A Red Carpet Rolls into a Bar… Bands, Booze, and the APMAs.

Since the dawn of man, watching celebrities exchange warm and fuzzies has been of fascination to the general public. Evidence of humans engaging in this strange worship dates back to the upper Paleolithic period, when hunter gatherers hosted ceremonies to present fancy rocks to members of their tribes for things like “Killed Big Animal With Stick” fancy rock or the coveted “Ate Most Mammoth Testicles in Under a Minute” fancy rock. Although the categories have advanced and the fancy rocks have been replaced by things like an androgynous gold nudist holding a bo staff, the principle remains the same. Why do we care the slightest about these celebrity circle jerks? Hell if I know. But with the emergence of award shows like the APMAs, a space has been created for independent artists to take part in the sticky huddle. However, I’m not here to downplay the importance of these ceremonies or make you feel bad for enjoying them. I am here to try and make sense out of whatever it is I watched last night for the sake of Stuff You Will Hate (in good jest, as always).


My only experience with the APMAs was ditching the event last summer to ride roller coasters, one of which was so gravity defying that my left nut receded up into my body where I can still feel it floating around near my lower abdomen. TMI, but anyways. Missing the event didn’t bode well with some, specifically AP’s former managing editor Scott Heisel, who sent an e-mail imploring The Story So Far to attend and enticing us with thrilling prospects like performing on an unknown national television network and standing in the same roped off corner of a parking lot as ex-Guns and Roses guitarist, Slash, or as he emphasized, “Slash-Slash.” The band respectfully declined, and in a hilariously ironic twist of fate, Scott ditched this years APMAs ceremony to ride roller coasters at the same park in the exact same fashion I did to his chagrin last year. So whether or not he thinks I’m an unappreciative asshole for skipping the event a year ago, we can both agree, roller coasters are pretty exciting.


On to this year.

Seeing a tweet regarding a red carpet interview with Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo that had taken an awkward turn when the now 4-weeks-into-Tom-Hank’s-role-in-Castaway looking frontman had failed to pick up on sarcasm, I tuned in to the APMAs to watch what was inevitably going to be a mismanaged award show. It didn’t fail to impress, as moments after tuning into AXStv (which, surprisingly, isn’t a pay-to-view soft porn network) the APMAs broadcast went down due to audio technical difficulties. This gave me a moment to think about why bands, apart from the few who actually think winning an award is validating, attend the APMAs. I’m going to go ahead and assume most people attend the APMAs for publicity purposes or because the ceremony is scheduled on a day off en route to the next stop of the Vans Warped Tour, but as the show rolled on, the answer became abundantly clear; there’s an open bar, DUH! The convenience of a day at the APMAs mixed with a golden opportunity to get wasted brilliantly turns the affair into one giant televised night at the karaoke bar where, instead of John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John duets, artists that young people look up to as role models attempt to read a teleprompter while totally inebriated. Hil-arious.

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Unfortunately, the novelty of watching an artist accept an award while a Youth Orchestra plays a butchered Love-Boat-sounding rendition of their most popular song on Spotify dies, and the award show becomes entirely too much to stomach when a dude that looks like the illegitimate son of Jesse James, but is actually Miley Cyrus’s older brother, takes the stage shirtless to call out the hosts for acting disrespectfully towards him, furth..

*I apologize, you wouldn’t know it reading this if I didn’t tell you, but I inadvertently puked all over my laptop while replaying the events in my mind. Sorry for the delay… where was I?

…Further proving that the “never grow up” attitude some affiliate with being in a band has been taken entirely too far.




