Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Cult of Hellmouth: The Success of Contemporary Hardcore

Within aggressive and hard music there is often a distinction made between music that is created to be technically proficient and music that vents frustration and moves the audience.   The success of either side greatly relies on the musicianship and talent of the members of the band.  When the music and the motivation are focused on an aggressive output with the audience in mind success is almost always in sight.  The definition of success is greatly subjective but for hardcore punk, metal and other aggressive music styles the audience moving and sharing a commonality of release is success.  Detroit’s Hellmouth are the contemporary equivalent to the hardcore of the past in their motivation, drive and aggression.  As they are consistently referenced with Cold as Life, Negative Approach, the Meatmen and many others, Hellmouth have reclaimed a past that was somewhat lost.  The focus of the group comes from a disdain with the contrived notions of the music community and with everything that has previously existed.  As they continue to play shows around the country, the group espouses a mentality of resistance and destruction to the contrived norm.  While this is not inherently different from other groups, Hellmouth drives the audience with their sound first, their ideals second and their marketing third.  The reasons behind the group’s formation are the basis of their popularity.
Hellmouth formed when the lead singer Jay Navarro decided that he was fed up with the capitally driven music scene and wanted to vent his frustration.  As someone who led the extremely successful Detroit band The Suicide Machines throughout the country, he knew full well the downfall of “selling out.”  The Suicide Machines, originally called Jack Kevorkian and the Suicide Machines in 1991, contributed to the early third wave of ska and went on to sign with Hollywood Records.  With this signing the band changed its sound and focus and would go on to great success, touring with No Doubt and other major label acts, gaining fans around the country and the world. The formation of Hellmouth occurred after the breakup of the Suicide Machines in 2006 with Jay being determined to “get back” to something that he felt he lost.  He stated, “I was part of selling out what I originally believed in with the Suicide Machines…not by going to a major, but by playing out of the community that was a part of it.”  
-Full length of text available in the upcoming book...

No comments:

Post a Comment