Does Justin Bieber Really Like Metallica?
It was meant to be an innocuous, throwaway comment. Or at least that's what we're supposed to think. When Justin Bieber announced in a recent GQ interview that Metallica's 'Fade to Black' and 'One' were his 'jams', it surely wasn't intended to offend anyone. After all, if the crown prince of crap-pop likes a bit of old-school thrash metal who could take issue with that?
Well, lots of people apparently. The quote has been incredulously reported by music websites including Kerrang! and NME, smirking knowingly and inviting readers to get angry at the very suggestion that Justin Bieber could enjoy the music of such pillars of the metal establishment as Metallica. And using youth friendly language like 'jams' that provokes even people in their twenties into a rant against the youth of today.
Setting aside the remote possibility that it might actually be true. There's lots of reasons to call bullshit on this. The most striking is the idea that Justin Bieber only likes early Metallica, which as we all know, is Metallica at their most metal, before they started wearing cowboy hats, strumming acoustics and singing about kittens and tissues. Liking Metallica's early stuff more than say, a song that Avril Lavigne was capable of covering, is standard of any metalhead pissing contest and coming from someone like Bieber it's utterly unconvincing. It smacks of someone trying desperately to fit in, like a dad casually dropping the exclamation 'radical!' into a conversation.
But what problem does Bieber have with later Metallica? Surely it's not that is too commercial for even Justin fucking Bieber? There must be more plausible reasons. Perhaps, in a bid to broaden his musical palate, he's been listening to every album by every artist ever in chronological order and at the time the interview was given he was only five albums deep into Metallica's discography.
It's just not believable and well...not that interesting. But if it's really impossible to accept Justin Bieber's newly revealed penchant for Metallica, what other reasons could there be for this information being made public?
A more in-depth look at the GQ article reveals that Justin Bieber is actually quite annoying but also drinks sometimes, swears often, likes his music loud and has um... recently turned 18.
That last fact is significant because Bieber's record label are attempting to rebrand him as a manly adult man. Hence the drinking and the swearing and the chopping down trees in a big forest. Taken altogether that's fine, sure, who cares? But when you consider that the Metallica comment was also part of this interview, does that mean that Bieber's people think that listening to Metallica is an especially manly thing to do?
It's so deeply flawed it's almost too ridiculous to be a PR move. But is it more ridiculous than the reality of Justin Bieber actually liking 'early Metallica'?
If it's not a ludicrous attempt to beef up Bieber's image in the eyes of GQ-reading, beer-drinking, beard-having men, then it's a pisspoor attempt at winning over metal fans. Some of whom already dedicate more energy to hating him than is probably necessary.
Because it doesn't matter how early the Metallica it is, it will never be early enough. Fans argue about the jumping off point where the band started to become distinctly less 'metal' and while the Black Album meets the general consensus others will try to draw the line after their 1983 debut Kill 'Em All as the point when Metallica reached their thrash metal apex. Some even go further and suggest Lars Ulrich kicking against the walls of his mother's womb is the heaviest shit they've done.
Of course, as one horrified commenter on the Kerrang! website points out, this will no doubt lead to legions of Bieber fanatics watching Metallica videos on Youtube and commenting that James Hetfields beard is 'scary' and the like. Still, that can only be a good thing. Why shouldn't we share the music we love with new audiences? Even if it means sharing tastes with Justin Bieber.
As the remnants of fireworks from Bonfire Night begin to drift across streets like colourful tumbleweed, the smell of the smoke continues to fill the air this cool, crisp morning. Smoke which must be making everyone go a little bit mad because it seems that pop's favourite toddler, Justin Bieber, has decided to spend his money somewhere other than a Rio brothel. [read more]
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