1) Award shows are akin to those Senior Appreciation Nights high schools host where a class gets together for cups of lemonade and students accept certificates for things like, “Best at Catching a Football” or “Great Smile!;” things these people would be regardless of whether or not they are presented a sheet of paper or a fancy rock. I believe there was a video projector malfunction at my own senior class event, making it entirely reminiscent of the APMAs, although I actually won “Best Musician” at my high school, so suck my…

2) Unless you’re PVRIS and have a real opportunity to win a Grammy one day, the assumed joy of playing in a non-commercial music scene is that no one cares about awards, celebrity appeal, or competition. Although Gronk arguably should have been awarded “Best Improvised Use of a Crude Weapon” over Grunk 21,000 years ago, tools would still have advanced, and the argument in itself is distracting to the purpose of human achievement. With the exception of the rare and meaningful “Caitlyn Jenner” or “Stuart Scott” moment, these award shows are generally just a headache platform for “this art should have won that shiny thing” debacles and a set mousetrap for internet culture, e.g. the Kanye West mic snatch, or, on the APMA level, the Trace Cyrus tirade (if you can even call it that) that really paled in comparison. Oh yea, and there’s an open bar.


3) Fans get a kick out of seeing their favorite bands publicly being buds, and they get some live performances featuring the paralyzing excitement of a “surprise cameo,” that circumstantially was never likely to have happened otherwise. In addition, artists get an opportunity to mingle with role models and respected peers, or in Mariel Loveland of Candy Heart’s case, snub giving Rivers Cuomo a hug after singing a complementary duet with him (that’s two awkward strikes on the evening for you, Mr. Cuomo). Somehow we can’t have these sorts of events without awards being the primary focus of it all, and so despite the intangible successes of an event like the APMAs, we place fan bases in competition with each other in the polls to give people an opportunity to gloat about winning a made-up award.


The show is understandably fun and involving for fans, and it makes people in bands feel important, but at the end of the day, none of it really matters. If the Warped Tour ever folds, I imagine the APMAs will too (I. Do. Not. wish failure upon them, there’s just this funny principle called reality that makes success a fleeting concept in competitive spaces, especially music). A few new fans will pick up an independent artist’s record because it was the Best This or That in a given year, but the music ought to sound the same to you as you lay and listen to it in your headphones at night. *Youth Orchestra cues up inspirational music theme behind me* So don’t aspire to be a fanciful character at an awards show that may not exist by the time you’re prepared, but aspire to be great at whatever it is you want to do and develop an identity and a confidence in your craft. You open up opportunities this way and will be prepared for whatever platform is available to you when you’re at your peak. It’s an honor to have fans and to be nominated for awards, but they don’t legitimize you. Maybe I’ll forego a bonding experience at the coaster park to accept an award one day, but Crown the Empire accepted a “Best Breakthrough Band” award in my place last year, and apart from the minor discomfort of my left nut floating around in my stomach, I sleep just fine.

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Posted in advice, APMAs, don't hate congratulate, things that remind me that i am old | Tagged , , | 41 Comments


I liked them better when they sounded like LINKIN PARK

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Merch Swap, the Band

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If you like R&Bcore, check out Atlas Uncharted

This band is best known for their R&B cover of About That Life by Attila, so I was unsure of how good their original material would be, but they just released a new video and it’s actually really sweet! The R&Bcore genre is still so small so I hope these guys can help move it forward.

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The Current State of Scenecore 2k15 (new songs from We Came As Romans, Memphis May Fire, Asking Alexandria)

I’ve been concerned for the future of scenecore for quite some time now but now that 3 of the biggest bands in the scene have just released new tracks, I think we can get a pretty good feel for the state of the genre.

First off, I just wanna say that Denis Shaforostov, now known as Denis Stoff (I guess he changed his name to sound more Anglo) is one lucky dude. It seems like the band he was in before he replaced Danny as the vocalist for AA really wasn’t going anywhere. And now he’s the front-man for one of the biggest bands in the genre. How AA became one of the biggest bands in the genre is baffling to some, considering they started out as a British Attack Attack rip off band (at times in a very literal sense). Then Attack Attack slowly lost relevance and broke up while Asking Alexandria catapulted their way to the top. It’d basically be like if Neck Deep got 20 times bigger than The Story So Far and then TSSF disbanded and became borderline forgotten. I think Denis’ old band Make Me Famous copied quite a bit from Asking Alexandria so I guess it’s like a dude cheating off a dude who cheated off a dude in an exam. Nothing wrong with that, they all got high grades IMO. The question is will they be able to remain relevant? Or will the hype only fade? This song is pretty watered down and boring to me and I wish they would go back to tr00 scenecore but I guess tr00 scenecore might not be what kids want to hear these days. Seems as if their party days are over. Srs/meaningful rock songs only.

