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Old 05-04-2006, 02:37 PM   #1
FearFactory
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Default interview with godsmack frontman sully erna (best band interview, ever)

this is a long read, but it's funny as hell, especially the last half.

Jay Babcock of Arthur magazine conducted an interview with GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna on Monday, May 1. What follows is a transcript of the conversation, as posted on the Arthur web site:

Arthur: So I notice you guys have been really involved with promoting the military.

Sully: "Well, they actually came to us, believe it or not. Somebody in the Navy loves this band, because they used 'Awake' for three years and then they came to us and re-upped the contract for another three years for 'Sick of Life'. So, I don't know. They just feel like that music, [laughs] someone in that place thinks that the music is very motivating for recruit commercials I guess. And hey, I'm an American boy so it's not… I'm proud of it."

Arthur: You're proud of recruiting your fans into the military?

Sully: "Well, no. [laughs, then jokingly] Don't be turning my fucking words around, you!"

Arthur: Well, tell me what you mean. You said your music is powerful, it's got an effect, like you said, and you're letting the military use it. The military, who are they recruiting? 18 to 30-year olds, right?

Sully: "I guess… I don't know what their recruit age is. I know it's at least 18."

Arthur: Yeah, they go down in to the high schools now.

Sully: "My thing is… Listen, here's my thing with the military. I'm not saying our government is perfect. Because I know that we make some mistakes and we do shitty things BUT, BUT. You wouldn't have your job, and we wouldn't have our lives, if we weren't out there protecting this country so we could lead a free life. So there's kind of a ying and a yang to that. Sometimes it's not always the best choices that we make, or we stick our noses in other people's shit, but at the same time, we protect this place enough that we're able to like pursue careers and do what a lot of people in other countries aren't able to do. They're kind of picked and they're chosen to be whatever they become… I'm, I'm, I'm proud to be an American, I'll tell you that."

Arthur: So your country, right or wrong?

Sully: "Uh, no. Not right or wrong. But I'm proud to be an American. I love my country. I've seen the depressions and how people live in other countries and how they're told what to be, and they don't have the choices that we have. I do love that about our country. So, you know… And I actually sympathize with a lot of the soliders, and the military in general, that are trained to go out and protect FOR us, and what they have to go through, it's really kind of shitty in a sense that these young kids have to go over there and die, sometimes, for something that isn't our fucking problem. And that kind of sucks. So what I have to do is at least support them, because they don't have the choice that we do."

Arthur: They don't have the choice because…?

Sully: "Because they've decided to fight for our country."

Arthur: And they decided to do that because…?

Sully: "[laughs]…"

Arthur: …of your song…?

Sully: "Aw, come on. It's not like that."

Arthur: Well, I have a quote from you here: "We've always been supportive of our country and our President, whereas a lot of people I thought" — and you said this in 2003 to MTV News, you said — "a lot of people I thought lashed out pretty quickly at what we did and i thought the government did everything pretty cleanly and publicly as possible."

Sully: "Yeah…?"

Arthur: Well, what are you talking about?

Sully: "That was my opinion at the time. The whole war thing, and trying to keep us up to date like… If you remember, back in other wars, we didn't have the opportunity to follow it through the media, and CNN, and the news — live updates and that kind of thing. And I thought that for the most part you know we were allowed to follow it as best we could through the media sources that were feeding us information."

Arthur: [incredulous] You didn't think the media was being controlled by the military?!?

Sully: "Well, it could be. I don't know."

Arthur: You didn't look into it?

Sully: "Listen. Are you a fucking government expert?"

Arthur: I'm not telling people to go join the military and then not knowing what the military is doing.

Sully: "I don't tell people to go join the military!!"

Arthur: You don't think using your songs — the power of your music, which you were talking about — has an effect on the people that hear it when it goes with the visuals that the best P.R. people in the world use?!

Sully: "Oh man, are you like one of those guys that agrees with some kid that fuckin' tied a noose around his neck because JUDAS PRIEST lyrics told him to?

Arthur: You were telling me how powerful your music was, and what age the people are that listen to it. And you must have thought, "Well the Navy sure thought it was useful." So you tell me.

Sully: "Hey, listen... The Navy thought…. It's the same reason why wrestlers work out to the music, and extreme motorcross riders listen to the music and do what they do. It's ENERGETIC music. It's very ATHLETIC. People feel that they get an adrenaline rush out of it or whatever, so, it goes with whatever's an extreme situation. But I doubt very seriously that a kid is going to join the Marines or the U.S. Navy because he heard GODSMACK as the underlying bed music in the commercial. They're gonna go and join the Navy because they want to jump out of helicopters and fuckin' shoot people! Or protect the country or whatever it is, and look at the cool infra-red goggles."

