Thursday, June 13, 2013

Black Veil Brides: Not Just Another Hot Topic Band

I've been investigating some new bands lately. Since I'm too cheap for i-tunes (except for gift cards, I covet i-tunes gift cards) I usually partake of those wonderful services known as Youtube and Pandora. They're great ways to discover new music, and since Pandora constantly shuffles through bands that are similar to the one you put in, you tend to give music you haven't heard before a chance. This is how I discovered Black Veil Brides.
Well, I'd technically known of the band for a while. Two of my friends are HUGE fans, but I hadn't listened to them, unfortunately, because of a stereotype I'd put in place. What was that stereotype you might ask? The annoyance of "Hot Topic Bands." United States readers will be familiar with the giant flaming debate that is Hot Topic within the goth scene. For foreign readers (although you guys might have heard of it too) Hot Topic is a store that caters to teenagers. It used to be almost entirely stocked with goth related brand names like Tripp, Demonia, and Hellbunny. Nowadays, living up to its name, it tends to spew out mass quantities of whatever is "popular" from My Little Pony to Harry Potter to Adventure Time. There are two stances on the Hot Topic front, those who insists that buying anything from such a box store ultimately labels one a Mallgoth/Goth-In-The-Box/Loser, and those who don't entirely care, if it's something you want to buy and enjoy, who cares where it comes from? Generally I tend to side with the second argument although I will agree that you're not a very unique little gothling if everything you own comes from Hot Topic (although you must be a very rich little gothling).
My gripes usually lie with Hot Topic's music influence. They claim to be "all about the music" and they certainly stock merchandise from lots of different bands, some I am quite happy with (Emilie Autumn and Black Sabbath) and some I don't really care for (Justin Bieber and Nikki Minaj) but there's no doubt that Hot Topic's willingness to provide band merchandise has given rise to lots of misconceptions regarding goth music. Bands like My Chemical Romance, Sleeping with Sirens, Suicide Silence and Falling in Reverse while terribly goth friendly, aren't technically "gothic music." THIS DOESN'T MEAN THAT GOTHS CAN'T LISTEN TO THEM! Goths can listen to whatever they please, but it's slightly irksome to meet some lovely looking gothlings in the mall, strike up a wonderful conversation about Bela Lugosi, and suddenly find yourself attempting to wade out of a sea of gushing Hot Topic Band fandom.
So back to the point...
Being so high and mighty, I tended to avoid those bands that churned their little black sound waves out of the Hot Topic doors. In my humble opinion, many of them have wonderful fashion sense (usually erring on the side of Visual-Kei) but it usually isn't supported by worthwhile music. I own a Bring Me the Horizon shirt, but I do like my screamo tinged with a little bit of singing, and perhaps some lyrics that have a bit more meaning than "MY LIFE IS HELL EVERYTHING IS DEATH KILL EVERYTHING!!!" Other bands like Blood on the Dance Floor and Cannibal Corpse  (widely available at Hot Topic) tended to follow this same path, so up until now, I've written off bands from that store.


The other day I started listening to Black Veil Brides, and found myself pleasantly surprised. Not only does that group's visual aesthetic touch close to bands such as Mötley Crüe and Kiss but their music is  like a pleasant blend of  Avenged Sevenfold, Rise Against and something entirely unique. Let me put a disclaimer on this by announcing that no, Black Veil Brides is not a goth band, their music isn't goth, and I haven't the faintest idea if any of the members consider themselves goth. What really hooked me on Black Veil Brides however, was their message. Evident in most of their songs, Black Veil Brides truly believes in being who you want to be and living the life you want to live, no matter what others may say about it. For instance:

It's really refreshing to hear a band that is perfectly capable of spreading a message of teenage angst and counterculture while at the same time presenting a non violent image and a mantra of individuality and coexisting with your fellow humans. Black Veil Brides also earned some gothy stamps of approval in my eyes by signing with an independent record and funding and filming their own music videos. Oh and there was one more reason I continued listening to Black Veil Brides...
Jinxx playing violin.
*heartbeat heartbeat*
I'm a sucker for violin music...
So here's to giving bands a chance before avoiding them based on "where they come from." Keep listening to music, discovering new bands, and enjoying their creative outputs!

Song of the Day: 
Currently my favorite BVB song. Such a beautiful video too!

1 comment:

  1. I knew them from my friend's FB profile and yes, they sound very good. Sometimes just not my style, because I usually don't listen BVB, but good for making my mood better. And the last video is lovely. :)