that’s different. Poking fun at viral videos, that’s different. What i’m talking about here is the witch hunt that ensues over a new Justin Bieber tour that melts Twitter, or when One Direction fans scream so hard they cry – and this not being seen as the done thing by other music fans of different genres, just because it’s Justin Bieber, and ultimately that’s where the issues lie.

I don’t really see the point. Kids especially are learning who they are, finding their emotions, becoming themselves. If they like One Direction, let them like them. Actually, 1D are right now one of the best, most influential and powerful bands to come out of our country, so witch hunting them or hating on them just because they’re popular and they’re not your cup of tea is only counter productive.

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PHOTO CREDIT: DEREK BREMNER

One of the things that gripes me the most about a music snob, is their ability to always try and make you feel inferior. Perhaps they bought a certain band’s album before you, or went to one of their tours two years before you heard of them. They’ll do everything in their power to make sure you know that they’re that bands biggest fan – but what for? It absolutely achieves nothing, and makes the other person feel silly, or that they’re not allowed to enjoy the music they love. I’ve only just heard All Time Low. I know, I know, where have I been etc etc, but i’m being honest, I have only just heard of them. I really like them, and that’s great. I’ve been getting such a mixed reaction, some genuine surprise “no way, how did you not know of them?!” from good mates of mine and even George, but others have simply responded in such a derogatory term, making me feel stupid and inadequate. Also, just because the majority of ATL fans are ten years younger than me, doesn’t mean i’m not allowed to like them to begin with. I really like them, and they make me happy.

One of my favourite bands of all time – if not my all time favourite band – is Alexisonfire, who have since split. Now I would not for a minute be this rude to a young teen, having just found Alexisonfire for the first time. So what, who cares if I was there before this teen in 2004 at The Garage when they played with The Bled? Why people think it’s ok to berate younger kids on the music that makes them happy that they’re just getting into I have no idea. I’d be thrilled if teenagers of today just found Alexisonfire on Spotify and gave them a listen because it means their memory lives on, and I too can enjoy sharing the music I loved as a teen with new teens.

When I was at art university, I was really really judged for listening to a certain style of music. Most of the art hipsters only listened to music i’d never heard of, or obsure random experimental stuff like Sunn O))). Fair enough if you really like that stuff only, but it seemed to me to carry a real air of pretentiousness along with it. At the time, i’d just secured myself a nice little photography gig with Biffy Clyro, and their reactions were just turned up noses to the kind of ‘mainstream’ rock that they felt Biffy supposedly were. I always felt like I could never talk about music around them, and they made me feel left out rather than being accepted for liking different things.

There’s other kinds of music snobbery too, in the people that claim that other genres of music are not ‘real music.’ Just because Avicii plays his music through ableton on a mac using a synthesiser rather than a guitar plugged into an amp does not mean his music is not real music. It’s sounds, isn’t it? It’s pumped through clubs, and taken on tour, isn’t it? It makes people happy when it’s played, doesn’t it? So, it’s music.

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Music can bring people together, but I worry that this mentality of modern music snobbery immediately ruins a potential online dating match from the offset, due to choices made on profile pages. You can be a sound person and listen to absolutely anything from Katy Perry to Slayer, and when you bond with someone it’s usually because you have a few bands in common interest to your lover. George and I are both massive fans of Killswitch Engage and Reuben, but then he loves The Chariot while I love the Eurovision, and neither of us stop the other from listening to the other – we might make each other put headphones on – but it fundamentally hasn’t stopped us from loving each other. Infact those little differences are part of why I love George so much, because I love watching the passion he has for The Chariot. He revelled in watching me cry over going to the Eurovision. It works on so many levels. The new music snob might make this get in the way of a potential relationship, and for what? Fake cool points on a dating profile? “Oh I only listen to new bands that no ones heard of. You like Miley Cyrus? We could never date. *clicks on to next profile*” Jesus wept, get over yourself. And what a waste, too, because that person might have turned out to have been your ideal match.

I guess what i’m trying to say is that out of all of the genres I dip my toes in – Fashion, Beauty, Travel, Lifestyle and Music, music is the hardest by far to feel accepted in and to feel carefree in. I’m constantly tweeting things about opinions I have on music (recently it was Five Seconds Of Summer), only to be shot down immediately by 5SOS fans on twitter. (I said I liked them, cos I do, but they shouldn’t be referred to as punk rock when they are a great pop band.) I find it the hardest to bond in, because when you’re on such a public platform as Twitter for example, of course not everyone is going to like your music choice, but everyone likes to let you know about their opinion on it.

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I guess because there are so many genres and styles of music these days, it’s only going to continue this way. I’m kinda sick of pussyfooting around my opinion for fear of causing online war or rivalry, though, and I do kinda wish that we’d all just take everyone else’s music choices with a pinch of salt. No two people’s music collection is exactly the same, just like their body and their face, and that’s just the way I like it, personally. A mixed bag. Oh, and, hating on music just because it’s popular to try and be ‘ironic’ and ‘cool’ is pathetic, and you’re worse by throwing a snobby face and saying you hate Lady Gaga when really you dance like mad to it in a club when it comes on at 2am.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite lyrics from Alexisonfire, actually, just to think about.
Cos this shit isn’t about bands. This shit isn’t about shirts. And this shit is definitely not about hair. This shit is about having a good fucking time. Maybe music isn’t dead, maybe music isn’t dead. Maybe we all just forgot what it fucking sounded like…

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