Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Queensryche Fan Base + Why It Pisses Me Off

As you may have guessed from the title, all is not well in the Queensryche camp.

...OK, enough with the understatements and the politeness. The Queensryche camp at the minute is a fucking shambles, with what people are claiming to be a fan war happening every time the band is mentioned. And what does it all boil down to?

People not accepting that other people have a different opinion, basically.

...Yeah, it's not such a big deal when put like that, is it?

Well...I'm sorry to have to say this for the non-QR fans reading this, but, what with everything that is happening in the camp, it actually IS kind of a big deal. The current band situation (to leave out a HUGE amount of details: if you particularly want to catch up with everything and don't mind reading legal documents, I recommend following the link I'm going to provide at the bottom of the page) is basically two band line ups, both claiming to be the official Queensryche when booking gigs. While Tate is MEANT to be calling his line up Queensryche Starring Geoff Tate the Original Voice, bookings only refer to the band as Queensryche, with the only thing meant to tell them apart being the band picture provided at the link. Except that sites which sell tickets for the gigs have managed to mess THAT up, as they keep putting the wrong band picture up for each line up. So, there are multiple people who will either end up getting tickets for the wrong line up or end up not getting tickets for the line up they want to see purely because they aren't getting the right information.

...Yeah, kind of a big issue, isn't it?

But I'm not here to take a side in this argument (although, for the record, I support the side without Tate) and sling mud at either side. I'm here to just say one little thing.



I get that there are high stakes at the minute and that people will support the band for different reasons. Some will have always thought that Tate was the most important member of the band and, as such, can't enjoy the band without him. And that's fair enough: back in his prime, Tate could have potentially put Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson to shame (and I'm saying this as a huge Judas Priest fan and an appreciator of Iron Maiden). And there are some who will have loved the band for their music and, as such, can appreciate the band without Tate. And, again, that's fair enough: Queensryche wrote some of my favourite songs to date.

But there's no need to act like someone else saying they prefer a different line up of the band has committed an unforgivable sin. Putting aside my own dislike of Tate's version of the band and of Tate himself for a second, what would happen if you were to just say "I respect your opinion, although I do not agree with it" to someone who expressed their support for the other line up of the band (providing they do so respectfully)? Would anything of any real value be lost? Of course not!

This attitude of "Yell down any dissenters" is, unfortunately, not a new attitude across the Internet. Part of it is because, well, trolls will always be the ones with the controversial opinions and it's so easy to spot them that it's possible for people to become overly vigilant against them and accidentally shoot down someone who was not trying to troll, but was being serious, and another part of it is because, with the anonymity the Internet provides us, it's a lot easier to say or do something than ever before. And, because it can potentially be seen across the Internet if you look for it, a lot of people seem to get the feeling that any dissenters run the risk of reaching the ears (well, eyes) of those on high, who might act as if any dissension is an indication that it is time to pack up shop forever. Those aren't the only reasons, of course, but they are the two that are focused purely upon the fact that we're talking on the Internet.

To the first of these, I advocate trying to ask the person making the controversial opinion whether they are trying to be controversial or not (although in a more polite way than I've put it). To the second, I say "...And?"

Yeah, as much as fans like to act as if any dissension among the fans will make an entire band split up, the truth is that most bands probably have seen a lot worse than someone simply going "I think this band sucks" on a small forum that might only appear if you look for it directly. Heck, some members of bands have probably had to cope with receiving death threats simply for not releasing an album the person making the threat thinks is perfect. Does that stop them? No.

(And yes, there are people that weird out there. I think it says a lot that I consider myself more than a bit eccentric in the real world and I would still say that those people are completely nuts...on the off chance that someone reading this does consider death threats to be a valid thing to throw out there just because an entertainer isn't meeting your every expectations, I think you might want to reconsider what is important to you in life!)

And the thing that is really annoying me about the Queensryche case is that I know it's not going to end when the court case does. This fighting among the fans is just going to go on and on and on and on and on and on and...well, you get the picture. Realistically, this isn't going to end until the band breaks up (and probably not even then, considering how die hard some Queensryche fans seem to be...).

So, what I'd like to request, to ANY Queensryche fan reading this, is this: if you meet someone who prefers the other line up of the band, try to be polite and friendly to them. Let them have their opinion and, instead of flaming them, try to find a meeting point between the two of you which you can talk about with each other. If you can't find that, then just accept that you have no meeting point and move on. If everyone took the time to not flame each other and tried to talk with each other, you might find that you make a new friend and that the fan base won't be the way it is at the minute. Plus, at the end of the day, we're all fans of the same band. Do we really want the band to disappear completely just because we as fans can't talk to each other reasonably any more?

Think about that...

(And here's the link to the Queensryche court room documents. If you want to chat to me on the site, I'm ShadeInTheShadows, although you might want to PM me if that's the case, as I rarely post anything on the site these days...http://www.anybodylistening.net/breakdownroom/index.php?topic=2906.0)

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