I Would Do Anything For Love (of Music), But I Won't Do That!

I Would Do Anything For Love (of Music), But I Won't Do That!

We are music fans, we care deeply about music and some of us care deeply about the people behind the music, but when does someone's actions overshadow their artistical output?

Something happened within our community recently. Someone lied, someone turned out to be a criminal, someone had been found guilty by the law of somenasty things. That person will remain nameless because his punishment is to be swallowed by the sands of time, forgotten, every trace of him and his music gone. When word broke of what had happened radio stations removed the songs from rotations, blogs removed their posts, fans threw away the cds and tshirts. Gone.

So what makes a fan give up on a band, disown them?

I'll give you an example: I grew up on Guns N'Roses, Axl is quite clearly a horrible mysoginist and few things annoy me more than women being mistreated. Yet I never turned my back on them.

Pantera, one of the best metal bands ever, it turns out that Phil is a racist scumbag, I still think he's one of the best metal vocalists ever. Their music is tainted now though, everytime I hear it I think: "ugh, if only he wasn't a racist nutjob".

Within our scene there has been the Whirr controversy. Dropped by their label for their transphobic comments. Think what you want of it but the internet didn't take too kindly to it.

So basically the question Noise Artists is asking is what would make you stop listening to your fave band?

And here are some very interesting answers:

I would stop supporting the artist entirely. Sexual predation and the abuse of others is a non-starter for me. If someone in a favorite band turned out to be a rapist, sexual harasser, or any other such thing, I would just erase all their files, get rid of their music in my collection, and be done with them.
— Jason Lamoreaux- Somewhere Cold/DKFM/The Corrupting Sea
Well, this is an extremely delicate subject. Obviously if we are to act rationally, we should separate the person as a human being from what it produces, in this case the music, but, let’s analyze from a practical point of view, if a lawyer commits something as horrible as sexual abuse against another person , will we continue to admire what he does? Obviously not, then, we should follow this line of reasoning for bands / musicians, correct?

In my rational opinion yes, but there is an aura of enchantment with those who create art, music in the case, and this often prevents us from rationally evaluating extreme situations like the one you asked me.

I believe that we must evaluate every context of the act and make our own decisions without external interference, this is my point of view. Briefly, I will never be influenced by public opinion, but by my own personal reason.
— Renato Malizia- The Blog That Celebrates Itself
The artist would have to personally insult me, become christian, or suddenly start playing pop country music, but really, I’m in the mind of separating the person from the art
— Benjamin Bowman- Colouring Electric Like
I think that this has been answered to some stage by Gary Glitter. I love his music and the production on his records is faultless, but I will never ever post anything or mention about Gary at all.
— Russell Hiscox- I Was A Teenage Shoegazer
It depends. For example...there were things in Bowie’s past that were sketchy but it was a different time and not super egregious. However, with all of the information regarding sexual harassment and worse from Ethan Klath from Crystals Castles...I will no longer support anything he does.

So for me...it’s case by case and just depends. Some things can be separated but others are just too far and even if I loved the material...I just couldn’t support it.
— Brenna Michelle- Shoegaze Sundays
I think I am in favour if seperating the art. I am usually not that interested in the person behind it tbh. If I buy a pair custom made artisan shoes, I dont ask the shoemaker about what he does at home. But I guess that if you find out that he beats his wife, you’d go buy your shoes elsewhere I suppose...
— Estella Rosa- Fadeawayradiate
Good question! Honestly my favorite band is my favorite for a lot of reasons but a big one is that they are incredibly moral in everything they do. So personally almost any scandal would be sort of devastating to me.
— Demi Haynes- Seashine
I sadly cannot separate the person from the music, especially in the case of sexual predators or right wing nutjobs. Now, if somebody was incarcerated for theft or something similar, I wouldn’t care so much. Murder is another story
— Elizabeth Klisiewicz- Big Takeover Magazine
I am lucky in that i know my favorite band personally. we share many of the same values. but yes, if i become aware of a band that my values are diametrically opposed to, then yes, I generally will not listen to them.
— Cat Hall Angeles- Dissonance
Hey man I have actually had this happen recently. It came out the singer of Cigarettes After Sex gropped someone at a gig. I instantly stopped listening to them and got rid of there records. Because when you listen to his lyrics he is a total creep. I find it hard to separate the art from the person because they are their art you know?
— Graeme Gray
Really -in my opinion- any human being is evaluable by the set of his acts, but the truth is that in the world of art and music there are musicians whose personal trajectory, and even political ideology, is totally contrary to my thinking, which does not prevent me from admiring his work, not his person.