Arthur: You said to MTV, "We're not a very political band but we're supportive of the U.S. military and how they approach things."

Sully: "Listen. Someone turned that around. I never said 'and how they approach things.'"

Arthur: Okay. So that's a misquote. Or something.

Sully: "Wow, what—"

Arthur: What about this: In 2003 you did a show that started with video footage of Apache helicopters honing in on a desert target interspersed with the words "We Will Prevail/Stronger Than Them All.”

Sully: "Say that again?"

Arthur: I'm reading from a Boston Globe review of a show you did at the Tweeter Center.

Sully: "Yeah."

Arthur: In front of 13,000 people on May 22, 2003.

Sully: "Yeah, but tell me what it said again."

Arthur: Yes sir. It said, "GODSMACK's ferociously high-energy 90-minute set started with video footage of Apache helicopters honing in on a desert target, interspersed with the words 'We Will Prevail/Stronger Than Them All.'"

Sully: "Yeah…?"

Arthur: So you're using military imagery with your music at your concerts?

Sully: "First of all, it was a COMPUTER image, a computer-animated helicopter that didn't… There was no scene of a desert in there. It was a helicopter that rose up from the screen and scanned the audience. It was an EFFECT. And then it shot out missiles that hit the stage."

Arthur: Uh huh…

Sully: "Because the intro to 'Straight out of Line' has the sounds of like, a war thing going on."

Arthur: Oh, I see. So it's just sort of a concept thing. [pause] Well, you've done a lot to help out the guys who are in the military, who are stuck there now. Whether they chose to be there or they got hoodwinked into being there, for whatever reason, they're in the military. And they're doing their job. You guys did a show for them at Camp Pendleton—

Sully: "Yup."

Arthur: —called "Rockin' the Corps". And so you've been doing a lot of benefit shows—

Sully: "[interrupting] Well, like I said... Listen, you know, there's a lot of young kids that die for our country, man, and they don't have the choice once they're in there."

Arthur: That's right.

Sully: "So I just feel... well, you know, whatever we can do to say 'Thank you for protecting our country' is what we try to do. I'm not trying to make this a big political issue."

Arthur: Okay. have you done anything to prevent people from joining the military?

Sully: "No."

Arthur: To maybe educate them as to what's in store for them?

Sully: "I don't have enough education in the military to educate them in anything."

Arthur: Would you let your music be used for anti-military recruiting advertisements?

Sully: "I don't know, I'd have to see what that was about."

Arthur: But you'd be open to it?

Sully: "We're open to whatever, as long as it's not a Maybelline commercial."

Arthur: [laughs] Maybelline's more offensive than the military…?

Sully: "No. That doesn't quite go with what we do.

Arthur: But the military does?!?

Sully: "Listen. Where are we going with this thing? Is this interview about the government?"

Arthur: Well, I've never seen such a pro-military—

Sully: "Sounds like this is a personal attack or whatever."

Arthur: Well, I've never seen such a pro-military band as you guys.

Sully: "But we're not! I think [chuckling] you're making us out to be a little bit more. When we're asked about something, we just answer the question. We don't go spend 23 hours out of our day supporting the military and what they do."

Arthur: Uh hmm.

Sully: "We just simply, an opportunity came up, they wanted to use some music for a recruit commercial. What are we gonna say, no?"

Arthur: Yeah. how hard is it to say "no?"

Sully: "Why would we, though?!?"

Arthur: Because—

Sully: "Is it because you don't feel the same way about the government that we do, makes you right and us wrong?"

Arthur: Yeah. What do you feel about the government? Tell me what—

Sully: "Aw, that's crazy, man! That's just an OPINION."

Arthur: I can back my opinion up from here to tomorrow if you would like to talk to me all day long.

Sully: "Well, obviously you've done a lot of research and you've—"

Arthur: That's right, because—

Sully: "—got a different opinion. We don't know that stuff that you know, so—"

Arthur: Why don't you do some research before you get involved with these sorts of things? You're talking about young kids' lives. You're talking about kids—

Sully: "[yelling] Would you rather not have us be protected so they can come and overrun our country?!?"

Arthur: Do you know what a "fool's errand" is?

Sully: "I'm asking you a question!"

Arthur: No one is threatening—

Sully: "Would you rather us not be protected?!?"

