Someone once said that youth is wasted on the young. Step forward hardcore and metal scene kids. Traditionally these guys get so into the music that they suck the fun out of their own youth. All that free time, lack of responsibilities and the ability to party hard whenever they want, and yet they spend hours arguing about records on the internet, impose weird moral codes upon themselves and hang out at shows where the attendance is 99% male.
There's the miserableness of being straight edge, the unnecessary piousness of veganism, angry politics and music that’s ultimately unlistenable to the vast majority of humans. Then, after four or five years of this shit, they grow up and regret that they spent their formative years in self-imposed exile from their peers.
The proprietor of Stuff You Will Hate, Sergeant D, is one of those ex-grumps, and he’s taken it upon himself to be the bigger brother to an entire generation of dorks who take life too seriously. His observations about youth culture are so insanely spot on, that it’s impossible not to take the life advice he dispenses. As a result, Stuff You Will Hate has become an internet phenomenon among metal and hardcore fans looking to better themselves.
So I spoke to Sergeant D about how he changes lives daily.
Noisey: What's the SYWH ethos? Are you on a mission to save the youth from themselves?
Sergeant D: SYWH is a comedy blog, where we make fun of stuff that we like. When you're hanging out with your bros, what do you spend 90% of your time doing? Busting each others balls about embarrassing shit you did in the past. SYWH is basically the blog equivalent of that. When I make fun of dumb stuff that the younger generation of kids does, I'm really just making fun of myself because I definitely would have done the same shit if I was their age in 2012.
And like you said, I also try to help younger kids avoid making the same mistakes I did: being vegan, straightedge, white knighting, wearing Jncos, and, worst of all, taking myself and my opinions too seriously.
What's the most satisfying thing you've seen happen from your work with SYWH?
One of the reasons why being a kid sucks so much is that you are too dumb and stubborn to listen to anyone else, so you only learn from your mistakes. I've found that kids actually listen to me when I give them advice (eg. 'HOW 2 HANDLE A BREAKUP'). I guess this is because I'm also socially awkward, listen to weird music and hate myself, just like them.
Also, I don't like to toot my own horn, but I do consider myself the founding father of the "relentlessly mocking butt-hurt metal nerds on the internet" movement. It's not much, but it is something.
What do you feel you missed out on, having spent your youth having excessively strong opinions about music?
Here's what I did NOT miss out on: Spending my Saturday nights alone playing Super Metroid and listening to Napalm Death on cassette. Going to vegan bakesale benefits for Mumia Abu Jamal, getting in shouting matches about whether Earth Crisis was a hardline band or not (they weren't), and wearing denim shorts with a bootleg Shelter patch on them.
Everything else that a normal teenager would do, pretty much completely passed me by. Hanging out with girls, making friends with normal kids from school and getting wasted.
So, what happened to you that made you turn your life around?
One day I looked around and saw all my friends turning into the angry, old people who'd rarely go to shows. And when they did, would just stand in the back, arms folded and talking shit on all the younger kids who were having fun. It made me sad, because I thought we were going to be the first generation who did not turn into bitter, butt-hurt old fags who hate everything new. But that's exactly what happened.
Why are metal fans so awful?
Why is the sky blue? If I had to guess, I would say that metalfags are metalfags because they're sad, insecure people with no social skills. They operate under the extremely misguided notion, that lording their knowledge of obscure music will make people think they're cool.
They don't have the complete monopoly on being buttholes who won't stop shoving their unsolicited, excessively strong opinions in your face. But they certainly have a commanding lead in the category.
Yeah, I often have a lot more fun with guys I know who are bankers, than my alternative friends.
Well that makes sense, because it's miserable being around people who don't like themselves. I'm not spending my free time with a bunch of Eeyores who try to cut other people down to make themselves feel less pathetic.
Also, your banker friends are a lot smarter than your loser friends, despite what the losers' pile of graduate degrees might suggest. As high school dropout and millionaire Adam Carolla says, "If you're so smart, why don't you find a way to make some fucking money?" I've not yet heard anyone come up with an answer that question.
And what's the deal with "Special Snowflake Syndrome"?
Middle-class alternative people, are driven by a fundamental desire to be special. They're not content with simply having a comfortable existence. When life is easy you don't appreciate it, you get bored and do stupid things to convince yourself that you're special.
This urge need to be recognized is "Special Snowflake Syndrome", and it's the genesis of dumb stuff like zany, alternative weddings, getting tattoos, being vegan. These are all just different, embarrassing ways that young people scream "LOOK AT ME!!!!" so they can then make Tumblr posts that are like, "omg why is everybody looking at me?!"
I hear you. Tell me about "Enpedastelment" too?
"Enpedastelment" is my friendzone slam band. The concept is basically if Devourment were a bunch of beta white knight pussies, instead of high school dropouts, who hate women because they've been rejected. So instead of writing songs about raping girls with chainsaws, we have songs about how much Demi Lovato's brave struggle with addiction inspires us, how we're always getting friendzoned by girls and that it's high time we as men apologize for all our collective misdeeds.
Can you name some artists you love, that you think would bother the more uptight Noisey readers?
I don't go out of my way to listen to stuff that makes other people mad, it just happens. So I am not sure if these would cause butt-pain to anyone, but the current bands that I back hardest are:
CITY LIGHTS: RIYL Fight Fair, ADTR, Hit The Lights. The best pop-punk/easycore band around, IMO.
BIG CHOCOLATE: My boy Cam Argon AKA BIG CHOCOLATE started out doing incredibly sick death metal at 17, then got bored with that and decided he should become a famous dubstep DJ.
DJ TWOSTACKS: You may know Twostacks as the guy who did the beat for "Gucci Gucci", but he grew up on hardcore and is also a big slam fan in addition to being a generally chill, awesome guy. Check out his Complete Idiot's Guide To Slam or pose forever.
On the flipside, who are the acts that make you the drunkest on rage-o-hol and why?
It'd be dumb to make my own butt-hurt on purpose, but the saddest trend IMO, is what I call "tr00 pop-punk". In a nutshell, this is my term for bands like Title Fight, The Wonder Years, and Man Overboard, who play a version of pop-punk, but take all the good parts out (eg. songs about having a crush on the girl at the mall, fart jokes, etc) and replace them with the self-righteousness 'scene police' attitude of Fugazi or Dead Kennedys.
It's truly a shame to see young people waste the best years of their lives putting out cassette demos, coffee table photography books about themselves and making Facebook updates about relevant social causes. All instead of getting wasted and banging that bish with the lip piercings who works at Zumiez on Saturdays.
Thank you for having me! It really is shocking and flattering that there are so many people give at least a partial shit about what I write. I sincerely appreciate everybody who takes the time to read or comment, and it honestly means a lot to me that SYWH readers are consistently smart, hilarious and, most of all, positive.