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.

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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 want to be broke

twice in the last 6 or 7 years, i’ve become what i consider overweight. what do i consider overweight? i could see in the mirror that my gut was sticking out, and my pants were getting tighter. to me, that’s overweight. i wasn’t a blimp or anything but i could see that i was starting to pack weight on, and that’s enough for me to want to do something about it.

the scale confirmed my fears, of course. while my adult weight has fluctuated between 180-190 lbs, it was only recently that it crept up to 200 lbs. both times that this happened, i simply cut back on junk food (i have a deep respect for cookies and chips), started eating smaller portions in general, and did a bit more cardio exercise like running and biking than usual. within a few weeks, my body went back to the shape i liked and my weight dropped down to 190. hooray, all is right in my world again.

but i’ve been thinking about why my weight has slowly become a minor issue for me, and i actually think it’s because i’m no longer poor.

hear me out, you treasonous infidels: when i was in my early 20s and first moved out, i didn’t have a lot of money so i bought the cheapest food i could — i learned that fruit was a much cheaper snack than chocolate-coated granola bars or any of the tastier, less healthy options. the same thing applied to cereal so i usually opted for corn flakes or red river — the ultra bland healthier stuff. i never bought cheese because that was WAY too expensive, and on and on. i never overate either, since that would obviously cost more. it’s no surprise i was pretty skinny for all of this.

but as i’ve gotten older and made gradually more money, i’ve gotten into the habit of treating myself to whatever i want, whenever i want. i can now afford whatever guilty pleasure i want when i get groceries, i can buy baked goods every time i work, i can get greasy pizza for a snack when i’m doing errands in town. it doesn’t have a visible impact on my bank account anymore so there has been no incentive to deny myself.

therein lies the problem. i’ve reached a point where i can financially afford to always say ‘yes’ to myself, and it has made me soft.

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not THAT soft

the funny thing is that i frequently think about this idea in terms of artists and how shitty most of them get once they make it big. i think metallica is a perfect example of how a hungry young band can create important, powerful art when they have nothing, and how the success of that art can lead to the band becoming complacent or self-indulgent. artists have to be careful with success because it can be such a double-edged sword. no matter how successful a band becomes, i think it is of utmost importance that they preserve the fire that made them so great to start with — they need to stay lean, stay hungry, so to speak. i think about that all the time.

despite being acutely aware of this idea, i too fell victim to it (in a physical sense, obv). it’s incredible.

the good news though is that i’m aware of all this now; i’m lucky i caught it early, and i’m lucky i’m already back down to my fighting weight. now i just have to learn to live every day like i’m broke again.

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stay lean. stay hungry. stay broke. it’s actually better that way.