Speaking of tr00 scenecore, I’ve got to hand it to Memphis May Fire, they seem to really not want to back down from their OG risecore sound. Perhaps they have noticed the dangers of bands changing their sound because it can jeopardize their fan-base (like when Four Year Strong went dad rock for one album). Perhaps Matty already fulfills all his desires to make frivolous music through his solo material. I predict that Memphis May Fire will become the Pennywise of scenecore and just keep releasing the same album over and over. Unfortunately this album includes high levels of mediocrity and often times cringey lyrics. But it’s still tr00 risecore so I commend them for that. No traces of hard rock or nu-metal to be found.

Speaking of hard rock, WOW, We Came As Romans totally ditched their scenecore roots on this new song, which I can’t find on YouTube so here’s a video of a guy reviewing it (link to the song is here). No dirty vocals. No breakdowns. Minimal synth. Are We Came As Romans even relevant anymore? Their last album charted a lot higher than I thought it would (8 on billboard) but at the same time, it seems like not many people really care about them or talk about them anymore ever since their original fan-base decided to start jocking La Dispute and Touche Amore or whatever other wannabe-euro tumblrcore act. I predict that they will become the Nickelback of scenecore. Like, a super big band but hard to trace where the massive fan-base is coming from.

So that’s my take on it. What are your opinions on these bands’ new songs? Are you anticipating any of their new albums?

Posted in bands i used to think were good, bands i wish were still good, new jamz | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Buy Fronz from ATTILA’s new cologne (srs)

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i hope it smells like a mix of tanning oil and that victoria’s secret citrus spray that girls spray in the bathroom after they go #2. they think that it actually covers up the smell of the poop, when in reality it just smells like a mix of fake orange scent and poop and it’s somehow even worse than just the smell of their poop by itself.

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Remember when bands used to rip off For The Fallen Dreams?


Despite having a name that epitomizes the words “generic metalcore”, For The Fallen Dreams was actually a pretty unique band. They started off playing “old school deathcore” and probably could have rode that train to mild success (they probably needed a bit more “br00tal” of a name though), but instead they said “fuck it” and pioneered their own genre, which eventually became known on here as “srscore”, also known as “meaningful mosh” (or as I liked to call it “melodic moshcore”). They gained quite a bit of popular, then had like 50 lineup changes and now probably have the most ex-members of any band besides Liferuiner (that’s a whole other story). I’m not sure if they’re even that relevant today but kids back then felt the urge to copy them. (yeah I know I used quotation marks like 50 times in this paragraph, IDGAF) ((I use parentheses a lot too))

TFW euros jock your sound! The melodic leads and breakdowns w/gang vox remind me of a lot of FTFD’s first album “Changes”. The whole “let’s really slow things down and get sort br00tal to show that we’re not just pussies” breakdown at 2:09 is also a signature element of FTFD.

These guys are srs business. I love the scene hair/basketball jersey combo that the singer is rocking. These guys incorporate a bit of clean singing into the music like FTFD eventually did.

Those words wouldn’t hold much weight in the court of mosh.

I didn’t know any of these types of bands made it to a label, but apparently these guys did, so props to them! To be honest, whatever they were trying to achieve with those creepy sound effects in the middle of the song kinda failed. Sounds like something they’d play inside a haunted house ride at the fair. But the breakdowns still go hard so it’s all hood.

You’d have to be delusional (no pun intended) to think that a band like this was made specifically to sell records. They were obviously made specifically to sell youth large t-shirts and rubber wristbands.  


