20 minutes ago
Sunday, April 17, 2011
* * * * * CHRIS JERICHO & JAMES DURBIN * * * * *
It's time to metal up and Rock the Vote on
'Dancing with the Stars' & 'American Idol'
When American Idol finalist James Durbin was joined onstage by Zakk Wylde during his performance of Sammy Hagar's "Heavy Metal" last week, it represented more than just unprecedented mainstream exposure for Zakk Wylde - it represented an opportunity for the hard rock and metal community to make a statement that it is no longer the bastard son of the music industry.
Instead, too many "fans" used the opportunity to engage in online grandstanding and short-sided rhetoric.
The two biggest shows on television are Dancing with the Stars and American Idol - and for the first time ever, both are currently boasting competitors that are not only proud of their metal roots, they also wear them on their sleeves.
Chris Jericho is billed as a "wrestling superstar" by Dancing with the Stars, but fans also know him as frontman of Fozzy - a band that he started with Stuck Mojo guitarist Rich Ward a decade ago, and will be performing alongside the Big 4 on overseas festivals this summer.
Think about that for a minute: the singer of a band sharing stages with Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, is currently holding his own on a dance floor alongside Kirstie Alley, the Karate Kid, super-model Petra Nemcova, Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward, a Disney superstar, hip-hop/R&B star Romeo, and a reality TV star and Playboy model who dated Hugh Hefner.
What do all these people have in common? Unwavering fan support. They've all made it this far because they know that they have a fan base that they can count on to vote - except for Chris Jericho.
While Jericho has many fans who vote, he has just as many who don't vote because "dancing isn't metal."
We need to change that.
You don't need to watch Dancing with the Stars to support Chris Jericho, all you need to do is cast your votes while the show is airing. So while you're watching wrestling, baseball, or whatever else you may be doing between 8-10pm on Monday nights, log onto ABC.com (where it will take you no more than 30 seconds to vote the maximum-allowed nine times each week) and call (800) 868-3409 ten times (the max phone votes allowed per week, per phone line)...
Contrary to what some may say, Dancing with the Stars isn't fixed - in fact, the single-largest factor influencing who stays and goes is audience votes. It's a numbers game, and the numbers should be in Chris Jericho's favor. While Kendra Wilkinson may have five-times his Twitter followers, she doesn't have the hard rock and heavy metal communities and WWE Universe behind her - like Chris SHOULD.
This is OUR scene, and how great would it be to show the mainstream, pop-culture world that when we band together, we have the numbers to defy their trends and plastic icons?
By voting for Chris Jericho on Dancing with the Stars and James Durbin on American Idol we are voting for an end to the ongoing barrage of crap that litters our airwaves.
By voting for the people that stand for the same things as we do, we are not being less metal, we are banding together to make hard rock and heavy metal stronger.
Zakk Wylde became a trending topic on Twitter when he joined James Durbin onstage during Idol - but what did that get him?
Hear me out here...
Not only did James Durbin defy American Idol mentor and Interscope Records head Jimmy Iovine - one of the most powerful men in the music industry - when he chose "Heavy Metal" as his performance for the week, but he invited Zakk Wylde to perform with him... The best message that Zakk's fans could have sent would have been to throw their unprecedented voting power behind James, showing Idol just how powerful Zakk Wylde, his fans, and heavy metal can be.
If fans are subjected to listening to judge Randy Jackson fumble through a clueless introduction of Zakk Wylde, the least we can do is return the favor by supporting James and Zakk the only way that matters on Idol - with votes.
Making Zakk Wylde a trending topic on Twitter matters to nobody five minutes later. But if James Durbin gets 500,000 more votes than his previous week when Zakk Wylde performs alongside him, THAT makes Zakk Wylde look huge to the powers that be.
The great thing about social media is that WE shape it, WE make it what it is, and WE define its results - so WE need to make it count.
This is OUR scene, and we need to rally behind it. We need to use the tools at our disposal to crash through the disposable fads we are being force fed, and stand behind what DOES mean something to us - hard rock and heavy metal.
Because if we don't, who is going to? For every person that won't vote for James Durbin because he's heavy metal, we need five metal-heads that don't watch American Idol to vote to show that strength comes in numbers, and our numbers are there...
Just like the heavy metal community needs to stand behind Chris Jericho on Dancing with the Stars - where, last week, he performed to a song recorded by both Savatage and Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Who else has the balls to do that on prime-time television?
THAT is metal... And even better, is that both Jericho and Durbin are turning heads with impressive performances throughout the process.
If you think two metal fans lose credibility by being in the biggest spotlight American culture has to offer, you're just as short-sighted as the people that turn their noses at the music that what we love and they don't understand.
Think about it - what could be a greater statement from OUR SCENE, than having Chris Jericho win Dancing with the Stars and James Durbin win American Idol?
Nothing - so let's rock the vote and make it happen!
TWITTER: Chris Jericho
TWITTER: James Durbin
TWITTER: Paul Gargano
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I'll never forget the first time I met Dave Grohl - which is ironic, considering he was probably wishing he could forgot my banter while I was still mid-sentence.
That's the difference 15 years makes, because I've been in his presence numerous times since, but my desire not to be an intrusion outweighs my interest in telling him how much I appreciate everything he's done in the wake of Nirvana.
What does that have to do with the trailer for the new Foo Fighters movie "Back and Forth"? Nothing, really - the trailer (posted above), coupled with the anniversary of Kurt Cobain's suicide, just got me thinking about how I was never a big Nirvana fan, and always a big Foo Fighters fan.
I never resented Dave Grohl for starting Foo Fighters, I actually appreciated him more for it - and told him that backstage at Milwaukee's Riverside Theater on March 28, 1996. Grohl responded with a few amicable words, and I proceeded to talk at greater length with guitarist Pat Smear. Seeing as I am a bigger fan of the Germs than I was of Nirvana, it's no wonder that conversation went better.
Nirvana didn't speak to me like it spoke to so many others - I grew up on a steady diet of hard rock and metal, and my favorite music has always been more about visceral response than somber introspection. So when Grohl says, "honestly, had I taken this whole career thing seriously, I would have named it something else, because this is the worst fucking band name in the world..." at the end of the trailer, I'm just glad he doesn't take things too seriously.
I want musical thrills, not pills, and Foo Fighters always deliver the goods - I can't wait to see this movie...