Arthur: You know what I'd like, Sully? A department of defense. Not a department of offense that attacks other countries — sovereign nations — who do things in a different way than us, who we have no right to go over and invade and change their governments. Would we want someone else to do that to us?"

Sully: "I'm not saying—"

Arthur: How hard is that to think about?

Sully: "I'm not saying that we were right on every war that we've created. I know that we've been damn wrong at times about stuff—"

Arthur: When have we been wrong?

Sully: "[yelling] but they have also been wrong too!"

Arthur: When have—

Sully: "I don't trust someone like fuckin' Saddam and Osama to come in here and try to control—"

Arthur: [incredulous] When did Saddam try to come in here and control our country?

Sully: "Dude, [yelling] WHY DON'T YOU GO LIVE IN IRAQ THEN IF YOU HAVE SUCH A PROBLEM WITH AMERICA? Why are you here?

Arthur: Why am I here?!? This is the top country in the world, my friend!

Sully: "Well, why do you think so? Because it's PROTECTED."

Arthur: No, it's not because it's—

Sully: "—ruled our country."

Arthur: No one is attacking us, my friend, certainly not Iraq. Every first world nation suffers terrorist attacks. Get used to it.

Sully: "I am used to it. I don't have a problem—"

Arthur: Get used to it.

Sully: "[laughs] Sounds like you do."

Arthur: You're the one that's saying it's alright to not know about stuff and then to send other people to die in our name.

Sully: "I never said that! Don't put fuckin' words in my mouth."

Arthur: I've got it on tape, bro.

Sully: "You've got in on tape, bro?!?"

Arthur: Yeah.

Sully: "You got me saying it's okay for us to attack other countries?"

Arthur: I got you on tape saying they're protecting us by attacking, by going over there and taking out people.

Sully: "Listen, don't fuckin' turn my words around to make it to what you want it to be! That's not what I meant and you know that."

Arthur: Okay, I'm sorry, then tell me what you meant.

Sully: "Listen, I'm not gonna get into a political fuckin' conversation with you. This was supposed to be an interview about the band. Where is this going?"

Arthur: We're talking about the power of your music and what you're using it for?"

Sully: "What is this for anyway? Who are you working with?

Arthur: I'm working for my own magazine, my friend.

Sully: "What's it called?"

Arthur: [laughing in disbelief] What do you mean, what's it called? Are you serious?

Sully: "Yeah, what's the magazine called?"

Arthur: It's called Arthur magazine. You guys are the ones that set this up.

Sully: "Hey, I was just told to do press today, man."

Arthur: Hey, man, you guys—

Sully: "I got a checklist in front of me, and I don't have time for a lot of this bullshit."

Arthur: Oh, yeah?

Sully: "So write whatever the fuck you wanna write, because your magazine obviously is that popular."

Arthur: It's doing pretty good—

Sully: "Yeah I'm sure it is. All three thousand copies of it—"

Arthur: On our own, without any corporate support.

Sully: "I wish you the best of—… Why would you waste your time calling a band like us when you don't even give a fuck?!?"

Arthur: I certainly do give a fuck. 'Cause you know what?

Sully: "What is this about?!?"

Arthur: Because listen, man! You know, there's 2,800 people, my brothers and sisters, have died over in Iraq?

Sully: "Yeah?"

Arthur: You know 30,000 Iraqi humans who never did shit to us have died because of the attacks we've made over there?

Sully: "[in disbelief] And that's GODSMACK's fault?"

Arthur: Did you know that 78% of women in the military report cases of sexual harassment?

Sully: "[sarcastic] And that's GODSMACK's fault.

Arthur: No, man—

Sully: "[sarcastic] That has to do with our new record."

Arthur: Okay, let's talk about your new record.

Sully: "I can't believe this. This is [inaudible]"

Arthur: Let's talk about that new record, my friend.

Sully: "Get a life." [hangs up]

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:59 PM   #2
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Brilliant

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:06 PM   #3
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the funny thing is their song is used for the navy... not the army or marines

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:23 PM   #4
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aw, and it was off to such a good start.

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:53 PM   #5
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Well they both look like douchebags.

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:44 PM   #6
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heh, that was pretty cool. I feel bad for the Godsmack guy, obviously he's just trying to make a living, he didn't need to put up with that political crap.

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulogy
Well they both look like douchebags.
Yeah, reading this conversation was like watching 2 retards playing chess. The Godsmack guy comes off bad because he wouldn't just suck it up and state his position clearly (and because he's in Godsmack). The other guy, while a whiny liberal prick, did a pretty decent job of making the other guy look like a fool...but then he had to go and get all preachy there at the end.