But, music is as well a reflection of the sensitivity of its author, and in the musical field in which I situate myself (underground and independent music), authenticity is an element of weight. A sexual abuser, or someone who does not respect life or simply the freedom of others, demonstrates a feigned, a fake, sensitivity that would make me lose interest in their work.

I prefer authentic people, without complexes, and whose limits of action, personal and professional, do not invade the freedom -in the broadest and widest sense- of others. Respect is the limit in all spheres of my life, included music and arts.
— Ansel Garcia- Psychgazer
I can´t separate the artist from the art. I wish that I could, but I can´t. In the case of a sexual abuse, to me it´s one of the worst things that an artist (or any other people) can do to another, and in this case it seems ok to me to separate the human of their work.

And I will not listen to anybody after knowing of such a thing. So my threshold is that if some artist have hurt anybody else in some way ( physical or psychological ) then I will stop listening to their work.

Sometimes it happens with the political views of an artist, or for what they do in their personal lives. In other cases one tends to judge other artists for a lot of reasons, but well I think that maybe that´s another topic to discuss. Related but different for sure.
— Nicolás Castello- Nax
I can’t get behind fake art, and if the personality of a person is part of their art and then that is revealed to be a lie then I lose interest. Gossip is just that and I barely care about it, or even care about the artist themselves most of the time.

I think the line is being hurtful to other people. If I found out an artist I loved was a pedo or abuser or something like that I’d be really disappointed, but I’m not going to let that behavior take away my memories, even if they may take my future enjoyment away
— Preston Maddox- Bloody Knives
The past year has been chock full of news of celebrities’ sexual faux pas and assaults. It has become difficult to scroll down a social media page without some reference of yet another person being called out for their past behavior.

It is also difficult to know which accusations are true, but even when I love a person’s work I tend to lean towards believing the accuser. It would likely take a conviction or concrete evidence for me to completely stop listening to my favorite artists’ songs, but I cannot knowingly support individuals who have proven themselves to be bad people, even if what they produce is of great quality.

I have a hard time following people who are not kind to others – so definitely cannot follow those who commit outright abuse. All that said, I still could never bring myself to boycott good art, no matter the creator (ex. Michael Jackson’s discography…).

However, I will discontinue my support by unfollowing social accounts, refusing to purchase new albums, attend concerts, and the like. Separating the people from the art isn’t really possible in my eyes and ears. If the art is good, the person is buried deep within.

I do feel it is fair to give people second chances based upon their behavior going forward after an accusation and/or conviction. If an individual acknowledges what they have done wrong, shows remorse, and learns from the mistake, I don’t see any ethical problem with them and their art.
— Maudie Michelle- Stonerpop
Every form of art, including the people that are involved with it, should reflect ethical values to the audience and stand for human rights.

The artists themselves should respect individual freedom and in any case , not using their fame, to manipulate people mentally or physically.

If my favourite artist/band proven to disrespect these values it would affect negatively their work of art because the two aspects of them as a persons in one hand and their creative work on the other hand, are interrelated.

Furthermore, art is created by people depending on their own experiences and beliefs and the result carries a piece of their mental world.

The substance of the artist has no meaning when the intellectual goal is lost by bad actions, and as a result i would not be interested by their work anymore
— Magda Mava- Dreamcatcher
Over the years, bands and artists in other mediums have said or done things that do not align with the way I conduct myself and though I may have been a fan of their art I could no longer support them in any way.

It doesn’t matter how great someone may be creating a particular form of artistic endeavor; if their actions, words, and behaviors affect and impact others negatively by supporting their art you belittle those affected by the actions of said artists. Art is the expression of the soul therefore an artist’s views, expressions, and actions are all interrelated.
— Tom Lugo- Panophonic/Stellarscope


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

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