Sad people from old bands making themselves look bad

I love the White Zombie record, La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1. It’s a unique, groovy, catchy, fun, smart, and slightly unsettling album.

white_zombie_la_sexorcisto_devil_music2c_vol._1

Fuck yeah.

A big part of what I like about this record is the drumming of Ivan De Prume. I’m not technically proficient enough with drumming to be able to explain what about his playing is so amazing, but I can sum it up and say that he has an inimitable groove. Like a lot of my other favourite drummers, he can play a simple beat but right away, it’s distinctive and stands out — his playing is extremely recognizable to me, and I love it. There’s a certain swagger and confidence to it.

So I was really bummed when he left the band, and every few years I look him up to see what he’s been doing. Today I found something really sad. It’s a clip where he talks about White Zombie and his contribution to the band with an inflated ego. Here it is.

Yeah, WZ was a big deal…25 years ago. Of course there are some aging cats like myself who still love a few of the records but I don’t think that justifies the tone De Prume takes in the above vid. Actually, I don’t think there is any accomplishment that justifies an egotistical tone, ever. I admire humble people, and am instantly put off by braggarts, regardless of what they’ve done. Bragging is annoying.

I also didn’t like how he disparages WZ’s output after he left. He merely says it doesn’t have the groove that he injected into things, and I agree with that statement 100%, but the way he says it makes it sound like more bragging. It feels like he’s implying, “Johnny Tempesta is a good drummer in his own right but I’M BETTER.”

On top of those things, I also find it sad when people clutch desperately to their accomplishments from long ago. I mean, he’s had a lot of time to let go of this but it sounds like he’s still bitter about how things went down, and the success the band continued to enjoy after he left. That’s a long time to hold onto negativity.

Yet another miserable aspect to this is that the video states it contains “big news” and came out just a few weeks ago, yet it has only 22 views currently. That speaks volumes about how much the world cares about De Prume’s big news.

It’s all so embarrassing, and it sucks because this guy has had a huge positive impact on my life up until this point, but this is going to taint my memories and feelings associated with him. Bummer.

I feel similarly about David Silveria from Korn, who has a remarkably similar story: groovy, talented drummer with a distinct style who was kicked out of a big band way back when, and still gripes about it to this day, making himself look bad. It’s such a shame. I guess it must be tough to climb such mountains, only to tumble off of them and into obscurity for the rest of your life. Great highs can lead to some great lows, it seems.

Moral of the story: never succeed at anything. Intentionally hamstring and sabotage everything you do so that you avoid success. Jk, real moral of the story: I want to stay humble, no matter how many millions of records I sell and how many fans swamp me on a daily basis. I’m just a dude like you, except I’ve got an amazing blog that dictates world events. NBD. Jk again, my blog actually dictates universal events.

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i like the first two korn albums. there, i said it.

when korn first started blowing up in the mid-90’s, i fucking hated them.

look at them. how could anyone NOT hate them?

i hated their fashion. i hated the tone of the guitars, it was too muddy. i hated the click-y bass guitar tone. i hated all the ‘mommy/daddy/nursery rhyme’ bullshit in their lyrics, it seemed so silly and childish. i hated all the minimalist single word song titles that were so popular back then. i hated the lack of 16th note bass drums. i hated that they sounded like lousy musicians who could only play the most rudimentary shit. i hated that their riffs didn’t sound like metallica’s riffs.

in short, they weren’t enough like metallica or megadeth or morbid angel or entombed or type o negative or amorphis or any other band i was absolutely nuts over at the time.

this is what i thought every metal band should look like — no plaid, no track suits.

in the early 2000’s, an attractive acquaintance strongly recommended the second korn album to me, life is peachy. i had a crush on this girl so you bet your nuts i checked it out. and i was amazed that i actually liked a lot of the album. there was one track that was basically all rapping and it sucked but the rest was surprisingly heavy. i also appreciated some of the layered sounds and interesting drumming. here’s one that i liked right away.

then someone recommended korn’s first album. i liked the second so much, i thought maybe i had been wrong about the first one. maybe it was good. so i gave it a shot. nope, still hated it. still had all the same complaints.

that brings me to today. it was a nice sunny day and i had to drive to nanaimo to pick up a friend so i grabbed the two aforementioned korn albums to listen to on the drive. for reasons unknown, i threw on the first one. and you know what? finally, after almost 20 years, i really like it.

i now think the guitar and bass tones are innovative and heavy, although in an obviously different way from the typical metal production of the day. i love david silveria’s intricate yet effortlessly funky drumming. i love the space in the music created by the bass and two guitars all playing different parts simultaneously, as opposed to all three playing the exact same part together, which is common in metal. i think a lot of the yells are super raw and wicked. i really like the progressive elements that i never noticed before — the occasional added beat that allows for more emphasis on the lyrics and vocal delivery, the sudden shifts in tempos and feels. i still do not relate to the lyrics much but i like everything else so much that i can look past them, and at least appreciate that perhaps jonathan davis really was venting some deep-seated childhood issues. anyway.

another thing that occurred to me today was that korn were actually really brave — almost punk — to do what they did, when they did it. in ’94 when their first album came out, metal was still all leather jackets, long hair, and tattoos. then korn came out, playing loud, heavy music that had elements of metal in it but was definitely a far cry from metallica or megadeth or slayer, and they were dressed like weird inner city misfits. the group didn’t even have a cohesive look. head and fieldy looked like wannabe mexican gangsters, munky looked like a mean hippie, davis looked like white trash, and silveria looked suspiciously like a jock. i now LOVE that. i think it’s so neat that they had such a mixed up, inconsistent appearance, and didn’t care about it. that aspect makes me respect the blatant disregard for marketing they had back then. they were just a bunch of skids making a new style of music that they really dug. and i think that’s a core quality in a lot of good music.

as they got more popular, i think the quality of their shit decreased. probably due to record company pressure, drug use, internal strife, etc. whatever. i don’t care about those albums. i still think those first two albums are magical, and capture an excitement and enthusiasm that is captivating.

i tried to pick a song from the album to post but i actually think the album is best consumed as a whole, so here it is. as if the rest of the world isn’t already super familiar and done with it.