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:57 PM   #8
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More so that Arthur fellow. That was not a very professional interview. I thought this would actually be funny, I love to laugh at godsmask, I feel kinda cheated out of my time.

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 04:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corganist
The other guy, while a whiny liberal prick
I still think that it's fucking hilarious when people use the term "liberal" as an insult.. it's like, here, take what fox news throws at you and spit the term back without actually knowing the meaning of it.. "trust us, it's a bad thing!"

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 05:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FearFactory
I still think that it's fucking hilarious when people use the term "liberal" as an insult.. it's like, here, take what fox news throws at you and spit the term back without actually knowing the meaning of it.. "trust us, it's a bad thing!"
I still think its fucking hilarious when people take the term liberal as an insult. I called the guy a whiny prick, but the thing you focus on is that I (almost certainly accurately) called him liberal? I think you doth protest too much.

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 05:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the Grate
heh, that was pretty cool. I feel bad for the Godsmack guy, obviously he's just trying to make a living, he didn't need to put up with that political crap.
i agree

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 05:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corganist
I still think its fucking hilarious when people take the term liberal as an insult. I called the guy a whiny prick, but the thing you focus on is that I (almost certainly accurately) called him liberal? I think you doth protest too much.
when you sandwich the word "liberal" in between "whiny" and "prick", it's meant as an insult. don't dance around it, boy.

the term "liberal" is used as an insult by those on the right and it's just flat-out stupid. if the republicans said that feeding the homeless was horrible, I guarantee you there'd be a large chunk of people out there agreeing with them. it's fucking ridiculous how easily coerced people in this country are.

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 06:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corganist
Yeah, reading this conversation was like watching 2 retards playing chess. The Godsmack guy comes off bad because he wouldn't just suck it up and state his position clearly (and because he's in Godsmack). The other guy, while a whiny liberal prick, did a pretty decent job of making the other guy look like a fool...but then he had to go and get all preachy there at the end.

only liberals are against the war? or just pricks?

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 07:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FearFactory
when you sandwich the word "liberal" in between "whiny" and "prick", it's meant as an insult. don't dance around it, boy.

the term "liberal" is used as an insult by those on the right and it's just flat-out stupid. if the republicans said that feeding the homeless was horrible, I guarantee you there'd be a large chunk of people out there agreeing with them. it's fucking ridiculous how easily coerced people in this country are.
um, and the term "conservative" is used as an insult by those on the left.

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 07:26 PM   #15
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Interviewer is an asshole.

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 07:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulogy
um, and the term "conservative" is used as an insult by those on the left.
considering the day and age we live in, being a conservative is an insult.

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PkPhuoko
the funny thing is their song is used for the navy... not the army or marines
Who are you arguing with?

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:32 PM   #18
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i suppose i see what he was driving at, but it seems to me that if a journalist is going to grill someone about the war in that fashion, it should probably be a policy maker and not an uneducated nu-metal singer

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jared
only liberals are against the war? or just pricks?
Neither. I'm just saying this particular guy who is against the war happens to be a liberal. He also happens to be a prick. He also happens to be whiny. I'm not implying in any way that those observations have any relation to each other. Anybody who reads more into it than that are just letting their own fears and biases get the best of them. Don't be so defensive folks.

If it makes you feel any better, I'll point out that the interviewee is a conservative idiot who makes bad music. That doesn't mean I think calling him conservative is a insult. Its just what he appears to be.

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big white horse hung
i suppose i see what he was driving at, but it seems to me that if a journalist is going to grill someone about the war in that fashion, it should probably be a policy maker and not an uneducated nu-metal singer
you don't think he has a point about kids hearing what godsmack have to say about war and allowing their songs to be played in commercials for military recruitment possibly leading to them enlisting?

it's much easier to get ahold of the dumbasses in godsmack than policy makers, who are thoroughly convinced that everything they do is right and for the good of the people - even if the majority of those people don't agree with them.

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 08:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FearFactory
you don't think he has a point about kids hearing what godsmack have to say about war and allowing their songs to be played in commercials for military recruitment possibly leading to them enlisting?
if the kids enlist, it's their own fault.

godsmack was just chasing money by lending their song to the navy.

 
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Old 05-04-2006, 09:45 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
if the kids enlist, it's their own fault.

godsmack was just chasing money by lending their song to the navy.
no shit they were chasing money, but what if some kid is on the fence about joining the military and decides that, based on godsmack's stance (which is very clearly murky at best, reading the interview), they're going to join the military? you can't say it doesn't have the possibility of happening because anyone who listens to godsmack is going to be a fucking imbecile incapable of forming their own opinions anyway.

they ought to change the enlistment age from 18 to 21.

