Back in AP Issue 323, we asked readers and rockers “Should artists be more mindful of what language they use or acts they sing about?” for our AP Poll. The results were split nearly down the middle, and one Frankie Palmeri from Emmure highlighted his thoughts on the issue in a longer piece. We present that response here.
I want to first answer this question by simply addressing the question at hand with a counter-question: Are you asking if artists have some moral obligation to make sure their lyrics are nice and safe for people of all walks of life? Should all artists be concerned about the influence they have over the possibility of someone hearing or reading something that would motivate a person to commit some sort of heinous or unlawful act?
This question can get fucking bent. No, artists should not have to limit themselves or filter what they have to say just because someone out there wasn't raised well enough to comprehend the idea of music as entertainment. The bottom line is: If what you're making or saying pleases everyone, then you aren't saying anything at all. I think this question you're asking instantly puts out the incentive that artists are the reason people find leverage to make ill choices in their life. Again, the answer is a big fucking no. I am so fed up with this new age scapegoat mentality everyone To be quite honest, there is nothing rock ’n’ roll about artists who filter what they say in order to avoid ruffling the wrong feathers or going against the status quo.
[The] fact of the matter is everyone is going to perceive things differently. Music is––and has always been––my only way of coping with this completely shitty and ass-backwards world we live in. This question stretches beyond music but requires [a] look at all forms of media that hold influence in our society. And at the end of that road it is the individual who chooses their actions.
They used to refrain from filming Elvis below the waist because they deemed his performance “too erotic” and God forbid young females get “sexual thoughts” about Elvis. This question literally boils my blood to no end. It is a truly archaic and preposterous way of thinking. With so much music and available media out there, society as a whole has to come to terms that we are all part of the freak show and only the individual can choose which role [they] play in this freak show of life.