Napalm Death Sleaford Mods
Sleaford Mods | Credit: In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images

Members of Sleaford Mods and Portishead Weigh in on Metal Musician’s Right-Wing Tirade

Mitch Harris, guitarist from seminal grindcore band Napalm Death, has unloaded a few angry tirades on his Twitter account, adding himself to a growing number of ageing musicians whose social views have become a touch questionable. The tirade, against “cunts that claim benefits”, “dole scroungers” and, confusingly, “lads with manbags,” has set off a conversation about ageing rockstars and their contemporary relevance.

The conversation was shared on Twitter between Jason Williamson of Sleaford Mods, Geoff Barrow of Portishead and their followers before being reported on by The Guardian.

Mitch Harris of Napalm Death Takes Aim at “Dole Scroungers”

Williamson, 52, who has collaborated with Harris in the past, shared his views in a Twitter thread. “The biggest killer in the music industry is not the corporates or Spotify, or conformity, or whatever. The biggest killer is not facing your own personal issues,” Williamson said, referring to Harris’ opinions.

He continued, “It destroys all you initially gave. Until all that’s left is you in a room on your own with nothing.”

The conversation was picked up by Barrow, 51, who said, “I think anyone still doing any music related work in their 50’s are absolutely are genuinely insane [sic].” In a further post, he clarified, “I don’t mean insane in a good or bad way, I mean it’s a tough ride to stay independent and survive as a musician for so many years without taking on a Normal 9to5 [sic].”

Musicians such as MorrisseyVan Morrison and Ariel Pink have come under fire in recent years for expressing right wing views that have often alienated their core following. In a more recent and extreme example, Kanye West has voiced reprehensible anti-semitic opinions.

The Guardian article poses the question as to whether it is better for an artist to burn out while young – and have a sharp end to their career – or fade away, presumably into self-created obscurity and irrelevance. Thankfully, no one told that to Leonard Cohen, who was 54 when he released masterwork I’m Your Man in 1988 and didn’t hit his chart peak until 2012’s Old Ideas.

Further Reading

Viagra Boys: ‘Cave World’ Review – Swedish Punks Evoke Insanity and Instability

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