Posted in bands u may have slept on, bands who are just ok, metalcore | Tagged , , , , , , | 24 Comments

State of the pop-punk union 2k15: tr00 is OUT, fun mallpunk is IN

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It’s kind of amazing that SYWH is now 6 years old, and as such has been around long enough to see the trends change a few times. Back when I started this thing, BROKENCYDE were at their peak of buzz, OF MICE & MEN were a brand new band best known for their LADY GAGA cover, and easycore was the dominant flavor of pop-punk. Then as we all know, the tr00nami hit, washing away MySpace, neon, major-key breakdowns and everything else we loved, replacing it with a sea of black-and-grey merch, braying donkey vocals, and sadboi bullshit.

But friends, WE MADE IT! We knew if we just kept the faith that this day would come, and here it is: tr00 is definitely on the way out, and fun is BACK in pop-punk. Don’t believe me? Think how long it’s been since anyone gave a shit about MAN OVERBOARD, CITIZEN, TRANSIT and the other tr00 hype bands of 2012. Seems like a different world, doesn’t it??

Don’t get me wrong, tr00 is still here, but it’s dying. Think of this as a transitional year like 2011, when all the crabcore bands were at their peak but clearly about to take a fall. Tr00 is still a force to be reckoned with, but right beneath the surface is an ez/fun revival about to boil over. Mark your calendars so you can answer the question, “Where were YOU when tr00 died??”

Supporting evidence:

Exhibit 1: Perhaps the most obvious and meaningful example is FOUR YEAR STRONG returning to their easycore roots after putting out a bunch of crappy rock albums that nobody liked. Given that FYS were one of the main reasons easycore died in the first place, it is a very significant move. On the one hand you could make fun of them for transparently caving into fan demands, but on the other hand it’s kind of cool and I wish more bands would have this kind of customer service!

fys revival shirt

A few years ago FYS wrote a butthurt song called “Fairweather Fan” about how if ur a REAL fan, u wouldn’t ask them to play breakdowns and synth parts. Fast forward to 2015 and they are embracing the same fans with open arms. Beggars can’t be choosers, I guess.

Exhibit 2: Just a couple years ago, you could charitably describe NECK DEEP as “The British TSSF,” but their new album is pure hollistercore goodness, like if I CALL FIVES were still around (and people actually cared about them). Or actually, now that I think about it, like a slightly tr00 version of SIMPLE PLAN lol. In the same way as FYS are kind of the torchbearer’s of the last generation of pop-punk, ND are one of the hotter commodities in the new generation, so it is noteworthy to see this happening on both ends of the pop-punk spectrum.

Exhibit 3: Speaking of hollistercore and americaneaglecore, this STATE CHAMPS song and video would not be at all out of place playing on the monitor in the back of either of those stores while some cute, slightly-slutty-in-all-right-ways mainstream girl shops for a crop top to go with her new white jeans. I feel like this is indicative of what to expect from the next wave of a pop-punk, a weird-but-awesome combination of tr00 and mallpunk.

Exhibit 4: Lots of newer mid-level/up-and-coming bands playing stuff that sounds straight out of 2008/2009 like SEASONS CHANGE (above), BROADSIDES, SETTLE YOUR SCORES, and so forth. Basically, this is the default template for new bands on No Sleep/Pure Noise/etc.

is my band ez

Exhibit 5: If you’ve ever had the misfortune of looking at the “Defend Easycore” group on Facebook, you know that it’s about 3,000 annoying tryhards who basically just parrot memes that me and Alex Bigman made up years ago. And it’s full of new bands like this one who are all tripping over themselves to be validated as “ez.” Beyond embarrassing, yes, but also solid evidence that the next wave of bands are going to be more 2008 than 2012.

deck neep

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jarrod allonge parodies over 20 metalcore songs in medley

The best part is at the end when he does a Downfall Of Us All/Stick Stickly mash-up and unintentionally creates #ezcrab.

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check out the new NECK DEEP song/video

I love this song. They have come a long way since being a mid tier TSSFcore band. I like how they keep getting poppier. If they continue progressing at this rate their fourth album will sound like Ariana Grande. Congratulations Neck Deep!

Posted in new jamz, pop-punk | Tagged , , | 22 Comments