SEPARATE THE ART FROM THE ARTIST?
Would you stop listening to a band because they expressed certain views? What if someone had committed a serious crime? We asked you guys how far you can…
It depends on how much of the artist’s personal viewpoints cross over into their music. While I don’t necessarily agree with Dave Mustaine’s right-wing views, for example, you can still fully appreciate his songwriting and mastery of the guitar over the course of his career.
Art is important, and therefore so are artists. To deny that would be to undermine human creative endeavour itself. So with artistic success comes responsibility. If you place depravity and hatred into the world in which you put your art, then synonymous judgement of art and the toxic messages of its artist are probably the best way in which we form defences against art that seeks to deprive us of our humanity, rather than celebrate it. JOSHUA HOTCHKIN
Burzum are one of my alltime favourite bands, but I’m 100% against Varg’s racist views and his violent
actions. Some people say they feel guilty for listening to his music, but I don’t understand that. The lyrics aren’t rife with white nationalist subject matter, and the music is bloody brilliant, so I don’t see an issue listening to it. ANDR EW PAUL OTTESON
Art without the artist would be meaningless at many points. In my view it’s never possible to separate the art from the artist. It’s their thoughts, beliefs and imaginations put into a single stream to be shared by others around them.
I find it difficult to separate the art and artist, and if the issue is something I find repulsive then I won’t support the band. I love black metal, but don’t listen to Burzum or buy merch that might support a violent racist. Being a musician doesn’t absolve you from adhering to social rules and decency.
I’ve always just listened to the music and never looked into what the artists are doing otherwise. They have their own lives outside of the music that have nothing to do with us. Would we want our own lives analysed as much as we do to the artists we listen to? People make mistakes or have different ideas of how things should be. Just leave them be. JOANNE KEARSEY
It’s a case by case thing for me. Dave Mustaine is a lunatic, but I love most of Megadeth’s output. Niklas Kvarforth is a dumpster fire of a human but I cannot deny how good Shining’s music is… but even when the output of a shitheaded artist is undeniably good, I still have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that prevents me from totally enjoying the work.
I prefer to know nothing of the artists/actors when it comes to music, movies, TV etc. I’ve found that when I dislike the artist, I can no longer enjoy their work. CLAYTON FOSTER It usually doesn’t affect me too much. Tim Lambesis is a bastard, but I still listen to As I Lay Dying. I find there’s some stuff that just puts me off a band, like, for example, the homophobic views of For Today. It wasn’t an active decision of mine to stop listening to them. JAMES MATTHEWS
Generally I can split the two if I really like the band and the actions aren’t too horrendous. Like, Varg is a bit murdery but I still like Burzum. However, there’s no saving Lostprophets. WILL RILEY
I believe that as human beings artists have a right to their opinion and a right to voice said opinion. That being said, I cannot stand when they feel their opinion is more important than anyone else’s because of who they are. It’s entirely possible for people to announce and stand up for what they believe without belittling others because they have a difference of opinion. As long as that line isn’t crossed, I’m cool with disliking their opinion but enjoying their music.