 
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Old 05-05-2006, 12:11 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big white horse hung
i suppose i see what he was driving at, but it seems to me that if a journalist is going to grill someone about the war in that fashion, it should probably be a policy maker and not an uneducated nu-metal singer
I don't know anything about this Arthur magazine, but I don't think it/they were too out of line with that line of questioning.... i don't know what their target audience is, but i'd guess it isn't the sort of audience that would appreciate a finely nuanced discussion with a professor of IR at Harvard or some such place.

I think the point of the article/questioning was to show this mainstream, popular band and how it (and other groups) have political stances that they can't really back up at all, and don't stand for much beyond posturing.

I doubt that the point of the article was to learn the truth about Godsmack's stance on the US military. The author was using godsmack as an example, a case study.

 
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Old 05-05-2006, 12:18 AM   #24
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Here's an anlogy in retort to your decent point, FearFactory. We all have celebs we admire. I consider myself one of Billy Corgan's biggest fans.
If I'm dumb enough to join the frickin army if Cowboy Bill even directly told me to, then I'm dangerously stupid. A damn idiot. Anyone who makes that kind of decision better do it on their own, or fuck em/god be with them.

 
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Old 05-05-2006, 12:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corganist
Neither. I'm just saying this particular guy who is against the war happens to be a liberal. He also happens to be a prick. He also happens to be whiny. I'm not implying in any way that those observations have any relation to each other. Anybody who reads more into it than that are just letting their own fears and biases get the best of them. Don't be so defensive folks.

If it makes you feel any better, I'll point out that the interviewee is a conservative idiot who makes bad music. That doesn't mean I think calling him conservative is a insult. Its just what he appears to be.
yeah i should've use the laugh face, i was half joking. although i didnt even take it from the interview he was conservative, it just sounded like he was very uniformed or didn't really give much thought to endorsing the military before the interviewer posed the questions.

 
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Old 05-05-2006, 03:12 AM   #26
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I like that song "Straight Out of Line" off the videogame "Prince of Persia: Warrior Within". When you beat that game, oh, man, it felt so good to hear that at the end...
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Old 05-05-2006, 03:56 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Injektilo
I think the point of the article/questioning was to show this mainstream, popular band and how it (and other groups) have political stances that they can't really back up at all, and don't stand for much beyond posturing.
Yeah, well put man. The interviewer might come off as a bit of an ass, but that Sully guy comes off as a completely ignorant twat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wpc33
If I'm dumb enough to join the frickin army if Cowboy Bill even directly told me to, then I'm dangerously stupid. A damn idiot.
Yeah but at least you listen to some good music and not godsmack.

I love this bit "Sully: "We just simply, an opportunity came up, they wanted to use some music for a recruit commercial. What are we gonna say, no?""

JESUS CHRIST SOMEONE MIGHT THINK THEY HAVE ARTISTIC INTEGRITY

 
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Old 05-05-2006, 04:05 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jared
yeah i should've use the laugh face, i was half joking. although i didnt even take it from the interview he was conservative, it just sounded like he was very uniformed or didn't really give much thought to endorsing the military before the interviewer posed the questions.
Unfortunately for me, sounding uninformed and not giving much thought to things are characteristics that are not uncommon in a good number of conservatives.

 
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Old 05-05-2006, 09:07 AM   #29
FearFactory
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wpc33
Here's an anlogy in retort to your decent point, FearFactory. We all have celebs we admire. I consider myself one of Billy Corgan's biggest fans.
If I'm dumb enough to join the frickin army if Cowboy Bill even directly told me to, then I'm dangerously stupid. A damn idiot. Anyone who makes that kind of decision better do it on their own, or fuck em/god be with them.
right, but godsmack have to know that their fanbase isn't comprised of members of mensa and that they're generally people who listen to whatever's on the radio at the time. I think they ought to sit back and think about the consequences that allowing a branch of the military to use one of their songs for a recruiting commercial may coerce some of the dumber ones with nothing going on in their lives to enlist. of course, the guys in the band may be extremely retarded themselves.. we know at least ONE of them is for sure at this point.

 
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Old 05-06-2006, 04:01 PM   #30
D.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ugly
I like that song "Straight Out of Line" off the videogame "Prince of Persia: Warrior Within". When you beat that game, oh, man, it felt so good to hear that at the end...
DAMN GODSMACK FOR ENCOURAGING YOU TO KILL PEOPLE.

 
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