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Question Of The Day

Would You Stop Listening to an Artist's Music If They Did Something Horrible?

"No. But then I never even listened to Gary Glitter in the first place."

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Tim Lambesis, the singer of Christian metalcore band As I Lay Dying, was arrested yesterday for plotting to murder his estranged wife. Bizarrely, despite the fact he fronted a Christian metalcore band, Lambesis had a lot of fans, and his band was once even nominated for a Grammy (presumably around that time where mainstream American rock music consisted almost exclusively of bro-grunge and rap-influenced pop punk bands, AKA the aural equivalent of having John Mayer come on to you, AKA torture).

Annons

Anyway, his arrest got me thinking whether listeners have a moral obligation to stop listening to Lambesis' music now he's accused of being a murderer. It doesn't seem to be the case with certain artists who've done (or been accused of doing) horrible things – Chris Brown and R Kelly, for example – but I haven't seen Lostprophets on many iPods since Ian Watkins was arrested. Or Gary Glitter, but that probably also has something to do with the fact his music is truly awful.

I wanted to know what the people of London thought, so I went to ask them a question: Would you stop listening to an artist's music if they did something horrible?

Aman: It depends who the artist is and what they had done.

VICE: What about Michael Jackson? Or R Kelly? Or Chris Brown? Or Gary Glitter?
I used to be a big fan of R Kelly. I respect him as an artist, but as a person – I dunno, I have my doubts. Even as an artist, he’ll have to do something magnificent to make me forget.

Do you know anyone else who's stopped listening to his music?
Yeah, I have friends who don’t listen to his music because of what happened between him and the young girl.

Rosie: It depends, but I doubt it.

So listening to their songs wouldn’t bother you?
No, because I’m not thinking about the artist when I’m listening to a song I like, I just focus on the song.

You're able to forget about whatever horrible crime they've committed?
Maybe not, but their personality just wouldn't come into my mind when I'm listening to their music.

Annons

Fair enough.

Angela: I would definitely stop listening to their music.

What about Michael Jackson?
No, not Michael Jackson – I still listen to him.

Because his music is great?
Yeah, and none of that stuff was proven – he was just a bit odd, I think.

What about Gary Glitter?
No, but I’d never even listen to Gary Glitter in the first place. If they're found to be guilty of the crime, you can't help but think of what they've done when you're listening to their music.

Fred: No.

Even if the crime had been proven?
If it was proven I wouldn’t necessarily stop. I would think about it, maybe.

What if the crime was really awful?
If they were accused of something awful and it was proven, I would certainly think about not listening, yeah.

Okay. That's very pragmatic of you.

Previously - What Was Your Greatest Achievement at 15 Years Old?